Tuesday, September 11, 2018

LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS by Joanna Davidson Politano, reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Lady Jayne Disappears is set in London in 1861.

It is unbelievably beautiful writing for a debut novel. I was pulled in from the start.  

This captivating mystery has it all: flawless period prose, intriguing premise and surprising scenes as the story unfolds. It has a distinct Dickensian flair.

Aurelia Harcourt has been brought up in Shepton Mallet Prison for debtors. Her father, Woolf, has landed there and he manages to raise and provide for her by writing serials for a publishing house under the name Nathaniel Droll. Faith in Christ has been instilled in her and she lives it out by helping those less fortunate than she.

Still grieving the death of her father, Aurelia, a young lady of nearly twenty, feels compelled to solve a mystery as old as she is. She arrives at the family estate, Lynhurst Manor, under the protection of her Aunt Eudora who had no idea of her existence. All is not what it seems and everyone is keeping secrets. Aurelia has her own secret - she must finish a serial novel that her father started and uncover what really happened to Lady Jayne. Will the answers be worth the quest? How did her father really die and is her life in danger?

The wonderful quotes at the beginning of each chapter tell a story on their own and hint at the substance behind the mystery. From Aunt Eudora and cousin Juliette to friend of the family Silas Rotherham and old nemesis Jasper Grupp, the interesting supporting characters add to the suspense. The solution is as complex as a Gordian Knot.

If you like a gothic tale of mystery and romance don’t miss this book. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book by Ms. Politano.

*I received this book as a giveaway in a contest from Carrie at Reading is My Superpower. I was not obligated to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother's disappearance--and perhaps even her father's death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano's stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

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