Many years ago, I came across an eye-catching book title Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor. It was Jane Austen, super-sleuth! What??????? I was curious enough to come home from the local paperback book exchange with this little mystery, and ate it up. At the time, I was in Full Jane Mode and loved everything about the plot--the way author Stephanie Barron conjured up Austen's writing style, the research she'd done about the time period, and the page-turning, gotta-see-what-happens-next mood Barron achieves. Well, there are a total of nine of these little gems out there, and perhaps I will find one before vacation.
Incidentally, Barron has a new historical novel this year that sounds intriguing, as well. This one is set in the 1860's, the Victorian Era, and is called A Flaw In The Blood. It concerns Queen Victoria and the genetic mystery behind the fact that the royal hemophilia problem started with her, but cannot be traced to her ancestors--or her supposed ancestors. Evidently, it has been proposed that perhaps she was fathered by somebody other than Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent. This interesting nugget is what inspired her latest historical thriller.
Jasper Fforde's fourth installment of the Thursday Next series is Something Rotten, and as expected, it is a riot. This time, though, I even came away with a couple new Scrabble words. I love educational books.
cazique, or cacique - tropical orioles. According to the Scrabble dictionary, the first spelling is the plural, and second is the singular. Huh.
Anyway, Fforde pretty much wraps things up in this novel, but that's not to say that he won't write a sequel. Oh! Wait, silly me, he's already written it. It's called First Among Sequels. Catchy name. It's coming out in paperback this very month, as a matter of fact, but I already have the hardcover, since I found it at my last job. It doesn't have a pretty dust jacket, which is why I have it, and also why I forgot I had it. Aw, one must feel sorry for plain black hardcovers. No one ever wants them.
Incidentally, Jasper Fforde was at the Hay Literary Festival this year (again) during the last week of May. Who wasn't? Hay-on-Wye is one of my dream locations, and I won't find it necessary to see the festival, honest. I just wanna go there.
Jasper collecting the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing in a pigpen at the Hay Festival, 2004.
See what I mean? This is too much fun to miss forever and ever.
Events at the Hay Festival link.