Friday, February 19, 2016

My share in the conversation...Jane and the Waterloo Map

As part of the Jane And the Waterloo Map Blog Tour, I am sharing my review. I hope you will take a few minutes to read my thoughts and tell me a few of your own. I found this to be a well-crafted story and one that I highly recommend.

There is information regarding the giveaway associated with this blog tour so be sure and check out the wonderful prizes as well as the other stops for the tour.


 Jane and the Waterloo Map: Being a Jane Austen Mystery
by Stephanie Barron

I have always been a big fan of a good ‘whodunit’. Having one with Miss Jane Austen as the major sleuth makes it all the better! Author Stephanie Barron creates such books with her series, Being a Jane Austen Mystery. Her latest, Jane and the Waterloo Map is the first book of the series that I read but it will not be my last. Even though the book does make reference to some earlier books, it is not necessary to have read them prior to reading this one. I do hope to one day go back and read them in order, as I believe that would only add to the enjoyment of each.

Jane is in London having gone to care for her sick brother, Henry, and to negotiate the terms of the publication of Emma. The book opens with her drenched from rain on the doorstep of Carlton House, where she was invited to view and use the Royal Library for writing. She has also been given the great honor of dedicating Emma to His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent. During her tour of the library, she discovers a dying Colonel MacFarland. His last words are to Jane Austen as she aids him in his final sickness. He can barely speak the words but she is able to make out that he is saying ‘Waterloo Map’. The mystery begins…and oh what an intriguing mystery it is. I must confess, I was completely shocked at the outcome, so well-crafted was this tale.

I loved all the references to Jane’s books and her characters, especially Lizzy Bennet. I found that to be an excellent touch, again incorporating truth with fiction. The arrival of Fanny Knight, a few chapters into the book, added to the fun and humor of the story, as Fanny was quite the ‘partner in crime’. I adored Mr. Raphael West and his part in the sleuthing. The chemistry he had with Jane was exciting and I enjoyed reading her thoughts about this handsome artist with his penetrating gaze. (I was also fascinated with the art aspect of the book.)

Stephanie Barron skillfully used the language of the era and the wit of Jane Austen.
Only Henry could assume that a tale dismissed by an Egerton might be coveted by a Murray: our Henry has been tilting at windmills all his life.
Her words read as a book written in the time it was set, similar to authors of the era. The tone of her speech and the realistic relaying of events, gave me the sense or feeling of reading from actual pages of Jane Austen’s personal journal. The amount of research done by Ms. Barron was obvious as there are many references to affairs that occurred during or shortly before the timeframe of this novel and these references added to the authenticity of the storyline accounts. Much in the book is also gleaned from letters by Jane Austen to her family. Using Ms. Austen’s thoughts from her letters, actual events, and people and places in history, to write a wonderfully crafted mystery, was nothing short of genius. I loved this book and cannot wait to read the rest of the series. Well done, Stephanie Barron.

Portrait of Raphael West and his brother by their father, Benjamin West.
This portrait, dated 1796, is in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.


Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful Regency-era mystery

November, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo has come and gone, leaving the British economy in shreds; Henry Austen, high-flying banker, is about to declare bankruptcy—dragging several of his brothers down with him. The crisis destroys Henry’s health, and Jane flies to his London bedside, believing him to be dying. While she’s there, the chaplain to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent invites Jane to tour Carlton House, the Prince’s fabulous London home. The chaplain is a fan of Jane’s books, and during the tour he suggests she dedicate her next novel—Emma—to HRH, whom she despises.

However, before she can speak to HRH, Jane stumbles upon a body—sprawled on the carpet in the Regent’s library. The dying man, Colonel MacFarland, was a cavalry hero and a friend of Wellington’s. He utters a single failing phrase: “Waterloo map” . . . and Jane is on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.


About the Author:



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) 



·         Stephanie Barron’s Facebook page:
·         Twitter handles: @SBarronAuthor; @Soho_Press
·         Twitter hashtags: #WaterlooBlogTour, #JaneAusten, #HistoricalMystery, #RegencyMystery, #Reading, #AustenesqueMystery #Austenesque #Giveaway





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 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!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Christina! Glad to hear you enjoyed it too. I will be reading more of these books, for sure! :)

  2. I am looking forward to reading the latest Being a Jane Austen Mystery. I have read each of the other books in the series and have enjoyed them thoroughly.

    1. So glad to hear you enjoyed the others, Becky. Thank you for letting us know. I cannot wait to read the others.

  3. Thanks for this lovely review Janet - I've never read any of the series & am very intrigued so thank you:-)

    1. As I mentioned, this was my first one, Jenetta, but I am certainly planning on reading more. I loved Ms. Barron's writing voice.

  4. Janet, thanks for the wonderful review! I am looking forward to reading this series.

    1. Thanks, Caryl. I'm so glad you visited. I hope to get started on the series from the beginning soon!

  5. Good review. I've enjoyed the whole series and now Stephanie Barron is one of my favorite authors. It really is worth reading from the beginning.

  6. I love "whodunit" stories searching for treasure.


  7. I will definitely be reading this. Ms. Barron's gem of an idea for this series is a "I wish I'd written this". Thanks for sharing your thoughts on her latest, Janet.

  8. Great review! So how many more in the series? I can't wait to get started!

  9. Enjoyed your review. Great fan of this series, can't wait to read this latest installment.

  10. Oh yes, you really do need to read all of them, Janet. You'll love them. It is fun that both Jane Austen's real life and references to her fiction characters come out in the mysteries. Look forward to reading this one.

  11. I like the whole series and am always intensely interested when a new one comes out!!

  12. Thank you for taking the time to review this book! I enjoyed your take on it, and can't wait to read it!

  13. Replies
    1. I also like the interplay of fact and fiction. I agree that it adds to the sense of authenticity. Thanks.

  14. Thank you for sharing this giveaway as well as the book description. What could be more fun than a mystery involving Jane Austen. I enjoyed visiting your blog and am a new follower.

  15. Well, I've never been a reader of mysteries (murders are not my cup of tea), but that great review and Stephanie Barron's reputation makes me want to read this book. Good job, Janet!

  16. I love these books. I'm sure you'll enjoy the earlier ones.

  17. I am looking forward to reading the new Jane mystery! Thanks!

  18. Oh to have more Jane in my life, looking forward to the book!

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