Title: Murder at Longbourn: A Mystery
Author: Tracy Kiely
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Elizabeth is on her way to the Inn at Longbourn, her aunt’s new B&B on Cape Cod. She’s going to ring in the new year helping her aunt run the Inn’s murder mystery New Year’s party. However, Elizabeth and the rest of the group get much more than they bargain for when someone is actually murdered at the party. Instructed by the police not to leave town, Elizabeth begins digging into the murder and trying to figure out for herself who committed murder at the Inn at Longbourn.
I was hesitant when I first picked up Murder at Longbourn because I’ve been a little Austen-ed out lately. While I’ve enjoyed the re-tellings and mash-ups, I’m getting tired of the whole Austen trend. However, I’d heard good things about Murder at Longbourn, so I put my trepidation aside and decided to give it a try – and I’m so glad I did! While this novel has a few cute Austen references (both the main character and her aunt are huge fans of Jane Austen), it definitely stands on its own two feet. Once the mystery gets going, it bears little resemblance to any Austen novel.
Elizabeth was a well-written character who made a wonderful sleuth in Murder at Longbourn. She was funny, witty, and best of all, very smart. She was clearly well-read, and as a result, this novel is littered with literary references, from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to Aloysius, the bear from Brideshead Revisited. It’s a lot of fun to pick up on these references while reading the novel.
The mystery in this novel was incredibly well done. Kiely kept me guessing through every twist and turn. By the end of the book, I thought I’d figured the whole thing out, only to be surprised yet again. It was a satisfying read, and I certainly hope it will become a series!
Murder at Longbourn was a fun novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re wary of the Austen fad, don’t avoid this book because of it, but if you’re a huge fan of the trend, then you’ll really enjoy the literary references in the book, especially when the main characters quote straight from Pride and Prejudice. It’s a well-written and entertaining novel that I highly recommend!