By Stephanie Barron
In her 6th engrossing trip, Jane Austen employs her scrumptious wit and kin ties to the Royal military in a case of homicide at the excessive seas. someplace within the picturesque British port of Southampton, between a staff of colourful, eccentric, and fiercely person souls, a killer has come ashore. And in basic terms Jane can fathom the depths of his ruthless mind....
Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
“I will assert that sailors are endowed with larger worthy than any set of fellows in England.”
So muses Jane Austen as she stands within the buffeting wind of Southampton’s quay beside her brother Frank on a uncooked February morning. Frank, a publish captain within the Royal army, is with no send to command, and his top prospect is the Stella Maris, a quick frigate captained through his outdated good friend Tom Seagrave.
“Lucky” Tom — so dubbed for his behavior of besting enemy ships — is almost immediately in shame, charged with violating the Articles of conflict. Tom’s first lieutenant, Eustace Chessyre, has accused Seagrave of homicide within the loss of life of a French captain after the quit of his send.
Though fortunate Tom denies the cost, his dagger was once present in the useless man’s chest. Now Seagrave faces court-martial and execution for a criminal offense he swears he didn't commit.
Frank, deeply grieved, is bound his good friend will hold. yet Jane purposes that both Seagrave or Chessyre is mendacity — and that she and Frank have an obligation to find the reality.
The look for the captain’s honor contains them into the afflicted center of Seagrave’s kinfolk, via many of the seaport’s worst sinkholes, and in the end to Wool apartment, the barred brick constitution that serves as gaol for French prisoners of battle.
Risking contagion or worse, Jane is of the same opinion to nurse the murdered French captain’s imprisoned workforce — and elicits a debonair surgeon’s account of the Stella Maris’s conflict that looks to transparent Tom Seagrave of all guilt.
When Eustace Chessyre is located murdered, the total affair takes at the visual appeal of an insidious plot opposed to Seagrave, who's charged with the crime. may well any of his naval colleagues want him useless? In an period of turbulent intrigue and contested amour, may possibly or not it's a case of cherchez l. a. femme ... or a veiled political foe at paintings? And what of the sealed orders below which Seagrave embarked that fateful evening within the Stella Maris? demise knocks back at Jane’s personal door earlier than the ultimate knots within the killer’s internet are thoroughly untangled.
Always mind-blowing, Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House is an clever and fascinating secret that introduces Jane and her readers to “the naval set” — and charts a real direction in the course of the beginner sleuth’s so much bothered waters yet.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional info for Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
But I have quite given up promenading alone. I do not wish to invite insult. " She possessed intelligence, for all her self-absorption; a woman possessed of less might have suffered less pain. When the rain commenced to fall, we hurried up the street, rejecting several sailors' taverns before achieving a pastry shop of Mrs. Seagrave's preference. She had fallen silent by the time we turned into it and secured a table; her gaze was fixed on the street beyond the window. Such a description suggests an attitude of placidity, however, and that would entirely mistake the case.
You have done the utmost to ensure her comfort, and must be satisfied. " The hoy surged over the crest of a precipitous wave and flung itself into the gulley beyond; I clutched inadvertently at the bow, salt spume in my face, and felt my brother's shoulder brush close against my own. Gosport was now hard off the larboard side, and the white-painted houses of the Isle of Wight, clearly discernible. We should be anchoring in Portsmouth harbour soon. "She is a fifth-rate," Frank said low in my ear, "forty-eight guns, and new-built but six years ago: the frigate Stella Marts.
I knew nothing of the subtleties of ship design; I should have to accept Frank's assurances regarding this one. But the ship was certainly an article of spirit, rocking gently at her moorings like a swan come to rest: sails close-furled in the shrouds, quarterdeck bereft of life. Only a handful of men moved purposefully about her. The rest of her crew would be on shore leave. "You can see where the foremast has been shipped and repaired," Frank observed. "Splinters dashed from the poop railing and tops, as well -- it is a French habit, you know, to train their guns on the masts and rigging, rather than the hull as we should do.