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. But her visit takes a startling turn when Jane stumbles upon a body—sprawled on the carpet in the Regent’s library. The dying man utters a single failing phrase: “Waterloo map,” sending Jane on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.
A well-crafted narrative with multiple subplots drives Barron's splendid 13th Jane Austen mystery (following 2014's Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas). In November 1815, Jane comes to London to attend to her favorite brother, Henry, who has fallen ill and is on the verge of bankruptcy. While she awaits the proofs of Emma, she receives an invitation to Carlton House, the Prince Regent's London mansion, where she finds Col. Ewan McFarland, a hero of Waterloo, horribly sick on the floor of the library. Just before he expires, the colonel utters, "Waterloo map." From evidence at the scene, Jane determines that he was poisoned. Jane joins forces with Raphael West, a painter who's also a government spy, in pursuit of a ruthless killer and the meaning of the colonel's cryptic last words. Series fans will be happy to see more of Jane's extended family and friends, and Austenites will enjoy the imaginative power with which Barron spins another riveting mystery around a writer generally assumed to have led a quiet and uneventful life.
I have read each one of the series. I find them captivating. Preordered the next one
Well done! A wonderful read with Jame Austen as a guide through London while solving a compelling mystery. Would definitely recommend this book.
Jane and the Waterloo Map
Terrific reading. Great pace.