Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cozy Mystery Book Tours Book Review: Death Of A Dowager

Author: Joanna Campbell Slan
Title: Death Of A Dowager
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
About Death of a Dowager: In her classic tale, Charlotte Brontë introduced readers to the strong-willed and intelligent Jane Eyre. Picking up where Brontë left off, the year is now 1820, and Jane’s life has finally settled into a comfortable pattern. She and her beloved Edward Rochester have married and have a son. But Jane soon finds herself having to protect those she loves…

When the roof caves in at Ferndean, their country home, Jane and Edward accept an invitation from their friend Lucy Brayton to stay with her in London while repairs are being made. Jane is reluctant to abandon their peaceful life in the countryside, but Edward’s damaged vision has grown worse. She hopes that time in the capital will buoy his spirits and give him the chance to receive treatment from a renowned oculist.

Once in London, the Rochesters accompany Lucy to the Italian Opera House, where they encounter Dowager Lady Ingram, who had once hoped for Edward to wed her daughter, Blanche—and who’s still rankled by his subsequent marriage to Jane. In front of a group of society people, the aging dowager delivers a vicious social drubbing to Jane, enraging both Edward and Lucy. In an attempt to rebuild good will, Jane and Lucy decide to speak to the Dowager in private the next day. But the visit is cut short when the Dowager drops dead before their shocked eyes. Lucy is poised to take the blame—unless Jane can clear her friend’s name…

Review: Sometimes you can simply judge a book by its cover. The Death of a Dowager is one of those books. I knew I wanted to read it when I first saw it. It is the second book in the Jane Eyre mystery series and can be read as a stand alone novel.

The cover is absolutely stunning, it is hard not to look at it!

I'm always fascinated when other authors take character's from another novel and make them their own, especially if they are done well, and the book most definitely is. I think I found Jane Eyre and Rochester more interesting in Joanna's book then in...well...yeah..I'm going to hell for saying this..but I liked Jane better here, than in Jane Eyre. 

It has been years since I read Jane Eyre, (Uh...sophomore year in high school, I think), so this was really like going back to meet old friends. (Well don't tell that to my sophomore self that preferred cheesy romance novels)

The writing was perfect and the mystery engaging a great escape and if you are a lover of the Bronte novel, well Joanna does a superb job of continuing the story!

I do admit the first half of the book was slow for me..the part leading up to the death of Mrs. Ingram, but after that things started moving along and the story really pulled me in. 

Jane and Rochester are really a loving couple and I loved Mrs. Grainger, and yes, when they buried Mags, her dog, I teared up.

The historical aspects of the book really piqued my interest. I know more about Prinny while he was Regent, then in the period when he was to become King.

I look forward to reading more of this series and recommend it highly to lovers of Bronte's classic novel and historical mysteries.

Rating: 5 flowers

About Joanna Campbell Slan: Joanna Campbell Slan was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but she grew up in a small town in Indiana. After graduating from Ball State University with a degree in journalism, she worked as a newspaper reporter, a newspaper ad salesperson, a television talk show host, a college teacher, a public relations professional, and a motivational speaker. In that capacity, she was named by Sharing Ideas Magazine as “one of the top 25 speakers in the world.”

When her son, Michael, got his driver’s license, Joanna was freed from carpool duty and finally able to pursue her dream of writing full time. She has since written eighteen books, eleven non-fiction and seven fiction.

Joanna’s newest series—The Jane Eyre Chronicles—began with Death of a Schoolgirl(Berkley) and continues with the release of Death of a Dowager. The series features Charlotte Brontë’s classic heroine Jane Eyre as an amateur sleuth.

Purchase from Amazon. Connect with Joanne Campbell Slan: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Joanna Slan said...

Thanks so much for having me, Andrea!

Barbara T. said...

Read the two in this series only because I enjoy Joanna Campbell Slan's other romantic mystery series. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this genre. I am looking forward to more of both series now.

Joanna Slan said...

Barbara, I'm delighted that my other work wooed you! Thanks so much!

Brenda Rumsey said...

Congrats on writing such great books. I have a friend that loves Jane Erye and will definitely let her know about this book.

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