Reader name: Jennifer
Hometown: Bedford, TX
Favorite genre: Cozy mysteries or Austen-alia, historical fiction (most things British)
Favorite authors: Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Jeanne M. Dams, Lauren Willig
Favorite books: Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice, Clocks, 4:50 from Paddington, Harry Potter
If you read The Book Case with any regularity, you’ll know that Jennifer is a reader after our hearts. From discovering Elizabeth Gaskell and Return to Cranford to documenting Jane Austen’s birthday to making a pilgrimage to Platform 9¾, our editors are a crew of England-obsessed readers. Based on Jennifer’s preferences, we recommend the following books:
We’ve documented our love for Jennifer Donnelly’s teen books on BookPage.com, but Donnelly is also an accomplished author for adults. Her Rose Trilogy, which concludes with the recently-published The Wild Rose, takes place from the late Victorian era until pre-World War I. It features mystery and intrigue, multiple generations, romance . . . My advice? Save this trilogy for a rainy weekend. When that weekend comes, lock yourself up with all three books. Together, they total nearly 2,000 pages—and they’re good enough to merit a reading-straight-through marathon.
The best cozies are the British cozies, in my humble opinion, and you can’t go wrong with Nancy Atherton’s delightful Aunt Dimity series, set in the small British village of Finch. The most recent installation is called Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree—and was described in BookPage as “cozy and charming as a cup of Earl Grey.” The series—which combines mystery with charming glimpses of English country life—centers around devoted amateur sleuth Lori Shepherd . . . who turns to her (deceased) Aunt Dimity when things get tough.
If you haven’t yet been swept into the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer—published from the 1920s until the 1970s—I suggest you march to your local library or bookstore posthaste. To borrow the words of our guest blogger Harriet Evans, Heyer’s books are “sharp, structured, gripping, swooningly romantic and reliable but never predictable.” Start with Venetia, about a woman who falls for the wrong guy in 1818.
Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale—a debut novel that was also a #1 New York Times bestseller—is a gothic suspense tale about a woman who works in a British bookshop—and whose life is turned upside down when she’s personally asked to be the biographer of a famous novelist. BookPage endorsed The Thirteenth Tale when it was published in 2006: “Setterfield has provided a rarity: a beautifully written novel with a swift plot, atmospheric setting and witty dialogue that combine to provide a read that will leave any book lover well satisfied.”
What books do you think Jennifer should read, based on her list of favorites?
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