A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen's Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.
The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.
Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.
A VINTAGE ORIGINAL
This enchanting mystery from YA author Gray (Defy the Stars) answers the question long in the mind of every Jane Austen fan. Did all the couples from her novels live happily ever after? In 1820, Emma Woodhouse Knightley, social as ever after 16 years of marriage, decides to host a house party for her friends, including Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy and their 20-year-old son, Jonathan, and Juliet Tilney, the 17-year-old daughter of Emma's good friend Catherine Tilney from Northanger Abbey. Emma definitely did not plan on George Wickham, despised widower of Elizabeth Darcy's sister Lydia, showing up unannounced during a raging thunderstorm. Age has not improved Wickham's character. He's now a financial "advisor" whose latest investment scheme has brought several of his clients to the brink of ruin including more than one of Emma's guests. When Wickham is murdered, no one in the house party is above suspicion. The younger generation rises to the occasion when Jonathan and Juliet make a secret plan to uncover the murderer. The middle section drags a bit, but Gray perfectly captures the personalities of Austen's beloved characters. This is a real treat for Austenites. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary.
So after many years, I have been returned to my young self’s first love of all books Austin. This is a whodunnit, based on the Austin characters, crossed with Ms. Agatha Christie “light”, It is an enjoyable mystery. The time frame puts the language and actions old fashioned. Add this to your TBR list.
For any Austen fan!
A great, if fanciful, story connecting characters from all of Austen’s finished works in the year 1820. Two characters are actually the grown children of Austen’s earliest couples! Wickham is as wicked as ever, perhaps more, and has managed to ruin more lives since his turn in Pride & Prejudice. Only his death ends his perfidy. I appreciated how Austen’s couples from previous stories are shown with imperfect marriages that the characters must work on as the investigation into them all as potential murderers proceeds. A quick and enjoyable read.