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My Dear Charlotte: With the assistance of Jane Austen's letters Paperback – 1 Jul 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Coffeetown Press (1 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603810404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603810401
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 619,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Hazel Holt has many devoted fans in the United States and Great Britain as a writer of "cosy" British mysteries; she has published nineteen Mrs. Malory novels at last count. She is also known to admirers of Barbara Pym as the friend and biographer who additionally edited Pym's posthumous works.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This is a delightful book. Hazel Holt (Barbara Pym's biographer - a recommendation in itself - and author of the Mrs Malory series of mysteries) has taken Jane Austen's letters and used extracts to create an entirely new and original story. Her heroine, Elinor Cowper writes from her home in Lyme Regis to her sister Charlotte in Bath, chatty letters full of domestic news and comment. Anyone who knows Austen's letters will be aware that some of her comments can be acerbic, to say the least, and Elinor has, of course, a dry sense of humour and a lively wit. We learn the Bath news, too, as Elinor reflects on her sister's letters, arranges purchases of desirable additions to her wardrobe - all the delicious and entertaining detail that Jane and Cassandra discussed in the real letters finds a home here but, in case you wanted anything else, Holt adds a murder mystery. Elinor's curiosity is piqued by the sudden death of a neighbour. Her investigation has to be decorously conducted, but she pursues it with determination.

A must-read for Janeites and fans of Hazel Holt, this will also appeal to readers of Georgette Heyer, or of Nicola Slade's historical mysteries.
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I am a great fan of h
Hazel Holt's Sheila Mallory books but My Dear Charlotte far surpasses them. It is one of thoses rare books that you can't wait to finish and yet you don't want it to end. The writing style is beautifully clear and in the style of the great Jane Austen with her trademark acerbic remarks. The character of Elinor fits into the Austen milieu wonderfully well and yet she could be today's woman also.
Though we do not meet the Charlotte of the title we do get to know her through the comments in Elinor's letters. The male characters are well delineated as are the females and the mystery grows slowly but very adeptly.
I only wish that Hazel Holt could produce another volume of Elinor's letters recounting a further mystery.
I absolutely loved this book and cannot recommend it highly enough. If Miss Austen had turned her pen to writing mysteries then this would be her style completely
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I quite enjoyed reading this book - although I found it a little slow in places. The problem was that the author didn't seem to be clear on what sort of genre she was writing - it was part chick-lit, part mystery. There was a little too much detail regarding domestic issues and not enough devoted to the murder. On the whole, an easy-read book.
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I guess it helps that I love Jane Austen and always have. However that said sometime I've read things supposedly in her style and they are total rubbish and therefore really annoying. This however was well done and well written and maintained the era well. It was a very enjoyable read.
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I usually find Jane Austen type books very readable but I found this story very difficult in the beginning but persevered and managed to finish it. The book was interesting in that it was a series of letters between 2 sisters and how they managed to solve a murder but I think it was rather too long.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was indeed a delight, spoilt for me slightly by the enthusiasm of the reviewer, before I even started the story ... but I am glad I perservered, for it was an un-put-down-able ... though I had to do so for life goes on in between the reading! Perfectly in tune with the style of Jane Austen, a gentle, but most amusing tale, but with many sidelights on the life of the gentry of the day in a small town community. The ending is just as you would have expected, though it arrives a little abruptly after the final denouement of the mystery .. and I didn't want it to stop. Enough said! Do read it, it's a gem.

I saw one mis-naming - Mrs Churchill for Mrs Woodstock - so now we know which bit of the novels / letters that came from!

I rarely post reviews - so this shows how perfect it was.
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