- N. N. Light
The Jane Austen Murders (Kindle Vella) by @peggy_jaeger is a Mystery and Suspense pick #mystery
Title: THE JANE AUSTEN MURDERS (A Kindle Vella Novel)
Author: Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Crime/drama; murder mystery
Homicide Detective Elizabeth Bennett and senior partner Frank Churchill are called to Longbourne College when the body of student Charlotte Lucas is found bludgeoned to death.
The scholarship student had a healthy supply of designer clothes, jewelry, and a safe deposit box loaded with cash. Where did she get them?
Charlotte had a very antagonistic relationship with her English professor, Dr. Darcy, and he soon becomes the primary suspect. But did he do it?
The interiors the Longbourne buildings were identical in composition and layout. Marble floors and ornate caste iron railings were a product of the original architectural design. The detectives walked up two flights, the hallways eerily silent save for the echo of their feet.
“Class is in session,” Lizzy stated, when Frank commented on the quiet.
They made their way to auditorium G. Frank opened the door and Lizzy saw they were at the top of a coliseum-style room. Below them were aisles and rows of chairs, forming a huge amphitheater with the instructor at the bottom of the chamber.
Lizzy followed her partner into a vacant row and took a seat on the aisle.
From her vantage point Dr. Darcy’s voice was quite clear as he spoke at the front of the room from behind a podium. Her vision of the professor was restricted, though, due to the height and distance she and Frank were. She could see his hair was dark, his skin light. He wore a nondescript pullover, a sports jacket over that. Trousers, not jeans, covered his legs. He could be tall, she thought. He certainly wasn’t short, with most of his upper body showing above the pulpit.
“Guy’s got good pipes,” Frank said, “for a teacher. Makes it hard to fall asleep listening to someone like that.”
Lizzy understood what he meant. The voice was steeped in a calm, controlled timbre that commanded authority. Darcy wasn’t American, and Lizzy was surprised at that. English, born and bred, if she wasn’t mistaking the accent. A small flicker sparked in her stomach as she listened to him deliver his lecture, never once referring to any notes or cards.
He spoke of love. Tortured, unrequited love, and how it could kill a young woman’s very being through its harsh, unrewarded and unknown existence. To never know what it feels like to have another’s love returned to you in the same vein, at the same measure. A love so strong-willed it could overtake and outstrip a heart and mind of its very desire to live.
A love, so pure, so complete, and so wanting, that it caused nothing but heartache for the one who felt it.
Lizzy blinked a few times. Darcy’s lyrical voice conjured up a daydream where she’d actually seen the picture he was describing.
A young woman, innocent and heartbroken, felled by unrequited love.
She spied her own face atop that imagined female form.
“What?” Frank whispered, turning to her. “What’s wrong?”
A brisk, full shaking of her head almost cleared the fog. “Sorry. I didn’t realize I spoke out loud.”
“You okay? You look a little pasty.”
“Yeah. I think I just need to eat something. I’ll be fine.”
When his eyes narrowed and he continued to stare at her, Lizzy knew he could see more than she liked. She sat forward and heard the bell ring at the same time.
“Good,” she said, rising, hoping he didn’t hear the relief in her sigh. “Let’s go.” She was two rows in front of him by the time he moved to join her.
The students, all female, were gathering up their things and exiting via the bottom amphitheater door. Lizzy watched several make their way to the front of the room to surround their instructor. She slowed, knowing it would be a few moments before the throng thinned. The further she got down the steps, the clearer Darcy’s face became.
She was correct when she took him for tall rather than short. At least six-one, he was a full head above most of the girls swarming around him. On closer inspection, the dark curly hair was flecked with silver at the temples. Unlike Bingley’s, Darcy’s hair was not in need of a trim. Full, perfectly arched brows sat over eyes whose color she had yet to ascertain. His cheeks were etched into two hollows that ended in a square, brick hard, jaw.
Lizzy stood on the bottom step, hands in her pockets as she and Frank waited for the professor to be free.
“Guy’s got a fan club,” Frank whispered.
“I see that,” she answered, her gaze staying on Darcy, one delicate eyebrow bending upwards in conjunction with the opposite corner of her mouth.
It was at that moment Darcy looked up and their eyes met over the head of one of his students.
His eyes were blue. Solid, deep, and intermingled with shards of silvery gray.
Darcy’s perusal never left her face as the student before him asked a question.
Lizzy realized that neither she nor the professor had blinked once since his gaze found hers. The sting of moisture drying within them, blurry the vision, finally made her lids do their job.
She watched Darcy when her sight cleared and focused again. He shook his head once, blinked a few times and then turned back towards his student, intent on what was being said to him.
Amazon Kindle Vella: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09LZ4G9WC
What makes your featured book a must-read?
The Kindle Vella universe is still a new one – a little over a year old. But the stories on the platform are varied and unique. What makes The Jane Austen Murders a must read can be summed up with a sample of one reader’s review: “Jane Austen would approve!” If you like Austen, you’ll recognize a whole world of her beloved characters here, brought to the modern world, and given lives befitting their well known personalities.
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Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Authors database: https://authorsdb.com/community/15814-peggy-jaeger