Death Comes to Pemberley (Enhanced Edition)
The world is classic Jane Austen. The mystery is vintage P.D. James.
This enhanced ebook of Death Comes to Pemberley contains video and audio that can be viewed and heard on a tablet device such as the iPad. There is a video interview with P. D. James, a longer audio interview, and an audio author reading.
The year is 1803, and Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband Bingley live nearby and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, the guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham - Elizabeth Bennet's younger, unreliable sister - stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered.
Two great literary minds - master of suspense P.D. James and literary icon Jane Austen - come together in Death Comes to Pemberley, a bestselling historical crime fiction tribute to Pride and Prejudice. Conjuring the world of Elizabeth Bennet and Mark Darcy and combining the trappings of Regency British society with a classic murder mystery, James creates a delightful mash-up that will intrigue any Janeite.
From the bestselling author of The Murder Room, Children of Men and A Certain Justice, comes a wonderful mixture of the nation's greatest romance and best-loved crime fiction. In 2013, this novel was adapted as a miniseries by the BBC, starring Matthew Rhys as Darcy, Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth Bennet and Jenna Coleman as Lydia Wickham.
Historical mystery buffs and Jane Austen fans alike will welcome this homage to the author of Pride and Prejudice from MWA Grand Master James, best known for her Adam Dalgliesh detective series (The Private Patient, etc.). In the autumn of 1803, six years after the events that closed Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Darcy, the happily married mistress of Pemberley House, is preparing for Lady Anne s annual ball, regarded by the county as the most important social event of the year. Alas, the evening before the ball, Elizabeth s sister Lydia, who married the feckless Wickham, bursts into the house to announce that Captain Denny, a militia officer, has shot her husband dead in the woodland on the estate. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, who purists may note behaves inconsistently with Austen s original, head out in a chaise to investigate. Attentive readers will eagerly seek out clues to the delightfully complex mystery, which involves many hidden motives and dark secrets, not least of them in the august Darcy family. In contrast to Pride and Prejudice, where emotion is typically conveyed through indirect speech, characters are much more open about their feelings, giving a contemporary ring to James s pleasing and agreeable sequel. 300,000 first printing.
Good effort, but a little disappointed.
I can't believe there hasn't been more hype about this from Austen fans. It's very well written, almost matching the style of Austen, though the humour element is lacking. An excellent Austen fix! However I did find the frequent references to the P&P background too 'recited' and ill-placed. I'm sure the recap info could have been worked into the story rather than just clumsily wedged in every now and then. Very clever though - ties in Austen stories in a very satisfying way. I'd love to see further similar attempts!
Death Comes to Pemberley
A thoroughly unsatisfactory book in so many ways. The lack of a principal character to investigate the mystery and gradually uncover the clues means that most of the discovery is delivered via long speeches towards the end of the book. It also means that it is difficult to engage with the characters, to form an allegiance with, say the accused or maverick investigator and that leaves a hollow feeling. Jane Austen would be turning in her grave!