Location scout and Jane Austen aficionado, Kate Sharp, is thrilled when the company she works for lands the job of finding locations for a new film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but then her boss, Kevin, fails to return from a scouting trip to England. Afraid that Kevin has slipped back into some destructive personal habits he struggles with, Kate travels to England to salvage Kevin’s and the company’s reputation before word gets out that he is missing. Things go from bad to worse when Kate arrives in Nether Woodsmoor, a quaint village of golden stone cottages and rolling green hills, only to find no trace of Kevin except his abandoned luggage. Even the rumpled, easygoing local scout they consulted, Alex, doesn’t know where Kevin might be. Increasingly worried about Kevin and with an antsy director waiting for updates about the pre-production details, Kate embarks on a search that includes a pub-crawl and cozy cottages as well as stately country manors. But Kevin remains missing, and she begins to suspect that the picturesque village and beautiful countryside may not be as idyllic as they seem.
Bubby: I know it’s overdone and a total cliche, but I just love Jane Austen and everything to do with her books. I don’t know what it is – were the men really so much better back in the day? (With the exception of my own sweet love, of course.) Maybe it’s the advent of the free-spirited, forward-thinking woman. Whatever it is, I’m a fan. Therefore, when a modern book pulls in a Jane Austen connection (and has great writing, plot and characters to boot), I’m hooked! Add a little romance and mystery and Death in the English Countryside is just delicious.
Sissy: To answer your question, Bubby, the men were so not better then than now. Even if you took away the chauvinism there still remains the matter of hygiene. Before the advent of deoderant and toothpaste can you imagine the aromas that assaulted one’s nostrils? What about chewing tobacco, snuff, and generous whiskey breath? And those men were small of stature and non-muscular. I assure you there were no Colin Firths or Matthew MacFaydens to be had. Methinks the young ladies’ views were obscured by what was available and their heaving bosoms.
Bubby: I see that you have no opinion on the subject…
Sissy: Quite. This was different than other Jane Austen themed books in that it wasn’t a retelling. There was no Mr Darcy-like love interest and there were no parallels drawn between the other characters and Austen characters. All the references were to Pride and Prejudice locations, which abounded aplenty in this portion of the English countryside. That little difference made it very interesting to me. The mystery and romance were heightened because of the setting.
Bubby: I think that were I to be a young single thing again, location scouting might possibly be my dream job. Can you imagine? Traipsing through the world in search of an authentic manor house, the ideal restaurant, a park-like location for the perfect romantic marriage proposal…fantastic. Unfortunately for Kate, her trip to idyllic Nether Woodsmoore ends up a bit more tragic than any dream job should be.
Sissy: Author Sara Rosett used the village of Bakewell, England as inspiration for her setting and some of the surrounding manors for Pride and Prejudice location inspirations. I googled images of Bakewell, England and immediately fell in love and wanted to go there. See?
Bubby: I definitely think a trip to the Devonshire region of England should be in our future, Sissy. Maybe without the murder mystery aspect of it, though.
Sissy: I love this new series and its heroine Kate. I have read a lot of cozy mysteries and some are just better than others. Death in the English Countryside belongs in the “whole lot better than others” category. I look forward to reading more.
Bubby: Sara Rosett is a new author for me and I am excited to try her other series, Ellie Avery and On The Run. If they are as good as this first installment in the Death On Location series, I’m hooked!
Click HERE to buy Death in the English Countryside by Sara Rosett
We received a copy of this title from Netgalley in return for a fair and honest review.
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