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As Christmas of 1804 approaches, Jane Austen finds herself "insupportably bored with Bath, and the littleness of a town." It is with relief that she accepts a peculiar commission from her Gentleman Rogue, Lord Harold Trowbridge--to shadow his niece, Lady Desdemona, who has fled to Bath to avoid the attentions of the unsavoury Earl of Swithin.
But Jane's idle diversion turns deadly when a man is discovered stabbed to death in the Theatre Royal. Adding to the mystery is an unusual object found on the victim's body--a pendant that contains a portrait of an eye As Jane's fascination with scandal leads her deeper into the investigation, it becomes clear that she will not uncover the truth without some dangerous playacting of her own....
"A glimpse of what Jane Austen's world was like, as well as an intriguing mystery."—Rocky Mountain News
"Barron seamlessly weaves...a delightful and lively tale....Period details bring immediacy to a neatly choreographed dance through Bath society."—Publishers Weekly
"Barron's high level of invention testifies to an easy acquaintance with upper-class life and culture in Regency England and a fine grasp of Jane Austen's own literary style—not to mention a mischievous sense of fun."—The New York Times Book Review