Normally, I don’t jump into a book series in the middle. It’s one of the rules I live by. However, when I was perusing ARC’s on Net Galley, I came across this title and broke my own rule. As a huge fan of Jane Austen, I am powerless to resist anything related to her or her works. I have a library full of her books, related books, coffee mugs, t-shirts, hats, stickers….you get the idea.
Starting a series on the 13th book was probably not the best idea. It’s akin to taking your two male offspring with you shoe shopping. It never works out. But, I did it anyway, and (in this case) I am glad I did.
The story takes place a few months after the Battle of Waterloo. Jane has come to London to nurse her ailing brother who is facing financial ruin. She is then summoned to Carlton House by the chaplain to the Prince Regent. The chaplain is a fan of Jane’s work and wants her to dedicate her next book to the Prince. While Jane is at Carlton House she is the lone witness to the death of hero from the Battle of Waterloo. Before he breathes his last, he whispers, “Waterloo map”. Jane soon becomes involved in solving his mysterious and untimely death.
One of the things I liked best about the book was the subject of Waterloo. Barron includes lots of facts and details surrounding the battle and its aftermath. I am woefully ignorant about Waterloo….other than Napoleon lost the battle (and the song Waterloo by ABBA is GREAT). So I found this part intriguing. Also, Jane (as you would expect) is smart and witty. The mystery kept me guessing right up until the end.
This book works as a stand-alone piece. There are no gaping holes or long explanatory passages that summarize events in previous books. I am interested in reading more about Jane’s history with one of the characters, but it wasn’t necessary to the plot of this specific book.
I enjoyed this book enough to go back and read the others in the series. Although…since my TBR is endless, I’m not sure how soon I will get through them all. After all…this was the 13th installment.
But, will my mom like it?? A definite YES.
— Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The book, not the movie. The book was a lot of crazy fun. The movie…not so much.
— Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen's Masterpiece: This book is a lot of fun and discusses all the adaptations and references to P&P.
What to Watch:
-- Pride and Prejudice: There are many adaptations. The 1995 miniseries will always be my favorite. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy? Yes, please. However, I truly enjoyed the 2005 feature film starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet.
-- Mansfield Park: I’ve watched this movie so many times I’ve lost count. It’s been on Netflix recently, so I’ve added a couple more viewings to my count. An interesting adaptation starring Frances O'Connor as Fanny Price.
-- Sense and Sensibility: Loved the feature film. Hugh Laurie is hilarious in a small role as long-suffering husband and son-in-law of a family friend. Also, this movie stars the late, great Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. Loved. Him.
-- Clueless: Hilarious and unconventional adaptation of Emma. I’ve also watched it over and over. Includes Paul Rudd in the Mr. Knightly role. How can I resist that?
-- Emma: Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam. I’m not a big Gwyneth Paltrow fan, but I do enjoy this movie (and Jeremy Northam).
-- Death Comes to Pemberly: I haven’t read this book yet (although, I do own it). However, the miniseries was recently on Netflix, and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading the book.
Author: Stephanie Barron
Publisher: Soho Crime/Soho Press
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Source: Net Galley