Book Reviews, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Regency Romance

The Debutante’s Code: Thorndike and Swann (Book 1), by Erica Vetsch — A Review

From the desk of Sophia Rose: 

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, then she must seek them abroad.” Jane Austen says of Catherine Morland in the beginning pages of Northanger Abbey. However, what is true for Catherine is decidedly not true for Lady Juliette Thorndike or the young Bow Street Runner trying to solve his first big case. Erica Vetsch introduces a sparkling new mystery series set in Regency London featuring an intrepid and unlikely detecting pair and a cunning mystery.

Lady Juliette has been away seven years to a ladies’ seminary in Switzerland honing genteel accomplishments and studies while looking forward to the day she is to return home to the parents she is not embarrassed to miss terribly. After a harrowing journey home by way of Italy with Continue reading “The Debutante’s Code: Thorndike and Swann (Book 1), by Erica Vetsch — A Review”

Book Previews, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Down a Dark River: An Inspector Corravan Mystery (Book 1), by Karen Odden

Happy Wednesday, dear readers. Please help me welcome bestselling author Karen Odden to Austenprose today. Her new Victorian murder mystery, Down a Dark River, released yesterday.

I have been hearing wonderful things about this book for months. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? I am rather partial to detective mysteries. Since it is the first in the series, I will be starting at the beginning of the Scotland Yard detective’s journey.

Inspector Michael Corravan is an interesting character. As a former bare-knuckle boxer he is ready for anything that the streets of 1878 London can throw at him. This mystery has been accurately written to reveal fascinating details about the times. Readers who appreciate beautiful prose and twisty plots with enjoy it.

Karen has generously shared an exclusive excerpt with us. She is on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours this month, so be sure to check out the reviews, interviews, guest posts, and additional excerpts through the list of tour participants at the end of this post. Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Down a Dark River: An Inspector Corravan Mystery (Book 1), by Karen Odden”

Book Reviews, Editor's Picks, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque: A Novel, by Todd M. Johnson—A Review

From the desk of Sophia Rose:

Crusaders come in all shapes and forms and some don’t even realize they are such a person until they face down injustice at the expense of reputation, career, and even life to see a wrong is righted.   The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson, a historical mystery that balances Regency backdrop with legal thriller, contains a crusader that captivated me from page one.

A Regency period barrister, William Snopes, who champions the commoner in his clever and cunning way finds himself faced with a conundrum. Does he take a case that goes against his principle of never representing someone from the upper classes and particularly a case that has far reaching ramifications for all involved or tell the desperate woman, Lady Madeleine, he cannot?

To help make up his mind, he has his well-trained, staunch junior barrister, Edmund, his solicitor, and other reliable sources help him determine if the lady is telling the truth about her cousin, his ship, his crew, and goods being seized by the Crown for piracy because the Letter of Marque he was carrying Continue reading “The Barrister and the Letter of Marque: A Novel, by Todd M. Johnson—A Review”

Austenesque, Book Previews, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction

A Cover Reveal & Excerpt of Jane and the Year Without a Summer: Being a Jane Austen Mystery (Book 14), by Stephanie Barron

Happy Monday, dear readers! I have great news to share today. Bestselling historical mystery author Stephanie Barron has a new “Being a Jane Austen Mystery” in the queue.

Jane and the Year Without a Summer arrives on February 8, 2022, marking the fourteenth novel in the popular series. Set in Regency England, the series is based on actual events and people in Austen’s life and times. Inspired by the author’s life-long admiration of Austen and her writing, Barron’s skill at channeling her voice and the historical detail is nonpareil. Here is a description of the book, the big cover reveal, and an exclusive excerpt from the novel.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

May 1816: Jane Austen is feeling unwell, with an uneasy stomach, constant fatigue, rashes, fevers and aches. She attributes her poor condition to the stress of family burdens, which even the drafting of her latest manuscript—about a baronet’s daughter nursing a broken heart for a daring naval captain—cannot alleviate. Her apothecary recommends a trial of the curative waters at Cheltenham Spa, in Gloucestershire. Jane decides to use some of the profits earned from her last novel, Emma, and treat herself to a period of rest and reflection at the spa, in the company of her sister, Cassandra. Continue reading “A Cover Reveal & Excerpt of Jane and the Year Without a Summer: Being a Jane Austen Mystery (Book 14), by Stephanie Barron”

Austenesque, Book Lists, Contemporary Fiction, Editor's Picks, Historical Fantasy, Paranormal & Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Austenprose’s Best Austenesque & Historical Books of 2020

Pop Art Jane Austen

Happy New Year dear readers!

While I am not shy about kicking 2020 to the curb, it was not a total bust for those of us who enjoy reading. Publishers and indie authors continued to supply us with a fabulous selection of choices in the Austenesque, historical fiction, romance, and mystery genres.

Of the 75 books that were reviewed here last year by our dedicated staff, several were outstanding and will remain favorites. Here is a list of our highest-rated and most cherished of 2020. Follow each link to read the full review. Continue reading “Austenprose’s Best Austenesque & Historical Books of 2020”

Book Reviews, Editor's Picks, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Regency Romance

A Castaway in Cornwall, by Julie Klassen – A Review   

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen 2020From the desk of Katie Patchell:  

In this holiday season, acclaimed novelist, Julie Klassen, returns to the Regency world with her latest historical romance, A Castaway in Cornwall. Featuring dangerous wreckers, shifty smugglers, and mysterious strangers, readers may well detect a similar refrain to the haunting melody that is Daphne du Maurier’s classic, Jamaica Inn. Readers brace yourselves: prepare to be transported outside of the lights and glare of the 21st century to an old-world bathed in mists and deafened by the roaring of the sea. Prepare to meet a heroine who, against all odds, bravely fights to reclaim what the ocean has stolen.

“Sometimes I wonder how I ended up here in Cornwall, so far from my childhood home. I feel like a castaway, set adrift on the tide…” 

Continue reading “A Castaway in Cornwall, by Julie Klassen – A Review   “

Book Reviews, Editor's Pick, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction

Who Speaks for the Damned: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery (Book 15), by C.S. Harris, narrated by Davina Porter—A Review

Who Speaks for the Damned by CS Harris 2020 audiobookFrom the desk of Sophia Rose:

Over a decade ago, CS Harris released the first in a long-standing series of Regency Era historical mysteries featuring an aristocratic detective who starts out as the suspect solving his first crime to a renowned amateur detective in his own right. That book, What Angels Fear, introduced a complex hero who must solve murders and at the same time, the mystery of his own past. He must deal with what he discovers, learn the hard lessons of love, and come into his own throughout the series alongside other series regulars.

From the beginning, I was enamored with Sebastian St. Cyr and the rest of the characters who joined him along the way. I was enthralled with the author’s way of writing not just a mystery, but Sebastian’s story. Fifteen books later, I am still a tremendous fan and tend to fan girl over Sebastian and stalk the author’s website to get any tidbits about the next release. Continue reading “Who Speaks for the Damned: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery (Book 15), by C.S. Harris, narrated by Davina Porter—A Review”

Austenesque, Book Previews, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Accusing Mr. Darcy: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Kelly Miller

Accusing Mr Darcy by Kelly Miller 2020We are happy to welcome back Austenesque author Kelly Miller today in celebration of her new novel, Accusing Mr. Darcy. This storyline is a variation of the classic Pride and Prejudice plot and places protagonists Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy is an alternative universe—combining a love story and a murder mystery in the Peak District of northern England.

For those who are familiar with Miller’s previous two novels, Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match (2020) and Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley (2019), you will know of the author’s creative abilities. Great ready for another shake-up.

You will not find familiar characters such as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Lady Catherine, the younger Bennet sisters, or landmarks such as Longbourn and Rosing Park. Instead, you will be introduced to an Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Accusing Mr. Darcy: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Kelly Miller”

Book Previews, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Regency Romance

A Preview & Giveaway of The Gentleman Spy (Serendipity & Secrets Book 2), by Erica Vetsch

The Gentleman Spy, by Erica Vetsch 2020Hello readers. Are you in the mood for a total escape during these challenging times? Then, bring on The Gentleman Spy, the next Regency-era novel in the Serendipity & Secrets series by bestselling historical romance author Erica Vetsch.

Even if you have not read The Lost Lieutenant, the first book in the series, you can jump right into this stand-alone Regency historical filled with intrigue, history, and swoon. I promise—there is great conflict and plenty of twists in the plot to keep you turning pages into the wee hours of the night.

And for those who just can’t get enough of the characters in the Serendipity & Secrets series, next up is a bonus novella in Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection, a trio of novellas by Vetsch and fellow authors Carolyn Miller and Amanda Barratt (available October 13, 2020). Then, the last installment of the series, The Indebted Earl, the story of Continue reading “A Preview & Giveaway of The Gentleman Spy (Serendipity & Secrets Book 2), by Erica Vetsch”