August 20, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarJONES, Kelly. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore. 304p. Knopf. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553535204.

Gr 9 Up –A cross between Jane Austen dramas and Harriet the Spy, this delightful strong female–led title mixes historical fiction and spy mystery with a touch of magic to produce a story filled with adventure. Sixteen-year-old Annis Whitworth leads a privileged existence in 19th-century London when she learns about her father’s tragic death. Suspecting foul play, she sets out to discover the truth behind his mysterious accident and his peripatetic lifestyle. Placing herself on a dangerous path that reveals secrets she may not be prepared to hear, Annis, along with her daring maid, Millie, sets herself up as a disguised dressmaker in a suburb of London. Using her newfound talent to sew magical glamours, which create alternative identities, Annis goes to extremes to get the answers she wants. Though her aunt and guardian, Cassia, appears to be unaware of Annis’s exploits, she reveals herself to be a larger part of the puzzle than Annis could ever have imagined. Rejecting conventions of the time period, Jones infuses her female characters with boldness, intelligence, and wit. The heroine is not shy about devouring food and has aspirations that do not involve marrying a rich man, making this a refreshing take on women in the 1800s. The quirky humor further enhances the book. VERDICT Teens will find this a perfect, modern introduction to Regency novels that portrays confident female role models. An excellent addition to high school libraries.–Karin Greenberg, Queens College, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2017 issue.

Share
Day of Dialog | Brooklyn
Coinciding with Brooklyn Book Festival, this special-engagement event on September 15 will feature both Festival and metropolitan-area authors with panels modeled on Library Journal and School Library Journal’s long-running and annually sold-out Day of Dialog events. Get the inside scoop on the hottest new books—plus book giveaways and author signings!
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*