Samantha McDonough is on a one-week
trip to England. She tagged along with her boyfriend Dr. Stephen
Theodore who will be attending medical conferences in London
while Samantha reacquaints herself with Oxford. A former graduate
student – she left four years earlier to take care of
her ailing mother. An old dusty book of poetry in a used bookstore
calls out to Samantha to purchase. She figures it will be
something to read during her vacation. A rainy morning the
next day is a good excuse to look through her new possession.
The book is several hundred years old. Some of the pages in
the back are not cut – making a sort of envelope in
the back. With the use of a borrowed letter opener, Samantha
finds several sheets of paper folded up in the shape of an
envelope. Reading the letter convinces her it can only have
been written by one Jane Austen!
The letter mentions a missing manuscript that was left at
Greenbriar in Devonshire. With some hunting on the internet
and some information from a college friend back in Los Angeles,
Samantha is off to find the house and maybe search for a missing
Jane Austen manuscript. She finds the very new owner, Anthony
Whitaker, who tells her that Jane Austen never spent any time
there. If she had, the house would be filled with tourists
instead of falling into ruin and being sold.
Things to ponder: Was there a guest ledger to prove Jane
Austen slept there? Will Samantha and Anthony be able to find
the missing manuscript and keep the house? Will the two find
something more important to bind them?
I truly loved this book. It was a fast read and another
romp into the world of Jane Austen. Reading a Syrie James
book is always like giving myself a present. A Syrie James
book about a missing Jane Austen manuscript is like waking
up Christmas morning. If you are a fan of the works of Jane
Austen or just love romantic historical mysteries, then you
will certainly enjoy this book.