Union Square & Co.

Miss Austen Investigates: The Hapless Milliner

A Novel

By Jessica Bull (Author)

Series Miss Austen Investigates


Pub Date 2/27/2024

ISBN 9781454951803

Format Paperback



Miss Austen Investigates: The Hapless Milliner

A Novel

by Jessica Bull
More Formats and Editions
A witty, engaging murder mystery featuring Jane Austen as an intrepid amateur sleuth—the first in a series.
Jane Austen—sparkling, spirited, and incredibly clever—is suddenly thrust into a mystery when a milliner’s dead body is found locked inside a cupboard in the middle of a ball. When Jane’s brother Georgy is found with some jewelry belonging to the deceased, the local officials see it as an open-and-shut case: one which is likely to end with his death. Jane is certain that he is innocent, and there is more to the murder than meets the eye. Her investigations send her on a journey through local society, as Jane’s suspect list keeps on growing— and her keen observational skills of people will be put to the test to solve the crime and save her brother. 

Featuring the same lively wit, insightful social commentary, and relatable characters that have made Jane Austen books into perennial classics, this first entry in the Miss Austen Investigates series is perfect for anyone who enjoyed The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl or other historical mystery books based on real people, as well as fans looking to add to their Jane Austen collection.

"Bull’s Jane is an endearingly clumsy detective, equal parts clever and impulsive, and the investigation contains the kind of high stakes that similar breezy historicals often lack. This series seems destined for a long run." 
Publishers Weekly

“Jessica Bull’s first novel, which captures the real Jane’s wit and liveliness, is a charming historical mystery sure to appeal to mystery readers and Austen lovers alike.”
Shelf Awareness

“Accurate Regency details, complex relationships within the extended Austen family, and a social context based on societal expectations regarding birth order, gender, and economic status establish the author’s in-depth research, but more impressive is how quickly these lively and engaging characters become new fictional friends. Janites will be thrilled with the thoughtful depiction of Jane, historical fiction and mystery fans will find plenty to be impressed by, and anyone looking for a mix of strong characters in wellresearched settings similar to those of Anne Perry, Charles Finch, and C. S. Harris will also enjoy Bull's debut.”

“Paints a lively picture of Austen-family dynamics.”

“Rich with historical details, Georgian atmosphere, and a winning cast of Austens, this was like a trip back in time and a conversation with Jane Austen all in one.” 
Electric Literature

“A cozy mystery cloaked in Jane Austen's sparkling powers of observation and wit, Miss Austen Investigates: The Hapless Milliner, brings a young Jane to life as she tries to solve a village murder that has struck far too close to home. With evocative detail and stunning historical accuracy, author Jessica Bull places the reader firmly within the Steventon terrain of Austen family lore in this remarkably assured and engaging debut. Blending the boisterous energy of Becoming Jane with the intricate plot puzzles of P. D. James, Miss Austen Investigates gives Austenites a wonderful new way to appreciate their favorite author.”
—Natalie Jenner, bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society

"Jessica Bull’s writing is flawless, with a lyrical, subtle wit. It’s like being swept along on a glorious wave. Can’t wait to see what Jane gets up to next."
—Amita Murray, author of Unladylike Lessons in Love

"Richly imagined and wonderfully plotted—a great read."
—S.J . Bennett, author of The Windsor Knot

"Exceptional—the Austen whodunnit I feel like I've been waiting my whole life for! I loved it."
—Sophie Irwin, author of A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting

"Such a clever idea, pulled off with considerable deftness. The result is a sparkling treat of a read."
—Elizabeth Buchan, New York Times bestselling author of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman
“This book was a joy to read. I felt immersed in Jane Austen's world, and Jessica Bull's witty heroine is so much fun to spend time with! Properly twisty, atmospheric, and delightful all at once. When I turned the last page I already missed Jane and can't wait for more.”
—Kristin Perrin, author of How to Solve Your Own Murder
“Jane brims with life and wit, the story is packed with delicious details to delight every Austen fan, and the puzzle is constructed as neatly as Emma. Bravo, Jessica Bull—you are a genius!”
—Alex Hay, author of The House Keepers


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Jessica Bull grew up in South East London, where she still lives with her husband, two daughters, and far too many pets. She’s addicted to stories and studied English Literature at Bristol University, and Information Science at City University, London. She began work as a librarian (under the false impression she could sit and read all day), before becoming a communications consultant. Miss Austen Investigates: The Hapless Milliner is her debut novel. 

Title Details

Pages 368 pages

Trim 5.5 x 8.25 x 0 Inches

Territories US Only

Category Fiction

Carton Quantity 30