Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrove Manor:
Being the First Jane Austen Mystery
by Stephanie Barron

Paperback - 320 pages (January 1997) 
Bantam Books; ISBN: 0747253757

Paperback - 352 pages ( 1 December, 1996)
Crimeline; ISBN: 0553575937

Paperback - 369 pages ( 3 April, 1997)
Headline; ISBN: 0747253757

         Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on September 15, 1996 at 22:42:13:
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrove Manor has gotten good reviews. 
      Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on October 02, 1996 at 14:57:56:
People say that Pemberley Shades by Bonavia-Hunt and Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor are good reads 
      Posted by Carol on October 26, 1996
The books are wonderfully written (and very well reviewed in the New York Times) and traces Jane's intersection with fictional people who Austen then uses in her novels. Darcy/Firth is introduced in the first, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor
         Posted by Hollis on March 31, 1997 at 16:24:26:
I have read it and I think you will enjoy it. The flavor of the language is the same as the Austen books and you feel like you are seeing some of the "Behind The Scenes with Jane Austen" as the story goes on. Some of the characters appear to be the models for JA's characters in her novels. 
        Posted by Jane on December 06, 1997 at 22:08:57:
A suggestion for a fun book: Jane Austen and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron (the sequel, Jane Austen and the Cleric, or something, is just out in paperback but I haven't read it). Light, amusing mystery with Jane as detective---lots of "in" jokes for

        Review by Joan Schneider, January 17, 1998
 I have just read this book, and was left with a decidedly favorable impression.  This book was witty and charming; all the characters were interesting and very Jane Austen.  It was interesting to see similarities between the characters in these books, and the characters in Jane Austen's books.  The mystery was very intriguing, and it was hard to put it down.  The plot had many twists and turns that kept me involved.  If you want anything like Jane Austen; this is much better than any published sequel I've ever read.

      Posted by Aja :) on June 09, 1998 at 14:07:16:
(BTW I didn't like the Jane mystery novels published recently, I thought them rather pretentious. does anyone agree?)

        Posted by Mary L on June 09, 1998 at 22:31:24:
Aja: I really enjoyed the two JA mystery novels I read recently! I found them entertaining, creative, and humorous, and I particularly enjoyed the author's insertion of JA commemts that were "later" used in her novels. Plus historical notes and devices that seemed quite apt and fun to find. So, as my father used to say, "De gustibus non est disputandem." (Pardon my tortured Latin): "There's no accounting for tastes." 

      Posted by BarbaraK on August 07, 1998 at 11:31:31:
I was going through some of my mother's books in a huge summer cleaning effort in our house and saw a book that picqued my intrest! It was written in 1996 by a Stephanie Barron and it is a
murder mystery, but the best part is that it is set up to be as if JA wrote it! It is titled Jane and the Unplesantness at Scargrave Manor.  It is an extremly good book and I highly recomend it!

        Posted by Courtney Lynne on August 07, 1998 at 12:38:20:
Read it and liked it a lot!

        Posted by Lynn on August 07, 1998 at 12:58:53:
I have read it, and I really enjoyed it. Not only was it a good mystery, but I think it was pretty faithful to 'Our Jane'.

        Posted by Jen M on August 07, 1998 at 19:52:18:
I devoured all three of Barron's Jane Austen Mysteries as soon as I could get my hands on them. Delicious! 

       Posted by Haley on August 08, 1998 at 01:35:30:
Hey :) I got this from the library a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it!! a good mystery and loved all the references to the novels! also I'm glad to have read the Tomlin bio before reading this.. as it helped me to tell the fact from the fiction a bit better! I'm sure if I would have read it without reading the bio, I wouldn't have believed she was momentarily engaged.. and other things they refer too ;) I'm sure I would have counted it all fiction! ;) I must say when I first heard the idea of JA in a mystery with HER as the super sleuth, well I thought the idea absurd! but really it's pulled off very well!

I look forward to reading more! and only find myself sighing a bit when I realize that she'll never end up with one of the dashing young hero's in the end, like the heroines in her novels do! :'(

        Review by Linda Waldemar, September 21, 1998
This is the first Jane Austen Mystery that I have read and I am quite pleased with it.  The style and language are good imitations of JA.  The characters are interesting and the mystery quite plausible.

There are several places where the author uses phrases straight from Austen.  However, this is fine with me because the context is right and JA's words are always welcome to me.

        Written by LaurieC (2/8/2001 11:04 p.m.)
After reading the recommendations on this board, I finally read Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron. It took me a while to get into it, but after a couple of chapters, I realized it was quite a clever little tribute to Jane Austen's writing style and character observations.

If you've seen the movie Shakespeare in Love, you'll know how the everyday happenings in Shakespeare's life were eventually incorporated into his scripts. It was the same method utilized by Barron in this First Jane Austen Mystery. Once I realized this, reading the book became quite a challenge to parallel the unfolding plot and characters with those found in  JA's novels. And with some clarifying footnotes along the way, I learned a little bit more  about the history of the times.

All in all, I thought it was a very well-written book. I enjoyed the JA-flavored writing style, and appreciated the author's light touch (some other books I've read tend to lift JA's writing wholesale and the result seems strained, but Barron kept it down to a few short phrases here and there as appropriate). Just don't examine the plot too closely...