Arsenic with Austen By Katherine Bolger Hyde: Review/Interview/Giveaway

Jul 9, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Arsenic with Austen, and a link to purchase it from Amazon. You will also find a fun video interview with Katherine.

Emily Cavanaugh’s life was on hold. Ever since the death of her husband two years ago, Emily managed to teach her literature classes at Reed College, looking forward only to graduation and the day classes ended. She is rocked out of this stasis by the news of the death of her great-aunt Beatrice Runcible, who has left her an inheritance in Stoney Beach, Oregon. Although Emily had some of her fondest moments as a child reveling in Beatrice’s grand library, it has been decades since the two last spent time together.

So it’s a complete shock when Emily learns that she is the recipient of the majority of Beatrice’s estate, which includes local properties and businesses worth over six million dollars. With much of the tiny town dependent on Beatrice’s – and now Emily’s – plans for their future, perhaps Emily should not have been too surprised to learn that not everyone believes Beatrice’s death was natural. What is shocking is that one of the most suspicious is Sheriff’s Lieutenant Luke Richards, the man who thirty-five years ago shattered Emily’s heart and still causes her heartbreak today.book

They may have last seen each other when they were sixteen years-old, but the attraction and sparks between them have not lessened one bit. Throw in a disgruntled and smarmy heir, a grumpy housekeeper, an even grumpier cat, hidden compartments, and a development-hungry mayor, and you have a mystery full of enough intrigue and domestic drama to rival the works by Emily’s favorite author. It is by reading the works of Jane Austen that Emily hopes to receive some comfort and refuge from the turmoil seething beneath the surface of Stoney Beach, but she may be surprised at just how much else she learns from them.

Whenever writing an homage to a beloved author, there is the risk of straying too far and becoming either an accidental parody or a second-tier knock-off. The delight here is that the writing seamlessly becomes a tribute to Jane Austen, whose books serve as a support system for our heroine. What is so refreshing is that when Emily and Luke come to terms with their relationship and realize the missteps that altered their lives, they move on quickly and with mature grace. Similarly charming characters appear fully formed, including a pierced, tattooed knitting store owner, struggling single-mom housekeeper, and Emily’s supportive, alluring friend Marguerite. The somber tone quickly lightens once Beatrice’s unexpected gift revitalizes Emily’s life, and readers will be engaged and entertained by this witty new cozy series.

Video interview with Katherine. It was recorded right after she spoke at the Fresno chapter of Sisters In Crime so it is a bit noisy:

To enter to win a copy of Arsenic with Austen, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “austen,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 16, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to purchase this book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

22 Comments

  1. This looks good (and I love the cover). Thank you for the chance to win.

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  2. I always like he’s w/o cat on the cover it gets me every time

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  3. This book sounds wonderful — I would love to have the chance to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  4. I’d love to read this! Thanks for the chance. ?

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  5. I’d love to read this. Thanks for the chance. ?

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  6. Love the cat on the cover and also the title. I liked the review of the book and look forward to reading it.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  7. I have to admit anything that incorporates Austen is a win with me. I can’t wait to read this book. Thank you for sharing this giveaway.

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  8. I love the title and the homage…oh boy this looks so good. Thank you for the wonderful sounding review and contest..
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  9. I’ve been wanting to read this book. I like the cat on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway. My email is: norbert8bubba@yahoo.com

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  10. Very interesting story line. Would like a chance to read and review.

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  11. forgot to add email addy it is cactuspare(at)cox(dot)com

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  12. I was blessed to have recently read this book. It is terrific and any cozy fan is going to love it.

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  13. Sounds like a great book!

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  14. This sounds like a great read!

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  15. Adding to my TBR list.

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  16. Have added this to my TBR list and can’t wait to read it.

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  17. This is a new to me series and author. I’d love to win it and get to know both of the.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

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  18. Sounds very interesting. Adding it to my Wish List.

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  19. This sounds so good!!! A grumpy cat, a huge home with a library, and a possible murder to be solved – a series can’t get better than this! Would so love to read it!!

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  20. We have a winner!

    Reply

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