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  • Entertaining Historical Mystery

    May 1816. Jane feels unwell, and added to this the problems of her family, she intends to visit Cheltenham Spa for a rest. Accompanied by her sister Cassandra, they stay at an Inn which contain a number of people with their own concerns. But is there a murderer in the area. Jane decides to investigates. A historical mystery, entertaining and well-written. With its cast of varied and likeable characters it is another good addition to the series, which can easily be read as a standalone story.

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  • Gorgeous Writing, Wonderful Story!

    Set in 1816 England in the summer which wasn't a summer, Jane Austen and her sister, Cassandra, travel to Cheltenham Spa on the advisement of an apothecarist to treat various ailments which are beginning to appear. Such a sad period in Jane's life...especially as her fans know what is coming. She decides to fund the trip with her earnings from her novel, Emma. Her family is struggling in several ways, including financially, so this is a treat of sorts. But other guests have problems, too. And this includes murder which is certainly not what the Austens expected. It is not difficult to envision Jane doing some sleuthing in real life! Mount Tambora has erupted and blankets the skies for many, many months. This must have looked weirdly mysterious. What an experience. Stephanie Barron is genius at writing authentically and splendidly in Jane's Regency era using spelling and vernacular of the time. I had to remind myself that this was written recently! Her descriptions are breathtaking, such as the spa, dress and mannerisms. Though conjecture based on historical facts, the story is so believable that it makes perfect sense and even the most die-hard fans (such as me!) would approve. There is more than "just" the mystery including relationships, especially those of sisters and friendships including that of Jane and painter Raphael West. When this series first came out I was reluctant to read the first book as a rabid Jane Austen fan and worried it would not measure up. But I was so very wrong! This, the fourteenth, is my favourite thus far. What fun to anticipate what Barron has in mind for the next. Historical Fiction readers ought to seek out this series, well worth your time. It is lovely, haunting, heartbreaking, refreshingly clean and absolutely wonderful! I immerse myself and allow the stories to carry me away, utterly and completely. My sincere thank you to Soho Press and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this magnificent book. Pure joy.

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