Title: Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery
Author: Julia Golding
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: April 23, 2021
Jane Austen turns detective in this spooky historical adventure by award-winning author Julia Golding!
It’s 1789 and a young Jane Austen turns detective as she seeks to solve the mysterious happenings at Southmoor Abbey. When a carriage accident forces a change of plans, 13-year-old Jane is sent to be a companion to Lady Cromwell for a week as the household prepares to celebrate the eldest son’s coming-of-age party. While there, Jane vows to solve the mystery of the ghostly monk in the Abbey grounds – for she does not believe in such stories!
But this is not the only strange occurrence for the adventurous young Jane to investigate. There are shivery night-time investigations, an Indian girl with secret talents, a library fire, two prize horses in danger, and friends to save from false accusations.
With notebook in hand and her faithful dog Grandison by her side, will Jane overcome the continuous obstacles and find out the truth?
1789: After her older sister is injured, thirteen-year-old Jane Austen is sent in her place to be a companion to Lady Cromwell while she prepares for her son’s birthday party. Jane is excited to go so she can solve the mystery of the ghost that haunts the Abbey. However, Jane soon has to investigate some incidents. Two horses go missing and a fire burns part of the library on the same night. Jane must sneak around the Abbey to figure out who is to blame for these two crimes.
As soon as I saw this novel about a young Jane Austen who investigates mysteries, I knew I had to read it. This is a middle grade mystery novel, similar to Nancy Drew but set in the 18th century. Jane was a hilarious character, who was outspoken and sneaky, but I don’t think she was like the real Jane Austen at that age. Jane made some funny comments, such as writing an obituary for her dress that was ruined which promoted her third-best dress to second-best dress. She was a witty and entertaining character.
Another thing I liked about this story was the way that it hinted to Jane’s future novels. There were characters named Fitzwilliam and Tilney, like the characters in Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. The story was also set in a haunted Abbey, like Northanger Abbey. There was even some diversity in the story, which wouldn’t have been in a story written during that time period. Jane became friends with an Indian girl, Deepti, who lived at the Abbey with her father, the cook. These additions to this historical fiction story made it more relatable to a modern audience.
I loved this story. I hope there will be more Jane Austen Investigates novels!
Thank you Lion Fiction for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn
Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Have you read Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery? What did you think of it?