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dimanche 26 juin 2011

Jane and the Barque of Frailty

Par Stephanie Barron, Bantam, Jane Austen 9

«Othe heels of completing Sense and Sensibility, Jane heads to Sloane Street for a monthlong visit with her brother Henry and hiw wife, Eliza. Hobnobbing with the Fashionable Great at the height of the Season, Jane is well aware of their secrets and peccadilloes. But even she is surprised when the intimate correspondence between a Russian princess and a prominent Tory minister is published in the papers for all to see. More shocking, the disgraced beauty is soon found with her throat slit on Lord Castlereagh's very doorstep. Everyone who's anyone in high society is certain the spurned princess committed the violence upon herself. But Jane is unconvinced. Nor does she believe the minister guilty of so grisly and public a crime. Jane, however, is willing to let someone else investigate—until a quirk of fate thrusts her and Eliza into the heart of the case... as prime suspects! Striking a bargain with the authorities, Jane secures seven days to save herself and Eliza from hanging. But as her quest to unmask a killer takes her from the halls of government to the drawing rooms of London's most celebrated courtesan, only one thing is sure: her failure will not only cut short her life. It could lead to England's downfall.»

J'ai retrouvé avec plaisir Jane Austen, la détective chevronnée, et son entourage victorien si délicieusement singulier! Une intrigue complexe que celle-ci et qui m'a tenue en haleine jusqu'aux dernières pages... mais dont la fin m'a incroyablement déçue. Qu'on m'offre un flou volontaire quant au véritable déroulement d'une affaire aussi touffue, aux personnages multiples et aux nombreux coupables possibles m'a déplue. Cela dit, il s'agit d'une fin très plausible en regard des outils judiciaires de l'époque et qui met en lumière que la réalité n'est jamais vraiment aussi limpide qu'on le désirerait; jadis, tout comme maintenant, les redresseurs de tort ont nagé plus souvent qu'autrement en eaux troubles...



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