I’m delighted to be kicking off DAY ONE of the blog tour for an exciting new historical detective series for middle-grade readers. Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery by award-winning author Julia Golding, published by Lion Hudson, imagines a young Jane as a budding detective, showing all the signs of the literature genius she will become!
‘The life of a clergyman’s daughter in rural Hampshire was disappointingly full of duties, and there were few things for an adventurous girl to do. This was why Jane always considered it fortunate to have been involved in a carriage accident. Without that disaster she would never have met the Abbey ghost.‘
Following the accident, Jane is sent to be companion to Lady Cromwell for a week as the household prepares to celebrate the eldest son’s coming-of-age party, in place of her older sister who can no longer attend due to a broken arm. Little does Jane know that the week will be far more interesting than it initially promises, with not just ghosts to discover, but a house full of secrets too. Thoroughbred race horses, midnight thefts, mechanical inventions, family feuds, arson: English aristocracy is not all it seems and the Cromwell family are definitely a force to be reckoned with! Young Jane, notebook in hand and her trusty dog Grandison by her side, sets out to find the truth – and save some new found friends in the process……
Immerse yourself in imagining the world of a young Jane Austen with this delightful mystery story! Bringing the historical period and all the English etiquette and age-old prejudice surrounding class to life, The Abbey Mystery weaves an engaging tale. A wonderful cast of characters ably support the intrepid young Jane, who proves herself a staunch ally when her new found friend, Fitzwilliam, is blamed for a crime he did not commit! Helped by the stable boy, Luke, and the cook’s daughter, Deepti, Jane sets about proving his innocence, regardless of the potential danger. The plot thickens with every page, with multiple strands of the story keeping you guessing. Throughout, there are little nods to grown-up Austen, perhaps showing what her writing might have been inspired by. As historical novels go, it’s a fast read helped by short chapters, engaging and entertaining dialogue and plenty of action. Author Julia Golding always creates believable historical settings and this is no exception; with a doctorate in literature of the period from Oxford she is well-placed to do so! Highly enjoyable, The Abbey Mystery is a great addition to the middle-grade detective series genre and I am already looking forward to Jane’s next adventure in book two!
With thanks to Lion Hudson for sending me this book to review and inviting me to participate in the blog tour! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour: