If you're a fan of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, then you'll know who Mary Bennet is: the rather dull and pedantic third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet.
Thanks to Katherine Cowley, we have a new look at Mary Bennet, one that sees her come into her own as a clever and observant spy, and a maturing young woman. In the Austen book, Mary was only 18 or 19; Kathy's series sees her growing into herself, and into a character that we can be quite fond of.
Kathy's first novel, The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, was published in April, 2021. It was nominated for all sorts of awards (the Edgar Awards's Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award; the Whitney Awards's Best Mystery/Thriller; and the Whitney Awards's Best Novel by a Debut Author), and rightly so! This book was a delight to read. The story honored the character created by Jane Austen, but imagined her life after Longbourn. This is the Mary we rolled our eyes at in Pride and Prejudice; now we get to see her on her own, and watch her begin to (very slowly) blossom. I appreciated seeing this new side of Mary Bennet, as she examined herself and her situation and tried to take charge of her life.
The second of the series, The True Confessions of a London Spy, was published in April, 2022. Mary is still blundering a bit, but we see her much more confident in her role as a spy. Mary in action is becoming a woman who is clever and intelligent, observant and thoughtful (and handy with a teapot). Set against the well-researched history of the period, the book is fascinating and compelling.
The third of the books, The Lady's Guide to Death and Deception, will be published in September, 2022. I am looking forward to Mary's further adventures, and have eagerly placed my preorder with our local bookseller.