Download Jane and the Stillroom Maid: Being the Fifth Jane Austen Mystery Audiobook

Jane and the Stillroom Maid: Being the Fifth Jane Austen Mystery Audiobook, by Stephanie Barron Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Stephanie Barron Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Jane Austen Mysteries Release Date: August 2000 ISBN: 9781415910764
3.00215053763441 out of 53.00215053763441 out of 53.00215053763441 out of 53.00215053763441 out of 53.00215053763441 out of 5 3.00 (930 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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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, Mr. George Hemming, prefers to remove the unidentified corpse to Buxton, rather than Bakewell, and they increase when the body proves to be that of a woman dressed in men's clothing. Moreover, the corpse is identified as Tess Arnold, a servant at one of the area's great houses, whom Mr. Hemming should have recognized. As the compounder of stillroom remedies, Tess had a reputation as a healer, until accused of witchcraft. Rumors of ritual murder by Freemasons-who include most of the neighboring gentry-excite the local populace and jeopardize the investigation of the justice of the peace, himself a Mason. When Mr. Hemming disappears before the inquest, Jane and the justice turn for help to Lord Harold Trowbridge, a guest at the nearby ducal house of Chatsworth. Barron catches Austen's tone amazingly well. Details of early 19th-century country life of all classes ring true, while the story line is clear, yet full of surprises. The "editor's notes" that punctuate the text and old cures for various ills that open each chapter add to the charm. (Aug.)


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Quotes & Awards

  • Jane Austen as sleuth continues to delight in her latest adventure.
  • Barron catches Austen's tone amazingly well. Details of early 19th-century country life of all classes ring true, while the story line is clear, yet full of surprises.
  • “Details of early nineteenth-century country life of all cases ring true, while the story line is clear, yet full of surprises.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Very appealing…As in Austen’s novels, the relationships are complex and full of suppressed passion.”

    Booklist

  • “Barron writes with greater assurance than ever and her heroine’s sleuthing is more confident and accomplished.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This work bears all the wonderful trademarks of the earlier titles, including period detail, measured but often sardonic wit, and authenticity.”

    Library Journal

  • “Stephanie Barron does an excellent job of creating Jane Austen’s world…A chilling mystery with a solution that will leave you spellbound.”

    Romantic Times

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 2/11/2014

    " An excellent mystery in a series that improves as it ages. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victory | 2/8/2014

    " Very amusing, if you like mysteries with a theme and Austen appeals then you'll like this. It's not to be taken overly seriously but for it's genre it's an easy and amusing read and I found it just right for what I was looking for-- a bit of brain candy to amuse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 2/7/2014

    " Not the best book of the series, but it was nice to have the Gentleman Rogue in this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 2/6/2014

    " I found all the characters rather confusing. Also missed the great number of footnotes. Felt there could have been more. On the plus side Lord Harold is present for most of the book and the ending is a surprise. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/19/2014

    " These books are based on letters that Jane Austen wrote (supposedly) to family members and traces some of her footsteps. Each book is a mystery, which Jane sets out to solve. These are fun reads. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 1/18/2014

    " Wow. This one didn't totally suck. In fact, it was readable. Upgrade! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kc | 1/15/2014

    " Quick, entertaining read. The main character is spirited and clever, but how much resemblance she bears to the real Jane Austen is certainly debatable. The same could be said for the other characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/12/2014

    " These get even better as we progress through the series. In this one, Jane herself discovers the body. I love her cousin's reaction, "Another one?" We get to see more of Cassandra, which is refreshing. But nothing of Jane's brothers, and I missed them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 12/18/2013

    " Not my favorite but still a good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanna | 12/13/2013

    " A bit too predictable. But the voice is still spot on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Georgi | 12/1/2013

    " As usual, Stephanie Barron has me enthralled with the sleuthing styles of Jane Austen. Move over Ms. Marple, you have some competition. I have really enjoyed the novels I have read so far, and am looking forward to reading the next on in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kortney | 4/3/2013

    " All of the Jane Austen mysteries are great. I think that it is a clever series and a welcome addition addition to all things Austen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/29/2013

    " Another default loaded onto my iPod by Heather. Kind of fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 10/24/2012

    " Pretty good book. It was kind of hard to get into. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 6/26/2012

    " A completely enjoyable mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 4/20/2012

    " If you like Agatha Christie's Poirot, you'll love this ending. Throughout it is equally as good as Barron's others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 11/7/2011

    " Jane and Lord Harold a great romance if only on her side. These mysteries just get better and better. I love them. I hope Lord Harold returns her feelings outwardly. It would be nice if Jane had a man that admired her for more than her instincts, cunning, and brains. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tanis | 7/1/2011

    " So this book took me FOREVER to read. I think I need a new genre. I'm kind of burned out on the Regency England murder mysteries. But it was pretty good. Just had a slow start but I enjoyed the surprise ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 6/25/2011

    " Pleasant light mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 3/26/2011

    " I liked it, but it was a little bit gory for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanna | 2/14/2011

    " A bit too predictable. But the voice is still spot on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 7/13/2010

    " An excellent mystery in a series that improves as it ages. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/4/2009

    " These books are based on letters that Jane Austen wrote (supposedly) to family members and traces some of her footsteps. Each book is a mystery, which Jane sets out to solve. These are fun reads. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 2/20/2009

    " Pretty good book. It was kind of hard to get into. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victory | 1/27/2009

    " Very amusing, if you like mysteries with a theme and Austen appeals then you'll like this. It's not to be taken overly seriously but for it's genre it's an easy and amusing read and I found it just right for what I was looking for-- a bit of brain candy to amuse. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 10/23/2008

    " If you like Agatha Christie's Poirot, you'll love this ending. Throughout it is equally as good as Barron's others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 10/4/2008

    " I liked it, but it was a little bit gory for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tanis | 7/27/2008

    " So this book took me FOREVER to read. I think I need a new genre. I'm kind of burned out on the Regency England murder mysteries. But it was pretty good. Just had a slow start but I enjoyed the surprise ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 6/18/2008

    " Another default loaded onto my iPod by Heather. Kind of fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 4/15/2008

    " This is a great read of the Jane Austen cozy series by Stephanie Barron. This great adventure has intricate details from research on that time period from speech to customs. For this fifth one, it's a must read. Read #1 to get hooked. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 4/14/2008

    " I'm glad I stuck with this series -- they've really grown on me! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 9/10/2007

    " The Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron are better than expected. I re-read them whenever the night is stormy. "

About the Author

Stephanie Barron is a graduate of Princeton and Stanford, where she studied history. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA, Stephanie—who also writes under the name Francine Mathews—drew on her experience in the field of espionage for such novels as The Alibi Club, which Publishers Weekly named as one of the fifteen best novels of 2006, and for her critically acclaimed Jane Austen Mystery series, in which the intrepid and witty author of Pride and Prejudice details her secret detective career in Regency England. Barron lives and works in Denver.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading has recorded hundreds of audiobooks across many genres, over a thirty year plus career. Audie Awards: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (mystery), Breasts (non-fiction), Bellwether (fiction), and Words of Radiance (fantasy), co-narrated with her husband, Michael Kramer. Among other awards, she has been recognized with: the ALA Booklist best of 2019 for Bowlaway (fiction), AudioFile Magazine Voice of the Century, Earphones Awards, Narrator of the Year, Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Publisher’s Weekly’s Listen-Up Award. She records at her home studio, Madison Productions, Inc., in Maryland.