Murder at Longbourn
By Tracy Kiely
Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312537562, 320pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
List Price: $24.99*
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A die-hard fan of Jane Austen novels and the traditional English mystery, Tracy Kiely has combined elements of both for this truly delightful and witty debut.
Planning New Year’s resolutions to rid her life of all things unhealthy, Elizabeth Parker has dumped fatty foods, processed sugar, and her two-timing boyfriend. Indeed, the invitation to join her Aunt Winnie for a How to Host a Murder Party on New Year’s Eve at Winnie’s new Cape Cod B and B comes just in time. But when the local wealthy miser ends up the unscripted victim, Elizabeth must unearth old secrets and new motives in order to clear her beloved aunt of suspicion. The suspects include the town gossip, a haughty rich woman, and an antiques business owner much enamored of his benefactress, a Mrs. Kristell Dubois. If that isn’t bad enough, Elizabeth must also contend with her childhood nemesis, Peter McGowan---a man she suspects has only matured in chronological years---and her suspicions about his family’s interest in Winnie’s inn.
Yesterday, her only worry was of ever finding her Mr. Darcy. Now she has a murder to solve. Is it any wonder her resolution to achieve inner poise is in tatters?
By reimagining characters and themes lifted from the treasured classic Pride and Prejudice, and crafting an expert, intricate mystery, Tracy Kiely has brought to life something very special: a new cozy series that is clever, vibrant, and utterly disarming.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that the long-dead Jane Austen remains a driving force in the lives of many authors. Such is the case--to the benefit of those who delight in the cozy mystery--with Tracy Kiely's debut novel, Murder at Longbourn....Kiely pays homage to the traditional mystery in this Christie-worthy puzzle, in which you're sure to fall in love not only with the old Cape Cod setting but also with the author's witty take on the old-fashioned whodunit."--Richmond Times-Dispatch"The author avoids the many temptations this type of book offers....What she offers instead is a group of refreshingly civilized characters who work sensibly together and whom we come to care about as the story develops along the exact lines we hope it will. It's a great introduction to what is promised to be a new series."--The Denver Post
"With echoes of Jane Austen’s characters sure to delight readers, Kiely’s first novel offers up a satisfying mystery and a charming heroine."--Booklist
“The biggest accomplishment of Kiely's debut novel is that it leaves the reader wanting more. Amateur sleuth Elizabeth Parker and her odd assortment of friends and family are ripe for a series. Although the author delves quite deeply into her characters' lives, there's still much to learn. Jane Austen fans will thoroughly enjoy this cerebral mystery.”—RT Book Reviews (4 stars)
“Tracy Kiely weaves her old-fashioned murder mystery with a modern sensibility and the sort of humorous observations about the human character that I love….those who love good writing, well-drawn characters, a solid mystery plot that is hard to solve, and Austenesque overtones, will enjoy this book as much as I did.”—Jane Austen’s World
"Thoroughly amusing and satisfying...the perfect opener to a new mystery series."--Jane Austen Regency World
When Elizabeth Parker finds herself single and alone for the holidays, she jumps at an invite from her aunt Winnie to attend a How to Host a Murder Party at Winnie's new Jane Austen-inspired bed-and-breakfast on Cape Cod. Though many of the crowd at Winnie's are older, there are two handsome young men who provide a distraction: British playboy Daniel turns Elizabeth's head with his suave charm, but she's irritated by the presence of her childhood nemesis, Peter. The participants gather, but when the lights go out for the fake murder, a real one occurs: Gerald Ramsey, a surly local businessman, is shot dead. Ramsey was aggressively pushing Winnie to sell her B and B to him--and putting pressure on her by going to the local zoning board--which makes Winnie the prime suspect in his murder. Certain that her aunt isn't the killer, Elizabeth sets out to clear her. With echoes of Jane Austen's characters sure to delight readers, Kiely's first novel offers up a satisfying mystery and a charming