Published by Chronicle Books on October 4, 2016
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Romance
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The young Jane Austen is not particularly interested in getting married, although she does find the mysterious Mr. Lefroy an intriguing possibility--but first she has to deal with the accusation that her cousin Eliza is a French spy, and solve a murder.
5 Rambles about Secrets in the Snow:
- This is a fun, quick murder-mystery starring Jane Austen as the main heroine. It reads easily, and is lacking any superfluous details, which I always appreciate. You get an engaging story that flies by in no time. While the murder-mystery was really only the last few chapters, the rest of the book was just as entertaining, mostly following Jane and her French (could be spy?) cousin Eliza. I enjoyed getting to know all about Eliza’s fortunes and misfortunes.
- There is a little bit of romance with Tom LeFroy, but I won’t lie, I didn’t like it much. Tom was pretty irritating, which made it extremely hard to imagine James McAvoy in the part(who played a very dashing and swoonworthy Mr. LeFroy in the movie Becoming Jane). The romance was a case of “far too little too late” unfortunately, although, if you know Jane Austen’s story, you know they do not have a happy ending.
- The characters felt a bit shallow to me. I liked Jane’s character, but I wanted her to be even more witty. There just didn’t seem to be anything too terribly stand-out-ish about her wit, which I feel like is usually an Austenian heroine’s greatest asset. The only thing I really felt like I knew about Eliza was that she liked fashion. Many of the other characters felt the same to me. Maybe because the book is rather short, we just don’t get enough time to get to know the characters well.
- The writing is nice and clean, keeping me engaged well into the night. I read almost the entire book in one sitting (until I realized how late it was).
- I wanted a little bit more of the caricature of the secondary characters that you find in Austen novels; however, since this book is actually about Jane Austen, not her characters, I guess that’s not really a requirement. Jane’s mother was slightly ridiculous, but I wanted her to be even more so. I wanted gossiping mothers and over eager suitors and more balls. I guess I really just wanted to read a Jane Austen novel.
All of that being said, this is truly a quick and entertaining read, though not as flowery or romantic as a Jane Austen novel (and certainly not written with the same poise and elegance, though what is these days?). Jane investigating a murder was fun, and seemed like something she would definitely do, though it was really only the last bit of the book. A nice vacation read-a bubblegum read, as my mother would say.
This book is part of my “Clean Sweep ARC Challenge”, and my “NetGalley and Edelweiss Challenge”. To see more info on my 2016 Reading Challenges, go HERE.
Content: Recommended for 15+