Jeannette's Reviews > Murder at Mansfield Park

Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd
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's review
Apr 28, 12

bookshelves: austen-follow-ups, krimis, 2011-read, four-stars, apl-list
Recommended to Jeannette by: Mark
Read from November 23 to 26, 2011

I read Murder at Mansfield Park just before my current read of the original Mansfield Park. I am seeing how much more Ms. Shepherd borrowed from the original besides the characters.

In this fun re-telling, Mrs. Price marries well, and the Prices have but one child, Fanny. At their untimely deaths, Fanny is left a rich young woman, with the promise of a large inheritance at the age of 21. The story is set shortly before her twenty-first birthday. Five years earlier, she is taken in by her uncle, Sir Thomas, and is spoiled and pampered, along with her cousins. But, Fanny displays a sweet and agreeable nature, much like her counterpart in Austen’s story. Edmund is the step-son of Mrs. Norris, who also married well, or so it would appear. She is a widow, living in the White House, receiving income from her husband’s properties in Antigua. Edmund is still Edmund, and both families expect him to marry Fanny and her fortune.

Enter the Crawfords: Henry is still a handsome rascal, but this time he has both Maria and Fanny vying for his attentions, with Fanny having the biggest fortune, ti won’t be a difficult choice for Henry. Maria and Fanny also spar over Mr. Rushworth, who appears in a better light this time around. Mary Crawford is now cast as an impoverished angel. She gets to be the heroine of this story.

To all of this is added two murders, four or five suspects, and a tenacious and unscrupulous thief-taker, called upon to solve the crime. The solution of the mystery was well-done, and I was not quite certain of who did the deed until the very end. The final resolution of the crime, and of everybody’s love life, was satisfying, too.

My only complaint: Maybe too many references to Austen’s works. We hear of Robert Ferrars purchasing Netherfield; Mr. Crawford has been to see Pemberley; it got a bit annoying. But, this is a good “cozy” mystery, and a fun romp through an alternate Mansfield Park.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by HuhWhat (new)

HuhWhat I'm a teensy bit confused, are you going to be reading Mansfield Park shortly?

Jeannette I read this back in November, along with Mansfield Park. I just updated the review this morning. After you read Mansfield Park, you should read this one, too.

message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda Cohen Found this qoute this morning from the author:
"I didn't much mind Rowling when she was Pottering about. I've never read a word (or seen a minute) so I can't comment on whether the books were good, bad or indifferent. I did think it a shame that adults were reading them (rather than just reading them to their children, which is another thing altogether), mainly because there's so many other books out there that are surely more stimulating for grown-up minds. But, then again, any reading is better than no reading, right? But The Casual Vacancy changed all that."

message 4: by Jeannette (last edited Feb 24, 2014 07:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeannette Sort of implying that the adults that read HP were dummies, isn't she? "any reading is better than no reading"

There is a lot of enjoyable, and rich reading written for kids and read by adults. Not that HP was top-notch in the sense of remaining a classic (imo), but the series was pretty amazing on a whole.

message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda Cohen Yeah-it makes you rethink reading certain authors when they say stupid stuff like this.

Better to say nothing---yada yada yada...

Jeannette That's it, in a nutshell. lol

message 7: by Linda (last edited Feb 24, 2014 08:08AM) (new)

Linda Cohen That's why Orson Scott Card is off my list--he can't keep his big mouth shut!

Jeannette I think it's the curse of living in a celebrity culture. :P

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