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Jane and the Genius of the Place (Jane Austen Mysteries #4)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,598 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
In three highly diverting mysteries, Jane Austen has shown herself a clever hand at unraveling the deadly knots woven by the unscrupulous. Now, in her latest engrossing adventure, Jane is called upon to solve a shattering crime that may begin and end in one man's heart--or encompass the fate of an entire nation.
In the waning days of summer, Jane Austen is off to the Cante
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published January 5th 1999 by Bantam
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Nov 10, 2010 Laurel rated it it was amazing
A fascinating Jane Austen inspired Regency mystery involving horseracing, French spies and the "improvement of the estate"

In the summer of 1805, we find Jane Austen visiting her wealthy brother Edward and his large family at their palatial country estate Godmersham Park in Kent, enjoying the comforts of living above “vulgar economy,” and the privileges of ease and splendor. Her father Rev. Austen had passed away the following January, displacing herself, her sister Cassandra and their mother fro
Finished it at last. It proved to be very tiresome read till the very end. To much niceties in text so meaning drowns in them and can't hold attention of the reader. I wonder if first two read stories had the same issue? I honestly can't remember. I also can't say i remember what they were about. What a pity.
Jane just goes with the flow. She does not investigate. And it's what saddens me most. I would like to see more action. And here they just were handled the solution by the responsible party
Another excellent book from Stephanie Barron. I just love the MC, especially since I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen's works. The idea of Jane as an amateur sleuth is awesome. :) The author does an excellent job with making statements similar to Jane. :) This is technically the second time I've read this particular one, but the last time was so long ago, I didn't remember it. I did catch the twist before Jane and her brother did, and that may have been my subconscious remembering the story for me. ; ...more
As much as I was not taken by the set up of the third book, I was immediately in love with the set up of this one. Why? It begins at the Canterbury Races and involves regular references to the fear of an invasion by Napoleon, things near and dear to my heart. The introduction of Jane's brother Edward and his wife Elizabeth was quite delightful, and I admit there were more passages here that caused me to outright laugh (in the best way) than in past books. The mystery itself is more complex than ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Jenna rated it really liked it
Jane Austen's father has recently died and Jane is spending time in Kent with her brother Edward and his wife Lizzy. They spend an afternoon at the races, where Jane's other brother, Henry, has a horse in competition. What none of the party expect to encounter is the strangled body of Franciose Gray tumble out of a carriage that is not her own. So begins the fourth Jane Austen Mystery, Jane and the Genius of the Place by Stephanie Barron.

I think this installment is, thus far, my favorite of all
May 13, 2016 Miriam rated it liked it
The fourth Jane Austen Mystery was a bit of a let-down after the third one. That is not to say that it wasn't still a good read, but it was much less tightly plotted and had a much less satisfying resolution. I wish this author did not constantly let the murderers escape after a full explanation and fail to punish them directly. A posting in India is not the equivalent of an arrest and a public trial. 
The depictions of Godmersham and Jane's brother and his family there were charming, but that al
Carey Bligard
I enjoyed a lot of things about this book, but the mystery was only so-so. I knew as soon as the victim was found how the murderer managed it and spent the entire book wondering why Jane did not see it too. There was also a big hint part way through and she still didn't get it. I don't think this showed much cleverness by our dear Jane.
Maia B.
Mar 05, 2011 Maia B. rated it liked it
It's not Austen's writing, though the fake is pretty convincing, but it's fine. The mystery is quite good, and though I do have a hard time fitting Austen into amateur sleuthing, I can believe it enough that it's not a struggle. It's a very summery book, and evokes the heat and dust and 19th century very well. I'd recommend it if you're not an Austen purist, but you like Jane Austen.
Georgiana 1792
Un buon modello per Frank Churchill

Questo romanzo mi ha riappacificato con la serie di Jane Austen Investigatrice di Stephanie Barron, che da un po' avevo abbandonato per 'disamoramento'.

Dopo un lungo periodo di attesa, dunque, ho intrapreso la lettura del quarto caso e... delizia delle delizie: ho ritrovato la MIA Jane Austen!
Il caso è ambientato nella zona di Canterbury (Kent) nel 1805, subito dopo la morte del reverendo Austen. Jane è in visita dal fratello Edward (Neddie) e dalla cognata Eli
May 05, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the summer of 1805, Jane Austen finds herself enjoying the comforts of a visit to Godmersham Park, her wealthy brother Edward's estate in Kent. Following the passing of her beloved father some eight months prior, Jane, along with her mother and sister Cassandra, found themselves set adrift in the world, dependent on the generosity of more well-heeled family members to provide them with shelter and sustenance. Jane determines to enjoy all the benefits that come with her brother's place in soci ...more
Feb 28, 2012 Hermioneginny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2013 QNPoohBear rated it really liked it
Shelves: austenesque, mystery

Jane is on the move again. This time she is at the Canterbury Races in Kent with her brother Edward and his family. Also at the races is the scandalous Mrs. Grey, a Frenchwoman who has captured the interest of many of the men in Kent but not many of the ladies. Scandalous Mrs. Grey is rumored to have had numerous affairs while her husband was occupied with business in London. Mrs. Grey gives rise to the rumors when she is seen hitting a gentleman with her riding crop. Later she is seen entering
Feb 18, 2015 Argum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane is visiting her brother Ned, the adopted one married to a baronets daughter. Henry is there as well, but his charming wife Eliza is off somewhere and Cassandra is down the street nursing a relation. Father has died and Mother is elsewhere offstage. In exchange these new relatives are equally charming foils with the plus that Neddie seems to embrace Jane's recent forays into murder. A French born wife of a local banker who behaves in a generally scandalous fashion is found murdered at the ra ...more
Margaret Metz
I wasn't sure how I felt about this latest installment of the Jane mysteries. It has more twists and turns than a bendy straw and sometimes reminded me more of a modern day soap opera than a mystery novel.

I also missed Lord Harold. He's one of the most compelling characters created in this series. There's some hope that he'll feature in the next one. :o)

I don't know whether it happened more often in this novel or if after three books the novelty of it has just worn off, but hearing the real Jan
Mar 29, 2015 Lanita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy a good mystery, but when you throw in Jane Austen, that's even better. I've read three of Stephanie Barron's books so far, and all of them have proved entertaining and stimulating to say the least. I was once again surprised by Jane's sleuthing skills, and her vivid descriptions of Kent. This particular mystery took me a longer time to read, though, since I had other books I wanted to read before tackling this one. I'm very grateful I did return to this series, however, because Ja ...more
Apr 24, 2016 Robert rated it really liked it
This series is addictive and does, I think, improve. Perhaps it strays further away from the spirit of Jane Austen, despite the many true facts, but on the way the character of our fictitious Jane improves. The plotting is fiendish and this one had me guessing right to the end - a true whodunnit.
Just a couple of small gripes: the first is a sentence about Canterbury, "Crowds of the penitent and the hopeful still choke the narrow streets on high holy days, while those who would profit by the piou
Francesca Morelli
May 09, 2013 Francesca Morelli rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giallo
E' stata la peggiore storia che ho letto fino adesso di questa serie.
Molto lungo, un'indagine che ha coinvoto metà della buona società di Southampton, l'autrice ha mescolato politica con interessi personali, non sono riuscita a capire dove volesse andare a parare.
Una confusione di personaggi che erano messi lì solo per sviare le indagini del fratello di Jane, in questo capitolo la cognata Elisabeth è stata più arguta della stessa Jane.
Insomma tra corse di cavalli, inviti a cena e per il tè da un
Apr 15, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
In the 4th installment of Stephanie Barron's Being Jane Austen historical mystery series, Jane and the Genius of the Place, Jane Austen returned in another gripping mystery. Now it was summer-time in Kent, England, 1805, when Jane was off to see the Canterbury Races, when the rich and famous come to gamble on the horse race to make their bets. But when a raven-beauty named Francois Grey arrived at the horse track to take center stage. She cast a spell on the men, when this French beauty's unbrid ...more
Jul 13, 2016 Lorraine rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The "genius of the place" refers to Alexander Pope's comment on landscape design - the need to respect the "genius of the place", the spirit of the landscape. In this mystery Jane is again visiting her brother at his estate. When a murder is committed almost in front of her eyes, she and Edward must solve the puzzle. Barron introduces contemporary events of Jane's time such as the impending invasion of Napoleon's troops, the redesign of landscape based on the rival theories of Capability Brown a ...more
Apr 18, 2008 Gloria rated it liked it
Yup, I have been running through this series rather quickly. This installment has an unfortunate lack of development in the relationship between Jane and Lord Trowbridge, but the mystery is engaging nonetheless. Jane is staying with her brother in Kent, and attends the Kent Races. There she witnesses the discovery of the corpse of a Mrs. Grey, a Frenchwoman who had the sad distinction of making many enemies in the Kentish countryside. Her French heritage is even more troublesome, as it is 1806, ...more
Dec 08, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, so much so that occasionally I had to remind myself that Stephanie Barron and NOT Jane Austen had written it. Having overdosed on Agatha Christie of late (and her very 'to the point' sentence stucture, initially I found this a bit hard going, but the more I read the more effortless it became. I swear the woman is channeling Austen - there is no other explanation for her gift. It's all there, the wit, the insight, the irony, the social commentary - with murder and ...more
Linda K
Jan 11, 2011 Linda K rated it really liked it
As the 4th in a series of mysteries involving Jane Austen as a lady sleuth, we are treated to a delicious taste of the proprieties of life in 1800 England. Written with a clear eye for the historically accurate, we discover more and more about the Jane that so many of us love.

The mystery lies in the death of a French woman during an English horse race at the time when Buonaparte lies in wait to do war against England. Jane assists her brother, who is the local appointed man of the law, in solvi
Feb 17, 2016 Madge rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't recall how many false starts I had on this book, until I finally cast it aside. 2016, however, is all about finishing books in the TBR pile; hence, I fished this slender volume out from its watery exile.
"Jane and the Genius of the Place" starts off quite tediously in the beginning; it didn't grip me the way the other Jane novels did. Falling asleep whilst striving through the first chapter was a common occurrence in the past; recent reading did not prove the contrary.
I wanted to give a
Mar 14, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Ahhhhh! Yet another wonderful book from this series! I think what I liked most about Jane and the Genius of the Place was that I got to really meet her brother, Edward "Neddie" and his wife, Lizzy. Their daughter, Fanny was also a minor yet fun character. There was a good bit of historical information in this book, of which I was previously unaware. One particular scene that stands out for me was when some neighbors come over who were invited for dinner but rudely decline dining with them becaus ...more
Aug 27, 2014 Lynda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hilary Sephton
Any Jane Austen fan will enjoy Barron's Jane Austen Mysteries. Stephanie Barron's rendition of Jane Austen put me in mind of Sherlock Holmes. Austen shows her quick mind and wit by helping to solve the murder of Mrs. Grey and one of the men who despised her. The characters and settings consist of people and places actually from Austen's life. Horse racing, country life, and the threat of Napoleon's imminent invasion all lead to tension and trauma. Whispers of various quotes from Austen's novels ...more
Again, I really missed the presence of Harold Trowbridge in this novel. Now, I know that if he were a major player in all the books, I would probably not like him as much but nevertheless, his dynamic with Jane makes the story much more enjoyable at least for me.

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in this installment. For the most part, I had figured out most of the mystery long before the denouement mainly because the story seemed to be so unoriginal from that done by other writers of m
Sep 16, 2013 Ann rated it liked it
Jane Austen has traveled to Kent to visit and attend the races. She is sitting in her carriage with her sister and family when the body of a local woman is found in a shabby carriage close to theirs. The victim was a woman who was known to have a loose morality and has just won the race by jumping her horse over the rail and joining the horses on the track. The area is in turmoil because it is rumored that Napoleon is getting his fleet ready to invade England and evacuation plans are in progress ...more
Jan 18, 2009 Kristen rated it it was amazing
In this 4th book Jane Austen is enjoying a stay with her sister in Kent when a neighbor is mysteriously murdered - almost under the eyes of a crowd, including Jane herself! I must confess that I worked out the fact of the substitution long before the characters - the only questions were who and why, and were much more difficult to resolve. With beautifully drawn characters and clear, enjoyable writing, this series continues to delight. My only regret is that the determined historicity of the wor ...more
May 28, 2008 Donna rated it liked it
Interesting setting as southern England prepares for Napolean's invastion in 1805. The anticipated event didn't happen due to the plot of this story. I enjoy the author's use of Jane Austen's voice with "editor's" footnotes for explanation.

Do you find a mystery more or less satisfactory if you figure out the key plot points or "who dun it?" I picked up the key event as soon as it happened here.
Oct 03, 2012 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I consider Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen mysteries my "fluff" between more serious reading. I find them interesting as I love the Regency genre and I love mysteries. I just take the fact that it's supposed to be Jane Austen solving these crimes out of the equation. This book had the threat of a French invasion more in the forefront than her previous books which is appropriate considering the time period. I'm sure I'll be reading more of her books as I go along. She does write well.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Stephanie Barron was born Francine Stephanie Barron in Binghamton, NY in 1963, the last of six girls. Her father was a retired general in the Air Force, her mother a beautiful woman who loved to dance. The family spent their summers on Cape Cod, where two of the Barron girls
More about Stephanie Barron...

Other Books in the Series

Jane Austen Mysteries (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (Jane Austen Mysteries, #1)
  • Jane and the Man of the Cloth (Jane Austen Mysteries, #2)
  • Jane and the Wandering Eye (Jane Austen Mysteries, #3)
  • Jane and the Stillroom Maid (Jane Austen Mysteries, #5)
  • Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House (Jane Austen Mysteries, #6)
  • Jane and the Ghosts of Netley (Jane Austen Mysteries, #7)
  • Jane and His Lordship's Legacy (Jane Austen Mysteries, #8)
  • Jane and the Barque of Frailty (Jane Austen Mysteries, #9)
  • Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (Jane Austen Mysteries, #10)
  • Jane and the Canterbury Tale (Jane Austen Mysteries, #11)

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“The landscape artist had captured a distant prospect of an ancient hillside, surmounted by cyprus and a few tumbled columns; the mood was one of desolation and peace, a glorious past recalled, and now thankfully put to rest. ” 6 likes
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