Jane and the Year without a Summer: 14 (Being a Jane Austen Mystery) by Stephanie Barron

Mystery, history and gallantry

My rating:  5 out of 5

The Austen family are suffering from a lot of bad luck and worries, and Jane is not feeling well.  So Jane and her sister Cassandra go to Cheltenham for a recuperative two weeks.   The year is 1886.

Mixed in with fascinating information about current world events of that time, is an enjoyable mystery involving other guests at the boarding house Jane and her sister are staying at.  We have gallant men, fainting women, a lady of the theatre and lots of mysteries about the characters, not all of whom are as they appear.  There is wit and romance, hope and scandal – and its all very wonderful!

I absolutely loved this novel.  As well as telling me plenty about the social and medical opinions of the time, it was an involving story, and told me loads about the Austen family.  There are great notes with add on information within the chapters, and a fascinating afterword.  Definitely a 5* read for me. 

This is the first of this series I have read, and the opening pages were full of names I did not know.  A quick google of Jane Austen’s family tree cleared everything up, and I highly recommend this action to anyone not familiar with the family members.     The book is written in the language of Jane Austen’s time (I assume), and there were a few words I was unfamiliar with.  I was therefore pleased to be reading this on Kindle, so could quickly check the meanings.  

The author also writes as Francine Matthews.  This is the first book I have read by her, and I shall certainly be adding more books by this author to my TBR list. 

Publisher:  Soho Books

Publication Date:  8 February 2022

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