Murder, Magic, and What We Wore (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

As a tireless fan of fantasy and historical fiction this story had everything to reel me in, it’s set in Regency England, there’s magic and frivolousness. Jones brings feminist themes by featuring strong women making a living for themselves. A maid is a main character and conspirator with the protagonist; class lines are crossed as they are made meaningless through the friendship of the women.

The voice of Annis in your mind is a great thing to have if you’re struggling to figure out what you’re good at and what’s worth working hard for. She’s determined to do things her way, and she puts herself in danger for good reasons.

This story is suggested for ages twelve and up; it earned this rating most likely because it deals with the topic of unwanted advances from a man. The story sends a positive message that unwanted advances are serious, and that good friends take care of you and make you feel stronger if it happens. In this story, all the blame falls on the man, and the women of the story band together universally in their severe dismissal of him. If you’re ready to bring up this topic with your reader, regardless of age, then this book can serve as a safe place to start.

-- Anna

— From Anna S. Staff Picks


Fans of Patrice Kindl's Keeping the Castle or Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's Sorcery and Cecelia will adore this funny Regency-era mystery about a determined young woman with a magical trick up her sleeve . . .

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England's current spymasters--not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can't be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?

"Murder, Magic, and What We Wore blew my bonnet off. Kelly Jones has found a fresh way to share the delights of the magical regency. I truly love this book " --Caroline Stevermer, coauthor of Sorcery & Cecilia, or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot

"A deliciously enchanting adventure full of magic, mystery and delight." --Stephanie Burgis, author of Kat, Incorrigible

About the Author

KELLY JONES has worked as a librarian and a bookseller, and now turns her talents to fiction. Her first book, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, was an Indies Introduce Pick, an ALA Notable Book, an SLJ Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book. You can find her at her website:, or on Twitter: @curiosityjones.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780553535204
ISBN-10: 055353520X
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English