A fantastic end to the series... Jane and the Final Mystery by Stephanie Barron (Review) #JaneAndTheFinalMysrery #HistoricalMystery #NewBooks #BookTwitter #JaneAusten #StephanieBarron #AustenprosePR @soho_press @Austenprose

I was late to this series when I read Jane and the Year Without Summer last year, but with this
series, late is definitely better than never. I'm happy to share my review of this final book below...

Jane and the Final Mystery
(Being a Jane Austen Mystery #15)
By Stephanie Barron
Historical Mystery, Austenesque Fiction
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 312 Pages
October 24, 2023 by Soho Crime


The final volume of the critically acclaimed mystery series featuring Jane Austen as amateur sleuth

March 1817: As winter turns to spring, Jane Austen’s health is in slow decline, and threatens to cease progress on her latest manuscript. But when her nephew Edward brings chilling news of a death at his former school, Winchester College, not even her debilitating ailment can keep Jane from seeking out the truth. Arthur Prendergast, a senior pupil at the prestigious all-boys’ boarding school, has been found dead in a culvert near the schoolgrounds—and in the pocket of his drenched waistcoat is an incriminating note penned by the young William Heathcote, the son of Jane’s dear friend Elizabeth. Winchester College is a world unto itself, with its own language and rites of passage, cruel hazing and dangerous pranks. Can Jane clear William’s name before her illness gets the better of her? Over the course of fourteen previous novels in the critically acclaimed Being a Jane

Austen Mystery series, Stephanie Barron has won the hearts of thousands of fans—crime fiction aficionados and Janeites alike—with her tricky plotting and breathtaking evocation of Austen’s voice. Now, she brings Jane’s final season—and final murder investigation—to brilliant, poignant life in this unforgettable conclusion.

Praise for the Book

“Poignant . . . Elicits deep emotion out of Jane’s struggles against her own mortality. This is a fitting send-off for a beautifully realized series.”— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Barron developed Jane’s narrative voice by reading Austen’s collected and published letters, and it is neither spoiler nor surprise to say that series readers will be sorry to say goodbye to Jane Austen, amateur sleuth.”— Booklist

"[Barron] has brilliantly combined authentic historical and biographical details with skillful plotting and a credible evocation of Austen’s wry, distinctive voice. She brings the English author’s final investigation to a poignant, unforgettable close. Fans of this historical series will not be disappointed.”— First Clue

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My Review

JANE AND THE FINAL MYSTERY is a the final mystery Austen helps to solve in this series. It's full of family relationships and friendships as the characters try to clear a young man who has been charged of a murder he didn't commit. The setting is immersive and even more enhanced by Austen's unique voice. Fans of the author, cozy mysteries and this series will find a fantastic end to the series.

I love falling into this series and Austen's POV. I love her intellect and desire to help those around her in spite of her continual struggle with her health. I love the way her relationship with her nephew is full and meaningful, and how they interact throughout the story. The brutality of the boys' school was a stark contrast to the other civilities of the time. Austen and her nephew bring much needed humor, but also levity. I was happy with how things progressed the subsequent conclusion. The author definitely does her research. This book as well as the entire series, is superbly written. I especially enjoy that there are several moments that inspire thought in the reader. 

I feel I need to state a bit of a disclaimer. I was sad reading this final book in the series. I knew that Austen was dying from the start and she has some understanding of that herself, which you see as the story unfolds. It is heartbreaking while also being inspiring. The author handled it all marvelously, especially as you see Austen's own humor, wit and intelligence present as she does her best to help a friend and her son. Equally disheartening was the way these boys were abused at schools historically. As a mother, it was hard to read about that. At the same time, if we don't take an honest look at history and prior behaviors, how are we to learn from them and hopefully not repeat the wrongs of the past? The author equally presented this in a candid way that showed the right of passage and expectation of these boys and their families while also showing how terrible a situation it was. Both of these aspects, however, only made the story that much fuller in showing the struggle and good amidst the bad.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I highly recommend this entire series. Each book can be read on its own and each is superbly written. Perfect for Austen and historical fiction fans and a fantastic end to the sereis!

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

About the Author

Stephanie Barron is a graduate of Princeton and Stanford, where she received her Masters in History as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in the Humanities. Her novel, THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN (Ballantine, January 22, 2019) traces the turbulent career of Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's captivating American mother. Barron is perhaps best known for the critically acclaimed Jane Austen Mystery Series, in which the intrepid and witty author of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE details her secret detective career in Regency England. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA, Stephanie—who also writes under the name Francine Mathews—drew on her experience in the field of espionage for such novels as JACK 1939, which The New Yorker described as "the most deliciously high-concept thriller imaginable." She lives and works in Denver, CO.

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