10 October 2011

Jane Austen Made Me Do It - Edited by Laurel Ann Nattress

Summary: If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy's heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen - her novels, her life, her wit, her world. Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history's most cherished authors. (Source: Cover)

Comments: This was a delightful set of short stories that were inspired, by some way or another, by Jane Austen. I would love to comment on each story, but I shall limit myself to the ones that caught my attention and piqued my interest. All the stories were enjoyable, but some had that little quirk that really made me think or laugh. Laurel Ann Nattress has created a volume that will have something (more than one something, of that I'm sure) for everyone.
I'd say I've read texts by half of these authors before, so it was the comfort of the familiar with the interest in the authors unknown, until now, to me. One, now, to the stories.

What would Austen do? by Jane Rubino & Caitlen Rubino-Bradway is one of the funnest stories I've read in a while. Parents being brought to school because their child is too good? I guess Miss Austen has that effect on people. It's contemporary, it's funny, it's irreverent. I
loved it and they are new authors to me.

Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss by Jo Beverly Can a widow find love? Will she be willing to try again. This one just might because one of her neighbors is none other than Miss Austen. A lovely story with a lovely family that I would like to see expanded into a full book. Again, a new author to me. 
Nothing less than a Fairy-land by Monica Fairview is the lovely continuation of Emma in which Mr. Knightly moves into Hartfield, much to the consternation of Mr. Woodhouse. How can Emma reconcile her father to the situation. It's one of the most unexpected turns. 
It's really really hard not to just keep adding books, but I'll suffice with just a few more.
The Love Letter by Brenna Aubrey The author who until now was unpublished. She's the contest winner and gave a great modern Persuasion rendition that I particularly enjoyed as I work with a number of physicians. 
A Night at Northanger by Lauren Willig. An author I have read many many times and have enjoyed greatly takes on modern ghost hunting in Northanger Abbey. It's an hysterical take on modern television and modern society. Great fun. 
Heard of You by Margaret C. Sullivan (aka Mags) An author and blogger that I adore has written a back story of the meeting of Admiral Croft and Sophy Wentworth. It's charming, but I am shocked that Mags didn't write about Henry Tilney - that said, a lovely story that I wouldn't mind seeing more of. 
Okay, I have to stop at some point. So many great stories - which will all be available tomorrow. If you like Jane Austen you will enjoy these stories. 

09 October 2011

The Hanover Square Affair - Ashley Gardner

Summary: Meet Captain Gabriel Lacey-in an extraordinary series of Regency-set mysteries. Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is piqued when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the girl leads to the discovery of murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. Lacey faces his own disorientation upon transitioning from a soldier's life to the civilian world, redefining his role with his former commanding officer, and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.  (Source: Amazon)

Comment: I cannot remember how I stumbled into this book, but I'm certainly glad that I did. I'm pleased to see that there are several more in the series. I'm looking forward to reading them all. Captain Gabriel Lacey is my kind of guy. So let's proceed to why I liked this story. It was intriguing, with fully developed characters and in a time period I enjoy. Lacey is honest, has integrity, and isn't afraid to help the helpless. He's been wounded, both physically and psychologically, but uses neither as a crutch. He's also got the evil of a temper... not one I would want to be on the wrong side of, to be honest.
There are strong secondary characters, some of whom, I'm still not sure of their intentions. Lucius Grenville is a charming man-about-town, a trend leader, and a good friend to Lacey. Marianne Simmons, Lacey's slightly needy and slightly tart-ish, upstairs neighbor, is an actress who is constantly stealing from him and attempting to find protectors to keep her company. Louisa Brandon, wife of his former Colonel Aloysius Brandon, who is Lacey's very close friend and sometime confidant. The three have known each other for more than twenty years. Mr. Denis, is a strange person who has the ability to acquire things for others. But why does he want Lacey?I look forward to the next story, A Regimental Murder.