The Death of a Dowager (The Jane Eyre Chronicles)
The Death of a Dowager is the second in the series that features classic heroine Jane Eyre as a sleuth working to solve a mysterious death. In this follow-up novel, Jane must also uncover the truth behind a suspicious death. While their country home of Ferndean is undergoing repairs, Jane, Rochester and their son Ned head to London to stay with their friend Lucy Brayton.
While they are having tea, the Dowager Lady Ingram suddenly drops stone dead. The life loving Lucy is the perfect foil for Jane's simpler style. Nicely plotted mystery. Looking forward to more of the series. Apr 18, Becky Hutchison rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Mystery and historical novel fans.
Slan has crafted a delightful and interesting follow-up to her widely acclaimed mystery, Death of a Schoolgirl. Jane, her beloved husband Edward, their son Ned, and Edward's ward Adele are staying in the London townhouse of their friend Lucy Brayton while their manor in Yorkshire is undergoing major repairs. Lucy is thrilled to have the Rochesters visiting and wants Jane to experience some of the delights of high society. While at a major ton event, Lady Ingram and her daughters, who are Yorkshire neighbors of the Rochesters, haughtily snub Lucy and Jane in front of a large group of the ton.
This slight can affect Lucy's good standing in high society, and she is devastated.
The Ingrams continue to be rude to Jane and Lucy, despite interference run by Lucy's great friend, Lady Grainger, who unfortunately is related to the Ingrams. Jane also possesses a letter that, if released, could cause damage to the king. If the note winds up in the wrong hands, major protests and widespread havoc could break out among the country's populace, many of whom starve while the king spends a fortune on his coronation.
But Jane maintains her objectivity and resilience while avoiding the manipulative attacks thrown her way.
Death of a Dowager is written in a style similar to that of Charlotte Bronte, the author of Jane Eyre , and to other authors from that era. Once I read through the first chapter, I felt comfortable with the different writing style and found the story easy to follow and very entertaining.
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The major plots and subplots are believable, and Slan does a great job at weaving them together. She is masterful at infusing her Jane Eyre mysteries with the real social and political conditions of the time. Her detailed research shines throughout the book, highlighting real events of the day along with daily life in industrial London. She even has her characters talk about and apply various advancements in medicine and technology that were used in the 's. My favorite descriptions were those about the disgusting street smells and the intermixed odors of perfume, bodies and flowers at the opera house.
I thoroughly enjoyed Death of a Dowager and didn't put the book down, even to make dinner. It was easy to read, filled with appropriate clues, and contained interesting tidbits about British history. If you're looking for a good mystery or historical novel, you can't go wrong with Death of a Dowager. While extensive repairs are being made to Ferndean, their rural home, Jane and Edward accept an invitation from their friend Lucy Brayton to stay with her in London. She hopes that time in the capital will buoy his spirits and give him the chance to receive treatment from an ocular specialist.
But there is more While extensive repairs are being made to Ferndean, their rural home, Jane and Edward accept an invitation from their friend Lucy Brayton to stay with her in London. But there is more drama in the audience than on stage—Jane not only unexpectedly finds herself in the presence of King George and his mistress, Lady Conygham, she also encounters an old nemesis in the form of Lady Ingram whose daughter, Blanche, once hoped to wed Edward herself.
The aging dowager deals both Jane and Lucy a very public snub; hoping to mitigate the social damage caused by this, Lucy insists on visiting the Ingrams the next day. The visit goes poorly from the start—and ends with Lady Ingram dropping dead in the midst of taking tea. I also loved the first story in this series, Death of a Schoolgirl, which landed on my list of Best Reads of She drops the reader right into it. We are in the opera house, at tea, walking the sooty streets of London.
The entire story was intriguing as we step back in time to the read of royalty, political, social and medical customs. Being dropped from the group was a fear of all the members. Following Jane, Edward and their family as they move past the pages of Jane Eyre is a pure pleasure. The Jane Eyre Chronicles can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. It is time to introduce Jane Eyre to our daughters. These stories are sure to become classics from our time. This is going to be a Best Read An extraordinary story that should not be missed.
View 1 comment. Apr 04, Delonna rated it really liked it. Both are really entertaining reads. Mar 16, Joan Horkey rated it it was amazing. Clever combination of historical facts and suspenseful mystery. Aug 19, Linda Gaines rated it really liked it. May 28, Kristen rated it really liked it Shelves: strong-female-characters , favorites , victorian-era. I really enjoy this series! Great stories, well told and peopled with interesting characters I loved the original Jane Eyre - both the book and the character - so it's lots of fun to have an opportunity to get more of Jane, as a wife, a mother, and as a sleuth solving murders!
The author has done a great job at capturing enough of the original characters of Jane and Edward to be agreeable to lovers of the original, but also expanding their stories beyond where Jane Eyre left off into new interesti I really enjoy this series! The author has done a great job at capturing enough of the original characters of Jane and Edward to be agreeable to lovers of the original, but also expanding their stories beyond where Jane Eyre left off into new interesting adventures.
The first book set Jane up as a solver of murder mysteries in a well-conceived story that introduced the new group of characters surrounding Jane and Edward, and who will no doubt remain as this series - I hope - continues on with many books to come. The first book showed us how and why Jane could be a detective, and positioned her in a circumstance that made those efforts believable and reasonable. This second book also puts Jane in a position to solve a murder, and once again the author does a terrific job at creating a situation in which Jane not only CAN investigate, but MUST step in to help those she loves.
The author clearly understands the realities of the era and what women's roles were. The circumstances in this book are entirely believable and make sense within the plot. Jane herself is just as excellent a character in this series as was the original. She has softened and settled in comparison to the original story, but that is perfectly reasonable, given that she and Edward are now happy together with a baby and a comfortable life.
Even still, Jane has lost none of the intelligence, independence or determination to do what she feels is right, even when that puts her at odds with the rules of polite society.
The supporting characters are also well written and interesting people who add greatly to the story. Putting Jane and Edward into the society of London instead of their beloved Ferndean manor allows for lots of "fish-out-of-water" fun situations. The murder itself is a good story. Although I never try to figure out whodunnit in advance, preferring to discover at the end along with the other characters, once I learned the solution, looking back I realized that plenty of clues were given as the story played out and if a reader wanted to, they could certainly use those clues to figure out the solution on their own.
Overall, this is a really enjoyable series. A well-done re-imagining of a beloved character, and great new stories for that character to make her way through. I hope the author has many more Jane Eyre mysteries in her mind. I will keep reading them, and look forward hopefully for a third in this series. Mar 24, Chelsey Wolford rated it it was amazing. This wonderfully woven historical fiction is set shortly before the coronation of King George IV. Jane and her family are staying in a London townhouse owned by her close friend, Lucy Brayton.
I was pleased to see more of Lucy Brayton in this novel. This book provided an amazing inside look at high society England, as well as a detailed and realistic descrip This wonderfully woven historical fiction is set shortly before the coronation of King George IV. This book provided an amazing inside look at high society England, as well as a detailed and realistic description of political actions being taken by the King and his followers. This book was written baring many similarities to Charlotte Bronte, who actually wrote Jane Eyre.
The murder mystery in this book starts right from the first chapter and continually spirals from there. The writing was very elegant and drew me into the story with small details relating to high society and the way that Jane and Lucy behaved and flourished on the ton. I was completely mesmerized by the historical side of this novel, and I absolutely love when authors draw me in this way.
She is a strong, witty heroine who will always have my vote. I felt this way even after reading the first book in this series, and I still feel this way even now. I feel like Joanna writes her character in the same manner that Charlotte Bronte intended for her to be written. I would recommend this series, and this book, to anyone who has a taste for a little mystery and a strong appreciation for anything historical!!source url
Death of a Dowager
Oct 30, Chelsea Johnson rated it really liked it Shelves: releases. Jane and her family have come to visit London while extensive repairs are being done to Ferndean. They stay with their friend Lucy Brayton who is thrilled for the company and wants to introduce Jane to the delights of high society. However, things don't go as planned when the two women are snubbed by some other society ladies and when the two go to attempt a reconciliation of some sort, one of the women drops dead!
Faced with the possibility that Lucy could be blamed for the death, Jane sets out Jane and her family have come to visit London while extensive repairs are being done to Ferndean. Faced with the possibility that Lucy could be blamed for the death, Jane sets out to figure out what killed the Dowager. Along the way, Jane has to deal with many people who want a letter that is in her possession--a letter from King George IV to the woman he truly loved, and a letter that could be very damaging to his upcoming coronation if it were to fall into the wrong hands.
Jane must work hard to discover the killer as well as figure out how to deal with the letter without allowing harm to come to those she cares about most. Joanna Campbell Slan has created a delightful follow up to the story of Jane Eyre , first with her book Death of a Schoolgirl which I haven't read yet and now with Death of a Dowager. The book feels like a natural extension of the story line created by Charlotte Bronte back when she originally wrote Jane Eyre.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, easy read that was filled with interesting facts about British history.
The Death of a Dowager
May 13, Karen rated it it was amazing. I am a fan of the Kiki Lowenstein contemporary mystery series and nonfiction scrap booking books by Joanna Campbell Slan. These are quite a departure from her earlier books. I suggest reading Death of a School Girl, the first book in the series, before reading Death of a Dowager. I personally prefer to read a series sequentially for the nuances of character and back story. However, as a well constructed mystery, Death of a Dowager can stand on I am a fan of the Kiki Lowenstein contemporary mystery series and nonfiction scrap booking books by Joanna Campbell Slan.
However, as a well constructed mystery, Death of a Dowager can stand on its own. The Jane Eyre we meet in Death of a Dowager has a feisty approach to life as a wife, mother, mistress of Ferndean Manor, and amateur sleuth. After a fire damages Ferndean Jane, Rochester and their son embark on an extended stay in London with their dear friend Lucy Brayton. With a skillful touch Joanna Campbell Slan takes her readers back to the seemingly gentle times of Jane Eyre. She stays true to the iconic characters, themes and time period.
Her vivid descriptions of the physical settings of London and Ferndean were captivating. All of her characters,are so well developed that the reader emotionally connects with them.
Other Books by Joanna Campbell Slan
I found the conversation among the characters flowed naturally and was never stilted. Death of a Dowager will also appeal to fans of well researched historical fiction. In Death of a Dowager , the question is, "If you can't marry the person you want to marry, what do you do with your life? How do you handle that? OMN: Who would you cast in the principal roles if your series were adapted for film or television? OMN: What kinds of books did you read as a child?
JCS: Jane Eyre was and continues to be my favorite book of all time. I am so blessed to be able to continue the story. OMN: And what do you read today? JCS: I read anything and everything from biographies to mysteries to literary fiction to history to how-to books. Honestly, if I can get my hands on it, I'll read it.
The Death of a Dowager (Jane Eyre Chronicles, book 2) by Joanna Campbell Slan
I also read magazines, online and traditional. Sometimes I think my brain is this big funnel with a colander on the end. Some of the stuff I read sloshes through the holes, but some doesn't. What drips down is incorporated into my books. OMN: What keeps you busy when you're not writing?
Bookish Whimsy | Books and Fandom Rambles
JCS: I love history, so I am always up for a visit to a museum or historical site. And I adore turning trash into treasures, as my Facebook friends well know. I post pictures of my projects there and on Pinterest. Lately, I've been turning cardboard boxes into keepsakes boxes. When I get stuck in my writing, I either turn to Zentangle or I walk the beach. Oh, and I am a real animal lover. OMN: Create a Top 5 list on any topic.
Take a Big Red Bus tour. It's the best way to get a good overview of the town. Have tea at Brown's Hotel. The food and the service are spectacular, but it's the setting that makes the experience priceless. Rudyard Kipling liked the place so much that he wrote his books here! Visit the Tower of London.
You'll get a new appreciation for modern criminal justice. When you see the Crown Jewels, you'll better understand the grandeur of the monarchy. They've been around for years. Why not buy one of their picnic hampers and have a lunch in The Regent's Park? Wander around in Covent Garden. Close your eyes and you'll be able to imagine it teaming with flower girls selling posies.
Martin of the Fields. The price is low, the food is great, and you can't beat the crypt for atmosphere. OMN: What's next for you? JCS: I'm working on a new series set in Florida and featuring a trio of women who run a "trash to treasures" type of shop. It will combine history of Florida with mystery, with a dash of fun and recipes.
After graduating from Ball State University with a degree in journalism, she worked as a newspaper reporter, a newspaper ad salesperson, a television talk show host, a college teacher, a public relations professional, and a motivational speaker. When her son, Michael, got his driver's license, Joanna was freed from carpool duty and finally able to pursue her dream of writing full time. She has since written eighteen books, eleven non-fiction and seven fiction.
For more information about the author please visit her website at Joanna-Campbell-Slan. She and her beloved Edward Rochester have married and have a son. Jane is reluctant to abandon their peaceful life in the countryside, but Edward's damaged vision has grown worse. She hopes that time in the capital will buoy his spirits and give him the chance to receive treatment from a renowned oculist. Once in London, the Rochesters accompany Lucy to the Italian Opera House, where they encounter Dowager Lady Ingram, who had once hoped for Edward to wed her daughter, Blanche — and who's still rankled by his subsequent marriage to Jane.
In front of a group of society people, the aging dowager delivers a vicious social drubbing to Jane, enraging both Edward and Lucy. In an attempt to rebuild good will, Jane and Lucy decide to speak to the Dowager in private the next day.