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Death of a Dowager*

Jane Eyre Rochester, Amateur Sleuth

I am a massive fan of Jane Austen fan fiction, but I do not think I have ever read any Bronte sister fanfiction. This book is told from the perspective of Jane Eyre Rochester, a few years after her marriage to Edward. Love and their infant son have transformed their lives, but repairs are desperately needed at the manor house, and Edward’s sight continues to worsen. The Rochesters go to London and are caught up in a variety of machinations, including a political intrigue involving the new king and a murder that happens when Jane visits a woman for tea. Unfortunately, one of Jane’s good friends is a suspect. This pulls Jane in so she can attempt to clear her friend.

I thought the author actually did a pretty decent job, in parts, in mimicking the tone and voice of the original Jane Eyre novel. Jane is a fascinating character in many ways, and I like the way that she looks at the world; trying to exist within high society is not easy for her, so it is fascinating to watch events from her perspective. I think it is odd that the author has chosen to place this book at the tail end of the Regency Era as the original Jane Eyre was written in the late 1840s, clearly and definitely part of the Victorian Era. Perhaps she wanted to use some political intrigue from that time of transition to the new king, which wouldn’t have been the same at all, of course, in the Victorian era. I found the political intrigue plot more interesting than the murder plot. As mystery plots go, it was relatively easy to follow and figure it out. I think the author needed a few more red herrings and twists and turns to make the mystery plot more engaging. But the political intrigue, as well as the interactions between Jane and those around her, kept me turning the pages. Frankly, though, I wish we had seen more of Mr. Rochester. All in all, I would say that if you enjoyed the original Jane Eyre and can forgive the author for inappropriately using the Regency Era, you will most likely enjoy this tale.