Title: Murder Most Persuasive
Author: Tracy Kiely
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: 4 out of 5
Elizabeth Parker is with her family, mourning the loss of her great-uncle Martin when they receive shocking news. The new owners of Uncle Martin’s second home in St. Michaels, Maryland have discovered a body underneath the pool’s foundations. Suspicion immediately falls on Uncle Martin’s family, and it’s up to Elizabeth to find the real killer and clear her cousin’s name.
In the third of Tracy Kiely's Jane Austen-inspired mysteries (after Murder at Longbourn and Murder on the Bride's Side), Elizabeth Parker is back with an all new mystery to solve. Elizabeth has gained quite a reputation within her family for her sleuthing skills, so she is drawn into this latest case almost against her will. She has learned how dangerous it can be to take it upon herself to solve a murder mystery, but cannot refuse her cousin's pleas for help.
Once again, Tracy Kiely does an exceptional job developing the secondary characters in her novel. Elizabeth's sister plays a prominent role in Murder Most Persuasive, and she is definitely a piece of work. I found her incredibly frustrating at times, but of course, Kiely gave her hidden depth, and it was satisfying when that emerged. Though there are many new characters introduced, the reader comes to know and care about them due to Kiely's expert character development. Elizabeth's cousin Ann was a personal favorite, and I rooted for her from beginning to end.
I've mentioned this in all my reviews of books from this series, but I believe it bears repeating - though these books are Austen inspired, they actually have little to do with the author. Elizabeth spouts Austen's wisdom often, and the novels bear a very loose resemblance to Austen's books (Murder Most Persuasive is based on Persuasion), but you shouldn't let that stop you from picking up this book. I'm pretty tired of the Austen explosion, and tend to avoid retellings and such, but these novels are creative and stand on their own. I've enjoyed each of these books immensely, and Murder Most Persuasive is no exception.
If you're looking for a smart mystery with a great main character and well-written plot, look no further. Murder Most Persuasive is fun, gripping, and will keep the reader guessing through its many twists and turns. I can't wait for the fourth book in the series to see what Elizabeth is up to next.