Sep 162013

Murder Most AustenAn Incredibly Arrogant Austen “Expert” Meets An Untimely End!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

Oh happy day! The return of Elizabeth Parker – Janeite, amateur sleuth, and attendee at this year’s Jane Austen Festival in Bath! I adore sarcastic and clever Elizabeth Parker (I want to be her BFF), and I am so happy to follow my favorite Austen fanatics (Elizabeth and Aunt Winnie are definitely fanatics!) through some more mystery and mayhem!

For those of you who have never read a novel in this series before, they are collection of contemporary cozy mysteries. Each one draws some themes and characters from or pays homage to a different Jane Austen novel – Murder at Longbourn (Pride and Prejudice), Murder on the Bride’s Side (Sense and Sensibility), Murder Most Persuasive (this one may be a little obvious – Persuasion), Murder Most Austen (Northanger Abbey). Our main characters in all four installments are Elizabeth Parker, her boyfriend (and former childhood nemesis Peter McGowan), and her feisty and eccentric Aunt Winnie (who is a hoot and a half!).

In the midst of their travels to England and then to Bath, Elizabeth and Aunt Winnie become acquainted with several Jane Austen admirers, festival attendees, and one Austen “scholar.” Professed Austen expert and egomaniac Professor Baines soon becomes a very popular subject amongst all the festival goers. One reason is because of his rumored theory about how Jane Austen died from a STD (ummm…what?) and another reason is because he is soon found dead at the costume ball during the festival. Was Professor Baines murdered for his money, his misdeeds, or for his absurd notions about Jane Austen…

As always with this series, my most favorite aspect of this novel was not the mystery, but all the lovely Jane Austen parallels and allusions. Witnessing Aunt Winnie’s and Elizabeth’s verbal swordplay with Austen quips and quotes never ceases to amaze me!

Aunt Winnie snorted. “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”

I was not to be outdone. “I have had the pleasure of your acquaintance long enough to know. That you find great enjoyment in occasionally professing opinions which in fact are not your own,” I quoted back.

“True,” Aunt Winnie replied with a dip of her red head. “But, I”m resolved on the matter, so keep your breath to cool your porridge. Or, in other words, shut your pie hole,” she added with a grin. – page 43

In addition, just as I had in her previous novels, I found Tracy Kiely’s closed circle of suspects to be intriguing, cleverly-drawn, and fully capable of arousing my suspicions. They kept me guessing! I must admit, I thought I had the mystery figured out this time…and alas, I was wrong!

However, I did wish that the mystery’s resolution didn’t come about quite so quickly; it felt a little rushed and not as fully developed. And I must once again submit a request that handsome and sweet Peter McGowan receive more page time! Maybe in the next book? (*crosses fingers*)

An excellent blend of mischief, intrigue, humor, and Janeite geekery! Murder Most Austen takes readers to a Jane Austen Festival that they will not soon forget! I await with great anticipation to see what sort of mystery and murder Elizabeth Parker stumbles onto next!


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  21 Responses to “Murder Most Austen – Tracy Kiely”


    I have these books on the list but can’t see me getting round to them soon, they are so expensive. They sound like the type of thing I’d enjoy, I love a cozy mystery 🙂


      I love hardcovers, but they sure can be pricey! I was just telling Jakki how I got this one from a third-party seller on amazon at a very reasonable price. 🙂


        I think a pre-owned book is definitely the way forward with this one!


          I borrowed it from the library. Sometimes free is the way to go 🙂


          Sometimes they aren’t preowned, just remainder copies that booksellers couldn’t sell. It’s nice to find one in almost “new” condition!

          Definitely, Heather! I wish I had a library near me that carried Austenesque novels – that would be sooo great! But they only get the real popular ones like P&P and Zombies or Death Comes to Pemberley. :/


            There are very few Austenesque titles stocked by my library either, or I’d be happy to borrow them and then only buy ones I’d want to reread. Thank goodness for the Internet and second-hand books!


    I liked this one, too. I read Murder at Longbourn but none of the others, however I didn’t feel that I was unable to dive into this one. They’re not brilliant detective procedurals by any means, but they’re fun cozy mysteries.

    I want an Aunt Winnie to quote Austen with me! And, I agree that there wasn’t nearly enough of Peter in this book. Hopefully if she continues and does an Emma and Mansfield Park mystery, Peter will get more pages.


    I’ve only read one. I’d love to read the others but I just never get to it.


    I haven’t read any of these yet but they sound pretty fun. I wouldn’t mind having an Aunt Winnie myself!


    I really should give this series a try. I do like a little mystery and humor with my Austen. Thanks for sharing!


    Oh, I need this series, exactly, right now. How LOVELY! Thanks for putting it on my radar! 🙂
    Do I need to read them in order?


      Happy to help! You can read them out of order, but I would recommend reading it in order if you can. In book one Murder at Longbourn we can see Elizabeth and Peter become reacquainted with each other and are introduced to everyone’s backstory.


    Thank you Meredith for your lovely review 🙂 I have the other books of this series but I have not read them yet. I wish I had more time! Now I must add this one to my endless TBR list too!


    I borrowed this one from a friend not realizing it was part of a series. I’ll have to read the previous books first. As always, great review!


      Thanks, Anna! These books can be read out of order, so if you don’t have the opportunity to read the other three first, this one will make sense and be able to stand on its own. Thanks for reading and commenting on my review!

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