By Stephanie Barron
In her 6th engrossing time out, Jane Austen employs her scrumptious wit and kinfolk ties to the Royal military in a case of homicide at the excessive seas. someplace within the picturesque British port of Southampton, between a group of colourful, eccentric, and fiercely person souls, a killer has come ashore. And merely Jane can fathom the depths of his ruthless mind....
Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
“I will assert that sailors are endowed with better worthy than any set of guys 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 submit captain within the Royal army, is and not using a send to command, and his top prospect is the Stella Maris, a quick frigate captained through his outdated buddy Tom Seagrave.
“Lucky” Tom — so dubbed for his behavior of besting enemy ships — is shortly in shame, charged with violating the Articles of struggle. Tom’s first lieutenant, Eustace Chessyre, has accused Seagrave of homicide within the demise of a French captain after the hand over of his send.
Though fortunate Tom denies the cost, his dagger was once 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 sure his buddy 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 includes them into the center of Seagrave’s kin, via a number 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 conflict.
Risking contagion or worse, Jane consents to nurse the murdered French captain’s imprisoned group — 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. may well any of his naval colleagues want him useless? In an period of turbulent intrigue and contested amour, may it's a case of cherchez los angeles 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? loss of life knocks back at Jane’s personal door earlier than the ultimate knots within the killer’s web are thoroughly untangled.
Always stunning, Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House is an clever and exciting secret that introduces Jane and her readers to “the naval set” — and charts a real path during the novice sleuth’s so much stricken waters yet.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra resources for Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
It is every stout lad's dearest wish to put to sea, Jane! If I am fortunate enough to have a son--" "I wish to Heaven the boys were in the Indies at this very moment," Seagrave said flady. "It would do them both good to be lashed to the t'gallants. They might even learn to read, Frank, from sheer boredom! " Frank laughed aloud, quite at home in all the squalor and noise of such a household, though it bore not the slightest resemblance to his own. Perhaps, however, it was very like to the confines of a ship -- in which my brother had spent the better part of his life.
The little Seagraves had not yet returned, though they must be wet quite through, in standing upon the seawall as the Defiant slipped her moorings. With an exclamation of annoyance, Louisa Seagrave despatched the slattern Nancy in search of her sons, and accepted the charge of her infant in return. We exclaimed over the baby, a fine, fat little girl of seven months; and made our adieux not three minutes later. I had time enough, in turning back for a final glance, to observe the animation dying from Louisa Seagrave's countenance as she followed our progress through the window; and I felt a pang.
And E. C. Hubback, descendants of Francis Austen and the authors of Jane Austen s Naval Brothers (Meckler Publishing, Westport, CT, 1986, reprinted), are greatly to be thanked. Naval Surgeon: The Voyages of Dr. Edward H Cree, Royal Navy, as Related in His Private Journals, 1837-1856 (Michael Levien, editor; E. P. Dutton, New York, 1981) was absorbing and informative. Band of Brothers: Boy Seamen in the Royal Navy (David Phillipson; Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1996) enlightened me regarding the Young Gentlemen at sea during the late Georgian period.