Thursday, July 16, 2020

Murder at Northanger Abbey...Shannon Winslow

Good evening to you. I'm happy to have you stop by my blog today! Shannon Winslow is my guest, and she is sharing an excerpt from her latest release, Murder at Northanger Abbey. I'm excited about this novel, Shannon. I have always enjoyed Northanger Abbey, and your book sounds awesome. I hope it is doing well for you. Thanks for sharing this excerpt. Enjoy, Dear Readers.

Thanks so much, Janet, for inviting me to stop by More Agreeably Engaged on my blog tour with my latest novel. This time I’ve come up with something a little different – a tongue-in-cheek murder mystery, full of intrigue, humor, and of course, romance!

I love ALL of Jane Austen’s novels, and hope to write at least one book related to each of hers. So I’m thrilled to now share my salute to Northanger Abbey – my interpretation of what happens next with Catherine and Henry Tilney in my sequel Murder at Northanger Abbey. This is a never-before-seen excerpt from chapter 2, where the main action of the book is set into motion by the arrival at Woodston parsonage of a very unexpected invitation. I hope you will enjoy this bit of banter between the newlyweds!


“What do you make of it, Henry?” Catherine asked.

They were standing in the hall, both staring in wonder at the invitation Henry held in his hand, as if it might have come from another planet, when in fact it had originated less than twenty miles away.

“It is about the last thing I expected,” said he. “I am amazed enough that my father should contemplate such a thing at all – giving a fancy-dress ball on All Hallows Eve – let alone that we should be invited to it.”

“Perhaps this time he has decided to really forgive us for marrying,” Catherine said brightly. “Perhaps the invitation is his way of showing we are now truly welcome to Northanger Abbey again.”

“I suppose it is possible,” Henry said, sounding dubious. “It would be more like him than a straightforward apology or an admission that he had been wrong in any way, which I should never expect from him in an hundred years. Still, I cannot be quite easy about it either. I wonder…”

“Do you think Eleanor will be there?” cried Catherine of a sudden, interrupting her husband. “Although I know I should call her Lady Astley, now that she is married and a viscountess. Oh, how I should love to see her again!”

Henry laughed. “Your mind leaps ahead so rapidly, my darling, that I cannot keep up. While I am still considering if we should accept this invitation, no doubt you have already decided what costume you shall wear to the event and what feats you shall perform to amaze the crowd.”

“I have done no such thing, Henry! It is only that I so long to see your sister, as I daresay you do just as strongly, if only you would admit to it. We owe so much of our happiness to her, and we never had the chance to thank her properly!”

“My dear Catherine, although I agree that my sister is everything that is virtuous and kind, you should not imagine she married a man of title and fortune just to throw my father into a more charitable humor for our sakes. You know yourself that she had long been partial to Jonathan.”

“Yes, but that is even more to the point, Henry. Cannot you see that? For Eleanor to remember us at such a time of long-awaited personal jubilation, to think of speaking to your father on our behalf when her head could have easily been too full of her own concerns and happiness for anything else… That shows how truly amiable she is.”

“Is that what it shows? How stupid of me not to have seen it. You must forgive my thick-headedness, my love. Men are so dense when it comes to social niceties. These things are far beyond me. Once again I say what I told you long ago in Bath, that no one can think more highly of women’s superior understanding than I do. As you will recall, it was (and still is) my opinion that nature has given women so much understanding, in fact, that they never find it necessary to use more than half of what they possess.”

Catherine crossed her arms and gave her husband a stern look. “I remember it very well. But you said it only because you liked to tease me.”

He leant closer so their faces were just inches apart. “That is another thing that has not changed, my dear. Whatever makes you blush must prove irresistible to me, for you are irresistible to me when you blush.” He soundly kissed her to confirm his point.

Afterward, Catherine paused a moment to catch her breath and clear her head. “Very prettily said, sir. But now we are married, you have other more pleasant ways of making me blush.”

“I know!” Henry said with a lift of his brows and a significant gleam in his dark eye.

“So you may safely leave off teasing me so often as you were used to doing.”

“Hmm. There is some merit in what you say, I suppose. But now, as for this invitation,” he said, tossing the card carelessly onto the hall table, “I am inclined to ignore it. I do not trust my father, and my instincts tell me he has something more in mind than generous hospitality and restoring family harmony.” 


Henry is right; General Tilney does have something more in mind. But of course, Henry and Catherine go to the ball anyway. If they had not, there would have been no story! Besides, as it says a little further along in this same chapter, It had been ordained. Events that absolutely required their presence were soon to unfold at Northanger; that was the material point. Catherine and Henry’s days of heroism were not over and done with yet. And so, the young couple is off on a grand and potentially life-changing adventure. I hope you’ll go along for the fun!

Well, what do you think? Do you like Northanger Abbey? Do you like the sounds of an actual murder there for Catherine to solve? I do. I'm quite fascinated. If you've read it, tell us in the comments what you think about it. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for stopping by, Shannon, and for including More Agreeably Engaged in your blog tour. It is always such a pleasure to have you visit. I hope you will stop by when you release your next new novel.

 Do you want to know more about the book? Read the back cover copy and then check out Shannon's website for all the stops on her blog tour. She has some lovely posts and excerpts to share with everyone. Thank you, Shannon.

Murder at Northanger Abbey

Sequel to Jane Austen’s Spoof on the Gothic Novel

Newly married to her beloved Henry, Catherine’s eyes are now open to the grownup pleasures of wedded life. Yet she still hasn’t quite given up her girlhood fascination with all things Gothic. When she first visited Northanger Abbey, she only imagined dreadful events had occurred there. This time the horror is all too real. There’s been a murder, and Henry has fallen under suspicion. Catherine is determined to clear her husband’s name, but at the same time, she’s afraid for her own safety, since there’s a very good chance the real murderer is still in the house.

This delightful sequel reprises the mischievous spirit of Austen’s original spoof on the Gothic novel, while giving Catherine a genuine murder mystery to unravel.


  1. Enjoyed reading Murder at Northanger Abbey> another excellent story by Ms. Winslow.

    1. Thanks, Richard! (See, you can write a review ;) )

  2. Yes,the General definitely has an ulterior motive, he is that sort of man

  3. Oh, the ominous invitation scene. I do love the scenes with Catherine and Henry together the best.

    1. Yes, Sophia! As you know from reading the book, they are separated a good deal during the story. So I seized every opportunity to get them together and tried to make the most of them. :)

  4. Have always enjoyed Catherine and Henry as a couple.


    1. Me too! They are a sweet couple, and I had fun writing scenes like this between them. And since they're now married, I had the freedom to give their romantic relationship broader scope. Keeping it PG, of course!