Jane Goes Batty
Michael Thomas Ford
Ballantine, Feb 1 2011, $14.00
In Brakeston, New York owner of Flyleaf Books, Jane Fairfax now understands being careful what you wish for as you may get it. She has raged for years as her Austen books and their rip-offs sell without her receiving a royalty check having written them two centuries ago before Byron changed her into a vampire. Adding insult is that her last manuscript as Jane Austen, Constance, was rejected a zillion times. That has changed as Kelly Littlejohn of Browden Publishing of New York buys the rights and Constance is a colossal bestseller.
The world wants more from Jane Fairfax bookstore owner and bestselling author. She struggles with concealing her vampire condition and her birth identity though Byron tries to mentor her. Jane fears another biting engagement with a jealous Bronte. Meanwhile a suspicious editor believes the plot was stolen from a lost Bronte novel. Hollywood and groupies have invaded the small village, and her boyfriend Walter’s mother Miriam arrives expecting Jane to convert. As the writer struggles with a new novel after not writing for centuries, she also wonders whether a vampire can be Jewish, Miriam carries a big stick.
The second Jane the contemporary vampire tale (see Jane Bites Back) is an amusing satire that spoofs the Austen sub-genre including the novels by Michael Thomas Ford. The story line is fast-paced as Jane fears she will be exposed as a modern day fraud, a biting vampire, a great Regency author or simply batty. With references to literature that are fun, the Austen crowd will enjoy her escapades as she now knows the tsuris of what she now hopes is fifteen minutes of fame.