Nancy Drew. Enola Holmes. Sally Lockhart. Move over girls, it’s Jane's time!
Join young budding detective Jane Austen in her second investigation to uncover a devious diamond thief at the glitziest, most scandalous ball of the year! Inspired by Sense and Sensibility.
‘No one who had ever seen Jane Austen in her infancy would suppose her to be born to solve crimes. From her early love of sugar plums, and cleverness in hiding her expeditions into the pantry, her mother declared her far more likely to commit them. However, as Jane would counter, there was no better person to identify the culprit than the thief turned thief-catcher.’
When the headmistress invites her past favourite pupil to attend their end of term ball, Cassandra brings her younger sister, Jane, along too. Cassandra plunges into the feverish excitement of preparing for the biggest event of the year – the dresses, the dances and the boys expected from the neighbouring school.
Feeling rather excluded, sharp-witted Jane unearths the reason for the fuss – the headteacher wants to impress a rich family returned from India as the school is at risk of going bankrupt. Jane also befriends the dancing master’s assistant, a former slave, called Brandon, who is as quick to notice things as she. At the ball, a diamond necklace is stolen from a locked room and they are propelled into a race to uncover the burglar and save Brandon from gaol.
With the ever-present Austen spirit, Jane with notebook in hand, boldly overcomes the obstacles to finding the truth.
Perfect for readers aged 9-109, and for fans of Katherine Woodfine and Lucy Worsley.
‘Clever, playful and gripping. A real treat for bookworms.’ – Lucy Strange, children’s author of The Ghost of Gosswater
‘A feel-good escape to the eighteenth century. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this series on screen.’ - Joan Haig, children’s author of Tiger Skin Rug
‘Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery had everything I hoped it would and more. There’s the great rambling house, the spooky Abbey ruins and dangerous secrets. All wrapped up with the tenacity, humour and sass of young Jane Austen. This was an absolute treat and I’d like some more please.’ – Jenni Jennings, children’s author of Malice in Underland
‘A brilliant children’s historical mystery series that I absolutely recommend. Perfect for ages 8 to 108!’ - Fiona Sharp, Waterstones Bookseller
‘Jane is a heroine for the next generation’ – Kate Heap, Scope for Imagination
‘One of my favourite characters in a book this year’ – Rich Readalot
Average rating from 47 members
Jane Austen the detective is back and she doesn't miss a beat! I really love this adaption of Jane Austen. This time Jane is invited to a ball at a fancy school! The school is throwing the ball to try to earn money to keep the school afloat. During the ball a necklace is stolen and Jane must work with her new friend Brandon to help solve the mystery. These stories are an absolute blast. I fly through them. I love how quick witted and fun Jane is through out these stories. This is probably one of my favorite adaptions of Jane Austen in a very long time!
Another brilliant read. A super quick and easy and fun book that was so enjoyable, definitely worth reading
This was an absolutely delightful mystery. The plot was well-paced, captivating, and engaging to the end! This is a great addition to the "Jane Austen Investigates" series. I can't wait for more! Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy.
Jane Austen Investigates The Burglar's Ball: Spoiler Free Review! Hello there, and welcome back to That Introvert Reader! Today, I bring you a spoiler free review of Jane Austen Investigates Book Two! Exciting, right? This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpeg (this was so exciting for me) Thank you to the publisher, Lion Hudson; The author, Julia Golding; and NetGalley for approaching me to read and review this ARC. It was amazing. First of all, if you haven't read it, here's the link to my review of the first Jane Austen Investigates, here- Jane Austen Investigates The Abbey Mystery: Spoiler Free Review Here's a quick summary: After the events at the Abbey (honestly I cannot remember everything that happened there just click the link my dude), Jane's older sister has received yet another invitation- to a ball at their old school. Obviously, Cassandra insists that Jane goes with her. At the school, they reunite with old friends and make new ones. Things are going spiffingly for Jane and Cassandra- until a thief strikes. On the night of the ball, a diamond necklace is stolen from a locked room. Brandon, a former slave and Jane's friend, is immediately blamed, and Jane is thrown into a race to prove Brandon's innocence and find the real thief. Book Two is infinitely better than the first. Jane is still not like other girls, and her dog is still insufferable (please let him die in the next book please I'm begging you Julia Golding I know it's cruel but I hate him so bad), but oh my god, this was really good. Sparkling with Jane's witty comments and characters as real as I am, this was inspired by Sense and Sensibility (by Austen herself) and was, in short, a delight to read. I genuinely had a lot of fun reading this. (and I was sick and grumpy!) Unlike a lot of historical authors, Julia Golding has made a point of including people of colour in her historical fiction, where a lot of authors have just said "well, they were slaves/colonised/were being mistreated at the time so they aren't relevant" and that is not the case here. So yeah I'm very happy. Another thing I'm happy with is Cassandra's development. *slurps obnoxiously on bubble tea* In this book, she had more of a role. It was still a main point that Cassandra was...how do I put this? Very interested in romance and young men. Yeah. Let's say it like that. Anyway, that was still there, but she and Jane have more of a relationship, and if I remember correctly, Cassandra actually gets involved with some sleuthing too at some point? Also. DEEPTI. SHE IS SO MUCH BETTER IN THIS BOOK. She and her father, Arjun, have opened a bakery, and I am kind of desperate to go to this bakery, because it sounds so nice, but anyway. She and Jane are proper friends now, which I didn't see so much of in the first book. I was so happy to see that. So so happy. My favourite character from the last book, Luke, never made a reappearance, but that's ok because he has been replaced by Deepti. You know what? For a middle grade novel, which normally I will say "yeah alright that's pretty good" and poke at it a bit, but I genuinely enjoyed this. Enough to go and reread. It's a five star rating from me. :) There is a lot I have to say. I do. *bangs head to music* but I can't remember a lot of them because I should have been sleeping when I drafted this review. (it was also a mental draft of this review) Anyway, final conclusion. - This was a dazzling addition to the series, and I am so thankful I got a chance to read it - Definitely better than the first book - Nothing would make me happier right now than the announcement of a third book
"The Burglar's Ball" is a delightful mystery set in 1789 in England with a 13-year-old Jane Austen as the amateur detective. I would've loved her as a kid, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story as an adult, too. Jane used modern wording and was a realistic 13-year-old girl, so younger readers will feel at home with her. She's spunky, determined, loyal, and has a sense of humor. This book is the second in a series, but it can be read as a stand-alone and didn't spoil the previous mystery. The mystery was clue-based, and whodunit was guessable from the clues. Jane made good friends that helped her to accomplish her goal of proving who was at fault rather than the foreign, young man who was blamed. She had good ideas about where to look, what questions to ask, and what was going on. The historical details about manners and customs were deftly woven into the story, were briefly explained when needed, and didn't slow down the pacing. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this enjoyable historical mystery.
What a fab Book #2 in the Jane Austen Investigates series! I loved it even more than the first. Here, a young Jane works to catch a diamond thief at a famed ball. The twists and turns, the finely tuned characters, especially sharp-minded inquisitive Jane herself, and the nod to “Sense and Sensibility” make for a delightful read. I look forward to many more installments in this charming series, described as “perfect for readers 9 to 109.” 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 22 Oct 2021 #JaneAustenInvestigatesTheBurglarsBall #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Lion Hudson Ltd, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.
I was so excited to be automatically approved for the second one in the Jane Austen Investigates series as I absolutely loved loved loved the first one! So thank you to the author and publisher very much! Cozy mysteries/Murder mysteries are one of my all time favourite genres, and Jane Austen who is one of the most influential authors of classic literature and who has wrote many books I absolutely adore I knew the whole plot of Jane being a bit of a sleuth would be an incredible idea for a novel and I was not wrong. I enjoyed this just as much as the first book and really hope there’s more to come!
Jane Austen Investigates has quickly become one of my favorite middle grade mystery series! Growing up as an inquisitive tomboy in a time when girls were only allowed to be feminine she pushes against the societal norms. Her inquisitive nature has her stumbling into and eventually solving mysteries as she goes.
Wow! This book is phenomenal! It is witty, intriguing, quick-paced, moving, entertaining, and so much more! Whenever I picked up "Jane Austen Investigates: The Burglar's Ball", I was whisked back in time to the Georgian Era, put on my sleuthing hat, and went on quite the detective adventure with this story! This is the second book in Julia Golding's "Jane Austen Investigates" series, and I hope there will be many more, as this series is simply delightful! Ms. Golding's writing style is fun, heartfelt, full of poignant messages, and, as the reader, I am truly hooked from the first moment to the last. Each and every element of her story springs to life right off of the page; from the various locations, to the characters, to the various plot elements, as well as the mystery itself. She brilliantly weaves in various clues throughout the book, and I found myself trying to solve the mystery right along with the characters. Jane is such a kind-hearted, smart, intelligent, witty, and spunky young girl who is unafraid to stand up for what she believes to be right! When Jane's sister Cassandra is invited back to her old school to be a part of a ball, Jane goes with her. There, they meet siblings Edward, Elinor and Marianne Warren, a girl named Lucy (a relation of the Warrens), dancing instructor Mr. Willoughby, as well as see their old headmistress again. The night of the ball, a diamond necklace is stolen, and an innocent young man named Brandon is blamed simply because of his skin color. Jane stands up for him (as she should!), and decides then and there that she will find out what really happened to the diamonds so her friend is not punished. With Deepti and Arjun on her side, Jane begins to follow a trail of clues that lead in an unexpected direction. Is the theft connected to other thefts that have been going on in town? Is not everything as it seems? Do others know more than what they are letting on? You will just have to read to find out! I adore so many of the characters in this book! Many of my favorite characters from the first book are present including Jane, Cassandra, Deepti, Arjun, and Grandison, and I loved seeing them again! One of my new favorites is Brandon! I hope we see them again in future books! I absolutely loved reading the many nods to Jane Austen's novel "Sense and Sensibility", including a moment where young Jane promises she will one day write something about a specific character (no spoilers here.). While you do not have to be familiar with that story to enjoy this book, I had so much fun catching all of these! If you enjoy anything related to Jane Austen, I highly recommend this book! I read it pretty much in one day as I absolutely could not put it down! I am so, so hoping there will be many more books in this incredible series! Thank you so much to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd for the ARC of this book, it is incredible! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
The headmistress of an exclusive girls boarding school invites Cassandra Austen, a favorite former pupil to the end of the year ball and Cassandra brings her younger sister Jane along – much to the chagrin of the headmistress. At the ball a diamond necklace is stolen and Jane’s new friend, Brandon is accused – based solely on circumstantial evidence because of his race. Jane puts her investigative skills to work to find the real perpetrator and exonerate Brandon. This is a fun middle grade mystery that will appeal to fans of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and other similar mystery series. Readers may figure it out before Jane does, but this in no way detracts from the story. In fact it might make readers enjoy it more as they congratulate themselves on their own detective skills. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher, Lion Hudson Limited, for giving me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
This was a fun book full of spunky characters and clever mysteries. I enjoyed seeing previous characters for the Abbey Mystery and getting a better conclusion. I loved that you also got to see Jane's relationship with her sister easier. Would definitely recommend for any tween reader!!
This is a series of young Jane Austen having adventures in England and solving mysteries. I haven't read the first book, this is the second book in the series. It is very easy to read and probably the bits that irritated me and caused the rating to go down from 4 to 3 don't bother most other people. I was firstly enchanted by the Regency style of writing. Then I was appalled by the very modern attitude of meanness being equated with cleverness. The main character is what? 13-14? Practically still a child. Yet she looks at the world and the people in it as if she was a middle aged spinster who thinks she's better than everyone else. She seems to find fault in everyone. The headmistress has a wooden leg - or a cork leg - and she "hops" when she walks. This detail is referred to several times. Seems a bit mean. A girl is described as "she should have been a beauty but there was something lacking in her expression for Jane. She appeared too placid and without the energy that was needed to animate her features." There is an effort to put in more diversity in Jane Austen's novels... and even though that is quite as it should by modern standards, it shows a deafness to the manners of the regency era. I wish the author had invented her own characters and not ridden on Jane Austen's name, because there's not much of Jane Austen in this book. It reminds me of Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. It would have been more enjoyable, had it not been a regency historical, but regency fantasy.
Well, this was just as captivating as the first book if not more, and I am now officially in love with Jane's writing style!!! I completely loved it! Plot- 5 stars Cover- 5 stars Overall 5 stars!!!!!!!!
4 Stars Jane Austen is back at sleuthing, and this time it’s at the school’s ball. When the headmistress invites Cassandra, Jane’s elder sister, to join the ball at the end of the term, Jane has no option but to go along. Cassandra is excited, and why not? She’s the headmistress's favorite and can dance like a graceful swan. Jane, well, she is more content being at home and stealing sugar plums, reading, and writing. Of course, a mystery or two wouldn’t hurt. Luckily for Jane, though unlucky for a few others, the diamond necklace of a wealthy would-be pupil gets stolen during the ball. When the girl’s father, a collector who returned from India, blames Brandon (the dance master’s employee and an African boy), Jane takes up the task of finding the actual thief. What she unearths could cause a problem to a lot of people. When did that stop Jane, though? I’ve recently read the first book in the series, so picking this up was inevitable. The story moves better in this one. There is enough focus on the mystery, and everything around more or less is connected to the case in some way. Arjun and Deepti from book one are seen again and have a role to play in helping Jane. What I like the most is the author’s way of showing the other side of the story. Many historical works use the British version where India is nothing more than an ‘exotic’ land with people who need to be ruled. The author uses Jane’s character to question and think about how the Indians feel about being ruled by a foreign company that was only supposed to do business with the locals. African slavery has been touched in this book. Not much, but enough to push the young readers to do their research and find out more. That said, the book also reminds of me a post I read on Instagram. It was about the white-savorism theme in books. I wouldn't classify this one entirely in that genre, but there's no denying that Jane is the one who solves the crimes and saves the innocent. Even when the accused do their bit to help Jane, they still end up being thankful to Jane. This isn't a criticism per se, but something the author could think about when plotting the next book in the series. I'm starting to have high expectations from her. Jane’s creative letters are another plus point of the book. Though I confess that when Jane is busy solving the mysteries, I end up imagining a younger version of Agatha Christie. Can’t help it. They are both my favorite authors. The mystery isn’t complex or confusing. Most readers will figure it out before Jane. That should be fun for middle graders who like to sleuth. To sum up, The Burglar’s Ball is better than book one in the series and can be read as a standalone (for the mystery). It’s cute, light, and engaging. Thank you, NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd, for the ARC.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this eArc! I didn’t realise when I read this that this is the 2nd book in a series- however I still enjoyed it!! I will definitely be re reading this and actually starting from the beginning!
Jane Austen Investigates: The Burglar’s Ball is the second book in the Jane Austen Investigates series, which manages to retain all the charm and intrigue of its predecessor. When Jane and her sister are invited to an end of term ball at their previous school, the last thing Jane expects is to find herself solving yet another mystery. Can she find the culprit and clear the name of her friend, or is she barking up the wrong tree again? I thoroughly enjoyed this witty and playful read. I particularly enjoyed Jane’s scathing commentary on the social norms of the time. I will definitely add this series to my classroom bookshelf as it offers something totally different to anything I’ve read before in children’s literature. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
I dropped everything to read this and was not disappointed - absolutely loved this next instalment in Golding's fantastic 'Jane Austen Investigates' series, and would give it more than five stars if possible! A smashing mystery surrounding the burglary of a jewel necklace, Jane is detective once more and this time she's got her sister Cassandra by her side. Together, and with the help of new friends and old, the sisters set out to clear the name of the wrongfully accused and capture the real culprit all before it's too late! A cracking new detective series for MG readers - pacy, full of wit, and brimming with sneaky Austen references (I'm off to re-read 'Sense & Sensibility' right now - wink wink!). Another brilliant addition to the world of Austen and a portrait of Jane I think she herself would be proud of. Perfect for fans of Robin Stevens Murder Most Unladylike series and Katherine Woodfine's Sinclair's Mysteries.
I greatly enjoyed this book! I love anything Jane Austen, and wondered what this book would have in store. I loved Jane's personality. She was not one to simply conform to the world around here, content to be at home with her nose in a book (sounds familiar to me!) and think for herself. I loved the addition of the clever letters to her brother. They were fun and would be especially appealing to a middle schooler (okay, the were quite appealing to me too!). I enjoyed that this was a lighter mystery than others I have been reading lately. There was danger, but not too much. They are children, after all. I hadn't considered the culprit and thought that it was very clever. Kudos to Julia Golding and I will be seeking out the first book in the series, as well as keeping my eyes open for the next books (and I hope there are many more!) Thanks to Net Galley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley I know that this book was for children that I have to say I really enjoyed it. The writing was spectacular.
This is the second book in the Jane Austen Investigates series and I have to admit, the series keeps improving. I thoroughly enjoyed this out for Jane and was gripped by the mystery. Jane and her sister travel to their old boarding school in Reading where something is amiss. Jane meets some old friends from her previous adventure and makes some new ones too. However, jewellery goes missing and an innocent boy needs his name clearing. It’s not until half way through that a necklace goes missing but the way Golding spun the story up to that point didn’t make it feel like it was dragging. I was impressed by the storytelling. I do hope Golding continues these stories as they are fun little historical mysteries that you cannot helpbutenjoy. Thank you NetGalley for the arc.
I am impressed on how many things Jane Austen keep inspiring even years and years after her death. What adelightful surprise was this story(and the suspicious veracity of the plot like this would happened in reality) It was well written and the feeling of be following the young Jane in her ride about the mistery of the stolen diamond ina simple and clear way makes this narrative so fun for everyone in early or old age could enjoy a lot .
Young Jane Austen is proving to be an accomplished detective in this isecond series entry. This time she has the help of her beloved older sister Cassandra as well as Deepti, her Indian friend from the first book. While there are plenty of Easter eggs for Jane Austen fans, middle grade readers too young to know the famous author won't be put off. A welcome addition to Golding's stories is diversity that was not always visible in Austen's own novels. Recommended for middle grade lovers of mysteries and historical fiction.
When Jane and Cassandra Austen are invited back to their old school in Reading for a ball, they quickly realise that the school is in financial trouble and the ball is an attempt to secure some well-heeled pupils to keep the school running. Fortunately, the wealthy heiresses Elinor and Marianne, seem interested in joining the school, until Elinor’s diamond necklace is stolen during the ball. With the help of her dog Grandison, some friends from her previous adventure, The Abbey Mystery, and her reluctant assistant, Cassandra, Jane must unmask the real thief and clear her friend Brandon’s name. As a long-time Austen fan, I was captivated by this charming and entertaining portrayal of Jane Austen at 13—getting into mischief and solving crimes. But even without understanding the Austen references, ‘The Burglar’s Ball’ is an engaging, twisty mystery with a determined protagonist contemporary children can relate to. Lots of fun!
I received the ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. “The Burglar’s Ball” by Julie Golding is the second book in the Jane Austen Investigates series. I read it without reading the first one but it wasn’t a problem. What happened in Jane’s first case is clearly stated here when someone from the first book appears. Jane and her sister Cassandra are the main characters and every story is stand-alone. Cassandra is invited to the mid term ball of their old school in Reading. Jane is not excited as her sister, but goes with her anyway. In Reading Jane can meet with her friend Deepti and her father, and she meet Brandon, a musician and ex slave. During the ball, a diamond necklace is stolen and Brandon is unjustly accused of the theft. Jane, with Cassandra’s help, starts to investigate and manages to find many interesting things. I was very curious about the idea of Jane Austen as a young detective, observing all kind of people and their behavior. The fact that this literary device comes from some letters Jane wrote to her brother is amazing! Jane as a detective is inquisitive and a little nosey, brave and fearless. She is funny and clever, she love her sister even if they’re very different. Furthermore, she hates injustices and fight tooth and nail to defend the ones who are accused of a crime just because of their origins. What I liked most about her is that she is able to accept when she is wrong, to admit that she is privileged and what she believes of her country is influenced by that. And then, when she discovers the truth she doesn’t cower, but tries to understand more and better. I appreciated how Julia Golding talked about colonialism and slavery, helping Jane to open her eyes. Regarding the plot and the crime, I really liked how the author wrote many character that could have been guilty; the reader suspects them all and is not sure of the real responsible until the end. I would love seeing a TV show of these books; it would be amazing!
Jane is back and this time her sister is helping her. They return to their old school for a ball and end up investigating a theft. They are helped by her old friend Deepti, as well as new friends and some boys form a local school. Overall the book is a delight, Jane is the sort of heroine I loved as a girl - doesn't confrom, likes books and mysteries and not too girly. I particularly loved the references to future characters and their personalities and adore the idea that Kane could have got ideas in this way. A fabulous book ideal for all who like a little bit of mystery and a good story. Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review
The Burglar's Ball was another great addition to the Jane Austen Investigates series, which images the witty and often saucy, author we know and love as a plucky youth who finds herself in mysterious situations that need sleuthing. I love seeing how Golding incorporates the names of characters from Jane Austen's actual novels into her own books, giving a nod to how these recognizable figures may have been conceived.
Note: I received an ARC of the book from NetGalley. A huge thanks to the publishers and author. This is the second book in the Jane Austen Investigates series that follows a young Jane Austen on another of her adventures to solve a mystery. Cassandra Austen is invited to attend a ball at her old school and asks Jane to come along. The headmistress of the school has a soft spot towards Cassandra, her favourite pupil. However, Jane's presence is quite unexpected and received with some reluctance. What follows is a series of friendships, some cricket and a theft that leads to Jane stepping in to investigate once again. We also meet Arjun and Deepti again, characters from Book 1 who are delightful and add some wonderful color to the book. I enjoyed the different perspectives in the book and everyone's lives. I found that this book was a little less impactful when compared to Book 1, but I still enjoyed it thanks to some of the newer characters, a talking parrot and some circus friends. The mystery was well thought out with a simple plot of theft which moves quickly ensuring the reader is engaged. In an attempt to solve the mystery, Jane uncovers many truths that shed light on the various characters of the book including the headmistress. This is the perfect book for middle graders and will give them a thrill to read it. Let's not forget the cricket match that has to come to some kind of conclusion with the girls all showing off their amazing skills in a "boys game"! Not to be outshone, the boys also show off their skills in dancing at the ball! It's all fun and more fun until things go wrong! I am delighted to have read the books in this series so far and am looking forward to reading more of Jane's adventures and her witty, sarcastic letters. She had a gift for writing and the author of this series does her justice in my opinion!
Jane Austen Investigates: The Burglar’s Ball, is a book full of mystery. 13 year old Jane, along with her older sister Cassandra, are invited back to Reading Abbey Girls’ School for a ball that is schedule to take place. The school is ran by Madame La Tournelle, she invited Cassandra back because she was one of her star pupils and is trying to impress the family of two would be students. Elinor and Marianne Warren. The Austen sisters meet the Warrens when they arrive, as well as a dance instructor named Mr Willoughby and his flute player Brandon. As Elinor and Cassandra gush over Willoughby; Jane and Marianne are interested in playing cricket. In preparation for the ball Elinor request that her diamond necklace, tiara, earring, brooch and bracelet be brought from home for the occasion. Things take a turn for the worse when the necklace is stolen the night of the ball. Jane Austen’s investigation begins, her goal is to clear an innocent friend and find the true culprit. This book was interesting with all the twist and turns especially the secrets Jane uncovers while trying to solve the case. People are not who they claim to be but that doesn’t always make them guilty. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery and Jane Austen and her various characters.
Have had the pleasure of reading both installments and loving rh series. Hightly recommnd to all Austen-entusiasts as well as mystery lovers. Funm, fun read.
I love JAFF and I really enjoyed this book. The author did a good job of keeping their speech (phrases, words, etc) the same as that of Jane Austen's style. This is a great book for the young and older YA reader. While Jane in the story was young she was not portrayed as childish nor was she portrayed as someone too mature for her age. I am looking forward to reading more from this author, she is one I will not hesitate to recommend. Thank you, NetGalley for the chance to read this book!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Buglar's Ball is the second book in Jane Austen Investigates series; I've read the first one and I loved it and I was eager to read this one with a young intelligent Jane who finds herself solving mysteries with her dog Grandison and this time with her sister Cassandra involved in the story. It was such a delight after a special Jane Austen July Readathon, I could not not start this book. I liked it because in this new adventure Jane met some new interesting characters with the names from Sense and Sensibility which make us thing that after meeting these people, she got inspired to write her book. I have to say that the first book was my favorite but it doesn't mean that I didn't like this one. I love the author writing style, she is amazing in keeping the same style as jane's. In this adventure Cassandra is invited to a ball of her and Jane's old school in Reading. Jane finds herself obliged to go with her sister. In Reading, our heroine met with her friend Deepti and her father (from the first book) at their new open bakery, also she befriended Brandon, an ex slave now a free musician and then, at the school, she made the acquaintance of two sisters Elinor and Marianne who have just returned from India. The night of the ball, Elionor's diamond necklace is stolen and Brandon is unjustly accused of the theft. The Austen sisters start to investigate in order to help their new friend and at the same time resolving some other interesting mysteries. It was enjoyable to read and I had such a good time with all the twist and turns while Jane is trying to solve this new case. It's a cozy mystery kind of story that might please readers of different age and if you like to read books inspired by J.A's personality this might be a good choice.
Thanks to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd for letting me read this book prior to its publication. My opinion is 100% honest, unbiased, and my own. I got a copy of this book because I had read and loved the first book in the series. But I am sorry to say this new Jane Austen Investigates story missed the mark and was quite a disappointment. While the previous book kept me reading non-stop, I had trouble to get into this one. I am aware this book was written for MG readers, but I found the plot to be too simple and the ending was quite easy to guess and predict. Even the character of young Jane Austen felt different in this book. I wanted to see more spunk and energy in her behavior and actions, but it felt like a washed out version of the same character in the first book. We get to see more characters taken from Jane Austen novels among the cast. In this cast, the homage was paid to Sense and Sensibility. That part of the story was very well crafted and I really enjoyed it. Overall, a quick read for the weekend.
Every page pulls into a world, where history, mystery and readiness to defy social boundaries beam from every page. Jane likes to sit at home, read and enjoy life, but her older sister is determined to drag her along to a ball at her school. Once there, Jane feels out of place and soon discovers that the ball isn't so much as a social event for the students as it is a forefront to gain money for the financially suffering school. During the event, a necklace is stolen, and the blame falls on her new found friend, the dancing master's assistant and former slave. I enjoyed reading the first book in this series, but this one was even better. (Here, I should add that it's not necessary to read the first book before diving into this one, but it does clear up some of the relationships and characters if the series is read as such.) Jane has a very independent character and more spunk than girls at that time should have. It makes her easy to root for, fun to watch, and inspiring, too. Like in the first book, Jane befriends those, whom society wants her to ignore and look down upon. And as in the first book, it's this person who catches the blame when things go wrong. Still, this book didn't feel like a copy of the first, but rather, was a wonderful read...even better than the first, since it flowed much more smoothly. History comes to life in these pages. Still, the mystery as well as the characters are easy for modern middle graders can connect with. Jane has siblings she loves and gets upset with; she usually behaves but does step beyond the 'rules' when needed; and she's ready to stand up to adults and solve things on her own. She's witty and has a heart of gold. All of this sits in a historical setting with fitting dialogue, mannerisms, and standards. And it's still fun. There's the needed tension to keep the pages turning and heart to keep the characters sympathetic. There are unexpected twists and turns, although the mystery isn't extremely woven, and the reader can see the ending coming before Jane does. This is a wonderful continuation of an interesting mystery series, and I have no doubt young sleuths and readers fans will enjoy this one. Plus, adult fans of Jane Austen will even enjoy taking a look inside. I received an ARC through Netgalley and found this one even better than the first.
I read the first book in this series back in April and I genuinely enjoyed it a lot, I think Golding has done an amazing thing with these books. I love that she has added diversity into this time period without it seeming forced and I think that has a lot to do with her writing style which I think is just stunning. My main issue with those books is that the plot doesn't seem to be tense enough, I think this concept would work well for adult books but overall I really enjoyed this second installment.
A great sequel to The Abbey Mystery! Jane Austen is once again using her wits to navigate Georgian society and unearth the criminal in their midst, this time at a ball at her and her sister's former school. The writing style is once again superb, lots of humour, and nice touches with letters and wordplay. For me personally, I didn't enjoy the setting or plot as much as The Abbey Mystery, but that is just personal preference. The school setting made the characters feel younger than they had in the first book, but then, Jane is 13 in these books, so the characters are young, I think I just got swept away with the gothic setting and Jane Austenness of the first book which, for me, elevated it a bit beyond other Middle Grade mysteries (I've read a few with boarding school settings, so this fits in with that sub-genre). The writing style, Jane's (and the author's) way with words, and a story well done, still sets this as a 4-star read for me, definitely a cut above the average, and I will definitely be interested to read further instalments!
This second installment of the Jane Austen Investigates Series by Julia Golding is possibly more thrilling than the first one. Jane is with her sister Cassandra in Reading, where Madame La Tournelle invited Cassandra to grace the ball she's organising in the Reading Abbey Girl's School, previously attended by the Austen girls. Jane is not as welcome as Cassandra at the Abbey School, and Grandison, her dog, is even less welcome. But Madame La Tournelle has to give in for the sake of Cassandra. In this installment we meet some characters that will be "inspirational" for Sense and Sensibility. The dancing master, Mr. Willoughby, Edward, Elinor and Marianne Warren and their maternal cousin, Lucy Palmer. Jane will investigate about the theft of a most valuable diamonds necklace that takes place during the ball and of which is accused Brandon, a flautist and a former slave of the West Indies, who is definitely innocent. In addition to Grandison, we meet again our old friends Arjun e Deepti from the previous case. Arjun has now a baker's shop in Reading and helps Jane in hiding Brandon while she investigates to prove his innocence. Since Cassandra is with Jane in Reading, she addresses her letters to her brother Henry. They are always funny and full of word-play like a proper budding writer is apt to do. My Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4082817810
This is such a fun read! A huge thank you to the publishers for providing me with an advanced copy in return for an honest review via Netgalley. I read the first book in the Jane Austen Investigates series through Netgalley as well, and was thrilled to be able to join Jane on her adventures again. You can find my review of The Abbey Mystery (book one!) here. While you can read this book first, I’d recommend reading the series chronologically as there are recurring characters you met previously. I enjoyed seeing what Jane’s friends from The Abbey Mystery were up to and it still felt like we were learning new things about them. Jane is the highlight of the series and I love her relationship with her sister. The narration is humorous and fun too. Dotted in between chapters are Jane’s imaginative letters to her brother; they’re full of codes that younger readers will love. I wish I’d had this book when I was younger! “Everyone looked at her in surprise. True, a girl in a grubby hemmed muslin dress didn’t seem a likely person to have unearthed such a plot, but then it was often the ones sitting in the corner overlooked who saw most.” – THE BURGLAR’S BALL Despite not having read Sense and Sensibility, I can see how Julia Golding has taken inspiration from the time period. The author has clearly done her research and everything feels very genuine. The Burglar’s Ball is more insightful than the first book – there is exploration of the British Empire from the point of view of those occupied, and the slave trade. I haven’t seen these topics a lot in children’s books; while they don’t overpower the mystery it’s enough to inform younger readers. “In Jane’s opinion, Cassandra had too strong a belief in the rational behaviour of mankind” – TOO TRUE, JANE My only comment is that I’d like it if Brandon, the ex-slave whose name Jane is trying to clear, had a stronger character and stronger hand in proving his innocence. He was fine, but at points he felt less of a developed character and more of a plot point; some people might see it as bordering on white-saviour themes. To sum up, the Jane Austen Investigates books are so entertaining for any age. The mystery is engaging and easily solvable, although there are some unexpected twists. I’d recommend them for fans of the Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens or the Lady Grace series by Grace Cavendish – or anyone looking for a fun light read. Rating: 5 out of 5.
These books are so much fun! They imagine the adventures of a 13 year old Jane Austen who ends up entangled in various mysteries around her, and who has to use her copious wits to solve them. Told from her perspective in the third person, they have a really entertaining voice, and manage to capture the spirit of Jane’s humour with tongue-in-cheek love – they’re a treat for an Austen-loving adult, but I think they’d also stand alone well for a younger reader who hasn’t encountered her work yet. There’s a really clever mix of what we know of Jane’s real life, and references to her work, including the names of a lot of characters – for example, when a Mr Willoughby offends her, Jane swears to avenge herself by “making sure no one by the name of Willoughby was ever looked on favourably again”. There are also sisters Elinor and Marianne, and several others I won’t spoil – I love the idea that Jane worked real people she’d met into her stories! But though this sounds like it might be a bit too silly and self-referential, there are solid stories underneath too, and I very much enjoyed the central mysteries as well as the Austen flavour. The Burglar’s Ball sends Jane and her sister Cassandra for a visit to their old school, The Abbey in Reading, but when one of the other guest’s diamond necklace is stolen, the secrets of the school begin to need investigation. I obviously won’t talk much about the plots, as the fun is in discovering the mystery for yourself, but they are really rollicking adventures and I had a great time with all the twists and developments. The casts of both books are extremely lively and entertaining to get to know. In the first book I loved Deepti, Jane’s friend, who came to Southmoor Abbey with her father, who was hired as a cook by Lord Cromwell while he was in India – I thought it was brilliant how her experiences and skills are so different to Jane’s, but the two are wholeheartedly respectful of each other and make a great team. Deepti appears in this second book, too, which I wasn’t expecting, but was very pleased to discover! Each character, especially the villains, is keenly observed and pinned to the page – which might well remind us of the sharp portraits of a certain author’s own stories… Jane herself is a very likeable heroine, and her feelings are also very believable, particularly her frustration with the limitations of being a girl and the rules she has to follow, and her bristling against injustice of any kind. I love that there are letters home from Jane scattered between the chapters; not only do these give a glimpse into Jane’s relationship with her brother Henry, who hasn’t so far appeared himself, but they also contain puzzles to solve or fun writing quirks like missing letters. It’s a lovely reference to her real life letters, and the wordplay is exactly the kind of thing I would have been all over as a kid! Speaking of wordplay, it didn’t escape my notice that these are named alphabetically, and I hope that’s an indicator that this will be a long running series – they’re just great, and the mystery genre really lends itself to longer serials. I’ll be looking out for any more, for sure – and whether you’re an Austen fan or not, readers of middle grade mystery should definitely check these out.
I was so happy to be back into the intriguing world of the young Jane Austen, following her in this new adventure. Jane and her sister Cassandra are invited at a ball at their old school in Reading. Jane and her inseparable dog make instantly some new friends that will make her stay more enjoyable. When the ball is in full swing, the beautiful night is disrupted by a theft, one of the girls' diamond necklace is gone. Will Jane get the right intuition to catch the robber? I've enjoyed the pace and the storyline of this novel, the author wording is so catching you couldn't even take a breath because you want to solve the mystery. This young Jane is easily became one of my favourite character, she is lively and clever you couldn't refrain to support her in her quest for the truth. I really hope to read more books of this series.
Jane is a homebody who would rather stay at home instead of attending a ball at her former school. But, her sister Cassandra, is invited and so she must go. It’s good for her that in addition to the dance, she meets up with old friends and makes some new ones too. Throw in a theft of a diamond necklace and our clever sleuth, Jane, is thinking things are getting interesting. Jane is not your typical young lady and decides to play cricket against the boys’ school and climb trees to find clues. It was delightful to read about her nonconventional ways and her letters to her brother about the case. This is fun”who-did-it” story gives readers enough clues to be able to discover the culprit before Jane tells all. I would recommend this to young adults who like mysteries or who enjoy Enola Holmes. While this is a series, it is the first book I have read and can be read as a stand alone. Here are some really fun quotes at the opening of the story: “Any resemblance to persons living or dead in these case notes is entirely intentional. Names of people and places have been changed to protect the wicked- but you know who you are!” “No one who had ever seen Jane Austen in her infancy would suppose her to be born to solve crimes.” Thank you to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd. for an electronic copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Note: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My gratitude to both Netgalley and the publisher. I love middle-grade, historical fiction, books with strong female heroines. It's my bread and butter. I read them whenever I can get my hands on one, and I love to use them in my classroom when I see fit. They fill me with sheer delight. Maybe I've been spoiled by the pluck of Aggie Morton and Myrtle Hardcastle - (both of whom star in their own book series that is well checking out), but I found pre-teen Jane Austen to fall a little flat for me in this mystery. She lacked the spunk and tenacity that I would have expected given what I do know of Jane Austen in life. The mystery and plot also seemed to come along easily, the solution lacking some of the peril that I felt would truly engage middle-grade readers. This isn't to say I'm turned off by the series. I plan to read the first book because I do find Jane and Cassandra charming, and from what I see in other reviews, I may find that one a bit more satisfying.
This was an engaging quick read! Great characters and good family dynamics. Highly recommend it to teen readers!
In the second in the Jane Austen Investigates series, Jane and her sister Cassandra are visiting their old school when Cassandra was invited by their old headmistress and Jane is sent along as her companion. The end of term ball is approaching and Cassandra throws herself fully into the preparations - dance lessons, dresses and boys. But on the night of the ball, a diamond necklace goes missing and the assistant of the dashing dance instructor is accused on being the thief. Jane just knows that her new friend is not the thief and she is going to prove it by finding the real thief. Lots of fun and adventures ensure as Jane enlists the help of old friends and new to track down the necklace and the thief. Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooksfire for the advance copy to read and review
Comforting, compassionate, courteous, courageous and clever, the young Jane Austen of The Burglar's Ball stole my heart! Awestruck by her mastery of human behaviour.! Culturally and historically rich classic narrative spins around, in and out, and within the characters and weaves in the settings effortlessly. Brow-raising knowledge of the East India Company and its purpose, and yet toned-down appropriately for young readers. Utterly delighted by the author's respect for India, her people and culture. Thank you Lion Hudson and Net Galley for the e-ARC.
I found this book thoroughly gripping and not at all the outcome I had expected. I am not a fan of Jane Austen books or tv adaptations but I like a mystery story and therefore this book caught my attention. I was not disappointed in the slightest. I will definitely be sourcing book one from the series and look forward to more books in the series - hopefully in the not too distant future. I found the characters came alive on the page - I could imagine them as I read, their thoughts and expressions changing as the mystery unfolded. The book is historically set - I liked that it was thought provoking and asked tough questions. Jane questions the difficult things in life - slavery, racism and animal captivity. The author does not shy away from these things and I found it refreshing to see them recognised as part of the country’s history but reflected on in a way that highlighted their inappropriateness. The story moved along at a quick pace, with subtle clues appearing to help the reader piece together the mystery alongside the characters. I would highly recommend this book!