By Stephanie Barron
In her 6th engrossing trip, Jane Austen employs her scrumptious wit and kinfolk ties to the Royal army 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 simply Jane can fathom the depths of his ruthless mind....
Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
“I will assert that sailors are endowed with higher 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 put up captain within the Royal army, is with out a send to command, and his most sensible prospect is the Stella Maris, a quick frigate captained through his previous buddy Tom Seagrave.
“Lucky” Tom — so dubbed for his behavior of besting enemy ships — is shortly 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 hand over of his send.
Though fortunate Tom denies the cost, his dagger used to be present in the lifeless 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 grasp. 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 includes them into the bothered center of Seagrave’s relations, via the various seaport’s worst sinkholes, and in the end to Wool apartment, the barred brick constitution that serves as gaol for French prisoners of warfare.
Risking contagion or worse, Jane has the same opinion to nurse the murdered French captain’s imprisoned staff — 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 whole affair takes at the visual appeal of an insidious plot opposed to Seagrave, who's charged with the crime. might any of his naval colleagues want him lifeless? In an period of turbulent intrigue and contested amour, may well or not it's a case of cherchez l. a. femme ... or a veiled political foe at paintings? And what of the sealed orders lower than 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 web are thoroughly untangled.
Always remarkable, 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 path during the beginner sleuth’s such a lot stricken waters yet.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional resources for Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
The mate hauled anchor, the sails rose up the mast; the canvas swelled with wind; and faster than I could have believed, Southampton slipped away behind us. My involuntary grip on the hoy's gunwales eased; I breathed more steadily, and was capable once more of observation. Never had I been privileged to travel so swiftly, in such relative silence. No wheels rattled, no horses' hooves rang like mallets on the paving-stones; we were sped by merest air, the fresh strong wind buffeting my bonnet. I grinned foolishly at the hoy's master, as though he were an angel bent on conveying me to Paradise.
I reached for the embroidered bit of silk, and withdrew a flask of elixir -- Dr. Wharton's Comfort. " "With water, if you would be so good--" She poured a quantity of drops into the water I procured, and drank it down entire. I surveyed her countenance with some anxiety, but forbore from interrogation; and in a few moments, she had recovered herself. Her skin was still as sallow, but the restless activity of body and brain had eased. She did not replace the bottle of medicine in her reticule; but neither did she speak of her indisposition.
I could not suppress a slight exclamation of shock at the sudden wet and cold, and Frank's head came round to stare at me. I smiled weakly in return, my hands still clenched on the rough wood of my seat, and hoped desperately that I should not disgrace myself. The hoy loomed -- the oars were shipped -- and Frank's warm hand was reaching for my own. With a deep breath to hide my trepidation, I picked my way across the skiff's slatted bottom -- quite in want of caulk, and welling with water -- and allowed myself to be hauled upwards by the hoy's master.
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