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Bookstore owner Erin Coleridge seeks the scoundrel who silenced a conference's keynote speaker in Elizabeth Blake's second charming Jane Austen Society mystery.

When the quaint English town of York hosts a Jane Austen Society conference, bookseller Erin Coleridge is glad to get out of Kirkbymoorside for a while--until featured speaker Barry Wolf suddenly perishes from what appears to be a heart attack.

Erin is suspicious, since Barry had no history of heart disease. But who did him in? Was it the decedent's assistant, Stephen, who was observed chatting to Barry's young wife Luca earlier that night? Might it have been Barry's ex-wife Judith, who was seen arguing with her erstwhile betrothed at the bar? Meanwhile, conference co-chairs Hetty and Prudence have been at one another's throat since the conference. Is one of them the culprit?

Matters of the heart are putting Erin off her guard. Both Detective Inspector Peter Hemming and schoolteacher Jonathan Alder have made gestures of romantic interest, but Erin isn't sure who is her Willoughby and who is her Colonel Brandon. DI Hemming tries to persuade Erin that her entanglement in the murder investigation is far from sensible, but his entreaties come to naught. Dauntlessly, Erin joins forces with Kirkbymoorside's cat lady, Farnsworth, to ferret out the guilty party.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published August 10, 2021

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About the author

Elizabeth Blake

2 books19 followers
Librarian's note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Also see C.E. Lawrence

Elizabeth Blake has written ten published novels, six novellas and a dozen or so short stories and poems under other pseudonyms. Many of her works appear in translation internationally. Winner of both the Euphoria Poetry Competition and the Eve of St. Agnes Poetry Award, she is a two time Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee and First Prize winner of the Maxim Mazumdar Playwriting Competition, the Chronogram Literary Fiction Prize, Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Award, and the Jean Paiva Memorial Fiction Award. She was a finalist in the McClaren, MSU and Henrico Playwriting Competitions. She is a Hawthornden Fellow and Writer in Residence at Bydcliffe, Lacawac and Karunā Colonies.

(source: Amazon)

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 77 reviews
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,052 followers
August 11, 2021
Death and Sensibility turned out not to be the best cosy I have ever read but not that bad either. The Yorkshire setting was nice and the idea of having all the characters gathered in one hotel for a Jane Austen Society Conference worked well. The usual things happen - there is a murder, the main character decides to investigate, there are more murders, the MC puts herself in danger and is only saved by good luck, the case is solved.

I had trouble all the way through with the way everyone gave five pound notes as tips for the hotel staff. At first I thought things must have really changed in the UK since I was there last. Later I discovered many little things which indicated the author was American. It was not really a big issue but it pulled me out of the story repeatedly.

On the whole this was a good story, nicely written and containing lots of references to Jane Austen and her books.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Profile Image for Bridget.
2,772 reviews96 followers
August 12, 2021
This charming cozy mystery and murder story was full-flavoured and moreish! Set in Kirkbymoorside, a North Yorkshire English village, the local Jane Austen Society comprises a contrary group of fans. During a conference in York (a place I've frequently visited), an event has been mostly organised by the Society's northern branch. The featured speaker, Barry Wolf has brought his wife along and suddenly dies from what appears to be a heart attack, found by one of the hotel staff in a cloakroom.

The main character, Erin Coleridge, runs the local secondhand bookshop back in Kirkbymoorside, also selling coffees and teas. There are plenty of eclectic characters in this novel. As well as Erin, the York-based detective, DI Peter Hemming is a superbly drawn character within his role - winsome and yet also serious. The subtle plot and the effervescent conversation made for a few hours of very enjoyable, worthwhile reading complete with a satisfactory end.

A delightful, cozy mystery, Death and Sensibility is the perfect book to read, curled up on the sofa after grabbing a cup of tea and a huge piece of cake. There are many food-related bits and a lot of romance is thrown into the mix. It's a novel that any Jane Austen fan should adore, with plenty of quotes and references along the way. A great continuation of a new series, and I'm eager for the next one!

Disclosure: Thank you to Crooked Lane for providing a digital ARC of Death and Sensibility by Elizabeth Blake, via Netgalley for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Profile Image for The Sassy Bookworm.
3,362 reviews2,303 followers
September 28, 2021

This is one of those books that is really hard for me to review. I enjoyed the story. Loved the setting. Loved the bits of history. Enjoyed the Jane Austen tie in. It also kept me guessing until the end, which is always a bonus. All good things...

However, I could not stand Erin in the least. She was a rude, snotty, know it all. Not to mention 90% of the descriptors of people were rude or negative. From "her yellow tinged skin" or "she wears ratty old clothes" or the best one "most of the people in this room look like they've never seen the inside of a gym" Not to mention the amount of people who were described as being "hefty" And there were her FRIENDS she was talking about. 😬

Don't even get me started on the borderline offensive comments. 🤬 I don't even have the energy to list them all, but yikes. Will I give the next book a try...maybe...

**ARC Via NetGalley**
Profile Image for BonnieM☂️.
265 reviews
April 10, 2021
I did not like this book. The characters were not very likeable. The story jumped around too much which made me lose interest in the story. The relationship between Eriin Coleridge and Detective Peter Hemming was such that you would not know they were interested in each other. until the end of the book and still not sure. All in all I would not be interested in continuing with this series.

Thank you Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC.
Pub Date 10 Aug 2021
Profile Image for Kristina.
3,438 reviews59 followers
August 9, 2021
Death and Sensibility by Elizabeth Blake is the 2nd A Jane Austen Society Mystery. Erin Coleridge is in York with a few of her friends from the Jane Austen Society’s Northern Branch for a Jane Austen conference. The morning following a contentious cocktail party, their keynote speaker, Barry Wolf is found dead from what appears to be a heart attack. Erin has her doubts about the cause of death and decides to do a little sleuthing against the advice of Detective Hemmings. When another person connected to the conference ends up dead, Erin knows she is right. Erin just needs to prove it to her dishy detective. Death and Sensibility can be read as a standalone if you did not read Pride, Prejudice, and Poison. I enjoyed the lovely descriptions of Kirkbymoorside and York. The author provides detailed depictions that allow readers to visualize the scenes (I am starting with something positive). I really wanted to like A Jane Austen Society Mystery series, but I just do not like the characters (among other things). Erin comes across as a know-it-all (on Jane Austen trivia, Cockney rhyming slang, and so much more). She decides Barry Wolf was murdered despite evidence to the contrary (I agreed with her, but it was the way she went about it). Erin then goes about proving she is right. Erin is supposed to be British, but she comes across as American (at least to me). The mystery is one that I had figured out before Barry Wolf turned up dead (I could tell you who would die, who did it, and I even had an inkling as to why Barry Wolf was murdered). There are several suspects, misdirection, and pointed clues. I wish the whodunit had been more of a challenge. The resolution was disappointing and incomplete. I wanted a resolution with facts, not supposition. There are detailed descriptions of food, drinks, and clothing. I really did not need to know what each person ate at each and every meal. There are some comments that are borderline offensive. I believe some of them were supposed to be snarky, but they were still in poor taste. I thought there was too much romance. Erin likes Jonathan Adler as well as Detective Hemmings. She flirts and kisses both men while at the conference. I am not sure what she sees in the detective who warns her frequently to not investigate and keep your nose to herself. At times it felt I was reading a romance novel instead of a cozy mystery. In the book, Hemmings is referred to as Detective Hemmings. I believe in England, he would be a Detective Inspector. I am hoping that the details that are incorrect are fixed before the final release (there were other small things). I also found the pacing to be lethargic in Death and Sensibility. The first half of the book goes by at a snail’s pace. I was beginning to wonder if Barry’s death would ever be declared a murder. Jane Austen fans will enjoy the quotes and trivia (there is a quote about every other page). If you are in doubt about Death and Sensibility, I suggest reading a sample to see if it is the right book for you. What might not appeal to me, can be something loved by another person. We each have different reading tastes. Death and Sensibility is a cozy for Janeites with mouthwatering meals, a contentious cocktail gathering, a vile victim, a disgruntled detective, a bevy of bodies, exacting extracts, a welcoming waiter, one snoopy sleuth.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,186 reviews37 followers
November 1, 2021
Death and Sensibility Earns 5/5 Cups of Tea…Cozy Fun!

Jane Austen brings to mind images of empire dresses, waist coats and tall hats, and the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of romance, but murder? Elizabeth Blake’s Jane Austen Society Mystery is a delightful blend of delightful Jane Austen literary elements, descriptive language illustrating the Yorkshire setting, informative and witty banter, rich and eclectic characters sometimes more than a bit snarky, and a mystery that provided hours of cozy entertainment. Erin Coleridge, purveyor of secondhand books, coffees, and teas, is excited about attending the Society’s conference, but her suspicions get the better of her and BFF Farnsworth Appleby when the keynote speaker, with no history of health issues, dies of an apparent heart attack. The investigation reveals many reasonable suspects and motives from revenge to jealousy to greed, and of course, Erin’s involvement is not wholeheartedly welcomed by those in charge. The clues are cleverly revealed, red herrings provide obstacles in my own deduction, and the final solution was on my radar, but nevertheless engaging. Even a romantic triangle enters the picture…of course, it’s Jane Austen!

Disclosure: I received an ARC from Crooked Lane thru NetGalley. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.
Profile Image for Caitlyn Lynch.
Author 43 books1,825 followers
August 18, 2021
I love Jane Austen and I enjoy cozy mysteries, so this mystery set at an Austenesque convention in York would seem to be right up my alley. The keynote speaker being found dead when the convention has hardly started sets everyone atwitter, and Erin, bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, can’t resist the temptation to start her own investigation.

Okay. The first thing that got to me was how utterly unrealistic it was that Erin had all this free time on her hands. I’ve been on the managing committee for conventions, and all you have time to do is run around like a headless chicken dealing with everything that goes wrong - from speakers getting lost to delegates getting into fights - eat (if you’re lucky) and fall into bed utterly exhausted before getting up to do it all again. Erin attends I think two panels, both of which she’s moderating, and spends the rest of the week visiting the spa, gossiping with her friend Farnsworth, eating (so much eating) and sticking her nose in where it really doesn’t belong. I didn’t buy it for a second. Also, who was running Erin’s bookshop while she spent a week in York? Not one mention of it. Not one call to or from a staff member checking up on her business.

And what was with all the eating? We got an intimate description of every piece of food that passed Erin’s lips for an entire week. Think I’m kidding? I can tell you she ate trout almandine for dinner at least three times, and guess what: I didn’t care. This isn’t a culinary mystery. The food should be an aside at the most, not the focus of every second chapter!

Erin, I’m afraid, got right up my nose. There’s one point where a police officer tells her “You’re what my mother would call a curtain twitcher”. And this is where I realized that the author is NOT English, because that is the kind of insult that would have any Englishwoman storming out of the room in high dudgeon, after probably having slapped your face, and Erin doesn’t even react. She is a curtain twitcher, though. Even when plainly told to stay out of the investigation, she ignores all advice and instructions and starts interviewing the hotel staff!

A good cozy mystery has the main character stumbling into the plot, unable to avoid it because it’s happening all around her. Erin inserts herself into a mystery that’s nothing to do with her, one that I’m fairly confident the police would have solved with some decent detective work even without her nearly getting herself killed. We never even got a real answer about the killer’s motives for one of the three murders which take place during the course of the book.

There’s a token diverse character, a Senegalese woman who has no effect on the plot and is literally just there for Erin to demonstrate how friendly and not at all racist she is, and how nobody in Austen spaces could ever possibly be racist. It’s a transparent play for Woke Points and it annoyed me more than anything else in the book.

This dragged, badly, but I rarely DNF books because I like to critique things in the knowledge that I have considered it in full. Having finished the book, therefore, I can say with absolute certainty that I hated it, and I’ll be avoiding this author in the future. One star.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Cozy Reviews.
1,678 reviews5 followers
August 1, 2021
This is the 2nd release in the new cozy series "Jane Austen Society" . I had enjoyed the first in series and looked forward to this next in series. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley . My review opinions are my own.

Our protagnist Erin and her friend Farnsworth are in the City of York in Yorkshire for a Jane Austen convention. When murders occurs Erin wants to solve the mystery as she is both curious and good at figuring out clues. When clues abound and suspects add up Erin and Farnsworth find they may be close to the truth.

I enjoy the Jane Austen references and love the charcters. The setting of York was fun to read about and experience through the author's eyes. I look forward to the next in series. A enjoyable cozy series .
Profile Image for Jackie.
787 reviews55 followers
August 13, 2021
A first by me by This author and I can't say how much I loved it! Though I read as a standalone just fine I can't wait to read book one now! A slow build up but great ending and storyline. I loved the characters and look forward to reading more books by This author and soon!
Profile Image for Ana.
768 reviews411 followers
May 17, 2021
3 stars *may change
I'm not exactly very well-read in the "cozy paperback mom mystery" genre, but eh, you gotta try everything once in a while?
Jane Austen has always been one of those revered idols of women's literature and romance, although I have to admit that out of all her books Emma was the only one I liked. Sense and Sensibility was rather dull, no? It's quite fine, The book referenced it quite a bit (of course it did, I wasn't expecting anything else) and I remembered just enough of the original novel to be like "Oh, I know that."
Speaking of, I actually liked the writing a bit. That sounds a bit mean, dunnit? I suppose I wasn't expecting the writing to be so simple and at times even fun to read. It was very easy to go through. Character interactions were snarky enough. Although, I do think it was a bit of nothing? Again, the only mystery books I've ever read before are all Agatha Christie, so I'm very used to mystery novels being completely centered on one person looking for clues and interviewing others. I guess I have nothing to compare this to. Sure, there's a murder, but it's also full of relationship issues and a whole lot of just talking.
Okay, let's get onto the big elephant. This book had, like, casual comments that were borderline offensive but I can't even tell? Like, one of the main women flirts with this fella named Sam and the other one goes "Oh, he's gay, trust me." Then they're talking about how the main girl loves the snow so her parents used to call her Inuit? Also, one of the side characters is a Senegalian woman and in one of their interactions a main character asks "How is your English so good?" Haha?
As an immigrant, I don't personally think this question is meant to be offensive or condescending most of the time, but I do think it's a really stupid question that I don't like when people ask me. Like, for the same reason as to why yours is, we both studied it! I don't know...I'm sure the author didn't mean any harm, but it really is a horrible question to ask an immigrant.
I dunno. This book was alright. Not fantastic, but then what did anyone expect it to be?
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced reader's copy.
Profile Image for Colette McCormick.
Author 8 books15 followers
April 11, 2021
If this book was set in America or maybe even if the characters had been American this book would have got a higher rating but given that neither of those things are true that is reflected here.
Set in York, Erin and her friend Farnsworth are in the Yorkshire city (city note not a town) for a Jane Austen convention when people start to die. Is there foul play afoot? Of course there is and amateur sleuth Erin sets about trying to solve the mystery. A cosy murder mystery which, like I mentioned above would have been great if set in Manhattan or somewhere else equally cosmopolitan. As a story I enjoyed it and although I felt the ending was a bit of a stretch, I certainly didn't guess 'whodunnit' so full marks for that. However some things really irked me.

Farnsworth called people 'pet' though there was no inclination that she was from North East England. Maybe that was mentioned in the first book.

Henry the chain smoking paramedic (not 'medic') was a real irritation for me. Although the book doesn't have a date mentioned it is fairly recent because it mentions the MeToo movement and smoking in the workplace has been banned in Britain for years. An ambulance is definitely a work place so there is no way he would be smoking while on call.

Spike is a barman (not barkeep) in an upmarket hotel so I doubt he would go around calling the guests 'luv.'

Also just for future reference for later books in the series,
drapes are curtains.
bobby pins are hairgrips .
EMT's are paramedics.
CSI's are 'Forensic's'
Medical Examiner - The Coroner

Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGally for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Chautona Havig.
Author 262 books1,532 followers
August 26, 2022
After listening to the first book on audio (and apparently not reviewing it... coming soon), I found myself disappointed that I couldn't get this one on audio, too. So, I bought the hardback and went for it the first chance I got.

I have to say that Erin's charm wasn't as overt in this one. I don't know if that is because of the different format or if something shifted. I still really liked her, and I still love the society and all their quirky characters.

One of the best things about this book was how we got to leave the country village and go into York itself--see a bit of England as well as play with murder. (I feel like I should apologize for that statement). Add to that the way the author handled the actual murder, and I fluctuated between four and five stars. Seriously, if I hadn't felt a little let down in Erin's personality/charm, I'd have given it five for sure. I may change it later. I don't know.

Still... something feels lacking. That said, it's a fast-paced mystery full of twists, quirky characters, lots of Jane Austen references (Pru is at it again!) and even some friendship hiccoughs. I love that.

Yes, I guessed who would die and who would kill him, but Elizabeth Blake did make me doubt myself for half the book, too. So I guessed... but did I really if I second-guessed? Just sayin'.

Oh, and can I say that I loved that she dragged her father into the whole thing? I think this could be a super cool thing in future books. Slowly drag him out of his shell of grief by getting him involved in sleuthing. EEEP! (that extra star is getting more and more likely...

A fairly clean read with almost nothing to quibble over.
126 reviews
July 13, 2021
Death and Sensibility is the second book in a cozy mystery series set in Yorkshire, England. Erin Coleridge, a descendant of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, owns a used bookstore and participates in the Jane Austen Society in her small town on the moors. In this book she travels with some of her fellow society members to the city of York for an Austen conference, where the keynote speaker dies suddenly. Erin suspects foul play and begins investigating, butting heads with the detective she befriended in the first book.

I enjoyed this cozy mystery well enough, but I didn't love it. I am familiar enough with England to have recognized that this story was a little heavy on the stereotypes and some Americanisms slipped through the cracks. I got a little annoyed by Erin at times, and there wasn't much character development. That said, if you just want to escape into a breezy cozy mystery, you might enjoy it!
5,593 reviews51 followers
October 19, 2021
Erin leaves her quiet used bookstore to travel to nearby York, where there's a Jane Austen convention. Her best friend is there, as is the handsome local teacher Jonathan Alder. Not coincidentally, so is the policeman Erin noticed--in a good way!--in her last adventure. When one of the convention attendees is found dead, the police say it's an accident, but Erin notices the ragged trimming of plants in the convention hotel and decides that someone has been harvesting poison. The murderer isn't exactly a surprise to the alert reader, and there's what some may consider overwriting, but on the whole this was a treat.
Profile Image for Melissapalmer404.
1,055 reviews28 followers
August 22, 2021
Second installment in a good cozy mystery series. I enjoy the Jane Austen connection. This book takes place at a Jane Austen conference and of course there is a murder or two! Good twist and turns will keep readers guessing.
Profile Image for Cherry London.
Author 1 book79 followers
September 24, 2021
Okay, at first, I thought this story to be a bit chatty, you know, lots of conversation, no action. Then as I got deeper into the book, it wasn’t bad at all. It grew on me, especially the characters Erin and Hemming, and not forgetting Farnsworth. It was intriguing, exciting, and entertaining with a touch of romance. I loved the ending of this book, worthy of the five-star crown.
Profile Image for Joan.
3,642 reviews64 followers
September 19, 2021
This is a good cozy mystery for lovers of literature and all things Regency. While the occasion is a conference of the Jane Austen Society and there is much about Austen, there are references and allusions to many authors, such as Keats and Milton. The heroine, Erin, is well crafted. She is known for her passion in solving murder mysteries (I've missed the first in this series). Blake gives Erin an interesting motivation for her sleuthing pursuits. Erin had watched helpless as her mother died of cancer. Now, solving murders gave her a illusion of control. (1806/4615) Erin wrestles with personal issues in the form of two men romantically interested in her, as she pursues identifying the murderer. Blake provides a good balance of personal story intermixed with murder investigation progression.

I liked how Blake firmly placed the plot in location. The setting is the quaint English town of York. We get a good idea of the community, its history and geography with such interesting actions as walking the surrounding wall. The history of the area is inserted into the plot in a reasonable way.

I like how so many suspects come to light as past secrets and character relationships are revealed. The revelation of the villain did not come as a surprise and astute readers will probably figure out the individual along the way.

I enjoyed this cozy mystery for its interesting characters and informative setting. I liked the literary bent to the plot. I also liked the great critique of Hallmark Christmas movies as they are compared to great literature.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Profile Image for JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book).
1,248 reviews19 followers
June 21, 2021
When Erin Coleridge and her best friend Farnsworth Appleby attend a Jane Austen conference, they're excited to stay at the best hotel in York and sample the food the restaurant has to offer in between their duties as moderators and panelists. The first night they meet Barry Wolf, their keynote speaker, and neither is impressed. The man is pompous, and obviously a bully. But when Barry is found dead not long after, Erin is suspicious. It looks like a heart attack, but she knows differently. Trying to convince DI Peter Hemming of that fact isn't working, so she decides to check up on the man herself. But in doing so, she opens a bigger can of worms than she ever thought. And if she doesn't figure it out soon, a murderer might be slithering away...

First off, I feel I need to correct the blurb. Judith isn't engaged, and Hetty and Prudence aren't at each other's throats. That being said, I also have to say that I really enjoyed this much more than the first in the series. I try to give authors a pass on the first, because they're still honing the characters and deciding what they want them to be. In this book, Ms. Blake seems to have found her way.

Erin is delightful; she's smart, witty (very), adventurous, attractive, thoughtful, and downright curious. She's inquisitive and knows she's invasive when she asks questions. What else would you expect a rural bookseller to be? Her emotions are explored in this book (and I'm grateful for that), because she lost her mother to cancer at an early age and is still coping. I also lost my mother to cancer at an early age, and it never gets easier. You just learn to live your life and remember the love. It's all you can do, really.

Farnsworth is comfortable in her own skin. She's a larger woman, but lovely as well, and has as much of a wit as Erin. Farnsworth is also addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies (as am I!) and Erin teases her for it, but gently. Her character is a bit more explored in this book, too, and it endears both characters to me even more. I also love cats and have several, so there's a soft spot for Farnsworth anyway.

But the ladies find that merely moderating panels on Jane Austen's books, life, and times is more than they signed up for when another incident occurs and now everyone at the conference is on edge -- except of course Hetty, who's too self-involved (and we all know someone like her, trying to hold on to their youth). It gives an interesting tale of murder, greed, lies, secrets, and more, as they are trying to find a killer without realizing that they're being under scrutiny themselves.

When the ending comes it really is a surprise, and quite a climax it is. You never really know what is in the mind of a murderer, and the length someone will go to for what they feel is justice. The ending gives us something to look forward to in the next, and I almost wish I could have attended the conference myself. Recommended.

I was given an advance copy from the publisher and NetGalley but this in no way influenced my review.
Profile Image for Allieveryday.
157 reviews4 followers
April 11, 2021
Thanks to Netgalley for the e-arc.
I really wanted to like this book but it was just OK.

Erin was a taxing know it all and I didn't like that she inserted herself into the mystery from the get go, that might be personal preference though. I prefer an amateur sleuth that stumbles into the mystery or slowly gets involved, not Erin who thinks herself smarter and thinks it's acceptable to sneak about a crime scene before calling the cops. Oh, the THIRD crime scene in a hotel in a week. Hmmm...
There was something off about the writing and half way through it became very clear the author was American, a bookstore owner and her friend tipping everyone fivers? Excessive and not really a thing in England. Explaining Cockney rhyming slang to her friend and explaining a lot of things to the reader seemingly to show off her knowledge. Even if you don't know that some American words were used in place of the British, Erin still didn't feel British to me, I had to remind myself often.
As the for the mystery itself, eh. The ending was anti-climactic and overall it didn't feel like the book spent that much time on it or if it did it was sluggish.
Also, what's with the descriptions of Khari Butari's skin?
Profile Image for Kim.
921 reviews11 followers
July 2, 2021
Erin and Fransworth are excited to be attending a Jane Austen conference. While staying at a fabulous hotel, the pair of friends get to sample wonderful food, attend (and moderate) different panels about Jane Austen, and socialize with interesting people that share an interest in Jane Austen. Most people are interesting, but one gentleman is far from interesting; he is pompous and seems to cause issues wherever he goes. Soon this gentleman is found dead, and Erin is pulled into investigating his murder.
This is the second book in the series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone mystery. I had an issue with the first book being slow to get me interested this book pulled me into the story much sooner. The characters were a little more relatable in this book as well. The mystery is well-plotted with plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing whodunit. I am looking forward to seeing how this series continues to develop over time.
All thoughts and opinions are my own, and in no way have I been influenced by anyone.
Profile Image for Abhilasha Rajendran.
68 reviews15 followers
March 14, 2021
#DeathandSensibility #NetGalley
Another arc from netgalley, just what I was looking for.

When the quaint English town of York hosts a Jane Austen Society conference, bookseller Erin Coleridge is glad to get out of Kirkbymoorside for a while, until featured speaker Barry Wolf suddenly perishes from what appears to be a heart attack.

Erin is suspicious, since Barry had no history of heart disease. But who did him in? Was it his assistant, Stephen, who was observed chatting to Barry's young wife Luca earlier that night? Might it have been Barry's ex-wife Judith, who was seen arguing with him at the bar?

Death and sensibility is a light mystery read with an easy flow in the story, simple banter among the characters, interesting references to Jane Austen and without any unnecessary snooping or side stories and a lil bit of romance in it too. Overall a decent read.
Profile Image for Emily Stevens.
513 reviews3 followers
March 12, 2021
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy.

Erin Coleridge is a bookshop owner and a member of the Jane Austen Society. While attending a conference in York, the keynote speaker is found dead. Despite being ruled a heart attack, Erin believes there may have been foul play involved. I wish I liked this more but unfortunately the writing was severely lacking. The plot is slow-paced and the book felt way too long. Not for me.
Profile Image for Heather.
1,109 reviews
March 24, 2021
Delightfully engaging and enjoyable a cozy through and through. I’m partial to the cozy mystery genre and this did not disappoint. Good one to grab for a cozy night in.
Profile Image for M.K. Daure.
98 reviews2 followers
March 10, 2021
[Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for gifting me an eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.]

Erin Coleridge, member of the Northern branch of the Jane Austen Society, is attending a conference in York when a very unpleasant academic is found dead. While the police originally believe the death caused by natural causes, Erin believes it was murder, and she begins investigating by trying to learn more about the dead man and her fellow conference attendees.

This is the second instalment of the Jane Austen Society Mystery series, so Erin has already had some experience meddling with police investigations, and with police detective Peter Hemming. (There is a nice bit of romance simmering between those two, but Erin is also attracted to gorgeous Jonathan Alder, who every woman at the conference has a crush on.) I really enjoyed Erin’s amateur investigation, and the usual push and pull with the police that is customary in this kind of mystery. The secondary characters were well-defined, it was easy to tell them apart even though sometimes the depictions were a little exaggerated, such as with the pair of fellow Jane Austen Society members who are almost a comic duo of one dowdy and one sharply dressed and made-up.

It was a bit hard to suspend my disbelief about the setting, however. I have never attended a Jane Austen conference, but I have attended plenty of Shakespeare ones and the amount of downtime the characters had, especially as they were meant to be the organizers, was impossible to believe. Also, I’m not sure how long this conference lasts, but it felt much too long for academics (most of them probably in precarious situations) to pay to stay at a luxury hotel.

Still, I was liking the book a lot until the end. The identity of the killer is a surprise, and the final confrontation is truly exciting. However, when Erin, her friends, and the police discuss is afterwards, the killer’s motive wasn’t really explained. There is one off-hand remark along the lines of “oh, it must be because…”, but while so many characters had excellent motives this was unsatisfying and felt under-developed. Overall, it was a pleasant book, which is why I rate it 3.5 stars (or four be default because most sites do not allow for half stars).
April 12, 2021
Why was Death and Sensibility: A Jane Austen Society Mystery so Boring?

Allow me to preface this review by stating that I did not ever read the first book. So I was not familiar with any of the characters. However, I don’t think that really would make much of a difference except possibility at the beginning when we are ‘meeting’ all the characters. The author seems to think It would be fun to give a table full of women and men the most random of names which make it hard to remember who is who. At the beginning of the book when the Jane Austen Society gets together at the convention and names are being thrown around like hot cakes, it is difficult to keep them sorted.

Sadly, the difficulty with names is only the least of the issues here. The real travesty of this book is that for a supposed ‘cozy mystery’, there is hardly any sleuthing going on and it moves at a snails pace. And dare I say it but the conclusion seems to come out of the blue without any build up or hurrah. Nor is there much of an explanation give for why the culprit did it.

Also, it took a long time for this reader to warm up to the story’s protagonist, Erin, and her friends and their so-called love interests.

All the characters seem to really do is eat (heck, there is even a dream about eating a scone!) and flirt and quote Jane Austen. Oh gosh, and that’s another thing that drove this Janeite crazy. I get that this is supposed to be a group of Jane Austen scholars and lovers but do they really have to quote the author every other page? It gets pretty old pretty quickly.

Sadly this turned out to be a rather disappointing and sluggish read. The author could easily have chopped a hundred pages of this book and you wouldn’t have missed anything. I would definitely recommend you pass when Death and Sensibility – a Jane Austen Society Mystery is published in August 2021. There are so many other great Jane Austen mysteries and cozy mysteries available.

Disclaimer: I received my advanced copy of Death and Sensibility – a Jane Austen Society Mystery by Elizabeth Blake from NetGalley for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

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101 reviews3 followers
January 26, 2022
Erin Coleridge is the classic cozy sleuth with a flirtation with a sexy detective, quirky friends, and a nosy attitude that creates her involvement in every murder she stumbles upon. The story is set against a backdrop of a literary society which is one of the several connections to literature that's prevalent throughout the story. The tone has been influenced by the love of Jane Austen, literature, the classics, and reading. The writing is stunning through the vivid descriptions Blake uses to set her scenes such as describing Winnifred through the gifts that Nature cruelly denied her and Jonathan Adler who Nature capriciously bestowed those gifts upon. Jonathan Adler is the classic seductive and charming gentlemen - who Erin can't help but be drawn to - and who receives high praise even in his description. The scene of him walking down the hall is compared to Moses parting the Red Sea at his will and how every woman fell under his spell "like enchanted fairy tale princesses." These are just two examples of the essence that genuinely reflects a classic literary style that's seen in Blake's writing. Even the names fit the world of Jane Austen with Farnsworth, Prudence Pettibone - fervent and competitive about Austen knowledge -, Carolyn Hardacre and her husband Owen, Hetty Miller, Jonathan Adler, Barry Wolf - the victim -, and Winnifred Hogsworthy.

Erin and her boyfriend have a delicate dance as he's a detective and she - as a sleuth - tends to be nosy in murderous affairs. This tends to create a conflict between them that goes further than his moody standoffish nature at times. Other characters include Sergeant Rashid Jarral who as Hemming's easygoing partner creates an opposite to him. While Hemming is described as the classic moody and intense love interest, his partner is described as being good-natured and trusting. The mystery sends Erin on a hunt for a killer among them with the help of her friend Farnsworth and the Jane Austen Society. The twists and turns create a mystery that is addicting with Death & Sensibility delivering the perfect treat for book lovers.
1,660 reviews14 followers
October 27, 2021
Princess Fuzzypants here: Erin Coleridge, descendant of the poet and book store owner, is in York for a Jane Austen convention. As one of the organizers, she is on several panels and is deeply involved with both the preparation for and the execution of the event. Sadly, however, the event does not seem to be the only thing executed. In fact, before the killer is brought to justice there will be three murders and a couple of near misses for Erin herself.

First, the keynote speaker, a thoroughly reprehsible slime ball, is offed in the cloakroom. Erin, who has an insatiable curiosity is compelled to find out which of the man’s many enemies was motivated enough to end his life. She is not dissuaded in her investigation by the pleading of the York detective who has shown reciprocated romantic leanings towards Erin. There is a lot that going on and it leads to a big question of whether some previous hanky panky may have predicated the murders. And if not love gone wrong, what has happened to leave three corpses at one event.

I found myself swept up in both the city of York and the convention. The titles of the different panels are fascinating and if the reader has any doubt that Jane Austen was well ahead of her time and a social rebel, this should lay them to rest. It is a lot of fun as the characters in the story are compared to the Austen characters from her books. It is thought provoking and entertaining. While Erin can be rather forward with her pursuit of the truth, she is never reckless or silly. Thankfully, when she does get into trouble, she has friends who come to the rescue. Four and a half purrs and two paws up.
203 reviews
March 19, 2021
This is the second book in the Jane Austen Society series by Elizabeth Blake. Erin Coleridge and her friend Farnsworth are attending a Jane Austen Society conference in York, which they helped organize with their friends Hetty and Prudence, along with others. When the featured speaker Barry Wolf dies of a heart attack, Erin is not convinced and starts investigating. Detective Inspector Peter Hemming, whom she met in the previous book, wants her to stay out of it and shows her the coroner’s report that showed that Wolf died of natural causes. There are two more murders by the end of the book, which each one causing Erin to investigate further. I suspected the person who ended being the killer, but there were many suspects to keep you guessing to the end. I enjoyed the way in which Ms. Blake ended the story of how Erin was rescued from the killer.

I had a little trouble warming up to the character of Erin at first, but liked her more as the story advanced. I also had difficulty understanding why she thought it was murder and why she felt she needed to investigate. Maybe I would have felt differently about her if I had read the first book in the series before this one, but it really was not necessary in order to enjoy this one. I loved the character of Farnsworth a lot and I liked the dynamic of their friendship.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
13 reviews
June 4, 2021
This is the second book in the series, but you do not need to read the first to read this book. The setting takes place at the York Grand Hotel at a Jane Austen conference. Some of the members from the Jane Austen Society in the first book in this series decide to attend this event.
The main character is Erin. She is a book store owner, Jane Austen Society member, and mystery solving enthusiast. So of course, when someone dies at the conference, she expects foul play and decides to investigate.
My initial thought on finishing this book was that the first book was better. This story felt jumbled at times. It felt sometimes that we jumped from one thought process to another. There were also storylines that seemed to start and no conclusion was given.
I really did not connect with Erin's character in this book. She seems to come across as being nosy than actually trying to get people to talk and learn information that way. I just didn't believe her character could solve a murder, which is what happens in the end. The only character I have liked is the best friend Farnsworth.
The book is long and the ending is short. Why did things happen the way they did? I would have liked more information. It seemed like a good portion of the book described Erin going to bed or her drinking too much.
Read the first book and skip the second.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy for an honest review.
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