Francine Mathews biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Francine Mathews

Francine Mathews

Francine Mathews Biography

Francine Mathews has worked as a journalist and as an intelligence analyst for the CIA. Under the name Stephanie Barron, she is the author of the bestselling Jane Austen nine-book mystery series, including Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor and Jane and the Man of the Cloth. She also has written acclaimed standalone novels, including the thriller The Alibi Club, which was selected as one of Publisher Weekly's best novels of the year, A Flaw in the Blood, Jack 1939 and more than twenty other novels of mystery, history, and suspense. A graduate of Princeton and Stanford, she presently lives and works in Colorado.

Francine Mathews's website

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Interview

Francine Matthews writes about Ian Fleming's role in British war intelligence and the basis for her novel Too Bad To Die.

I shouldn't blame Ian Fleming for my years in the CIA—probably John le Carré is responsible for those—but it's true that Fleming's character, James Bond, casts a long shadow over every woman who wants to be a spy. Bond Girls are so glamorous, and they die so horribly, tripping on their high heels with a gasp of "James!" as a sniper fires. My own training was more practical: dead drops, agent handling, escape and evasion, explosives—but I was allowed to carry a lipstick that perfectly matched my field camouflage.

I remembered all that as I invented the character of Siranoush in Too Bad to Die: a Bond Girl with a vengeance, running circles around Ian Fleming. I love to write fiction based on the secret battles of World War II, and Fleming is behind any number of them. I ran into Fleming so often, in fact, that I began to wonder how much of his story was truth, and how much fiction.

I learned that the man friends referred to jokingly as a "chocolate sailor," because he looked too good to be true in his reserve naval uniform, found a home and a calling amid the white lies of war. Fleming had grown up in the embrace of the British aristocracy: educated at Eton and Sandhurst, the scion of a ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Francine Mathews at BookBrowse
Too Bad to Die jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Francine Mathews but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • John Altman

    John Altman

    John Altman is a musician and freelance writer living in New York City. A graduate of Harvard, he comes from an extended family of writers, including the novelists Karen Bender, Aimee Bender, and Robert Anthony Siegel.

    In... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Too Bad to Die

    Try:
    A Gathering of Spies
    by John Altman

  • Esther Freud

    Esther Freud

    Esther Freud trained as an actress before writing her first novel Hideous Kinky, published in 1992.Hideous Kinky was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and made into a film starring Kate Winslet. In 1993 Esther was... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Too Bad to Die

    Try:
    Mr. Mac and Me
    by Esther Freud

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