Review: Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas

Title: Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas (Jane Austen Mysteries #12)
Author: Stephanie Barron
Publisher: Soho Crime
Published: October 28, 2014
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9781616954239
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:
Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful murder mystery set over the twelve days of a Regency-Era Christmas party.

Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood:Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.

Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?

My Thoughts:
I've heard great things about the Jane Austen Mysteries so I was eager to finally read one for myself.  Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas seemed like a good place to start. There are eleven books in the series before this one, but since when have I ever let that stop me? 

Jane, Cassandra, and their mother are spending Christmas with Jane's brother and sister-in-law, James and Mary. Once there, the whole party gets an invitation to spend Christmas at the Vyne. So they go, have a merry time, and then someone spoils it all by getting murdered. But not to worry. Jane is clever and will find out the culprit. 

Now some people might be wary of starting a series with the twelfth book, but I think this could be read as a standalone. Barron does make reference to some of the other books, but she also provides a footnote with a short explanation. Never once did I feel lost in the story line.  My only issue was that nothing really happened until about 37% (according to my kindle) through. 

I know I might sound heartless, but I was eager for someone to die already and the mystery to officially begin. Patience has never really been my strong-suit. And besides, I was completely annoyed with Jane's sister-in-law Mary. Do you remember Anne Elliot's sister Mary Musgrove. Well both Marys have a lot in common, though I will say that Mary Austen was ten times worse. I kinda hoped that she would have gotten murdered, but no such luck. 

I'm glad I finally got an opportunity to read a Jane Austen mystery. I did enjoy it, and I hope to read some of the other books in the series as well in the near future. 

My Rating:

Click here for a complete list of books in the series.