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Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas (Jane Austen Mysteries #12)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,388 Ratings  ·  279 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Soho Crime (first published October 7th 2014)
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Jennifer Kelley I did, and I enjoyed the story. There are a few references to previous stories, but not enough to ruin or impede the flow of this tale.

Community Reviews

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Nov 20, 2014 Jaylia3 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on the wonderful

The holidays make me nostalgic for past times I’ve never actually experienced, so I leapt at the chance to spend the Yuletide season with Jane Austen. Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas is the twelfth installment in a series that features one of my favorite novelists as an amatuer sleuth, but so far I hadn’t managed to read one of them. It seemed high time to rectify that lapse, especially since author Stephanie Barrons studied European histor
This review was first posted on Babblings of a Bookworm

This is the latest in the series by Stephanie Barron featuring our beloved authoress, Jane Austen as an amateur sleuth, stumbling across and solving murders. I am a little late to the party on this series, considering this is the first one I’ve read, and it’s number 12 in the series! There are some references to the previous books, but this book is pretty much stand-alone. It is set in the year 1814, so Jane is already a published authoress,
I am sure that plenty of people will enjoy this book but unfortunately, I wasn't one of them. The first strike for me was turning the author Jane Austen into a character, which I find distasteful; I was willing to be convinced otherwise but wasn't.

Second strike was the repeated references to her niece's doll & its outfits (clearly used as an excuse to put in stuff about Regency clothing) -- it would have gone down better for me if there had been at least some mention of gifts for the other
Nov 01, 2014 QNPoohBear rated it really liked it
Jane Austen, her mother and sister are traveling the 17 miles from Chawton to Steventon to spend the holidays with her brother James and his family. They must travel by public stage all day and into the night to reach their old home. They're looking forward to seeing James-Edward, age 16 and Caroline, age 9. Jane and Cassandra have a special surprise for young Caroline to make her holiday special. Along the way, an accident forces them to make the acquaintance of a Mr. West who is staying with ...more
Abigail Bok
Dec 28, 2015 Abigail Bok rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Barron remains for me the reigning queen of Austenesque fiction. Not only does she have a deep knowledge of Regency manners and history and a true ear for Austen’s dialect as expressed in her letters, but she also has great plotting skills! All her talents were on display here: I enjoyed Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas as much as any of the previous novels in this series. (If you have not read the whole series, this one can be read as a standalone; you simply need to understand t ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Christina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Austenesque readers
Recommended to Christina by: Facebook post
Stephanie Barron knows her Austen and is a masterful storyteller! Her latest, "Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas", though long anticipated, did not disappoint. Barron does her research well and tells her story in a most Austen-like style. She is The Incomparable when it comes to Austenesque mysteries. Or Austen fiction! I have long missed Lord Harold but our dear Miss Austen is introduced to another mystery man who adds much intrigue for this latest mystery. Well done.
Forgive me! I'm still enchanted by the setting of a Regency era Twelve Night of festivities, activities, espionage, forbidden love and murder. I have truly enjoyed this series for its blend of historic authenticity, biographic fiction, intrigue and just overall good writing. This last, ah... It felt like my very own Christmas gift from the author. The author purposefully gave her readers a bit of something extraordinary- the chance to vicariously experience the excitement of a Regency Christmas ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it
As with most of the books I've read the past couple of months, this took waaay too long for me to finish. When i have to "drag" a book out due to time constraints, I feel like maybe I lose some of its magic. So, I'm not sure if my feelings on this one may be in part due to the fact it took me a bit to finish. I liked this one, but after having read a book about Jane from another author recently, found this one lacking a little something.
I really enjoyed the Christmas setting and try my hardest
Nov 18, 2014 Jo rated it really liked it
Jane Austen’s novels continue to inspire authors more than 200 years after they were penned.

The popular and prolific Alexander McCall Smith (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series and the 44 Scotland Street series) is writing a modern-day take on Jane Austen’s meddling matchmaker, Emma Woodhouse, with Emma: A Modern Retelling (publication date April 7, 2015). In McCall Smith’s novel, Emma returns to her beloved Highbury to live with her father after she graduates from
Nov 21, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
There are a lot of books in this series so apparently they comprise a well-loved series, but it is the first I have read. It does refer to other stories in the series but stands on its own. This story, centered on the traditional twelve day celebration of Christmas is extremely detailed, to the point of being pedantic. Rooms and meals. in particular seem described in far too much depth. Often I like this, but not all the time and not in every particular. And like Jane Austen’s novels the ...more
False Millennium
Dec 01, 2014 False Millennium rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read Stephanie Barron for fun. This book did not disappoint. She always takes care to include factual information of the era, in this case the Yule log or the cutting of greens for the church. This time much time was given to the custom of Christmas then, in 1814, versus the later more Germanic practices that Queen Victoria introduced which we still practice. According to Barron, the holidays then still adhered more to the 12 nights, Epiphany, and ancient pagan rituals. If I ever heard of ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: austen-related
This book was a gift from my dear friend, Kim, who I love and with whom I am well pleased. I cannot wait to start reading it!

I am enjoying this book a great deal. I can already claim knowledge of the research done by the author. On page 43, the characters mention Benjamin West who painted "The death of General Wolfe". General James Wolfe is actually a relation of mine and died taking Quebec away from the French. Jane Austen would have known of him and may have seen this painting as well. Emily D
Somehow I've been completely unaware of this mystery series set in Georgian-era England with Jane Austen herself solving crimes, even though the author, Stephanie Barron, now has twelve books to her credit. Normally I am pretty obsessive about reading a mystery series in order but when I spotted this book on our library's New Book shelf, I was intrigued by the Austen-themed concept and the charming Christmas setting and decided to give it a try. The book was delightfully done in the manner of ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Grey853 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela Aidan
Jan 09, 2015 Pamela Aidan rated it really liked it
Stephanie Barron always does a very credible job of writing Jane as Jane and the mysteries are equally interesting and twisty in nature. You won't go wrong in this latest addition to the series. My only dissatisfaction was with her treatment of Austen's brother, James. I will admit that I haven't read about the real James Austen extensively, but I have never come across anything that would justify making him such a caricature, a virtual model for Mr. Collins of P&P fame. I suppose I am more ...more
Susan in NC
Dec 13, 2015 Susan in NC rated it really liked it
I have read and enjoyed every book in this series over the years and was afraid Barron was done with Jane - not so, and I couldn't be happier. The fact that this mystery was set at Christmas, my favorite holiday, made it even more enjoyable - a wonderful way for a mystery buff to kick off the season, with murder, treason, and international intrigue!

Jane is just as I remembered her from Barron's past books - full of wit, dry humor, and sharp intelligence, perhaps not totally content with her quie
Jan 05, 2015 Ginger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
As a 4 year running tradition, my friend Crystal and I listen to a Christmas Murder Mystery during the long car ride on the way to and from visiting our families for the holiday. Because they have to fit the qualifiers "Mystery" and "Christmas" they are usually of dubious quality. I was excited by this one because it also added the slightly ridiculous qualifier "Jane Austen historical fiction" to the list.

From the first 30 minutes of listening to this it nearly put the both of us to sleep. I do
Jan 03, 2015 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, arcs
This book is part of a series that feature Jane Austen, who not only writes classic novels that will be read centuries after her death, but also happens to solve mysteries in her spare time. In this story, Jane and her family are invited to a luxurious estate for the Christmas holidays. But instead of the usual holiday festivities of masquerade balls and games, one of the guests is found dead, apparently thrown from his horse. Jane, with her astute observations, quickly uncovers that the death ...more
This is one of the best in the series, which is very good indeed. What I liked about it was seeing how Christmas was celebrated in Regency times, before the introduction of Germanic customs. The relationship between Jane and Cassandra is delineated with great delicacy and there is a hint of romance for both of them. Children are major characters, and Barron captures their interests and behavior in a realistic way. The clothing for the doll is exquisitely described--I would like a doll with ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would - I'm not really into crime books, but apparently all you have to do is add Jane Austen and set it at Christmas and I'm easy.

Jane is a Jessica Fletcher of her time - a famous author with a side in solving crimes. It shouldn't work, but I totally bought into it. I'd love to see a TV Show of this complete with quick-witted heroine and eccentric supporting characters.

I might have to have a look at the rest of these books now, although I have a strange atta
Kimberly Paulson
Jan 06, 2016 Kimberly Paulson rated it it was amazing
I listened to this book and while this version of Jane is very forward and almost snarky, she is a treat and I love how authentic the writing and historical placement was.
Fiction State Of Mind
Dec 26, 2014 Fiction State Of Mind rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books, series
I reviewed this book through several days so scroll to the bottom to read all my thoughts !

Day 12
A Killer Revealed/Final thoughts
This whole book has unfolded at a wonderfully leisurely pace. What I enjoy most about Stephanie's version of Jane, is her multitasking ability. Jane keeps her decorum and stays within her spinster role while still managing to gather clues about the whereabouts of various suspects. The tension in the final chapters builds as the reveal of the murderer. Like most mysteri
First, I love the nod that the 12th book in the series is themed with the twelve days of Christmas (the English festival of twelfth night, not the insufferable yuletide carol). Barron's penchant for meticulous historical detail brought to life has always been one of the primary recommendations of this series, and providing glimpses into Austen-era holiday traditions is wonderfully transportive.

On one hand, this work nearly rediscovers the best qualities of the earliest books in the series; on th
Cathy Cole
Oct 28, 2014 Cathy Cole rated it liked it
Author Stephanie Barron's setting places the reader firmly in Jane Austen's day. The language is evocative of the writer, including some of the common spellings of the day-- like "chuse" instead of "choose." This is used sparingly and in no way is it confusing. In reading this twelfth book in the series, readers will understand why people thought traveling seven miles was sometimes too much to ask, and the Christmas festivities are brought to life. Another thing that's made clear is how ...more
Sep 22, 2014 Rosemary rated it liked it
I read the first couple of Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen mysteries years ago, but haven't kept up with it since then. It was a delight to return to her work with this latest novel; I'd forgotten how rich in detail about Regency England these books are. And the Christmas setting is delightful--it was fascinating to read about the holiday traditions of that time, place, and social class, especially the Twelfth Night children's ball.

As a mystery, this has a few holes--there's a lot of crucial info
Jessie Frederick
Meh... I just wasn't into this. I continuously lost interest, and I felt like the whole concept (turning a real author into a fictional character) was just cheesy and executed as such.

At the same time, I feel like my lack of enjoyment in this book is very much a "it's not you, it's me" thing. For one, I feel like if I actually read this book rather than listen to it on audio, I might have liked it better. I wasn't into the narrator at all. For two, I usually like murder mysteries, but recently
Dec 08, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: regency-fiction, 2014
This is a historical mystery novel. The main character is none other than Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Jane, along with her mother and sister, are visiting family for Christmas. The family is invited to visit some friends nearby shortly thereafter. Their host, Mr. Chute, is a member of parliament and while there a messenger arrives on urgent state business. The next day the messenger is murdered and the guests are the primary suspects. Just a few days ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Jane Austen, who has made a name for herself by authoring several books has traveled to be with her brother James and his family for Christmas. Shortly after arriving at her brother's house the whole family is invited to a large estate up the road called The Vyne to celebrate the holiday.

As Jane tangles with her brother who believes that she demeans herself with her authorship and her sister-in-law, Mary, who "is going to die any moment" and wants all the attention she can get, a messenger arriv
Kristen McDermott
Reading Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen mysteries is like having tea and a "comfortable coze" with an old friend, and doubly so in this charming evocation of Regency Christmas festivities, which still feature the old medieval traditions rather than the modern German innovations Queen Victoria would introduce a couple of decades later. The mystery takes a back seat to the loving descriptions of holiday food, games, and costumes, and the introduction of a charismatic new love interest for Jane. ...more
Dec 30, 2015 Lollyletsgo rated it really liked it
If one should chuse to read these stories, be prepared for ALL the witticisms of Jane and Cassandra [Jane's other unmarried sister].

There is a double edged sword that Ms Barron shows in these novels, what Jane experienced as a 30+ year old "spinster" [yes, I really dislike that term-- why is a bachelor a bachelor and an unmarried woman not a bachelorette, confirmed or otherwise? I'm digressing sorry..] and what her sister in law (or to Jane simply known as "sister") experiences as a woman of 18
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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 Genius of the Place (Jane Austen Mysteries, #4)
  • 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)

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“There is nothing like a bit of ink to bring reason to the most disordered mind.” 3 likes
“I was treated once more to a novelist's valuable lesson, however—in apprehending that one's perception of plot and character are influenced entirely by one's own experience. To hear Mary tell the story of our Christmas at The Vyne, one would have thought that she was hounded by violence from first to last—perceived more than anybody of the nature of the probable murderer—and barely escaped with her life. It was a lesson in writerly humility. We are each the heroines of our own lives.” 0 likes
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