Jane Goes Batty
Michael Thomas Ford
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Buy *Jane Goes Batty* by Michael Thomas Ford online

Jane Goes Batty
Michael Thomas Ford
304 pages
February 2011
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Fresh off his previous outing, Ford’s latest adventure finds Jane living in the quaint town of Brakeston, managing her Flyleaf Bookstore with her best friend, Lucy. For the past few months (following the attack by an undead and very angry Charlotte Bronte), handsome Lord Byron has been teaching Jane how to use her supernatural powers.

On the cusp of marriage to Walter, immortal Jane is being pushed by Byron into a world of “glamoring” and “invisibility" even when she's reluctant to assume the mantle. Jane must also deal with the Austen-themed tours organized by irritating Beverly Shrop and her group of "romance addicted minions." Thank god Jane's latest novel, Constance, has finally been published and she can rely on the support of her editor, Kelly Littlejohn.

At least for now, no one else - apart from Lucy - knows her true identity. Further complicating matters is the arrival in Brackson of a production crew to film the movie adaptation of Constance. Irritated that the crew possess little or next to no knowledge of culture and literature, Jane is appalled to discover several changes have been made to the script without her consent.

Feeling hijacked by all sides, Jane has yet to tell Walter she’s a vampire, a situation that is becoming more difficult to excuse. Although Walter is still the current focus of Jane’s affection, he's suspicious of the dashing Lord Byron, a man he knows Jane was once involved with. Walter knows that Constance is a love letter to Byron and that the story was colored by the poet’s "infamous melancholy."

An anxious Jane knows she must eventually place aside her immortal needs in favor of the practical weight of love. When Miriam, Walter’s officious mother, arrives, she brings in tow all of the demands of being Jewish, along with a strangely mysterious three-legged dog. Her cold, unfriendly and oppressive countenance sets Jane on edge. This woman will do whatever it takes to prevent Jane from marrying her precious son.

Walter stumbles in a mix of weariness and resignation while Jane decides what to do about Miriam’s strange connection to Beverly Shrop. Added to the mix is Chloe, a pop star turned Hollywood actress whose stormy demands disrupt the filming of Constance. Not to be left out is the group of legendary vampire hunters lurking beneath the surface of Brakeston, hiding their evil intent under a cloak of affability.

Save the occasionally silly scene (a croquet game that doesn’t quite work), the novel is a fitting sequel to Jane Bites Back. Filled with sly humor and fast-paced quips, this delightful romp sees Jane and Byron solving an unexpected murder while an old adversary makes a startling comeback. In a tale that unfolds with panache and elan, Ford's Jane is as lovely and as ladylike as ever, her vital spirit a perfect reflection of literary heroine chic.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Michael Leonard, 2011

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