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Francine Mathews Books In Order

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Publication Order of Caroline Carmichael Books

Publication Order of Jane Austen Mysteries Books

as Stephanie Barron
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Man of the Cloth (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Wandering Eye (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Genius of the Place (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Stillroom Maid (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Ghosts of Netley (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and His Lordship's Legacy (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Barque of Frailty (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Canterbury Tale (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Waterloo Map (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Year Without a Summer (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane and the Final Mystery (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of A Merry Folger Nantucket Mystery Books

Death in the Off-Season (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Rough Water (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in a Mood Indigo (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in a Cold Hard Light (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on Nantucket (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on Tuckernuck (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on a Winter Stroll (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Secret Agent (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
As You Wish (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time Will Tell (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Alibi Club (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Flaw in the Blood (As:Stephanie Barron) (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jack 1939 (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Too Bad to Die (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
That Churchill Woman (As:Stephanie Barron) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Jane Austen Companion Books

as Stephanie Barron
On Hosting Your Regency-Era Christmas Party (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Random House Reader's Circle Books

Lives of the Poets (By: E.L. Doctorow) (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Billy Bathgate (By: E.L. Doctorow) (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tender at the Bone (By: Ruth Reichl) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Anthropology of an American Girl (By: Hilary Thayer Hamann) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The White Garden (As: Stephanie Barron) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Juliet (By: Anne Fortier) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wives of Henry Oades (By: Johanna Moran) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Delta Girls (By: Gayle Brandeis) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pull of the Moon (By: Elizabeth Berg) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Definition of Wind (By: Ellen Block) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
When We Were Friends (By: Elizabeth Joy Arnold) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Game of Secrets (By: Dawn Tripp) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake (By: Jenny Wingfield) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Invisible (By: Carla Buckley) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lullaby of Polish Girls (By: Dagmara Dominczyk) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Malice Domestic 7(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sunken Sailor(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane Austen Made Me Do It(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Usual Santas(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Francine Mathews
Francine Matthews was born in 1963 in Binghamton, New York, the youngest of six daughters. Her mom was a beautiful woman that loved to dance and her dad was a retired Air Force general. The family spent the summer on Cape Cod, where two of the Barron girls live now with their own families. Francine’s own passion for Nantucket and the New England shoreline dates back to her earliest memories. She grew up in Washington, D. C., and went to Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. During her freshman year, her dad died of a heart attack.

In 1981, she began attending Princeton, one of the most formative experiences of her entire life. There she fenced for the club varsity team and learned how to write news stories for The Daily Princetonian, which is a hobby that led to two part-time jobs working as a journalist for The San Jose Mercury News and The Miami Herald. She majored in European History, studying Napoleonic France, and during her senior year, she won an Arthur W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship.

However the course she remembers the most vividly from her time spent at Princeton is The Literature of Fact, which was taught by John McPhee, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and a staff writer for The New Yorker. He influenced Francine’s own writing more than even she knows and definitely more than she’s able to say.

She spent three years studying at Stanford pursuing a doctorate in history, failing to write her dissertation (on the Brazilian Bar Association under authoritarianism, can ya blame her?) and left with a Masters. Francine applied to the CIA, spent one year temping in Northern Virginia as the FBI asked inconvenient questions of everybody she’d ever known, passed a polygraph test on her 26th birthday, and was immediately thrown into the Career Trainee program: Boot Camp for the Agency’s Best and Brightest.

Four years spent as the intelligence analyst at the CIA were profoundly fulfilling, with the highlights being sleeping on a horsehair mattress in a Spectre-era casino in the middle of Bratislava, and her work on the Counter terrorism Center’s investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.

Another peak moment for Francine was her chance to debrief former President George Bush in Houston in 1993. However what she remembers the most about the place are the extraordinary intelligence and dedication of the majority of the staff, many of whom were women, and many of whom cannot be named.

In 1992, Francine wrote her first novel, “Death in the Off-Season”, and left the Agency one year later. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to needlepoint, ski, garden, and buy art. She also writes as Stephanie Barron, writing the “Jane Austen Mysteries”.

“Death in the Off Season” is the first novel in the “Merry Folger” series and was released in 1994. When Rusty Mason, the scion of one of Nantucket’s wealthiest and oldest families, is discovered dead in a flooded cranberry bog one foggy autumn night, Merry Folger is faced with investigating her first murder case. Merry (age thirty-two) is the local police chief’s daughter and granddaughter of his predecessor. Her dad’s a strict boss and Merry feels the pressure to go the extra mile in order to prove that her promotion to detective is not just nepotism.

However the Mason murder is quite a demanding first test. Merry’s investigation brings to light all of the tensions which plague this tiny community of Nantucket: the decades long grudges, the skyrocketing real estate which only wealthy weekenders can afford, resentments of the old Nantucket families that are hardly keeping their homes and their heritage fishing businesses alive. However Merry knows the island as well as its politics in a way that only a local is able to.

Francine delivers a novel that is wonderfully atmospheric, tough to put down, a well constructed and riveting plot, and filled with rich characterization and charm. These are some interesting characters, and she evokes Nantucket and brings it to life.

“The Secret Agent” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2002. Jack Roderick, trained by the OSS, plummeted into Bangkok this one rainy morning in 1945 and he never left. Pirate, Silk King, ruthless collector of beautiful objects, particularly women, Roderick was respected and feared as a foreign spy, a business kingpin, and traded in men’s souls. Then, right at the Vietnam War’s height, caught in a killing web of revenge and treachery which would determine the fate of his one son, Rory. And then Jack walked into the jungle, and disappeared off the face of the planet.

Four decades have gone by, can the mystery now be solved? Stefani Fogg, international fund manager, gets recruited by a guy whose job it is to know the unknowable. Impervious to romance, wealthy beyond corruption, and equipped with a mind that can crack any possible enigma, Stefani signs up for an adventure of a lifetime: playing Secret Agent to Max Roderick, grandson of Bangkok’s long vanished and Legendary American. A world class skier tangled in this sordid Thai murder investigation, Max is consumed with the riddle of Jack’s disappearing act, and with his own dad’s death in the jungles of Vietnam.

Stefani is seduced by Max’s charm and intrigued by his family’s history, and ignores the warning signs, following her heart instead. However when Max’s quarrel with the Thai cops turns lethal and a killer strike, she realizes that she’s forced to go back to the place where all of this started, in order to unravel the lies, penetrate a deadly conspiracy, and expose a killing truth.

She flees from Max’s France, going to Bangkok’s khlongs, into the ruins of the Silk King’s dark past and the mesmerizing shadow of the Roderick family curse. What she finds, both in Jack’s story as well as the fate of his fighter-pilot son, is this American Dream which crashed and burned into the rice paddies of Vietnam and is a chilling legacy which haunts our own to this very day.

Francine Mathews is an American writer of Mystery and Spy Fiction born in 1963


Francine Mathews was the last of six girls. Born in Birmingham, New York, Francine’s father (a retired Air Force General) and mother (a beautiful dancer) often took their large family to Cape Cod for the summer.

Growing up in Washington, DC, Francine went to a centuries old catholic school called Georgetown Visitation Preparatory which shared a wall with Georgetown University. She would lose her father in her freshman year.

Princeton was her college of choice, which she attended in 1981. The college shaped and transformed Francine in ways she couldn’t have expected. She strived to enjoy as much of her time at Princeton as possible, this including joining the Fencing team.

Though, it was the work she did and the news stories she wrote for The Daily Princetonian that she will remember, seeing as the seemingly innocuous hobby influenced her journalistic sensibilities, probably driving the work she did for The Miami Herald and The San Jose Mercury News.

Francine Mathews always had a knack for history, majoring in European History while at Princeton; her particular area of interest was Napoleonic France, and she was adept enough at her studies that she eventually won the Arthur W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship.

Considering this accolade, you would expect history to be the primary driving factor of her studies and the career she pursued afterward; however, the one thing Francine Mathews remembers most vividly from her time in Princeton was the “Literature of Fact” course that was taught by John McPhee (Pulitzer Prize Winning author and New Yorker Writer).

No other individual or factor had as stark an impact on Francine as John McPhee’s teachings; they influenced every aspect of her life, especially her writing approach and abilities, and she has never been able to fully express in words what the course meant to her.

Francine Mathews has gone so far as to call John McPhee her god of craft.

Francine Mathews sought a doctorate in history from Stanford; however, she was unable to acquire it, failing to write her dissertation. However, she didn’t leave empty-handed, instead taking a Masters with her.

At some point, she made the decision to apply to the CIA. The prospect proved to be a little more challenging than she might have expected, Francine spending several months temping in Northern Virginia while the FBI dug out every nook of her life, questioning every person she had ever known or spoken to during her short life.

It wasn’t until she was 26 that Francine Mathews passed her polygraph test and began undertaking the Career Training program, a camp of sorts that took the best recruits the agency had and molded them as required.

Francine spent four years working as a CIA intelligence analyst, and she was hard pressed to find more profoundly fulfilling work.

She participated in a number of prolific operations, this including the investigation of the Bombing of the Pan AM Flight 103 by the Counterterrorism Center in 1988. She also had a chance to debrief ex-president George Bush in Houston in 1993.

Francine Mathews grew to love and respect the men and women of the CIA, and all the time and effort they injected into their craft. Francine’s work greatly influenced her writing. One need only read some of her books to see her experience littered throughout her writings.

+Literary Career

Francine Mathews has written both under her real name and under Stephanie Barron, a Pseudonym that combines her middle and maiden name. Her books, written under Francine Mathews, are primarily police procedures.

Economic issues are an essential facet of her work, even when she delves into Spy fiction and writes about the goings-on of the CIA and important work they do.

As Stephanie Barron, Mathews taps into her academic background as a historian to produce historical fiction. Many of Barron’s books have been structured as lost dairies that have merely been edited.

Francine’s first book was written in 1992, shortly before she left the agency. Francine likes to garden, ski, buy art and do needlepoint, this on top of writing.

+Death in the Off-Season

Rusty Mason, Scion of one of the oldest and richest families in Nantucket dies. When his body is discovered in a flooded cranberry bog, Detective Meredith Folger is charged with solving his murder, the 32-year-old’s first murder case.

Since his indictment for securities fraud, Rusty hasn’t been seen in the country for over ten years. His brother, and bog owner, Peter Mason shows little interest in Rusty’s death, probably because of the grudge he was nursing against him over a woman for the last decade.

Merry’s investigation reveals a decade-long tangle of betrayal, blackmail, and violence, Merry earning the trust of her community even as she fights tooth and nail against her attraction to Peter.

There are a lot of people that only know Francine Mathews for her historical thrillers and who are unaware of all the police procedurals she has written over the years. This one is set on Nantucket Island, and Francine’s descriptions really come to life, transporting readers’ minds to his scenic location.

The story digs dip into the history and genealogy of Nantucket, this while bringing to life an enigmatic, strong and smart protagonist in Meredith Abiah Folger. With great instincts and a good head on her shoulders, this book shows Merry fight to prove herself in a demanding community despite the actions of her overprotective father.

And the mystery is actually quite brilliant, with a number of curious interweaving plots.

+Death in Rough Water

Merry Folger is drawn into a new murder before she can even recover from the first one. Her determination to prove to her father that she is a capable detective is tested when her friend enters the equation.

Upon returning to Nantucket, all anyone wants to know about Del Duarte is the parentage of her baby. The death of her father, an experienced fisherman who was swept overboard in a spring storm, is ruled an accident.

This is despite Del’s claims that it was murder. Merry chooses to investigate the crime despite her father’s orders; and she is quickly assaulted by a confusing tangle of fraud, murder, and revenge. Merry must choose between her obligation to her friend and her responsibilities to her father.

Francine Mathews really makes you feel like you are on Nantucket. The Clannish Islanders and Hordes of Day-Trippers really come to life. And the mystery is really wide in scope this time, raising the stakes surrounding Merry’s ability to solve the mystery even while shaking her personal life somewhat.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Francine Mathews

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