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Monday 5 December 2016

‘A Most Singular Venture’ by Donna Fletcher Crow

Published by Verity Press,
31 August 2016.
ISBN: 9781537435053

Richard and Elizabeth Spencer are Americans living in England and acting as house-parents at a boys’ boarding school. It is the summer holidays and the couple are off to London: Richard to teach at a University summer course, in which he intends to feature Jane Austen as a crime writer; and Elizabeth to do research on Jane Austen’s time in London for an article.

Their time to enjoy themselves together alone in London is soon interrupted. Richard’s brother, Andrew, who runs the family’s publishing business, flies to the UK to bid on a very rare collection of Jane Austen first editions and both Richard and Elizabeth are concerned that the deal may not be on the level, and, even if it is, whether Andrew is over-estimating what the firm can afford. Richard is even more concerned when Andrew meets and falls for Sara Ashley-Herbert. Andrew and his wife are in the process of divorcing but the matter is not yet concluded and Richard has very strict views on such matters.

Soon Richard and Elizabeth find themselves at the centre of a group of people needing their support: Jeremy, a young American student who has broken his leg in an accident, Babs, a demanding American woman attending Richard’s course, and Jack, one of the boys from their school, whose mother has left him to fend for himself while she is away with a boyfriend.

The concern Elizabeth and Richard feel about the Jane Austen first editions floods back when a death occurs that could be an accident but looks suspiciously like murder. Another death follows and Andrew is arrested for murder. Richard and Elizabeth are determined to discover the truth, even though it means placing themselves in danger.

A Most Singular Venture is a pleasant book with some likeable protagonists, in which crime mingles with English literature, history, religious observances and architecture. It has a clever plot and an unexpected conclusion. An enjoyable leisurely read.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Donna Fletcher Crow  is a former English teacher and a Life Member of the Jane Austin Society of America, She is the author of 50 books, mostly novels dealing with British history.  The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work.  She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth and An Unholy Communion as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the literary suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho.  They have 4 adult children and 12 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.
To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to:
You can follow her on Facebook at:

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her latest book The Fragility of Poppies was published 10 June 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Lizzie and Carol! "Enjoyable, leisurely read" is a lovely summary.