Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m back with more Christmasy murder vibes, with a touch of historical fiction, with Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas.
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 for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.
Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?
In one word, this was “interesting”! I’m a big Austen fan, and have never been completely convinced by novels like these where the famous author is cast as a character, feeling slightly sceptical about how she could be captured fully and honestly. While of course this is all subjective to a degree, no matter how much research is done, I have to confess myself slightly converted.
The time period was captured perfectly, with wonderful details, and I loved especially the beautiful little clothes that Jane describes having made for her niece’s doll. While these were obviously not the main focus of the story, it was a beautiful little storyline to follow through the Twelve Nights celebration. As a crafter, I loved the attention paid to things like dresses and artwork, and the author did herself credit with how well this was described.
The mystery itself was very well put together, and the little clues that were hidden took a long time to make sense, in the best kind of way. Without spoiling things, I also enjoyed that the mystery was at least partially made up of the sensibilities (pun very much intended) of the time, and that the historic themes carried throughout was a brilliance.
Overall, this was an easy, cosy mystery to relax into.
Thanks for stopping by today! There’s plenty of other murder mystery reviews to be found across my site, so be sure to check them out.