Cover Image: Sense and Second-Degree Murder

Sense and Second-Degree Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Excellent audiobook! I'm a bit picky about narrators, but I liked this one and the pacing and inflection was nice.  Though it's my understanding that the narrator may change for the final release of the audiobook. 

This retelling was nicely done with some clever references to Sense and Sensibility. I had to overlook some of the historical inaccuracies, but for most readers, that likely won't be of any annoyance.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun ride; I really enjoyed this clever retelling! Tirzah Price can really weave together a classic whodunnit with great twists, enjoyable strong female characters and engaging writing. The Dashwood sisters really are a standout in this book and feel very refreshing to read about in contrast with a lot of other books I've read lately. Historical fiction is usually not my favorite but I love these books and cant wait for the next one.
Was this review helpful?
Sense and Second-Degree Murder mixes historical, cozy mystery and romance so well! I have been on a major historical kick as of late, and I am just discovering my love of cozy mysteries so this one is a win in my book. I think the writing was natural even given that it relies on regency slang and the romance was nice without overshadowing the mystery component. I will definitely pick up any other books in this series. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
When Elinor Dashwood went into her father’s study and found him slumped over his desk, she had no idea just how much her life would change. She was devastated, of course, as were her mother and her sisters Marianne and Margaret. But when she went back into his office to clear his things and found his tea cup, Elinor realizes that he may have been poisoned. 

Their father was a private investigator, having built his Norland & Company up from scratch. He had been training teenaged Marianne in investigating, while Elinor was more interested in chemistry. The youngest sister, Margaret, was a reader and aspiring writer. The three of them team up to try to figure out who had poisoned their father, but without their father’s journal, with all his notes on his recent cases, the sisters don’t have many clues. 

And while dealing with the grief from losing their father, they also lose their home. Their father had not made a recent will, so everything he owned went to his son John instead of to the young women. With just a small inheritance and the money their mother has, they have to find a place where the four women can live. Their mother talks to an old friend about their situation and is able to find a small place they can afford. Meanwhile, John and his wife Franny take over their old home and Franny redecorates it in her gaudy style. 

Elinor tries to do some experiments with the remains of her father’s tea cup, but she can only do so much without a proper laboratory. And Marianne tries to figure out what her father had been working on, but when she almost gets run down in the street, she is rescued by Mr. Willoughby, and eventually asks him for help getting around town. He proves himself more than capable of keeping up with Marianne and her investigating. But how does she know for certain that she can trust him? 

As the sisters find evidence and try to figure out how it fits together, they find themselves in increasing amounts of danger. The Dashwoods may be on the right track, but will they be able to put all the pieces together before the killer strikes again? 

Tirzah Price is back with Sense and Second-Degree Murder, the second in her Jane Austen Mystery series. This one is based on Sense and Sensibility, taking liberties with the original story to tackle contemporary issues like women’s equality and the use of dangerous painkillers. The blend of Jane Austen and contemporary ideas elevates this murder mystery into an entertaining and interesting story. 

I enjoyed Sense and Second-Degree Murder. It brought back lovely memories of reading the original Austen while still feeling modern. I have always like the Dashwood sisters, and I felt this was a lovely homage to those original characters, staying true to each sister’s character. However, creating an adaptation with characters that are so well known means that readers of Austen could immediately identify who the good guys and the bad guys were, no matter how much Price tried to muddy those waters with gossip and lies. Still, I enjoyed the story and found myself falling in love with the same characters as when I read Sense and Sensibility. 

Voice galleys for Sense and Second-Degree Murder were provided by Harper Audio through NetGalley, with many thanks.
Was this review helpful?
Good, I liked it. I hope the actual audiobook is not so mechanical. I don't think I'll be trying a robot narrator again for a book anytime soon. It really made the book feel dull.
Was this review helpful?
Sense and Second-Degree Murder was every bit as good as Price's first novel in the series. I went into it a bit nervous because I enjoyed Pride and Premeditation so much, but this one did not disappoint. I liked that there were two points of view in this novel, which added depth and interest. I really loved that at the end of the book they included the historical details--my fifth-grade daughter read this one as well, and she really loved that part of the book. This book really helped my daughter to appreciate the storyline of Sense and Sensibility more. 

She read the book, but I listened to the audiobook. I was under the assumption that this narrator was not the final narrator for the story, so I did not make a judgment on the narrator's style.
Was this review helpful?
I love this series and the idea of retelling Jane Austen's novels as murder mysteries. This is the second audio I have listened to, and the narrator is wonderful. Love the plot and all the nods to Austen throughout.
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to read this second installment by Tirzah Price and I was not disappointed. This book follows the Dashwood sisters as they struggle to deal with their father’s death and dive into an investigation over whether it was natural or murder.
The characters throughout this novel are witty and fun. They are pretty well developed and work well to create an interesting group to follow. The storyline is well thought out and pretty logical. There a some twists and turns to keep readers on their toes. 
The Austenesque setting is obviously walking the line between the true age and what is acceptable now. It is a bit of a stretch when the girls worry about their reputations (and would have ruined them hundreds of times over with this narrative) and we forgive it as their actions are acceptable in this day and age. It did not really detract from the story, but was an odd jump for me.
Looking forward to the last in the series and can’t wait to see what will come up next!
The Audio narration of this novel was acceptable and did not detract from the story.
Was this review helpful?
As a voice galley, I can't review the narrator of this audio book.  Sadly, I couldn't get into the story.  Elinor is a budding scientist and Marianne a detective working for her father's private detective agency. Elinor finds her father dead at his desk one morning and days later at the will reading they find they will be forced from their home as their father never updated his will to provide for his second wife and children.  I had a hard time with which time period the story took place in, "ring for the doctor" made me think there were phones, but everyone traveled by horse and cart. I did like the way their father's death was possibly tied to a case he was working on, but not working on.  It's possible I was distracted by the AI voice of the voice galley and perhaps would have a different reaction to reading it in book format.
Was this review helpful?
This was not a tough one.  I like Ms. Price’s first one, Pride and Premeditation, but I could not enjoy this one.  The story followed Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility, but the mystery was shallow.  I couldn’t connect with the characters.
Was this review helpful?
I've now read both books in this series and I'm not terribly impressed with either.  I had the audio book of this book and it reminded me too much of the My Contrary series.
Was this review helpful?
This second book was really good. I enjoyed the Jane Austinisk of the book. It was fun to see women in the victorian age doing something for themselves. I like the author's note at the end talking about the things she changes and why. It was a fun overall story and I look forward to the next one.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

Another fun retelling of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. I like that the author stayed as true to Sense and Sensibility as possible while turning it into a murder mystery. The villains were the unsavory characters in the original novel and the heroes were the ones that you would expect. In that regard, it is a little predictable to suspect who might be behind the murders. My only complaint is that while you can suspect who committed the crimes, there aren't enough clues throughout the story to lead to the motive. It felt like the reader gets a motive dump at the end of the novel where we finally understand how everything comes together. After reading the motives, there wasn't the "ah ha" moment where I could see how the clues all came together throughout the novel.

If you are a fan of Jane Austen or just like a fun murder mystery, I would still say this book is worth the read. It's a quick and engaging read.
Was this review helpful?
"Sense and Second-Degree Murder" is Tirzah Price's second installment in her "Jane Austen Murder Mystery" series. It is a reimagining of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" and, like the original, follows the two oldest Dashwood sisters as they adjust to their new life following the death of their father. However, unlike the original, where Mr. Dashwood seemingly dies from natural causes, the plot of this story begins with his apparent murder, propelling the characters to use their different set of skills to solve this mystery.

Overall, I found this book even more enjoyable than the first one! I can already see readers complaining about the lack of historical accuracy. However, I liked Price's take on these characters, developing more modern ideas and interests. I enjoyed that Elinor's character was more of a scientist. I also liked that the characters read a bit younger since it is more in line with the modern take on the classic. In that sense, the teenage characters read more like teenagers. Nevertheless, I thought this book would tie in more with the first one for some reason. Since both books departed from the original, I thought they would play more with each other. Overall, it was fun.
Was this review helpful?
Sense and Sensibility is one of my favourite Jane Austen novel. I love it because of the sister dynamic so I was interested to see that portrayed throughout this mystery. It went above and beyond what I expected in regards to that and everything else! All three sisters felt authentic but new. I loved the new setting of London and how other characters were the same at heart with a few tweaks of circumstance. I also love the fact that I was throughly tricked! It must so hard as everyone knows who is good guy and who is a bad one but the twists and turns kept me entertained while tricking me. My only negative was that I had a robot narrator as I had an arc so that impacted my enjoyment. I refuse to let it take away a star though! 

I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I've been loving this Jane Austen reimagined YA historical murder mystery series. This second book is modeled after Sense and Sensibility sees the Dashwood sisters investigating their father's death and supposed murder. I was entertained throughout this whole story and really appreciated the author's creativity. I'm looking forward to book three! Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance review copy.
Was this review helpful?
Another winner from Price! This is such a great follow up to her first novel, Pride & Premeditation. I love her take on Sense & Sensibility, transforming the Dashwood sisters into investigators, chemists, and aspiring authors. This book is full of suspense, humor, and soft romance.

I love Price's writing style. She captures the time period so well, not only with the dialogue, but also with how the characters think and act. I think she does Austen such a good turn by envisioning bold, aspiring women who are here to break barriers to their sex. Elinor Dashwood is one of my favorite Austen characters and I think she is so well represented here. Price even got me to appreciate Marianne, a character I normally dislike!

I think the plot is another winner for this book. It's bright, snappy, and ties up nicely at the end. It's an easy read, even a bit of a page-turner, and I found myself still guessing till the end. I like how Price wraps things up and I think it's a very satisfying mystery, all in all.

I absolutely cannot wait to see what Price has in store next!
Was this review helpful?
This is a good book but I was thrown off by the fact that the audio for the review copy was done by a synthesized voice. While I do understand that an actual voice actor will be used for the final copy of the audio book, I found the robotic voice really threw me off and took me out of the story. I'd be willing to try this again in another format though.
Was this review helpful?
Mr. Dashwood is dead, and Marianne suspects foul play. She and Elinor look for clues, trying to determine how he died, who would kill him, and why.  The reimagined characters from Sense and Sensibility take on new life as they search for the truth, striking out to make a new lives for themselves. This fun story is well-done, and can be enjoyed without having read the original or the first book in the series. Family, social status and norms, and mystery taken on by two intelligent women.
Was this review helpful?
Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price is currently scheduled for release on April 5 2022. It is the second book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, but can be read as a stand alone since there are only a few references to the first book in this volume.  Usually when reviewing an audio book I credit the narrator(s) and include my thoughts on their performance. However, in this case I listened to a synthetic preview, which is not the final version, so I cannot comment on that at this time. 

In Sense and Second-Degree Murder, aspiring scientist Elinor Dashwood and her sister Marianne, a budding detective, work together to solve the mystery of their father’s murder. When eighteen-year-old aspiring scientist Elinor Dashwood discovers her beloved father slumped over the desk of his office study, she knows his death means dire straits for the Dashwood women. To make matters worse, an outdated will entails his estate—including Norland & Company, the private investigation firm where her younger sister Marianne worked as her father’s partner and protégé—to their half-brother and his haughty wife, who waste no time in forcing the Dashwoods out of their home and into a cramped apartment on London’s Barton Street. But before they go, the Dashwood sisters make a startling discovery that points to foul play, and the killer might be family. Obviously, the girls must investigate. It could be dangerous; it could ruin their reputations; and most importantly, it won’t bring back their father. But if the Dashwood sisters can combine their talents and bring their father’s murderer to justice, it may bring them all some comfort—and it might even lead to love.

Sense and Second-Degree Murder starts readers right as the action begins. I liked the way character development and society interactions were handled, with the twists of very unconventional interests. It held up well to my expectations after having greatly enjoyed  Pride and Premeditation. I loved that Price took aspects of the original, and the characters of course, and twisted it to give the sisters more agency and make the mystery engaging and enjoyable. I thought it was a fun and entertaining read even as some tougher subjects, such as drug abuse, were explored. I liked the dynamic among the Dashwood family, and thought it was realistic and well written. The slow reveal of clues, personalities, and connections was paced well- even though I admit to suspecting certain reveals early on. The journey to the conclusion was greatly enjoyable even as I worried for the characters. I look forward to the third book in this series.

Sense and Second-Degree Murder is a fun and entertaining read that will please fans of Jane Austin, mysteries, and historical fiction. I eagerly await the third installment in the series.
Was this review helpful?