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What Happened on Box Hill: Austen University Mysteries
by Elizabeth Gilliland
About What Happened on Box Hill
What Happened on Box Hill: Austen University Mysteries
1st in Series
Setting – Louisianna
Bayou Wolf Press (February 1, 2022)
ASIN : B09KQZZPJF
What would happen if you combined all of Jane Austen’s characters into one modern-day novel?
Murder, of course.
When Caty Morland’s roommate, Isabella, falls to her death on Initiation night, Austen University is quick to cover up the scandal and call it a tragic accident. But avid true-crime lover Caty remains convinced that Isabella didn’t fall; she was murdered. With the help of Pi Kappa Sigma President Emma Woodhouse, Caty organizes a dinner party with the most likely suspects, including familiar faces such as Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Knightley, and Marianne Dashwood. The theme of the night is murder, and Caty has three courses to find out what happened to Isabella–and to try to keep the killer from striking again.
Lizzy Bennet’s Glossary for Understanding the Greek Cult
Hey everyone, my name’s Lizzy Bennet and I’m a sophomore at Austen University majoring in journalism. I am also, reluctantly, a member of a sorority.
I know what you’re thinking–why would any sane human being willingly sign up to be brainwashed and factory reset to a trophy wife who’s great at beer pong? (Don’t get mad at me–you’re the one thinking it.) Look, I know all the sorority stereotypes, and some of them are definitely true (why is everyone so tan???), but there are also some perks–like the scholarships, the networking opportunities, the lifelong friendships. And, okay, maybe a very petty part of me pledged just to prove to a few snobs I could make the final cut. (Which I did, for the record.)
Whatever your reason for joining a sorority, if you don’t come from a legacy family, you may be confused by some of the lingo (as in, you have no idea what a legacy family is, so how are you supposed to know if you’re from one?). You may be doubly confused if you don’t come from the South (bless your soul). Luckily for you, I’ve put together a quick guide of the terms you might want to know before you decide to rush.
*Disclaimer* These are not the Merriam-Webster approved definitions, so be prepared for some snark. Or as my Southern friends might call it, sassafras! (Okay, so I’ve never heard anyone actually say that in real life, but I keep hoping that someday I will.)
Sister – Your fellow sorority member–aka the person who either loves or hates you the most in the entire world, or both! (Just like a real sister…?)
Bid – Congratulations! The sorority of your choice wants YOU! Your wildest fantasies are about to come true. All you need to do now is pay the exorbitant fees, hang out with a bunch of strangers for points, and do everything the older girls tell you to do. Just like you dreamed of when you were a little girl.
Chapter – Don’t worry, this term is not in reference to a book. (Ew. No one joins a sorority to read!)) Once you get a bid from your dream sorority, you’ll never have to bother your little old self with learning again. Let the man do all the thinking for you now, honey–your job is to look pretty and pop out babies (but never out of wedlock–God forbid!).
Y’all – “You all.” I actually have no beef with this one. It’s pretty efficient.
Big and Little – Joining a sorority can be a confusing process. Luckily each new member (Little) is paired with an older member (Big) who will take you under her wing. And then she will use that wing to try to suffocate you for getting her coffee order wrong, when you aren’t busy doing her laundry, finishing her homework, and running to the pharmacy at three in the morning because she’s out of gum.
Legacy – You come from a long line of members of the same sorority–your mama was a member, and her mama, and her sister’s cousin Tammy, too. You’re a shoe-in, as long as your family still has all that legacy money to pay people to like you.
Bless Your Heart – Screw you.
Pledge – A poor, naive, trusting little baby freshman who hands her fate over to a sorority, much like Ariel handing over her voice to Ursula the sea witch. Poor, unfortunate soul.
Coke – There’s nothing simple in the South. Not even a seemingly straightforward question like, “Want a coke?” In the South, “coke” doesn’t just mean the name brand soda, Coke–that would be much too obvious. (As Billie Eilish once said, “Duh.”) Coke means any soda–so you better make sure you know which kind your Big wants so you don’t get the wrong brand only to have her throw it at your head. (True story? I’ll leave that up to your discretion to decide.)
Rush – The time period in which a pledge determines which sorority she wants to join–aka the brief window of time where everyone at every sorority will pretend you’re the greatest thing since Pokemon GO to your face, but bitch about your cankles and your bad breath behind your back. Aw, bonding!
Initiation – The night when all your dreams come true, and you finally become a full-fledged member of the sorority! If you manage to survive everything that leads up to that point, that is. Not everyone does. Just ask Isabella Thorpe.
About Elizabeth Gilliland
Elizabeth Gilliland teaches English at the university level, putting as much Austen into her syllabi as she can get away with. In 2018, she completed her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, where she wrote her dissertation on Jane Austen adaptations and fever-dreamed this series in a caffeine-induced haze. She is a proud member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and excerpts of the Austen University series have won awards through JASNA and Jane Austen & Co/The Jane Austen Summer Program. She lives in Alabama with her husband and son.
Twitter: @egilliland7 – https://twitter.com/egilliland7
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