Victoria, what made you decide to write The Mansfield Park Murders?
I had already written The Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the Village of Jane Austen’s Emma and The Meryton Murders: A Mystery Set in the Town of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. After each novel appeared, several readers asked me to please write another.
Some readers say that Mansfield Park is their least favorite Jane Austen novel. Would they still like The Mansfield Park Murders?
I’ve heard many Jane Austen admirers say that Mansfield Park is their least favorite of her novels because they don’t care for the heroine, Fanny Price, who is so retiring and timid. But whether you love or hate Fanny Price doesn’t matter for The Mansfield Park Murders, as Fanny doesn’t have a big role in The Mansfield Park Murders. Instead I focused on her younger sister, Susan Price. Susan was described by Austen as being “fearless,” which makes her a better protagonist for a murder mystery. Besides, when Fanny marries Edmund, she moves to Thornton Lacey, so she would not even be living at Mansfield Park.