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Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas

(Jane Austen Mysteries #12)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,067 ratings  ·  541 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, 329 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.

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 ·  3,067 ratings  ·  541 reviews

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Oct 19, 2014 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
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 chil
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
It took me a while to figure out what to say about this novel, because I did neither hate nor particularly enjoy it. In the end it was just an average story and after less than a week I’ve forgotten most of the plot already. I think it was a nice idea to turn Jane Austen into a fictional character for this series and I definitely enjoyed the festive spirit but don’t think that I’ll read any of the other books in the series in the near future.
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,
Abigail Bok
Dec 28, 2015 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
Kathleen Flynn
This was fun and read at exactly the right time of the year, for like Barron's imagined Jane Austen in this story I find myself between Christmas and New Year's. I know just enough about the Austens and their world to be impressed and amused by how much more Barron knows about them.

Although I read a lot of mysteries at one point in my life when I was trying to write one, I realize that I now seem to find them unsatisfying. The assembly of the puzzle always feels more fun to read about than the u
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.25 regency teacups out of 5! I read the 1st one in the series a long time ago. I enjoyed it but haven't read any of them since then. While I don't love mysteries, I enjoyed reading this. Perhaps more for "hanging" out with Jane and some of the members of her family during the holiday season, than the mystery itself. However, that kept me turning pages too. I wasn't thrilled in some elements of the ending. I look forward to reading more of this series. I understand that there will be at least o ...more
Dec 01, 2015 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. ...more
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
Oct 19, 2014 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 t ...more
Jan 05, 2015 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
Dec 07, 2014 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
Michelle Griep
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delicious writing in an Austenesque style. Red herrings galore, so that you'll wonder who the real culprit is. Manor homes and balls and dinners . . . Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas is an altogether charming read.

If you're a Jane Austen fan, what's not to love about reading a story with your favorite author as a character -- and the main one at that! This story takes place in the English countryside, weaving in facts about Jane Austen into the plot. What a fun way to get to know more abou
Primrose Jess
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. I was prepared for the sugariness of a cozy read mystery, yet it lacked that entirely. It was full of period terminology, history lessons, and cool logic with the acerbic British humor I enjoy. As always when I read a fictional novel with Jane Austen as the protagonist, I'm hit with a sad whimsy wondering "What if..." What if she hadn't died so young, what if she had married her presumed love, what if.. what if.. what if. Our loss as readers for sure. ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
Reading this book was a wonderful seasonal treat! I borrowed a copy from the library, but will be buying my own to add to my personal Christmas collection.
An aging Jane, her mother and sister Cassandra visit their son and brother James Austen and his family for Christmas in Steventon, where Jane's own father had previously served as Rector for many years. Displeased by the cold rectory and less-than-warm welcome they receive from Jane's parsimonious (and santimonious) brother and hyperchondriac
Sep 30, 2014 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
Bam cooks the books ;-)
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 Au ...more
Pamela Aidan
Dec 17, 2014 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 than ...more
Amber ☾♥

You know, I’m not sure why I chose this book considering I’ve yet to be able to get myself to get through a classic (outside of school) no matter how hard I try.

However, I enjoyed myself more than I would have thought. I know this isn’t a classic, but it’s written with very similar language, so...maybe it’s time to try an actual classic again.

Or maybe I just enjoyed it so much because murder and Christmas are an odd mix.

Either way. 😬
Nov 26, 2016 added it
Too many books and too little time! I started this one and found that the story didn't pull me in as quickly as I had hoped but I did enjoy some of the tongue-and-check observations of the holidays written in formal 18th-Century English so it may be a nice choice for those who have a special interest in Austen or this series. :) ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historic-fiction
This was on a Christmas display at the library and I spied it just as I was checking out. It has a beautiful cover and with the combination of Jane Austen and Christmas, well, I just couldn't pass it up.

I almost put it down a couple pages in when it seemed like the author was purposefully making it hard to read by including all sorts of vocabulary that I had never heard of just to convince the reader of the historical accuracy. I've read most of Austen's books and lots of other books from that
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
I suppose I was hoping for a bit of heartwarming Christmas cheer in an Austonian setting, but that was not this book.

The book starts with Jane, her mother and her sister suffering through a horrible cart ride in the dead of night in the dead of winter in order to reach her brother's house in order to celebrate Christmas. They get almost run over and killed by another coach on the darkened road since Jane's brother didn't see fit to supply the cart with lanterns in the dark, much less any warmth
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm indifferent about this book.

I was able to power through the last few hours and I cannot really tell you what the resolution was. I know who the murderer is but the Why and How are lost on me. This is not the author's fault but more that I zoned out from the narrator smooth, soothing voice.

It was like a kind British lady took out a thesaurus and read through it. She has a very pleasing voice but that wasn't helping matters. I don't see myself going back to this series.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The start was incredibly slow, and I thought it was a biography for a while. The story got more interesting towards the middle, but the ending was very unsatisfying.

I’m curious how many of the characters were based on real people, but I think the story could have easily used fictional characters, and not Jane Austin, and have lost nothing of the story.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first Austen spinoff I have enjoyed, and I’ve tried many. I think the best part about it is that the author has mastered Regency period speech and decorum, among different classes, no less. It is punctuated by historical fact, and contains not overdone references to Austen’s real work. I’m happy to report that while light in entertainment this does not fall into the often eyeroll worthy cozy mystery category.
Angela Demott
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was SO unexpectedly clever, sweet, and enjoyable. I don’t usually gravitate towards “the cozy mystery,” but I was intrigued by this series & wanted a Christmas-themed book for the month, & I’m happy to say it did not disappoint. Jane Austen as a Miss Marple-type sleuth felt meant to be to me, as Stephanie Barron’s Jane observes & understands human nature in a way reminiscent of the real Jane Austen. Barron’s other characters added so much color to the novel, as if this were an actual A ...more
Nov 03, 2014 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
Book Barmy (
I started this series when it first debuted back in 1996 (beginning with Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor). The series re-imagines Jane Austen as amateur detective. I read the first three and then decided I would rather read (and re-read) the actual Jane Austen novels.

This one being set at Christmas got saved for a rainy holiday season and we’ve had just that — so I dipped in.

The tale opens on Christmas Eve, 1814, as Jane Austen; her sister, Cassandra; and her mother are traveling
Nov 21, 2014 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 charact ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, holidays
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 Twel ...more
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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

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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