A New Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron

Stephanie Barron (credit Marea Evans)As a Jane Austen fan, I was happy to interview Stephanie Barron, author of 13 Jane Austen mysteries including her most recent Jane and the Waterloo Map and Jane Austen and the 12 Days of Christmas, who was in Chicago last Saturday for a book event.Jane and the Waterloo cover (1)

Jane and the Waterloo Map is set in November, 1815, four months after the Battle of Waterloo,” Barron, who started reading her books when she was 12, told me. “Jane is in London tending to her sick brother and supervising the publication of her fourth novel, Emma, when she is invited to visit the Prince Regent at Carlton House. While on a tour of the royal palace she stumbles over the body of a dying cavalry officer, a hero of Waterloo, in the Prince’s library.”

At the event which was titled “An Afternoon with Stephanie Barron,” she also talked about her previous book in this series, Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which takes place during the holiday in 1814—when England and the United States signed a treaty ending the War of 1812.”
Barron started her series in 1802 when Jane was 26 and in the latest she is 40, with only 18 months left to live. It’s a span of time when the Napoleonic Wars in England were taking place and Barron says her books are as much about the transitions in English society during those years as they are about Jane Austen’s life and work.

I asked her why she thinks Austen still continues to be popular some 200 years after her death.

“Part of Jane’s enduring appeal is that she understood how women think, and just as importantly, that women like to be appreciated and valued for their intelligence as much as their physical appeal,” she said. “Austen had an acute understanding of the human heart and human motivation; this allowed her to fashion complex and compelling characters, both male and female. Her perceptions remain true to human lives today—we’re still learning from her acute understanding.”

Author: Jane Simon Ammeson

Jane Simon Ammeson is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, food and personalities. She writes frequently for The Times of Northwest Indiana, Kentucky Living magazine, Edible Michiana, Lakeland Boating, Experience Michigan magazine, Indiana Monthly, Cleveland Magazine, Long Weekends Magazine, Food, Wine, Travel magazine and the Herald Palladium where she has a weekly food column. Her TouchScreenTravels include Indiana's Best. She also writes a weekly book review column for The Times of Northwest Indiana as well as food and travel, has authored 16 books including Lincoln Road Trip: The Back-road Guide to America's Favorite President was the winner of the Lowell Thomas Journalism Award in Travel Books, Third Place and also a Finalist for the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Travel category. Her latest books are America's Femme Fatale: The Story of Serial Killer Belle Gunness and Classic Restaurants of Northwest Indiana. Her other books include How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away with It, A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana and Murders That Made Headlines: Crimes of Indiana, all historic true crime as well Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest, Brown County, Indiana and East Chicago. Jane’s base camp is Stevensville, Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Follow Jane at facebook.com/janesimonammeson; twitter.com/hpammeson; https://twitter.com/janeammeson1; twitter.com/travelfoodin, instagram.com/janeammeson/ and on her travel and food blog janeammeson.com and book blog: shelflife.blog/

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