An entertaining read for Austen fans... Jane and the Year Without Summer by Stephanie Barron (Review) @SBarronAuthor @soho_press @Austenprose #JaneAndTheYear #HistoricalMystery #NewBooksn#BookTwitter #JaneAusten #StephanieBarron #BookTour #AustenprosePR

Welcome to my tour stop! This was such a fun read! Find my full review below...

Jane and the Year Without Summer
(Being a Jane Austen Mystery #14)
By Stephanie Barron
Historical Mystery, Austenesque
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 336 Pages
February 8, 2022 by Soho Press


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.

Cheltenham Spa hardly turns out to be the relaxing sojourn Jane and Cassandra envisaged, however. It is immediately obvious that other boarders at the guest house where the Misses Austen are staying have come to Cheltenham with stresses of their own—some of them deadly. But perhaps with Jane’s interference a terrible crime might be prevented. Set during the Year without a Summer, when the eruption of Mount Tambora in the South Pacific caused a volcanic winter that shrouded the entire planet for sixteen months, this fourteenth installment in Stephanie Barron’s critically acclaimed series brings a forgotten moment of Regency history to life.

Advance Praise

“Outstanding...Barron fans will hope Jane, who died in 1817, will be back for one more mystery.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“No one conjures Austen's voice like Stephanie Barron, and Jane and the Year Without a Summer is utterly pitch-perfect.”— Deanna Raybourn, bestselling author of the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries

“…a page-turning story, imbued with fascinating historical detail, a cast of beautifully realized characters, a pitch-perfect Jane Austen, and an intriguing mystery. Highly recommended.”— Syrie James, bestselling author of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

“Jane and the Year Without a Summer is absolute perfection. Stephanie Barron expertly weaves fact and fiction, crafting a story that is authentically Austen in its elegance, charm, and wit. The characters and setting will enchant you, and the mystery will keep you guessing to the last page. This Regency-set gem is truly a diamond of the first water.”— Mimi Matthews, USA Today bestselling author of The Siren of Sussex

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

JANE AND THE YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER is an historical mystery set in a spa town where Jane Austen and her sister visit to hopefully help with Jane's health. There are various characters they meet, particularly those who they board with, and soon a bit of mystery unfolds that deepens as the story goes. Fans of Austen and historical fiction with a bit of mystery will find much enjoyment from this story.

I've been a Jane Austen fan for most of my life and it was interesting to step into a story where she is the main character. I felt like the author did a wonderful job in depicting and fictionalizing Jane's life and adding a touch of romance as well as a mystery. The characters were all interesting in their own ways with realistic beliefs and behaviors for the time period (much of which were not positive towards females). I haven't read the other books in the series and didn't feel lost in any way reading this one. The story started off fairly slow for me and took me about 100 pages in to finally feel invested. However, after that, I found it to be quite diverting being in Jane's mind as she put all the little pieces of the puzzle together. I also felt the author did a good job giving plenty of red herrings. The story pulled on my emotions, particularly in regards to what I know comes next in Jane's life.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an evenly paced story with interesting characters and a bit of a mystery to solve. Between the writing style, characters and plot, it's a book that readers will remember long after they've finished. An overall entertaining read for Austen fans.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written twenty-five books, including five novels in the Merry Folger series (Death in the Off-Season, Death in Rough Water, Death in a Mood Indigo, Death in a Cold Hard Light, and Death on Nantucket) as well as the nationally bestselling Being a Jane Austen mystery series, which she writes under the penname, Stephanie Barron. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Have you read any of the books in this series? Does it sound like a book you'd enjoy?

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