Midnight in Austenland
In Midnight in Austenland, Shannon Hale returns to the world of Austenland with a wonderful new heroine. Nice, kind, clever Charlotte Kinder is still reeling from the dissolution of her marriage and turns to Jane Austen for comfort. When her kids visit their father, she decides to take a summer vacation to England and hits upon Austenland--a resort where one goes to wear corsets and empire gowns, flirt modestly with gentlemen, stroll about the gardens and live like Elizabeth Bennet for two weeks.
Now known as Mrs. Charlotte Cordial (dashing widow), Charlotte is soon lost in the Regency world. Maids wait upon her, her "brother" Eddie is a great chum, and the brooding Mr. Mallery sets her pulses fluttering. Then, one night, Charlotte is convinced she stumbled upon a dead body in a secret room. No one else believes her, and the next morning there's no sign of a body. Charlotte is torn: Did she imagine the whole thing? Or did she really touch a dead body? If so, who was it, and who is the murderer?
Like Catherine in Northanger Abbey, Charlotte begins her own research. Hale makes Charlotte's mix of naiveté and cleverness completely believable as she fumbles her way through an investigation of sorts, and the reader can't help but root for the likable and funny Charlotte to solve the mystery and find her own true love. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm