The Suspicion at Sanditon (Or, the Disappearance of Lady Denham)
This seventh volume in Bebris’ mystery series featuring Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy finds the couple visiting the seaside village of Sanditon, the setting of Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel. There they find Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte Heywood and an acquaintance of Darcy’s, Thomas Parker, who wants to develop Sanditon into a fashionable resort. Shortly after the Darcys’ arrival, Lady Denham, a wealthy, childless widow, invites them to a dinner party at her mansion, Sanditon House. Thirteen guests, including several potential heirs of Lady Denham, assemble for dinner, but the hostess fails to appear. Did one of the heirs kidnap Lady Denham so she wouldn’t change her will? As a storm rages, the Darcys lead a search, but then the other guests start disappearing, one by one, and the servants tell stories of Sanditon House being haunted by the ghosts of its former owner and a young girl who disappeared in the previous century. Are the kidnappings the work of human or spirit?
The book is suspenseful and hard to put down. This series is a delight for the Austen fan, as the Darcys interact with characters from Austen’s other works. It is not necessary to have read the other volumes first.