By Tirzah Price
Published April 2022
I stopped reading Jane Austen spin-offs after Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There are just too many out there. But when this novel was released last month, it caught my eye. So I took a chance and bought it. I’m glad I did because it was delightful.
The Dashwood sisters aren’t running around society looking for husbands, they have their hearts set on being independent women. Elinor the chemist, Marianne the private investigator, and Margaret the author. Marianne is on her way to achieving that dream, being her father’s protégé at his investigation firm. Or at least, she was until his untimely death.
When the girls discover their father was poisoned, they set out to catch the murderer. But without his journal, they have no idea who had a motive. Is their brother John in financial straits? Was it their maid who delivered the tainted tea? Could it have been that odd surgeon Mr. Brandon who didn’t trust their father’s conclusion to his case? Everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted. But trust they must, since the Dashwood sister’s reputations and livelihoods depend on solving the case.
At the risk of being redundant, this was truly delightful. It’s been many years since I’ve read Sense & Sensibility but this book brought it right back. The plot points from the original hit at all the right places and I loved the character adaptations. The independent Dashwood sisters. Edward Farrow the accountant. Mr. Brandon the surgeon. The horrible Fanny and irritating Lucy Steele. Although obviously, the focus is on a murder mystery and not on romance, there’s some of that too. Toss in some period-appropriate social commentary and I call it a winner.
Even if you’ve never read Sense & Sensibility or aren’t a Jane Austen fan, this novel can stand on its own. All in all, just a fun read.
I rated this novel a solid four stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Until next time, thank you for visiting.
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