It is virtually impossible for a mystery writer to read this and not think about murder. Or imagine that perhaps the clergyman was no clergyman at all, but a notorious smuggler known by his soubriquet of The Reverend--because he was a "man of the cloth," a dealer in smuggled silks.
In this sense, Man of the Cloth is a true mosaic of fact and fiction, a sort of treasure hunt for readers familiar with Letter No. 39. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to do so--and then compare Jane's actual life with the adventure I give her in my book. It is essential, too, to reread Persuasion--her love song to Lyme, and the possibility of love triumphant, the most poignant and heartfelt, in my opinion, of her novels.