Nancy Drew. Enola Holmes. Sally Lockhart. Move over girls, it’s Jane’s time!
Join young budding detective Jane Austen in her second investigation to uncover a devious diamond thief at the glitziest, most scandalous ball of the year! Inspired by Sense and Sensibility.
‘No one who had ever seen Jane Austen in her infancy would suppose her to be born to solve crimes. From her early love of sugar plums, and cleverness in hiding her expeditions into the pantry, her mother declared her far more likely to commit them. However, as Jane would counter, there was no better person to identify the culprit than the thief turned thief-catcher.’
When the headmistress invites her past favourite pupil to attend their end of term ball, Cassandra brings her younger sister, Jane, along too. Cassandra plunges into the feverish excitement of preparing for the biggest event of the year – the dresses, the dances and the boys expected from the neighbouring school.
Feeling rather excluded, sharp-witted Jane unearths the reason for the fuss – the headteacher wants to impress a rich family returned from India as the school is at risk of going bankrupt. Jane also befriends the dancing master’s assistant, a former slave, called Brandon, who is as quick to notice things as she. At the ball, a diamond necklace is stolen from a locked room and they are propelled into a race to uncover the burglar and save Brandon from gaol.
With the ever-present Austen spirit, Jane with notebook in hand, boldly overcomes the obstacles to finding the truth.
Perfect for readers aged 9-109, and for fans of Katherine Woodfine and Lucy Worsley.
Having thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing the first book in the Jane Austen Investigates series I knew I had to read this one too!
As with the first book, this one has such a wonderful feel to it, the setting and ambience is really nostalgic, and whilst there is intrigue and mystery it feels so relaxing to read.
This book builds on the characters more than the previous, discovering more about Jane and Cassandra’s lives as well as meeting up with Deepti and Arjun (they featured in the first book), seeing how life is going for them.
The plot is really good, with hints and clues dropped along the way and yet still many surprises to keep you guessing.
I really like that each book teaches young readers about different themes during the era. As with the first, this one touches on social hierarchy, etiquette, and women’s place in the world, however we also get to learn about the racism, prejudice and British colonialism at the time.
This series is a joy to read and share, my 11 year old daughter nabs the books from me as soon as I am done!
Thank you to Lion Hudson for the Advanced Copy to review.
My review for Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery can be found here:
Julia Golding is a multi-award winning writer for adults and young adults. She is the founder of Project Northmoor, the campaign to save Tolkien’s home. She also writes under the pen names of Joss Stirling and Eve Edwards.
She is also a screenwriter, working on a number of feature and TV series concepts, featuring strong female leads.