Sunday, February 2, 2020

Pride, Prejudice and Poison by Elizabeth Blake

Pride, Prejudice and Poison (A Jane Austen Society Mystery, #1)
Happy Sunday!  On Sunday's I feature books that I was unable to when it was released.  Today I am sharing my thoughts on Pride, Prejudice and Poison by Elizabeth Blake.  It is the first novel in A Jane Austen Society Mystery series. 
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Pride, Prejudice and Poison by Elizabeth Blake takes readers to Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, England where Erin Coleridge owns the Readers Quarry, a used bookstore.  Erin’s bookstore has become a local gathering spot for the villagers.  Erin is a member of the Northern Branch of the Jane Austen Society.  The group has divided into two factions:  Old Guard (conservatives) and the Modernists (those tired of rules and protocol).  This division leads to many heated exchanges.  At the monthly meeting on Monday, the group takes a break for tea after a heated discussion.  Sylvia Pemberthy, president of the society, has had her last cup of tea when she collapses and dies.  Sergeant Rashid Jarral and Detective Inspector Peter Hadley arrive in the village and settle in for their investigation.  There are a multitude of suspects from the victim’s lover, the lover’s wife, and local schoolmaster Jonathan Alder.  When it appears that Farnsworth Appleby is being set up to take the fall, Erin offers her services to the handsome detective.  Can they track down the devious killer before he strikes again?
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Pride, Prejudice and Poison by Elizabeth Blake is the first novel in A Jane Austen Society Mystery series.  I enjoyed the setting of Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, England.  It is a quaint village with a variety of quirky residents.  It seems that everyone is a fan of Jane Austen and her books.  Erin loves to quote from Jane Austen’s novels and the villagers are frequently reading different versions of the authors works. I did feel that the Austen element was overdone (too many quotes).  I wish it had been done with a lighter hand so it would have retained the humor.  I did, though, like how the quotes connected to the plot.  Erin Coleridge owns the used bookstore, Readers Quarry where the villagers tend to congregate for tea and gossip.  Erin is a member of the local Jane Austen Society.  At their monthly meetings there is controversy.  While the group takes a tea break, the club’s president, Sylvia Pemberthy drops dead.  Erin jumps into the investigation when it appears that the killer is setting up Farnsworth Appleby to take the fall.  Erin flirts with the investigating detective who is referred to in my copy (an ARC) as DI Peter Hadley and DI Peter Hemming (talk about confusing).  I am sure this was corrected for the final version.  There were multiple suspects in this whodunit, but the killer can be identified quite easily (before the body departs for the inquest).  I would have liked a bit more of a challenge.  Erin’s behavior mimics that of most amateur sleuths.  She lies to the police, asks questions, stumbles upon information and puts herself in danger.   I felt that Pride, Prejudice and Poison was a slow starter because of the introduction of so many villagers (a little much at the start).   Gossip spreads rapidly in the small village and tea is consumed in vast quantities.  Pride, Prejudice and Poison is a lighthearted cozy mystery with Austen admirers, toxic tea, a bounty of books, an introverted investigator, and a set up suspect.
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You can obtain a sample or purchase Pride, Prejudice and Poison here*.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will be participating in the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Statue of Limitations by Kate Collins tomorrow.  It is the first A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery.  I hope that you have an enlightening day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

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Jane Austen Quotes "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

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