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The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
Syrie James

Berkely Publishing Group
December 2012 / ISBN: 0425253368
Romance / Contemporary

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

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.

Reviewed 2013