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Jane e l'arcano di Penfolds Hall (Jane Austen Mysteries #5)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,751 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Jane Austen as sleuth continues to delight in her latest adventure (after Jane and the Genius of the Place), which sheds new light on the author's travels in 1806. While enjoying a ramble in the Derbyshire hills near Bakewell (a town Eliza Bennett visits in Pride and Prejudice), Jane discovers the mutilated body of a young man. Jane's suspicions are roused when her escort, ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published October 2010 by TEA (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 23, 2012 Mindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hooray for a book I loved!

The concept sounds a little funny... Jane Austen as a accidental detective, but it worked. She was obviously a witty and bright woman so the thought of her curiosities being peaked to the point of investigation didn't seem so far fetched to me.

The author must be a Jane Austen historian because many of the characters/dates/locations are accurate accounts of Austen's life - what Stephanie Barron does is takes unaccounted time lapses of her life and fills them in with mys
A couple of years ago, I really jumped into this series. I do not consider myself a mystery reader, but I really enjoyed these books. Perhaps it is because the main character is Jane Austen, and I have been known to enjoy an Austen book or two.

Jane, her mother, sister, and cousin are on a trip to Derbysire (which is beautiful country, I must add). On an afternoon of visiting the countryside, Jane discovers a dead, and mutilated body. It turns out that while on first appearing like a man, the tru
In the 5th installment of Stephanie Barron's Being Jane Austen series, Jane and the Stillroom Maid, Jane returned to solve another mystery. It was now 1806, when she enjoyed a rumble to the Derbyshire Hills near Bakewell, when she discovered the mutilated body of a young man. With the help of Mr. George Hemming, they've found out that it was a woman in disguise, one of the servants of the great houses. Tess Arnold had a reputation of a healer, accused of witchcraft, when rumors of a ritual murde ...more
Jun 22, 2016 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is a return to form after the last one, which was a bit of a disappointment. This book had a much more engaging cast of characters, who this time seemed like actual fleshed-out people instead of cardboard cutouts, and a compelling, suspenseful mystery. I didn't find out the murderer until Jane revealed his identity and the solution made a lot of sense to me in hindsight. I especially liked the inclusion of the epigraphs, and the way in which they paralleled Jane's progressive t ...more
A rather heartbreaking addition to the JA Mysteries series, on multiple levels. This was nevertheless another wonderful read- taking the reader to Derbyshire and engaging in complex domestic drama. It will be particularly appealing to those with an interest in the life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, because though set shortly after her death, there are extensive scenes featuring the family members that survived her.
Feb 20, 2009 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good book. It was kind of hard to get into.
Touring the Derbyshire countryside in the summer of 1806, Jane Austen, her mother, sister Cassandra and cousin Rev. Edward Cooper are staying at the Rutland Arms in Bakewell, in the Peak District. While on a day excursion out into the country with Mr. Cooper and his friend Mr. Hemming, the gentleman enjoy angling along the River Wye and Jane pursues her passion for a country walk, shortly ending in a disturbing discovery. A young gentleman is found “foully and cruelly” murdered on a crag near Mi ...more
Jessie Radford
Jun 14, 2017 Jessie Radford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable novel as always, though I have to say this one may have been a bit more gruesome than the others. The death scene was described so artfully and detailed you could almost imagine yourself beside Ms. Austen. Lord Trowbridge was even more roguish in this volume, and I absolutely adore the interaction between himself and Jane. I see where Jane drew her inspiration for Mr. Collins, although Jane's cousin may have been entirely worse. I can not wait to read the next installment.
May 28, 2017 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story and it was a good mystery. I admire the way Stephanie is able to write her stories in the style of Jane Austen, it can not be easy to do.
Oct 21, 2016 Maj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, splendid, genius etc.

Together with the 3rd book in the series this one's yet my favourite.
Georgiana 1792
Il ricordo di Georgiana

In questo romanzo Stephanie Barron ci trasporta nel periodo che Jane Austen trascorse in Derbyshire con sua madre e sua sorella nell'estete del 1806, dopo la morte del Reverendo George Austen. Recatesi in visita ad Hamstall Ridware, in Staffordshire, dove il cugino Edward Cooper era parroco, le tre donne si ritrovarono a dover sfuggire a un'epidemia di pertosse che colpì la famiglia Cooper, rifugiandosi in Derbyshire. Qui Jane Austen visitò Chatsworth, l'ancestrale dimora
Mrs. Austen and Cassandra are still making a tour of various relatives before settling down with Frank in Southhampton. This time they are visiting cousin Edward Cooper. The Cooper family becomes afflicted with whooping cough so Edward must take his relations off on a tour of Derbyshire. Jane heads off to explore the peaks while the gentlemen fish and Mrs. A and Cassandra rest at the inn. While exploring, Jane comes across her most gruesome murder yet. She discovers the body of a young gentlema ...more
Feb 28, 2012 Hermioneginny rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2016 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I love this series. although the characters are those of Jane Austens life I cannot see the main character as being like her in many respects. Still, of I read them for enjoyment and not looking for Jane Austen they are good period mysteries
Ivonne Rovira
Jane and the Stillroom Maid is a nice comeback from the disappointment of the fourth installment in this otherwise spritely series. Unlike Jane and the Genius of the Place, the reason for the servant's odd dress isn't obvious from the very first. Indeed, I found myself being constantly surprised. You won't guess "who done it" until you're told in the very last pages.

As with all the Jane Austen mysteries, you'll find yourself enjoying the style and historical footnotes as much as the mystery itse
Apr 18, 2008 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is turning out to be an enjoyable read. The first few pages were annoying (with the dorky cousin Rev. Cooper singing) and then they stumble upon the dead body and the plot moves right along.

One in a series, I had previously read the 2nd title by Barron, Jane and the Wandering Eye, set in Bath. At the time, I had just been to Bath but had not read that much about it, so I did not enjoy the mystery novel that well.

With this current title, Jane and the Stillroom Maid, I am connecting better wi
Don't get me wrong - I still like Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen mysteries series, which allows me to get my regular fix of all things Jane that I have yet to consume. The writing was excellent as always; there were no significant or even minor blunders in the history or continuity. However, I have a very hard time stomaching that Jane Austen, even in fiction, was acquainted with the Duke of Devonshire and his family. It is so extraordinary that this might have happened. For all I know, in futur ...more
Linda K
Another intriguing mystery, 5th in the series with Jane Austen as the investigator with a classic touch. I always learn new little bits when I read these books about England of early 1800's. I did not know what a stillroom maid was until now. The one in this story comes to a bad end but not before she has concocted her potions for many others. Jane, her mother and sister are in Bakewell when trouble happens and in between the social happenings, Jane is intently endeavoring to solve the murder my ...more
Sep 06, 2014 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephanie Barron has captured the essence of Jane Austen in her Jane Austen Mystery Series. It is based on what is known of Jane Austen's personality, family, acquaintances and life. Quotes from her actual works are used throughout the text. The reader envisions Jane remembering the story line and incorporating it into one of her novels. Jane and the Stillroom Maid is filled with information about the early 1800's. The story centers around a Stillroom Maid who is murdered. Jane and her friends t ...more
Mar 22, 2010 Tammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I suppose that having read five of these, I should be very generous with praise. Really, I wanted to like these, the premise is great, each installment is full of references only a true fan of Austen would recognise, either in discriptions or character's statements. I do appreciate them more than most Austen fan literature. However, I'm giving up the series. I'd rather read Jane's books again. The other reason is that the library is out of large-print editions after this one. I had been reading ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane Austen is visiting the countryside of Derbyshire when she discovers the body of a young man lying among the rocks. He has been murdered and mutilated. She meets up with her "Gentleman Rogue," Lord Harold Trowbridge as she begins to look into the murder. First the victim turns out to be a woman dressed in man's clothing and she was the stillroom maid for Sir Charles Danforth. Jane, in her own style and with unassuming grace, investigates the murder and soon uncovers the murderer before the o ...more
Oct 20, 2013 Beverley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Jane Austen junkie, I confess. I have read a lot of trash under her umbrella. This is not one of those books. Stephanie Barron gives us the flavor and language of a Jane Austen novel. It is fast moving with some interesting detours. Our heroine, Jane, acts as we would expect with charm and decorum. The historical detail is footnoted, the characters are well developed. I enjoyed the humorous description of her brother-in-law, Edward Cooper, a boorish clergyman and cousin who sang hymns whe ...more
May 01, 2009 Booklady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Another what-really-happened book, the author claims to have come across a trunk of Jane Austen's letters that provide fodder for this series of books about Jane's life -- as a detective in Regency England. We follow Jane through her everyday life and trials as a spinster living with her mother on a limited income. We see Jane in love with a seemingly unattainable man. We find Jane involved in intrigue, state secrets, and a bit of mystery. (We find Jane writing her books in scraps of paper in-be ...more
This book finds Jane in the Derbyshire countryside, enjoying the views, when she stumbles across a dead body. I'm not as pleased with this one as with any of the others (though we do, at least, get a large dose of Lord Harold) - the plot seems both too contrived and too dramatic, yet without enough tension to sustain it. Certainly the crimes were hideous, but I'm still not sure why it was "obvious" that it was all someone else's idea really. But read it for the delightful characters, visits to E ...more
Nov 24, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little annoyed that this series keeps being presented as fact when it is woven out of whole cloth. However, I have found them to be very entertaining, thoughtful and complex reads. Definitely not cozy mysteries, but the opposite in fact.

I do enjoy the portrayal of the manners of Jane Austen's time. Whether she would ever actually participate and involve herself in solving murders is really beside the point. Suspense your qualms or questions revolving the truth of the stories. Just enjoy them.
Angela Johnson
I'm glad I picked this up from the library, even though they didn't have the first one I figured it probably wouldn't matter much and it didn't. Barron does an excellent job at writing in Jane's purpose and certainly had done her research regarding Austen's personal history and of the time period itself. This was just as good as a modern day mystery setting. I felt truly sad at the novels end though due to the deaths of the children,and the characters didn't dwell too much on that whichi found a ...more
Maia B.
The plot lags and it's really boring in the middle, and the language bogs you down more than in any of the other books - it's much tougher than Austen's. And there's a character named, very unfortunately, "Hary-O," but don't let that deter you. It's a good start to the series, even though it's the fourth or fifth. If you like Austen or if you like mysteries and historical fiction, you'll like this.
The next in the series of Jane Austen as the star of the show solving mysteries and murders in her seeminly quiet, ordinary world.

Jane is a wonderful character, and in Stephanie Barron's skillful hands, you not only get to enjoy a fun mystery, but you learn about Jane Austen's life, with actual characters, places and events in Jane's life being sprinkled into the story.

If you enjoyed Jane Austen's books, you will love Jane in the lead role.
Jun 15, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This novel is a mystery set in regency England and has as the main character Jane Austen. I bought this book because I both like mysteries and I am a fan of Jane Austen and I wanted to read how this author portrayed her. I admit that in this latter part I did not like the novel: the character called Jane Austen was not ironic enough to represent the author of Emma. The mystery part was not bad instead.

Carey Bligard
This is the best Jane Austen mystery thus far. It combined Darbyshire and the family of the Duke of Devonshire, as well as Jane's friend Lord Harold Trowbridge. I particularly enjoyed it because of research I have done on Lady Caroline Lamb (who is not in this book, but who is related to the Devonshire menage) so I knew the characters of that family. I also enjoyed it as a physician as it concerned the practice of medicine and what we would now call "Alternative Medicine". A wonderful book!
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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 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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