Review by Shelly Quade
When I opened my package in the mail the other day, and removed Murder Most Persuasive from its cardboard envelope, I did not anticipate enjoying this novel to the degree that occurred. The third book featuring protagonist Elizabeth Parker, a young woman who quotes Jane Austen and solves any mystery she can get her hands on, this book was a quick read and a great mystery.
To summarize, this book begins with the funeral of Elizabeth Parker’s great-uncle, a rich man who has been ill for some time. This death merely opens the novel and introduces key characters, however – it is really a much older murder that is the focus of the mystery and plot of this novel. Layered on top of and melting into the murder mystery plotline, like the cheese in a dish of lasagna, are numerous allusions to the plotline of Persuasion.
These allusions are fun, and reminded me that I adore the novel Persuasion, (Same here. –Ed.) and it is probably time to re-read it. Overall, however, the novel is a mystery novel. There are allusions to Austen’s novel, as well as numerous quotes alluding to all of her works, yet this novel is only going to interest those who are avid fans of mystery (of which I am one). If you are one of those individuals who grew up on a healthy diet of Agatha Christie, however, this novel is one that you will thoroughly enjoy.
The plot itself is a solid mystery plot, but the real reason to read this novel is for the clever writing and the awesome characters. This novel does a great job of pointing out the ridiculous that exists in everyday situations. People are funny, and by making her characters plausible while pointing out their flaws in a humorous manner, Kiely has exhibited her skills in a manner that will keep readers entertained for as many sequels as she chooses to write.
The ending might be slightly predictable, particularly for those who frequently read mysteries, but Kiely makes the journey to that ending enjoyable. If you’re an Austen fan and a mystery fan, you will devour this book.
I received a review copy of Murder Most Persuasive free of charge, though my opinions are uninfluenced and my review reflects my true impressions and feelings.