My Dear Charlotte, by Hazel Holt

My Dear Charlotte, Hazel Holt, Jane Austin, Mystery, Letters
Paperback: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-60381-040-1
Ebook: $5.95
Mystery

My Dear Charlotte, by Hazel Holt

My Dear Charlotte is a British Regency mystery set in the early 1800s and infused throughout with the actual language of Jane Austen, one of the world’s great stylists and comic writers. Hazel Holt has published 19 Mrs. Malory mysteries in the tradition of Barbara Pym and has admirers around the world. My Dear Charlotte is a departure from her other work. It is a novel-in-letters written “with the assistance of Jane Austen’s letters.” From the Introduction by Jan Fergus:

“Of course, you don’t have to love Austen to love this book. If you enjoy detective novels, you will find here a completely satisfying murder mystery, coupled with a romance (or more than one, in fact). My Dear Charlotte gives you, in addition to mystery and romance, a portrait of the world of the English gentry at around 1815, immediately after the defeat of Napoleon—its manners and its moral certainty. As in Austen, Napoleon is not directly mentioned, but his shadow is there: one brother of the heroine is a sailor and the other a junior diplomat at the Congress of Vienna. It’s the social world at home that is central, however, with its balls, visits, courtships, gossip, and of course murder, underlining the tensions and rifts within that apparently civilized society.

But it’s readers of Jane Austen who will get the most pleasure from My Dear Charlotte. It is in my opinion the only successful attempt to re-create the world of Austen’s novels, better even than the best of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances. Holt does much more, though: she has chosen to write a novel-in-letters, which allows her to incorporate witty quotations directly from Austen’s letters into her novel, quotations about persons, occasions, the minutiae of daily life from housekeeping and shopping to the weather and human nature.”

Fans of Sharon Lathan, Georgette Heyer and Barbara Pym will love this new mystery.

Hazel Holt originated from Birmingham, England, where she attended King Edward VI High School for Girls. She studied at Newnham College, Cambridge, and went on to work at the International African Institute in London, where she became acquainted with the novelist Barbara Pym, whose biography she later wrote. Holt wrote her first novel in her sixties and is a leading crime novelist. She is best known for her “Sheila Malory” series. Her son is the novelist Tom Holt.

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