Friday, January 16, 2015

Death Comes To Pemberley

It is six years after Pride And Prejudice has ended. Life is peaceful and wonderful for the Darcy family. Elizabeth is enjoying the running of Pemberley, and both Elizabeth and Darcy take great joy in their two sons. The Bingleys have an estate close by making for frequent contact between the sisters. Elizabeth is preparing for the annual autumn ball at Pemeberley. The night before the ball, a coach shows up with Lydia inside, who is hysterically screaming Wickham has been murdered. They must discover who has committed this dastardly deed.

This is a mystery sequel to the classic Pride And Prejudice. I am usually suspicious about reading sequels to classic novels as they often do not turn out well. This was a unique approach to the retelling of the classic story, and I was surprised that I actually did not mind this addition to one of my favorite classics. It was not my favorite, but it was not bad either.

One of my main quibbles with this book was how much of it was quoting or telling us what had happened in the novel Pride And Prejudice. I understand wanting to give some background to make this book feel like it was written by the same author, or wanting the characters to seem like the actual characters Austen wrote. It was too much. There should have been more originality to the story.

It was still fun to return to Pemberley, and to see these beloved characters in a different setting. It can be interesting to gain a new perspective on characters you know really well. I think James pulled it off, but it could have been a little more polished. I have not read any of her mysteries, so I am not sure how this compares to her other work.

If you are a fan of P.D. James or Austen I would recommend giving this book a try.

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