|Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas|
To be published October 28, 2014; Soho Crime
Saturday, 24th December, 1814
Steventon Parsonage, Hampshire
"Jane," said my mother over the lolling head of he parson slumbering beside her,"be so good as to shift your bandbox and secure my reticule. I cannot manage the hamper with one hand, to be sure."
"No, indeed," I pressed my bandbox - already crushed from the confines of the stage, which was crowded beyond bearing - into my friend Martha's lap, and seized my mother's purse. She had netted it from silk, an effort demanding considerable invention and time; none of us should hear the end of it if Mrs.Austen's work were ruined well before it could be universally admired. I braced my booted feet against the unsteady coach's floor and cradled the reticule as tenderly as a newborn babe.Book description:
Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday at The Vyne, the ancestral home of the politically prominent Chute family. Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.
Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane views with suspicion. With clues scattered, dark secrets coming to light, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help stop the killer from striking again?
This latest novel in the mystery series will be released next month. I am looking forward to reading this as a stand-alone novel, and my first in this series.