In this Austen-tatious debut, antiquarian bookstore proprietor Erin Coleridge uses her sense and sensibility to deduce who killed the president of the local Jane Austen Society.
Erin Coleridge’s used bookstore in Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, England is a meeting place for the villagers and, in particular, for the local Jane Austen Society. At the Society’s monthly meeting, matters come to a head between the old guard and its young Turks. After the meeting breaks for tea, persuasion gives way to murder—with extreme prejudice—when president Sylvia Pemberthy falls dead to the floor. Poisoned? Presumably…but by whom? And was Sylvia the only target?
Handsome—but shy—Detective Inspector Peter Hadley and charismatic Sergeant Rashid Jarral arrive at the scene. The long suspect list includes Sylvia’s lover Kurt Becker and his tightly wound wife Suzanne. Or, perhaps, the killer was Sylvia’s own cuckolded husband, Jerome. Among the many Society members who may have had her in their sights is dashing Jonathan Alder, who was heard having a royal battle of words with the late president the night before.
Then, when Jonathan Alder narrowly avoids becoming the next victim, Farnsworth (the town’s “cat lady”) persuades a seriously time-crunched Erin to help DI Hadley. But the killer is more devious than anyone imagines.
Titles in the Jane Austen Society Mystery series include — Pride, Prejudice & Poison –
Title: Pride, Prejudice & Poison
Series: Jane Austen Society Mystery#1
Author: Elizabeth Blake
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
My Rating: 4 stars
PRIDE, PREJUDICE & POISON begins Elizabeth Blake’s new Cozy Mystery series, Jane Austen Society Mystery with a story that is full of Jane Austen book lovers, but maybe not so many love the others in their group. Everything you really need to know about this story is in the Cover Description – and because it’s a Cozy Mystery you’ll not find any clues in this review — I don’t spoil the story for the readers who have just discovered this delightful tale.
As this is the first story in the new series I expected some world building but nothing was overwhelming and fit into the story well. You’ll find lots and lots of Jane Austen quotes. And while amusing for the first few chapters, it quickly became an overload aspect of the story, at least it felt that way to me. I’m all for a good Jane Austen quote but maybe as the heading to the chapters instead. It became a distraction at one point, maybe it was meant to keep our eyes off of “whodunit” but I could do with a few less in the rest of the series – that’s my opinion, not a criticism.
The characters are well-written, the plot flows with red herrings tossed here and there. I’m enjoying the possible romantic involvement and hope to see that play out during the rest of the series.
I enjoyed myself, did not figure out who the killer was until told (which is always a good thing to me), and PRIDE, PREJUDICE & POISON held enough of my curiosity to now want to know what comes next. If you enjoy Cozy Mysteries, then you’ll want to get in at the start of this new series.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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