My Top 20 Favorite Austenesque Books of 2009

Another year – another plethora of Austen inspired sequels, re-tellings, mash-ups and nonfiction fare devoured!

In 2009 we saw zombies invade Pride and Prejudice hungry for more brains and ascending the bestseller lists for months, Mr. Darcy go paranormal in a way we could never have imagined before with Mr. Darcy Vampyre, and Jane Austen get some payback for everyone else making money off her name for close to 200 years in Jane Bites Back.

In retrospect, here are my top 20 favorite Austenesque books that I read in 2009, a year so diverse in Austen inspired reading adventures that Catherine Morland and Isabella Thorpe would have been delighted.

Prequel, sequel, re-telling or contemporary inspired:

  1. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler
  2. Willoughby’s Return, by Jane Odiwe
  3. The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy, by Maya Slater
  4. Jane Austen Ruined my Life, by Beth Pattillo
  5. Mr. Darcy’s Dream, by Elizabeth Aston

Regency inspired:

  1. The Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer
  2. The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, by Lauren Willig
  3. Ransome’s Honor, by Kaye Dacus


  1. Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury, by Rebecca Dickson
  2. A Truth Universally Acknowledged, edited by Susannah Carson
  3. Remarkably Jane: Notable Quotations on Jane Austen, by Jennifer Adams
  4. All Things Austen, by Kristin Olsen


  1. Jane Bites Back, by Michael Thomas Ford
  2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
  3. Mr. Darcy Vampyre, by Amanda Grange

Debut authors:

  1. Monica Fairview – The Other Mr. Darcy
  2. Tracy Kiely – Murder at Longbourn
  3. Marilyn Brant – According to Jane
  4. Kathryn L. Nelson – Pemberley Manor
  5. Mandy Hubbard – Prada and Prejudice

Congrats to all of the author’s for a most entertaining and enjoyable year of reading, and I look forward to more great Austen inspired books in 2010.

Gentle Readers, I would love to hear which Austenesque books you enjoyed in 2009 and which new author really blew YOUR bonnet off, so please cast your vote. (multiple selections and write in nominations accepted)

29 thoughts on “My Top 20 Favorite Austenesque Books of 2009

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  1. I’ve not read many Austen-inspired books, partly becuase I’ve always been a purist, and also because I’d be afraid of being so jealous and finding the need to write my own when I’m far too busy writing other books!

    But your list intrigues me, and I may have to add one or two to my 2010 reading list. Did you see the book Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters? I saw a copy in HMV just before Christmas.

    I follow you on Twitter and always find your tweets interesting. I’ve added your blog to my favorites. :)



    1. Hi Megan – thanks for visiting and your kind comments. I hope that you will try a sequel or two. I have known purist who have read them and been surprised. Try any of the Austen heroes books by Amanda Grange such as Mr. Darcy’s Diary, or Captain Wentworth’s Diary. I’m sure that others here would be happy to offer up their favorites too.

      Cheers, Laurel Ann


    1. agree Bluestocking – major snub – far and away the best of the Austenesque was Lady V – is your site or something like that? already read the book and loved it – real interested to read your review


  2. with Bluestocking on this one – Lady Vernon was my favorite of 09 – and not even a mention? Also really enjoyed the Odiwe.


  3. As a hardened Janeite, I am scratching my head because I’ve only read one of your faves, The Grand Sophy, though I just started Lady Vernon and her Daughter, and Murder at Longbourn is next, and A Truth Universally Acknowledged is inevitable.

    In terms of sheer numbers, I’m wondering whether 2009 was the peak Austen-inspired publishing year. There sure were a lot of new titles this year.

    I really enjoy your site so much–partially for the excellent posts and partially because I can stay up to date on what’s good and bad in Austen Inc. without having to read everything myself.

    Happy 2010!


  4. I have only read a couple of the books on the list (and I am avoiding P&P&Zombies!) but thanks for the wonderful reviews. Although I have heard mixed reports of it, “Willoughby’s Return” is on my to-read list.

    Best wishes,


  5. Great list. I tried to compose something similar but was so overwhelmed I abandoned the effort. I have read the majority of the books (I skipped some of the modernizations – not my favorite) and am totally with you on Willoughby’s Return and A Truth Universally Acknowledged. I did not think Lady Vernon and her Daughter was as satisfying as some of the other commenters, so it’s absence did not surprise me, but I am sorry you have not read/listed Wayward Love: Captain Fredrick Wentworth’s Story by Regina Jeffers, which was very good. Oh – and I must say I thought Mr. Darcy’s Dream the least satisfying of Elizabeth’s Aston’s books. I was disappointing after enjoying so many of her other novels. And (I can’t seem to stop)The Grand Sophy was great – one of my favorite Heyer books so far. I also adored Friday’s Child and Cotillion.


    1. Hi Alexa, thanks for the recommendations. I will check out “Wayward Love”, by Regina Jeffers. I know she self published it, but Ulysses is publishing an edition this year, so I can include it in my 2010 reading. Many have remarked that “Darcy’s Dream” was not Aston best effort, but I still enjoyed it. I am looking forward to her new novel in April “Writing Jane Austen.” It is a contemporary novel though. You can not go wrong with Georgette Heyer, but “Grand Sophy” was extra special. Thanks for your comments.

      Cheers, LA


  6. I have not read many Austenesque books yet, but those I have I have adored. I voted for Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (I have Rude Awakenings but have not read it yet) and Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury. I had to stop reading the Treasury after P&P because I had not read the rest of the books and it was giving too much info away! But I loved the book and voted for it anyway :). I will pick it up again as I go through the rest of Austen’s books. I have Mansfield Park so it or Persuasion will probably be next. I am dying to read Persuasion!


  7. I just finished reading The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy and absolutely loved it. I usually shy away from sequels and re-tellings, but I’m planning to comb your lists now. Thanks so much for bringing my attention to it.


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