Jane Austen and mystery fans – get ready for a book that will surprise and delight you! I’m not sure why I didn’t start reading these books sooner, but now I want to go through and read them all (**sigh – if there was only enough time**).
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About the BookJane and the Final Mystery
Author Stephanie Barron
Published by Soho Press
on October 24, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical, Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional, Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
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The final volume of the critically acclaimed mystery series featuring Jane Austen as amateur sleuth
March 1817: As winter turns to spring, Jane Austen’s health is in slow decline, and threatens to cease progress on her latest manuscript. But when her nephew Edward brings chilling news of a death at his former school, Winchester College, not even her debilitating ailment can keep Jane from seeking out the truth. Arthur Prendergast, a senior pupil at the prestigious all-boys’ boarding school, has been found dead in a culvert near the schoolgrounds—and in the pocket of his drenched waistcoat is an incriminating note penned by the young William Heathcote, the son of Jane’s dear friend Elizabeth. Winchester College is a world unto itself, with its own language and rites of passage, cruel hazing and dangerous pranks. Can Jane clear William’s name before her illness gets the better of her?
Over the course of fourteen previous novels in the critically acclaimed Being a Jane Austen Mystery series, Stephanie Barron has won the hearts of thousands of fans—crime fiction aficionados and Janeites alike—with her tricky plotting and breathtaking evocation of Austen’s voice. Now, she brings Jane’s final season—and final murder investigation—to brilliant, poignant life in this unforgettable conclusion.
How have I been in the dark about a series that is intriguing, lovely, and delightful to read!? Barron easily brought me back in time with her historic dialogue, penmanship, and research. Be careful, historic dialogue is contagious and you may find yourself talking to the person behind you in line at the grocery store like Jane and the supporting cast! Barron stayed true to the time period throughout the entire novel, and I appreciated that. Some authors can slip into current lingo here and there, especially with descriptions, but not the case here. Every word was well thought out and placed.
I enjoyed the mystery as well. As a reader, I want to solve the mystery when the characters do, not know within the first few pages how it’s going to wrap up. I thought Barron did a great job in keeping my on my toes, and allowing me to enjoy the process and the story itself.
Though this is part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone. Your only regret, as is mine, is that you didn’t catch it from the beginning. The good news is that now you’ll have 14 books to add to your reading list! I highly recommend this well penned novel for Austen fans and historic fans alike.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Stephanie Barron is a graduate of Princeton and Stanford, where she received her Masters in History as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in the Humanities. Her novel, THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN (Ballantine, January 22, 2019) traces the turbulent career of Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill’s captivating American mother. Barron is perhaps best known for the critically acclaimed Jane Austen Mystery Series, in which the intrepid and witty author of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE details her secret detective career in Regency England. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA, Stephanie—who also writes under the name Francine Mathews—drew on her experience in the field of espionage for such novels as JACK 1939, which The New Yorker described as “the most deliciously high-concept thriller imaginable.” She lives and works in Denver, CO.
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