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Jane and the Man of Cloth (Jane Austen Mysteries) Paperback – 31 Dec 1998

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA; Reissue edition (31 Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553574892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553574890
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,129,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Eat your heart out, Charlotte Bronte!...Jane's narrative voice stays coolly crisp and witty, never losing its clarity of style and authenticity of tone, even in nerve-racking moments of excitement...Captivating...Delightful...Ms. Barron's skillful rendering of Austen's style, attuned to picking up the most delicate fluctuations in social behavior, reveals it to be an ideal vehicle for the classic cozy murder mystery. Who knew?" -- "The New York Times Book Review"
" The words, characters, and references are so real it is a shock to find that the author is not Austen herself." -- "Arizona Republic"
" Delightful...captures the style and wit of Austen.... A real charmer." -- "San Francisco Examiner"
" There's plenty to enjoy in this crime-solving side of Jane....[She] is as worthy a detective as Columbo." -- "USA Today"

& quot; Eat your heart out, Charlotte Bronte!...Jane's narrative voice stays coolly crisp and witty, never losing its clarity of style and authenticity of tone, even in nerve-racking moments of excitement...Captivating...Delightful...Ms. Barron's skillful rendering of Austen's style, attuned to picking up the most delicate fluctuations in social behavior, reveals it to be an ideal vehicle for the classic cozy murder mystery. Who knew?& quot; -- The New York Times Book Review
& quot; The words, characters, and references are so real it is a shock to find that the author is not Austen herself.& quot; -- Arizona Republic
& quot; Delightful...captures the style and wit of Austen.... A real charmer.& quot; -- San Francisco Examiner
& quot; There's plenty to enjoy in this crime-solving side of Jane....[She] is as worthy a detective as Columbo.& quot; -- USA Today

"Eat your heart out, Charlotte Bronte!...Jane's narrative voice stays coolly crisp and witty, never losing its clarity of style and authenticity of tone, even in nerve-racking moments of excitement...Captivating...Delightful...Ms. Barron's skillful rendering of Austen's style, attuned to picking up the most delicate fluctuations in social behavior, reveals it to be an ideal vehicle for the classic cozy murder mystery. Who knew?" "The New York Times Book Review"
"The words, characters, and references are so real it is a shock to find that the author is not Austen herself." "Arizona Republic"
"Delightful...captures the style and wit of Austen.... A real charmer." "San Francisco Examiner"
"There's plenty to enjoy in this crime-solving side of Jane....[She] is as worthy a detective as Columbo." "USA Today""

From the Inside Flap

For everyone who loves Jane Austen...the second tantalizing mystery in a new series that transforms the beloved author into a dazzling sleuth!
Jane and her family are looking forward to a peaceful holiday in the seaside village of Lyme Regis. Yet on the outskirts of town an overturned carriage forces the shaken travelers to take refuge at a nearby manor house. And it is there that Jane meets the darkly forbidding yet strangely attractive Mr. Geoffrey Sidmouth. What murky secrets does the brooding Mr. Sidmouth seek to hide? Jane suspects the worst--but her attention is swiftly diverted when a man is discovered hanged from a makeshift gibbet by the sea. The worthies of Lyme are certain his death is the work of "the Reverend," the ringleader of the midnight smuggling trade whose identity is the town's paramount mystery. Now, it falls to Jane to entrap and expose the notorious Reverend...even if the evidence points to the last person on earth she wants to suspect...a man who already may have won her heart.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 25 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen had a special fondness for scoundrels and scallawags. How else explain her fully-realized portraits of Wickham (in Pride and Prejudice) or Willoughby (in Sense and Sensibility) or Frank Churchill (in Emma)? These rascals are, in many ways, the most interesting characters in her books.
Now comes the sleuth alter-ego of Jane in her second adventure, and in her journals, she makes no secret of her attraction for the man who is also, apparently, the head of the local smuggling band known as The Reverend, rather than Captain Fielding, the upright Revenue spy.
En route to their holiday stay in Lyme Regis from their home in Bath, the Reverend Henry Austen and his wife, plus their two daughters, Cassandra and Jane, are considerably shaken up when their hired carriage overturns within a few miles of their destination. Cassandra suffers the most serious injury, and needs immediate attention. In the driving rain, Jane and the postboy set out on foot for the nearest habitat -- High Down the home of Geoffrey Sidmouth. After an initial not-at-all-welcoming greeting, Sidmouth makes himself, his staff and his home available. It is some three days later that the Austens are able to journey on to Winds, their hired cottage in Lyme.
Jane's writer's curiosity stands her in good stead as she sorts through the various miscellaneous characters rampant in Lyme, ranging from visiting second-rate nobility to smugglers, from retired Naval captains to French emigrees.
Ms. Barron's masterful technique in editing the pseudo-Jane's early diaries and journals is witty, pungent, and to the point. Any reader of either mysteries or Regencies, or even 'literature' will delight in this new look at our most famous woman author. Any reader of Jane Austen's books will easily recognize events and characters she later put to good use in those volumes bearing her own name.
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Format: Paperback
This is the second book in the Jane Austen Mystery Series by Stephanie Barron.

In a newly discovered secret journal, Jane Austen documents her adventures as an amateur sleuth. In 1804, twenty-eight year old Jane and her family visit the charming seaside village of Lyme Regis for a September holiday, before returning to their home in Bath. On their way to Lyme, their carriage is overturned by a storm and as Jane's beloved sister Cassandra is seriously injured, they are forced to seek refuge at High Down Manor, the home of the mysterious Mr. Sidmouth. Jane hopes for a quite holiday with peaceful walks and enough time to work on her novel "The Watsons", however, when a man is found murdered and everything points to a notorious smuggler, Jane begins to investigate the case in order to expose the smuggler and bring the murderer to justice. Jane Austen, with her wit, her brilliant abilities of perception and her understanding of human nature is more than capable of solving any mystery; however this time, apart from the great danger she has to face, she must also tame her heart as everything points to Mr. Sidmouth and Jane despite her prejudice is dangerously attracted to him.

This series is excellent and this second novel was no exception. Set in England during the Napoleonic Wars, it is filled with action and historical events while still being a plausible and entertaining story for Austen's fans. Stephanie Barron has, once again, created a gripping mystery plot, brilliantly set in Austen's time, with a very convincing Jane as its heroine. As the story is narrated by Austen in her journal, the language is very similar to her existing letters and so realistic that reading it, I would often forget that it is indeed a work of fiction.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved the actual story, but was very unhappy with the condition in which the book arrived. The description said that the book was used but in good condition. However, when it arrived it was incredibly dirty, and as soon as I began to read it pages started falling out!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x952ecbdc) out of 5 stars 43 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x952ec540) out of 5 stars 4.5 good solid stars from me 12 Aug. 2006
By J. Lesley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I read the first Jane Austen Mystery (Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor) I knew that I had found a series which would keep me interested and reading as long as the author continued writing. I liked this second installment of this series and actually prefer to rate it a 4.5 star book.

The writing is still very well done and it must be quite a challenge for this author to block out the modern day style of speech and produce readable prose from another time period. Unfortunately, because the speech patterns were so very different during Jane Austen's lifetime some of the sentences in these books just go on and on and on. I understand that it is realistic, but I also know that I found myself feeling that perhaps Ms Barron could have shortened up some of the sentence structure. Often it seemed forced and did not flow naturally. Ms Barron is not Jane Austen. I'll bet she even knows this without any of us telling her. What she is though is a very talented writer and I greatly admire and appreciate her willingness to tackle something as difficult as these books to give so many people so much pleasure. Having said that, I will have to admit that the novel bogged down in the middle for me. Ms Barron had so very much going on in this book with so many characters and they all had to be kept fresh and moving along toward a conclusion. I had a choice of three villians. One Jane became romantically attracted to. One died. Guess what, tag you're it! The bad guy was the only one left. I really never believed that Jane would have been attracted to a murdering smuggler, therefore, I actually only had two villians to choose between.

I don't think I have ever read a book where so many people were so wet and cold so often as in this book. (We are in the midst of a very dry summer and I found myself distracted by thoughts that I coveted some of that stormy, wet, cool weather!) It really did make me wonder how they went about drying their clothes. How long did it take a wool cloak to dry out? Lots of things distracted me from being totally concentrated on the book and especially the mystery.

There seems to be a very even split among reviews as to whether this second book is stronger or weaker than others in the series. For me, I vote weaker. I still loved it but I was easily distracted and very often wanted it to move along at a faster pace. I will be reading all the books and highly recommend that anyone even vaguely interested in Austen or her contemporaries do the same.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x952ec648) out of 5 stars Good book, bad Kindle edition full of typos 15 Aug. 2010
By jmkdiva - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an engaging mystery and a fun series with Jane Austen as sleuth. The historical backdrop of smuggling along the English coast is interesting and the author keeps you guessing as to who the culprit is up to the end.

My complaint is with the Kindle edition of the book. The process used to create the digital format of this book is extremely poor. I've read many Kindle editions and none of them were riddled with typos. It's clear whatever program or algorithm was used to scan this book into digital format is severely flawed. It can't interpolate the letters correctly. There are even sentences with question marks in them because the program didn't know what to put for that letter or word. Whenever a "tl" are placed together, as in the word "gentleman"--a word constantly used in this book--the Kindle edition thinks it's a "d" and spells it "gendeman". The typos, or rather misinterpolations, are so frequent that it makes reading the book very difficult and tedious. Nearly every paragraph has a mistake. The number 1 is used for a capital I, hash marks are used for a capital I--the mistakes are too numerous to list.

I give the mystery itself 3 stars. It was enjoyable. I give the Kindle edition 1 star and recommend anyone interested in this title buy the actual book so that you can enjoy the story without constantly being wrenched out of it by typos. I'm leery of buying any more of this series in Kindle form in case the problem is the fault of the program the publisher chose to use.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x952f3fa8) out of 5 stars Oh, those rogues . . . 6 July 2000
By kellytwo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen had a special fondness for scoundrels and scallawags. How else explain her fully-realized portraits of Wickham (in Pride and Prejudice) or Willoughby (in Sense and Sensibility) or Frank Churchill (in Emma)? These rascals are, in many ways, the most interesting characters in her books.
Now comes the sleuth alter-ego of Jane in her second adventure, and in her journals, she makes no secret of her attraction for the man who is also, apparently, the head of the local smuggling band and known as The Reverend, rather than Captain Fielding, the upright Revenue spy.
En route to their holiday stay in Lyme Regis from their home in Bath, the Reverend Henry Austen and his wife, plus their two daughters, Cassandra and Jane, are considerably shaken up when their hired carriage overturns within a few miles of their destination. Cassandra suffers the most serious injury, and needs immediate attention. In the driving rain, Jane and the postboy set out on foot for the nearest habitat -- High Down the home of Geoffrey Sidmouth. After an initial not-at-all-welcoming greeting, Sidmouth makes himself, his staff and his home available. It is some three days later that the Austens are able to journey on to Winds, their hired cottage in Lyme.
Jane's writer's curiosity stands her in good stead as she sorts through the various miscellaneous characters rampant in Lyme, ranging from visiting second-rate nobility to smugglers, from retired Naval captains to French emigrees.
Ms. Barron's masterful technique in editing the pseudo-Jane's early diaries and journals is witty, pungent, and to the point. Any reader of either mysteries or Regencies, or even 'literature' will delight in this new look at our most famous woman author. Any reader of Jane Austen's books will easily recognize events and characters she later put to good use in those volumes bearing her own name.
I particularly like the listing of resource materials used by the 'editor' - they frequently send me haring off in enjoyable new directions.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x952f3834) out of 5 stars Refreshing and fun! 9 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I discovered this series quite by accident when browsing through the bookstore, and I'm so glad I did! What a novel (no pun intended!) idea, to take Jane Austen and place her in the role of sleuth, complete with wonderful Regency England settings and history. Footnotes at the bottom of almost every other page educate the reader on items that might be unfamiliar, such as the name of a popular dance or the reason behind a particular social custom, and these little tidbits are almost as enjoyable as the story itself. I was a little wary at first before I read the first installment (Scargrave Manor), but was soon swept away. I didn't find this second book boring in any way, though I noticed some others did. I enjoyed the setting - a seaside town where the Austens are vacationing, the characters - including Jane's sister Cassandra and scandalous sister-in-law Eliza, and Barron's writing is wonderful. She does a fantastic job of echoing Austen's style, as well as the times, while modernizing it enough for the contemporary reader to thoroughly enjoy. Now, I'm just waiting for the series to come out in Audiobook format! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x951349fc) out of 5 stars Better than the first in the series 1 Aug. 2002
By Helena S - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed reading this novel and thought that it was better than the first in the series. Some of Jane's actions are perhaps not realistic for an unmarried woman in the early 19th century, but remember this is fiction and as such meant to entertain, which this book definitely does! Lord Trowbridge's presence is delightful as always, and he and Jane make a good detective pair.
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