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by Verity Press, 19 February 2019. ISBN: 978-1-79749332-9
years. Any regrets?”
“Oh, my dear.Not a
and Richard Spenser, both professors of English literature, arrive in England
to realise their shared dream to visit each of the homes in which their
favourite author, Jane Austen, had lived during her all-too-brief life.They have planned a trip that will take them
to Bath, Chawton, Winchester, and Godmersham.The tour is intended to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary.Elizabeth, having recently retired from her
post as Head of the English Department at Rocky Mountain College, is
luxuriating in the opportunity to relax and enjoy their literary
pilgrimage.By contrast, Richard still
holds his professorial role at the same university and the sabbatical requires that
he undertake a significant piece of research for the department.To facilitate this endeavour, they have
arranged for an Austen specialist, Dr Muriel Greystone, to accompany them on
the two American academics as they enjoy some welcome refreshment in the genteel
surroundings of the Regency Tea Room at the Jane Austen Centre.Their tea and tranquillity, however, are
interrupted by the arrival of Dr Greystone and her PhD student, Geraldine.Following a tour of the facility, the couple
are introduced to writer and researcher Arthur Langton and the Centre’s
director, Claire Cholmley.Claire is
looking for assistance sorting through a box of ‘papers, old books, documents,’
an unexpected donation which may contain items of value and literary
importance. Dr Greystone nominates
Richard as most qualified to assist Claire in perusing the papers and he is
obliged to agree, little knowing that by nightfall the contents of the box will
have led them all into an unwelcome and dangerous adventure.
A Jane Austen Encounter is the fourth in the “Elizabeth and Richard Literary Suspense
Mysteries series and was my introduction to Donna Fletcher Crow’s writing.Although one of a series, the novel is
perfectly easy to read as a stand-alone, with precisely the right amount of
background to enable the reader to feel secure about what has gone before.I was delighted to find myself immersed in
Austen’s world, the flawless descriptions of the streets and buildings she
frequented, and the sumptuous landscape that provided the backdrop to her own
life and that of the characters she created.
moves quickly, building suspense and keeping the reader guessing.The narrative is captivating, entertaining
and informative, and the writing style is consistently elegant, reassuring and,
at times, playful; it had me reaching for my copy of Northanger Abbey to enjoy
once more Austen’s wry observations on the human condition.I thoroughly enjoyed my encounter with Jane
Austen and am now relishing my next Donna Fletcher Crow encounter!
Reviewer: Dot Marshall-Gent
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.
worked in the emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer,
then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating
from King’s College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties.
She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute
of Education, London and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about
educational issues. Dot sings jazz and country music and plays guitar,
banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.