Jane and the Waterloo Map: Being a Jane Austen Mystery (Book 13), by Stephanie Barron – A Review

Waterloo cover x 200From the desk of Christina Boyd:

As a fan of the Being Jane Austen Mystery series, I have been all anticipation for the latest edition, Jane and the Waterloo Map. Author Stephanie Barron knows her Austen lore, as well as a being a masterful storyteller and researcher; writing in a most Austen-like style. She is also The Incomparable when it comes to Regency mysteries. Given that disclaimer, and holding the series in much esteem, I feel quite at liberty to share my impressions herein.

The novel opens with our dear Miss Austen attending her sick brother Henry at his London residence while editing the proofs of her latest novel, Emma, for her publisher John Murray. Summoned to Carlton House, the opulent London mansion of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, Jane meets his toady Historiographer, Mr. James Stanier Clarke, who not only arrogantly invites her to use the Royal Library to write her next novel, but welcomes her to dedicate her work-in-progress to the Prince Regent himself. As she holds the prince and his profligate ways in contempt, Jane cautiously makes no commitment and politely continues on with the tour. Upon reaching the library, they come upon a Colonel MacFarland, hero of Waterloo, collapsed upon the floor in an apoplectic fit. As Mr. Clarke finds help, the colonel utters his last words to Jane, “Waterloo map.” After a curious inspection of the colonel’s vomit, Jane speculates that the colonel may have been poisoned. The next day, word reaches her that the colonel did succumb, and it is not long before the royal physician confirms that the hero of Waterloo was murdered. Thus begins the intrigue—and danger—for our clever authoress as she exposes whodunit in this thirteenth of Stephanie Barron’s mystery series.

Likening Austen’s quality prose, Barron excels in credible dialog. Miss Austen’s voice, told from this fictional Jane Austen’s point-of-view, nearly flies off the page. While shopping for fabrics with her niece:

Fanny mused, a hand caressing each. “One is so truly purple; but the other is far more attractive, for being rather less.” “Then buy Eleanor the purple and take the violet for yourself,” I advised. “A girl is never so happy in her friend’s appearance, then when she displays a superior taste.” p.163

What sharp wit!

I have long missed the Gentleman Rogue, Lord Harold Trowbridge, fellow detective, confident and romantic interest of Jane Austen, who has been absent since the seventh book in this series. In this accounting our dear Miss Austen becomes reacquainted with the gallant and enigmatic artist, Raphael West, who aided her in solving another nefarious scheme the previous year in Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas. Because history has told us Miss Austen never married, and in this series, she must be nearing her own death, I yearn for this astute observer of the human heart to have had experienced a great love of her own…and here, West’s fine person and manners can do nothing but recommend himself to Jane (and this reader)!

I nodded, my throat too tight for words. He retained my hand an instant, his eyes fixed on mine, then turned resolutely through the door. I am a liar if I said I attended to half what was said, for the remainder of dinner. p.169

Jane admits to herself she had “known one such a man before, and lost him.” p. 160 I suppose it is only fair to allow her to tread carefully to safeguard her own heart.

Though the early pacing seemed slow in setting the scene and the players, once all the clues were laid out, the novel took off at breakneck speed. A watercolor map of Waterloo, yew needles, unsavory characters, beloved family members, captivating gentlemen, betrayals, secrecy, and a couple of red herrings color this mystery, I confess I was confounded until the last. One need not read the previous twelve novels to be entertained by Jane and the Waterloo Map. However, from one who has read this epic series in order, I recommend you follow my example to experience the full effect. You can thank me later.

5 out of 5 Regency Stars

Jane and the Waterloo Map: Being a Jane Austen Mystery (Book 13), by Stephanie Barron
Soho Press (2016)
Hardcover, eBook and Audiobook (320) pages
ISBN: 978-1616954253

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

 

JANE AND WATERLOO - Blog Tour Horizontal

Award winning author Stephanie Barron tours the blogosphere February 2 through February 22, 2016 to share her latest release, Jane and the Waterloo Map (Being a Jane Austen Mystery). Twenty popular book bloggers specializing in Austenesque fiction, mystery and Regency history will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts and book reviews from this highly anticipated novel in the acclaimed Being a Jane Austen Mystery series. A fabulous giveaway contest, including copies of Ms. Barron’s book and other Jane Austen-themed items, will be open to those who join the festivities.

JANE AND THE WATERLOO MAP BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

  • February 02                My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
  • February 03                Laura’s Reviews (Excerpt)  
  • February 04                A Bookish Way of Life (Review)     
  • February 05                The Calico Critic (Review)  
  • February 06                So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)                                  
  • February 07                Reflections of a Book Addict (Spotlight)                            
  • February 08                Mimi Matthews Blog (Guest Blog)                          
  • February 09                Jane Austen’s World (Interview)                                         
  • February 10                Just Jane 1813 (Review)                                          
  • February 11                Confessions of a Book Addict (Excerpt)                             
  • February 12                History of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Guest Blog)                       
  • February 13                My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)                              
  • February 14                Living Read Girl (Review)                           
  • February 14                Austenprose (Review)
  • February 15                Mystery Fanfare (Guest Blog)                                 
  • February 16                Laura’s Reviews (Review)                                       
  • February 17                Jane Austen in Vermont (Excerpt)                                      
  • February 18                From Pemberley to Milton (Interview)                                            
  • February 19                More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
  • February 20                Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)                                    
  • February 21                A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life (Guest Blog)
  • February 22                Diary of an Eccentric (Review)

Waterloo Map Blog Tour Prizes x 500

GRAND GIVEAWAY CONTEST

Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the release of Jane and the Waterloo Map, Stephanie is offering a chance to win one of three prize packages filled with an amazing selection of Jane Austen-inspired gifts and books!

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on the Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour starting February 02, 2016 through 11:59 pm PT, February 29, 2016. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Stephanie’s website on March 3, 2016. Winners have until March 10, 2016 to claim their prize. Shipment is to US addresses. Good luck to all!

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cover image courtesy of Soho Press © 2016; text Christina Boyd © 2016, Austenprose.com

38 thoughts on “Jane and the Waterloo Map: Being a Jane Austen Mystery (Book 13), by Stephanie Barron – A Review

  1. What an intriguing review! A little suspense and a little romance combined for one mesmerizing Regency mystery.

    I know you’re such a big fan of this series and I’m glad you’ve spread your love for it to so many Austen fans. Stephanie’s command of Regency era language makes her work stand out and I love how you demonstrated this with your review. Take a bow!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I just started to read this yesterday when my copy arrived from B&N. Stephanie Barron does an unsurpassed job of anchoring her stories in known biographical incidents, then shooting off into the creative stratosphere! I am, once again, entranced by her depiction of a detecting Jane Austen. Thank you, Christina, for the intriguing review and thanks to Stephanie Barron for continuing her superlative series.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Lovely review Christina to a fabulous edition to the series. I always love being swept away into the Regency era from Jane’s point-of-view, which Stephanie has down pat. I have enjoyed reading and writing about this series and always look forward to the next one.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I agree that her wit is stellar and I enjoy the interactions around her as she solves the mysteries. Glad the latest was fantastic. Nice review, Christina!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. With many mystery novels it is easy to guess whodunnit by the end, but I love that in this series I never know until the end. I’m always guessing, but never sure.
    I too miss the Gentleman Rogue, but enjoyed meeting Mr. West in the previous novel. I’m glad to hear he returns in this.
    With 1817 so near, I wish this series could go on forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved Stephanie Barron’s books before I ever went to a JASNA Nor-Cal meeting. I went to it because she was speaking — and she did not disappoint!!! Awesome! I have read each book in her Being a Jane Austen Mystery series, and can’t wait for this next one. At the meeting at which she spoke, she said she would probably write 9 books for the series. I am so glad she has continued beyond that!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As time with Jane “is fleeting,” I do hope Stephanie Barron will consider her next series all about “The Gentleman Rogue” –you know, some modern person discovers the trunk Lord Harold left dear Jane–and this person reads through the papers and so, you know, each novel…

    Just putting that out there. Again.

    Like

  8. Thank you for sharing your review about this book. I can’t wait to read it – mysteries and Jane Austen – what could be better. I also enjoyed visiting your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was SO excited to see that Stephanie Barron has another JA mystery out!!! Love these! Thanks for the excellent review! Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not sure my prior comment was posted as I was’t signed in to WordPress, needed new password etc. I love Jane Austen, my husband loves her. We both would be intrigued by a Jane mystery basket!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think I have three books in this series. The Mystery Guild has this book in their catalog which I received today and that’s how I found out about this book.

    Liked by 1 person

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