PRAISE FOR THE JANE AUSTEN MYSTERIES
Stephanie Barron['s]...writing is so joyous and clever and entertaining that it might have been written by the great Austen herself.
In Barron's superb 10th Jane Austen mystery (after 2006's Jane and the Barque of Frailty), the death of a beloved relative prompts the author of Pride and Prejudice and her brother Henry to journey to Brighton in the spring of 1813 in the hope of raising their spirits. En route, Jane and Henry rescue a girl of about 15, Catherine Twining, whom they find with wrists bound with what looks like a gentleman's cravat in a chaise outside an inn. Within days, Catherine turns up dead in Lord Byron's bed at the King's Arms in Brighton, though the poet claims innocence. Gossipy detail concerning Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb seasons the plot, whose pace never feels rushed despite the short time frame. Barron's ability to capture Austen's tone ("one tires of nothing so quickly as benevolence") helps make this series one of the more literary and enjoyable of the pseudo-Austen oeuvre.
As always, Barron does an excellent job of capturing
Austen's first-person voice, and she gives lavish attention, as well, to period detail... [Fans]... will be delighted to
learnin an appended Q & A with the authorthat an eleventh installment in the series is already
Series and historical fans are in for a treat!
Having studied European history at Princeton and counterterrorism with the CIA, Stephanie Barron is as qualified as anybody to do the impossible: write a plausible mystery novel about Jane Austen. Barron's basic conceit is surprisingly persuasive: the same qualities that made Austen a brilliant writer make her an ace detective, namely, her quick wit and her psychological acuity. Barron's cause is also aided by her deft marshaling of historical detail the textiles alone (Sprigged muslin! Bombazine!) are worth the price of admission and, of course, a dash of genuine erotic friction between Jane and the roguish Lord Harold. Barron is scrupulously faithful to the historical record, so we know that Jane will never actually get married. But shouldn't we let her and Barron and ourselves have a little fun along the way?
TIME Magazine ("If You Read Only One Mystery Novel This Summer...")
Delightful... Ms. Barron's skillful rendering of Austen's style, attuned to picking up the most delicate fluctuations in social behavior, reveals it to be an ideal vehicle for the classic cozy murder mystery. Who knew?
The New York Times Book Review
Barron does a wonderful job of evoking the great British estates and the woes of spinsters living in that era... often echoing the rhythms of the Austen novels with uncanny ease.
Happily succeeds on all levels: A robust tale of manners and mayhem that faithfully reproduces the Austen style and engrosses to the finish.
Well-conceived, stylishly written, plotted with a nice twist... and brought off with a voice that works both for its time and our own.
Booknews from The Poisoned Pen
A lighthearted mystery... the most fun is that Jane Austen' is in the middle of it, witty and logical, a foil to some of the ladies who primp, faint and swoon.
The Denver Post
Historical fiction at its best.
People who lament Jane Austen's minimal lifetime output... now have cause to rejoice.
The Drood Review of Mystery
Stephanie Barron also writes contemporary thrillers under the name Francine Mathews. Click here for more information.
All content copyright 2005-2017, Stephanie Barron/Francine Mathews.