A thrilling literary mystery co-starring Jane Austen from the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale
Charlie Lovett first delighted readers with his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bookman’s Tale. Now, Lovett weaves another brilliantly imagined mystery featuring one of English literature’s most popular and beloved authors: Jane Austen.
Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.
In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is certainly a book that will pique the interest of Jane Austen Admirer’s as well as warm the heart of bibliophiles. It is a book very much about books, but also has an unexpected mystery at its core.
As a love story, I enjoyed this book for the fact that it showed many different facets of love, not just the romantic type that readers usually encounter.
Charlie Lovett is good with words. He knows how to bend them and craft them carefully until he has chosen just the right ones. This was true in his first book, and now again in his second. He seems to understand what we as readers, want to see in a character and a story and ensure that we do not leave disappointed.
I found myself caught up in this novel quickly and was more than pleased with it overall. Both of the stories were interesting and the way the author co-mingled the past and the present was sheer talent.
I’d definitely recommend this book to other book lovers.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley, all opinions are my own.