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Murder at Mansfield Park

(Charles Maddox #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  1,263 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
"Nobody, I believe, has ever found it possible to like the heroine of Mansfield Park." --Lionel Trilling

In this ingenious new twist on Mansfield Park, the famously meek Fanny Price--whom Jane Austen's own mother called "insipid"--has been utterly transformed; she is now a rich heiress who is spoiled, condescending, and generally hated throughout the county. Mary Crawford,
Paperback, 363 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by St. Martins Press-3pl (first published March 1st 2010)
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Deborah Markus
Mar 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who hate Jane Austen, people who hate J.K. Rowling, people who hate goodness and happiness
Shelves: abandoned-books
The good news is, if you’re one of the people who've made a principled decision never to read a word written by Lynn Shepherd, you’re not missing a thing. Promise. Word of honor.

The reason you might have sworn off all things Shepherd is that she’s the woman who wrote that Huff Post column about how J.K. Rowling should stop writing and give other authors a chance. Her premise is that any book written by Rowling will routinely go bestseller, so readers will flock to her newest offering. If Rowling
having first read the original during my A level studies back in 1981 at that time I thought Fanny and Edmund were great characters then i reread it 15 years later and found them to be insufferable prigs, humourless, judgemental and worthy of smething awful happening to them. Imagine my joy on reading this book. Brilliantly written in the style of Jane Austen, the characterizations are wonderful, storyline is clever and Shepherd has very ingeniously taken the original and shifted it into its own ...more
"Murder at Mansfield Park" is the first book in a series involving the investigator Charles Maddox. The characters in the story are from Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park", focusing on Mary Crawford and Fanny Price. The language captures the tone and spirit of Austen's writing.

The crime story has a good plot with lots of twists and turns. There are plenty of "upstairs" and "downstairs" characters to love, hate, or question their motives. There is no need to have read Austen's "Mansfield Park" before
Gary  the Bookworm
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an amusing, skillfully executed effort to merge the worlds of Jane Austen and Agatha Christie, something which eluded P.D. James in last year's disastrous Death Comes to Pemberley. For all the Fanny bashers, this is a gift. In this Mansfield Park everything-and everyone-has been turned upside down and inside out, except for Mrs Norris(still evil) and Lady Bertram(still somnolent). The first half is a clever remix of Austen's least popular novel. After Fanny goes missing, it morphs into ...more
Oonagh Subiaco
Sep 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: low-brow
I was confused about this book. I have read and enjoyed other Austen "mash-ups", where the classic novels are revisited with a supernatural twist including "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters". Both of these books were true to the Austen character and background, but threw in some occult nasties. Murder changed several main characters financial and family circumstances to aid the new plot where a murder and multiple suspects were added. The story was no ...more
Jan 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
To a true fan of Jane Austen's works, I've found that this sort of "new take" on one of her novels is a hit-or-miss situation. Sometimes, I find them to be enjoyable and creative. Other times, I find them to be such an abomination that I can't abide by them at all. Case-in-point: this dreadful book. Ok, that is a bit harsh. The book itself wasn't so bad. It took some time to get going, but once the mystery got going it was a decent book. I might even have liked it - were it not unnecessarily mir ...more
Mansfield Park is considered (by some) to be the dark horse of Jane Austen’s oeuvre and her heroine Fanny Price intolerable. Poor Fanny. She really gets the bum’s rush in Austenland. The patron saint of the weak, insipid and downtrodden, she is Jane Austen’s most misunderstood heroine. In fact, many dispute if she is the heroine of Mansfield Park at all, giving that honor to the evil antagonist Mary Crawford.

Much has been debated over why Austen’s dark and moralistic novel has not been embraced
Georgiana 1792
Scambio di ruoli

La prima impressione di Murder at Mansfield Park è di stordimento: il lettore, che si attende una semplice variazione della storia di Mansfield Park con delitto, non può non sentirsi spaesato tra personaggi così differenti dai loro originali austeniani da confonderlo.

Spesso mi sono ritrovata a dover fare per l'ennesima volta mente locale tra i dati forniti dalla Shepherd sui personaggi, tanto erano diverse le loro caratteristiche dal romanzo di Jane Austen. Ma l'autrice non si è
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Janeites
Years ago, when, after dragging myself through what I have since come to think of as the literary equivalent to quicksand, I slammed the front and back cover of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park together for the first and last time and in a fit of frustration shoved the offensive thing back into it's place on my bookshelf, I swore to everyone who would hear me that I would never return to that place again. Words cannot express how much I adore the works of Jane Austen: I am a Janeite in the purest se ...more
In Murder at Mansfield Park, Lynn Shepherd has taken Austen's notoriously least popular work and turned it on its head. Rather than take the typical approach and write a spin-off, where the story continues on or follows a minor character, Shepherd presents an alternate telling of the story, one in which downtrodden wet blanket Fanny is a pampered and officious heiress, and Julia Bertram seems to have more in common with the Fanny we know. Mary Crawford (one of my favorite characters in Austen, h ...more
At last an Austen re-writing that is not one of the interminable Darcy and Elizabeth spinoffs! Yes, there are other Austen novels and one can use their characters to enable us to visit that time once again.

The only negative I can see here is that Shepherd does not write in Austen/regency prose style. While I do like those authors that can, regency prose style does not suit everyone. Nonetheless Shepherd writes well from the point of view of Mary Crawford, one of the likable characters of MP. Fa
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by:
Shelves: mystery
Like everyone else who has ever read Mansfield Park, I strongly dislike Fanny Price. She was a weak, pathetic main character that you just couldn't want good things for. When I heard about Murder at Mansfield Park, I immediately thought this was exactly what the original needed. When I learned that Fanny was to be the murder victim, I was sold.

Unfortunately, the author decided to not only kill Fanny off, but to change her entire demeanor. While I believe Fanny was strongly in need of a personali
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-trip-2018
I think the author did a job well done, but I just could not like it.
The Austen sequel or entertainment is an not uncommon beast these days, even if Pride & Prejudice is more usually the chosen book. As the title might give you a clue - this one relates more to Mansfield Park.

The major characters from the Austen novel are all there in name, but characters and relationships have been seriously altered. The first third of the book is mainly made up of recycled dialogue and narrative from Mansfield Park, but not necesarily in the same order. Mr Rushworth's chara
Cynthia Haggard
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This reworking of Jane Austen’s MANSFIELD PARK starts with the basic premise of the original story, but reworks the plot-lines. Along the way Jane Austen’s characters metamorphose in such a way that they are barely recognizable.

The biggest change is with Fanny Price, the young cousin living at Sir Thomas Bertram’s house. In the original novel, poor Fanny is overlooked by everyone except by her cousin Edmund, who is kind to her. Needless to say, she falls for him. Unfortunately, Edmund is more in
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Things are much changed at Mansfield. Though the names are the same the characters are not and none are more changed than Fanny, for she is no longer the romantic heroine she once was, demure, innocent and poor. Fanny is now a young woman of wealth, or else she is about to be.

Mary Crawford too is altered as she now steps into the role of heroine at Mansfield, no longer the selfish, social climber after a rich husband, but instead the intelligent and kind hearted girl who has unfortunately fallen
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Fanny Price? Murdered? Who would do such a thing to poor Fanny? Isn't she just the Bertram's shy conscientious, and dutiful niece? No. Not in this Mansfield Park retelling. The Fanny Price Lynn Shepherd's recreates is so arrogant, scornful, and malicious that she bears little resemblance to the shy and introverted character Jane Austen created. And it isn't that hard to believe that somebody would want to do her in!

In this alternative version on Mansfield Park, readers will find several unique t
Meh. Found it difficult to get into and couldn't finish it
Feb 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
the murder didn't happen until page 160-ish. Slowwwwww
This was an interesting twist on the Mansfield Park story. Fanny Price became an unlikeable, snobbish murder victim while Mary Crawford became the heroine detective. Unusual but I liked it. I felt it stayed true to the Austen tone and Regency era and I would like to read more along this line. I would like to follow Mary Crawford's sleuthing adventures but since this is indicated as Charles Maddox #1, I suppose future stories will follow his pursuits in crime detection.
Miguelina Perez
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Miss Fanny Price is a poor, orphaned child who goes to live with her uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Bertram, and their four children. Together with the Bertram children—Tom, Maria, Julia and Edmund—Fanny flourishes into a beautiful and loving young woman. Fanny falls in love with Edmund, who had always been kind to her, but Edmund only sees her as his dear cousin. Tom, who stands to inherit, spends his life indulging his habits of drinking and gambling. The two Be ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
The latest book to land on my desk is Lynn Shepherd’s “Murder at Mansfield Park” a variation on the infamous “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen. Austen wrote the book at Chawton Cottage in Hampshire spending the last eight years of her life there in the 19th century (Don’t say you never learn anything on here!)

Approaching it with a slight trepidation, for I must confess I have never read Jane Austen, “Murder at Mansfield Park” offered a new challenge breaching my comfort zone with ease! The one maj
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prepare to throw away your preconceived idea about Mansfield Park (by Jane Austen) and its inhabitants because this novel will turn it on its head. Fanny Price is not the conservative, gentle heroine we know from Austen’s Mansfield Park. She is instead a conniving, heartless, selfish heiress. She is the worst that money and indulgence can create. Since childhood, Fanny and Edmund Norris (yes Norris) have been promised to each other. The Bertram and Norris families are determined to keep Fanny’s ...more
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Having recently read PD James Death Comes to Pemberley, I decided to read this Austenesque murder mystery to take part in an online competition I saw on twitter.

It did take me a few chapters to get my head around this story. Unlike Death Comes to Pemberley - which takes place after the events chronicled in Pride and Prejudice, this novel is a complete re-working of Mansfield Park - with murder added to the mix. Thus Fanny Price - the eventual victim, is a spoilt nasty heiress - and Mary Crawford
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Maybe it's me. Maybe I just really, really hate change of any kind. Or maybe Austen's 'Mansfield Park' really should have been left alone.

In Shepard's retelling, the only reinvention were personality switches and a slight bend in regards to the plot line. Think less love, more mystery. Which, to be honest, the unraveling of the murder was the only part of the book that I enjoyed. And really, to go even further, it wasn't the murder mystery itself that was entertaining; it was simply because tha
Anna (Curiosity comes before Kay) Partrick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As an avid Jane Austen fan, I am extraordinarily picky about the Austen spinoffs I read. However, Lynn Shepherd knocked me off my feet with a tale of mystery, intrigue, and Austen. She is one of the few authors I have read that captures Jane Austen's style most accurately while at the same time making it her own. Her characterization is brilliant and I loved the twist of fate between Mary Crawford and Fanny Price. I eagerly look forward to reading more of Shepherd's books.
it was disconcerting at the beginning to have characters and family circumstance flipped around, although in keeping with mansfield park’s nurture over nature message. I was distracted by having the same scenes slightly tweaked or the same lines coming out of different character’s mouths. that mostly made me think about the difficulties of piecing it all together. once the murder happened and it was off in original territory things were smoother. I love lynn shepherd.
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Delightfully entertaining and skillfully written in the style of Jane Austen, this ingenious tale re-imagines the plot of Austen's Mansfield Park and turns it into a clever murder mystery. While paying homage to Austen at every turn, the story never panders to the reader, and has clearly been well-researched. Very fun read.
The Lit Bitch
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hold on to your bonnets, there's been a Murder at Mansfield Park....what a unique spin on an old classic. Clearly a 'must read' for Austen fans especially :). See my full review here
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 18, 2015 09:02AM  
  • Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • Nachtstürm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel
  • Expectations of Happiness
  • Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (Jane Austen Mysteries, #10)
  • Intimations of Austen
  • Charity Envieth Not (George Knightley, Esquire #1)
  • The Intrigue at Highbury: Or, Emma's Match (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries, #5)
  • Murder at Longbourn (An Elizabeth Parker Mystery, #1)
  • Captain Wentworth's Persuasion: Jane Austen's Classic Retold Through His Eyes
  • Anne Elliot, A New Beginning
  • Mr. Darcy's Little Sister
  • Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends, #2)
  • The Darcy Cousins
  • My Dear Charlotte
  • Pemberley Shades: A Lightly Gothic Tale of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy
  • There Must Be Murder
  • The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen
  • Dearest Cousin Jane
Lynn Shepherd studied English at Oxford in the 1980s, and got a doctorate degree there in 2006. She always wanted to be a writer and in 2000 she went freelance to see if it was possible to make her dream into reality. Ten years later her dream finally comes true. Murder at Mansfield Park was her first novel.

She describes her genre as 'literary mystery', and in 2012 she since published Tom All-Alo

Other books in the series

Charles Maddox (4 books)
  • The Solitary House (Charles Maddox #2)
  • A Fatal Likeness (Charles Maddox #3)
  • The Pierced Heart (Charles Maddox #4)