Sunday, January 30, 2011
There Must Be Murder...a Northanger Abbey Sequel
Posted by JaneGS
I had planned on reading Margaret Sullivan's new Northanger Abbey sequel, There Must Be Murder, sometime this year, but when I won a copy of the book on Austenblog.com I treated myself to reading it almost as soon as it arrived.
A perfect tonic for the mid-winter blahs, There Must Be Murder includes all of my favorite parts of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey--namely, the wit and charm of Henry Tilney, the interesting and picturesque setting of Bath, the innocence of Catherine as she continues to learn life's lessons, and the joys of immersing oneself in a good novel.
The novel picks up the NA story three months after Henry and Catherine are married and the premise is that they return to Bath to celebrate the first anniversary of their meeting there. I am happy to report that the couple is blissfully satisfied with married life--Henry reads The Mysteries of Udolpho to Catherine, continues to make her laugh with his arch commentary, and is more than happy to let her adore him.
Despite the ominous title, the plot is gently satirical, soft-boiled, and entirely enjoyable. Catherine discovers a rival for Henry's affections, Catherine is pursued by a rake, General Tilney is courting a likely murderess (aka The Merry Widow), and Catherine and Henry are revealed to be potty about dogs and indifferent, if not hostile to cats. Who knew?!
Finally, the illustrations by Cassandra Chouinard are absolutely charming. Here's a wonderful example, featuring MacGuffin, the Tilney's Newfoundland.
A quick read, There Must Be Murder, is a treat for Janeites and a must for those of us who are consider themselves players on Team Tilney.