Murder at Mansfield Park

General Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

By Lynn Shepherd

Publisher : St Martins Griffin (USA and Canada), Beautiful Books (UK), Allen & Unwin (Australia/NZ)

ABOUT Lynn Shepherd

Lynn Shepherd
I'm the author of Murder at Mansfield Park, a Jane Austen murder mystery. It's my first novel, though I've been a professional copywriter for ten years, and have also published a monograph with OUP.


Ever wondered what it would have been like if Jane Austen had turned her hand to murder?

Murder at Mansfield Park takes Austen’s masterpiece and turns it into a riveting murder story worthy of PD James or Agatha Christie. Just as in many classic English detective mysteries, this new novel opens with a group of characters in a country house setting, with passions running high, and simmering tensions beneath the elegant Regency surface. The arrival of the handsome and debonair Henry Crawford and his sister forces these tensions into the open, and sparks a chain of events that leads inexorably to violence and death.

Beautifully written, with an absolute faithfulness to the language in use at the time, Murder at Mansfield Park is both a good old-fashioned murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the very last page, and a sparklingly clever inversion of the original, which goes to the heart of many of the questions raised by Jane Austen’s text. Austen’s Mansfield Park is radically different from any of her other works, and much of the pleasure of Lynn Shepherd’s novel lies in the way it takes the characters and episodes in the original, and turns them into a lighter, sharper, and more playful book, with a new heroine at its centre – a heroine who owes far more to the lively and spirited Elizabeth Bennet, than the dreary and insipid Fanny Price.

A treat for Austen lovers and murder mystery aficionados alike.

“First-timer Shepherd remains true to Austen’s style while providing a sound puzzle. Janeites may be delighted or appalled, but more impartial readers will find much to enjoy.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Mary Crawford, a minor character in MansfieldPark, takes center stage in Shepherd's debut, a clever reworking of the Austen novel that's strong on plot, character, and historical accuracy... While mystery fans will find much to like, it is Austenites who will be most gratified, particularly by how well Shepherd has captured the tone of Austen's original. For anyone who thought Henry Crawford deserved Fanny or who has a problem with vampires and ghouls invading Jane Austen's world, this will be a delight."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"221B Baker Street meets Mansfield Park in this debut Regency whodunit... Faithful to Austen's elegant style without being mawkish, Shepherd's knockoff puts a playful, irreverent twist on a beloved classic. Verdict Some Austen purists will be outraged at the liberties taken with the characters, but others will delight in the changes of the insipid Fanny, who is not one of literature's more popular heroines. Sure to appeal as well to fans of British murder mysteries of the Anne Perry, M.C. Beaton, and Agatha Christie varieties."
Library Journal

"The language throughout is delightful and lends a particular charm to the novel. Wholly in keeping with the times but I can see that Shepherd is having fun now and again, dragging out perfectly innocent conversations to almost comic proportions. Lovely stuff... There are some nice twists and turns along the way before the whole unhappy and complex story is laid bare before us. And some lives are changed forever. In essence, a rollicking good story."