Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Read:  2012

Elizabeth and Darcy have been married for six years and are still happy and in love and enjoying their Pemberley home.  Black sheep sister Lydia and her rogue of a husband, Wickham are still very unwelcome in the Darcy home.  Miss Giorgianna has grown up and now has two men looking for her hand, in marriage, that is.  

Things are extremely hectic at Pemberley as the Darcy's prepare for their big ball.  On the night before the ball, the household's excitement turns to dread when Lydia turns up on their doorstep raving that Wickham has been killed.  It seems Wickham and an associate got into an argument on their way to drop Lydia off, last minute at Pemberley (so she would have a chance of not being turned away for the ball). The two men jumped from the carriage and headed into the woods.  Shortly after, shots were heard and then quiet.  Neither man returned to the carriage.  The driver delivered his hysterical charge to her sister's home and found himself caught in some unwanted intrigue. 

Darcy and the visiting Colonel Fitzwilliam form a search party.  Eventually, they find a bloody Wickham, in a state of shock, crying that he has killed his friend.  Darcy takes him home and notifies the local law enforcement of what has happened.    James is known for her story telling and she doesn't disappoint here.  She maintains the feel of Austen's work and the reader can easily believe these are the same people we know from Pride and Prejudice.  Who killed Wickham's colleague, and why?  It seems that a great many people have reason to dislike the dead man and the reader and most of the characters in the book have plenty of reason to dislike Wickham.  Heaven knows he certainly fails to be sympathetic, like Willoughby (poor Willoughby).  

Love Austen? Love a good mystery?  Then look no further, the occupants of Austen's beloved book are back, and they've got a mystery to solve.

7 comments:

Carol Ford said...

This book looks very interesting and I enjoyed my visit to your blog. I am now following you through GFC.

JoanneMarie Faust said...

Thank you Carol! That's so nice of you. You are welcome any time ;)

Arabella said...

P D James is always a good choice. My favourite mystery that utilises Austen is still Reginald Hill's A Cure for all Diseases ( I think it had a different title in the US)but I also really enjoyed James's Death comes to Pemberley.

JoanneMarie Faust said...

Arabella, did you read any of the Jane Austen mysteries? A fellow book blogger recommended them to me and I read the first one, but wasn't that impressed. I'm curious to know if other people liked them. I feel bad not enjoying them and wonder if they deserve a second chance.

Nikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki said...

I read this last year and really enjoyed it, it's great getting to read more about characters who I already loved so much! Have you read Children of Men by her? I read it shortly after Death Comes to Pemberly and didn't enjoy it half as much.

Sidenote - I'm definitely going to read some Murakami after reading your description of his writing as "like dreaming", sounds amazing, I can't wait!

JoanneMarie Faust said...

I read Children of Men years before I read Death Comes to Pemberley. They don't even seem like books that should come from the same author, do they? Children of Men was a really hard read. It was just such a bleak picture. Can you even imagine that we realize we've reached the end of humanity when the obstetric nurses find they've got nothing in their calendars? But, that world wasn't one I'd want to be born into, either.

I hope you enjoy Murakami. My best advice to you is, just go along for the ride. Don't go in with expectations, because he will always defy them.