In Jane Austen's Persuasion, the Cobb—Lyme's famous seawall—proved dangerous to a careless young woman. Now it proves deadly.
Following their recent intrigue at Highbury, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy visit the seaside village of Lyme on holiday. Family business also draws them there, to receive the personal effects of Mr. Darcy's late cousin, a naval lieutenant who died in action.
Their retreat turns tragic when they come upon a body lying at the base of the Cobb. The victim is Mrs. Clay, a woman with a scandalous past that left her with child—a child whose existence threatened the inheritance of one of her paramours and the reputation of another. Did she lose her balance and fall from the slippery breakwater, or was she pushed?
Mrs. Clay's death is not the only one that commands the Darcys' attention. When Mr. Darcy discovers, among his cousin's possessions, evidence that the young lieutenant's death might have been murder, he allies with Captain Frederick Wentworth (hero of Jane Austen's Persuasion) to probe details of a battle that took place across the sea . . . but was influenced by a conspiracy much closer to home.
The Deception at Lyme (Or, The Peril of Persuasion) is the delightful sixth installment in the critically acclaimed and award-winning Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series by Carrie Bebris.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In Bebris's lively if padded sixth Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery (after 2010's The Intrigue at Highbury), the Darcys; their toddler, Lily-Anne; and Fitzwilliam's sister, Georgiana, visit Lyme, where they encounter the people and places of Jane Austen's final novel, Persuasion. Soon after their arrival, a pregnant woman suffers a fall on the Cobb seawall and dies just after giving birth to a son. The former Mrs. Clay, she was just married to Sir Walter Elliot, but pregnant from her liaison with his cousin William. Suspecting that the poor woman was pushed, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam investigate the murky tangle of relationships in her past. Subplots involving several distant deaths overload parts of the story with exposition. But Janeites will delight in the author's clever reintroduction of Austen's characters, the charm of Georgiana's budding love life, and the accurate and appealing portrait of Regency ships and sailors.
Fluffy and Fun
Being a massive Jane Austen fan, I’m also something of a sucker for spin-offs that do fun things with her characters. Though I have strong opinions on some of the ones that didn’t work as well for me. This is a fun, reasonably fluffy, series in which Mr. and Mrs. Darcy play amateur detectives while encountering all manner of characters from other Austen novels in the context of cozy murders. The writing is competent, though not scintillating (and without a serious attempt to mimic Austen’s own prose). There were a few plot holes one could drive a four-in-hand through and some of the character motivations were shaky, but that’s been an issue throughout the series and yet I keep reading them. This is the sixth in the series, of which there are seven in total, and as the title suggests, brings in the characters from Persuasion, as well as a few other Austen-based side characters.