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Charlie Lovett first delighted readers with his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bookman’s Tale. Now, Lovett weaves another brilliantly imagined mystery, this time featuring one of English literature’s most popular and beloved authors, Jane Austen.
Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.
In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the ageing cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.
‘For bibliophiles everywhere, this is a joyous mystery from the present day to Victorian England and back to Shakespearean England. Charlie Lovett’s The Bookman’s Tale is about the thrill of the chase, obsession, love, passion and the joy of discovery.’
‘The Bookman’s Tale is a homage to antiquarian book collectors, a journey in grief, a whodunnit and more rolled into one.’
‘Ardent fans of Jane Austen and lovers of a gripping story will enjoy following Sophie’s pursuit of the truth.’
‘[A] racy tale of literary secrets, publishers, writers, bibliophiles and crooks, and features some clever parallels with Pride and Prejudice and with Austen’s own life.’
‘First Impressions is a surprising match made in heaven…remarkably entertaining. If you like mysteries, Jane Austen, dashing heroes, nefarious villains, rare books, and witty female protagonists then this is a book you will enjoy.’
‘Lovett skilfully blends fact with fiction and the “what if” scenario on which the plot hangs generates more than enough mystery to make this a real page-turner with an exciting climax…a marvellous cast of characters, some of whom will certainly have the reader wondering about their honesty and their motivations.’