Sep 12, 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett; Colin Firth as Mr Darcy; Lyme Park as Pemberley

For the longest time, I avoided Austenesque novels thinking it may spoil my beloved Jane Austen's work. I've never really gotten into fan fiction either. Although I had read I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison.

A bookworm friend suggested I take a peak at the series Lost in Austen, and I really quite enjoyed it. I could see it came from a place of admiration. (I still can't quite get over the idea of Pride & Prejudice and Zombies). Well, anyway, a while back I won Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James and I wasn't sure what to expect.
Like everyone I hoped that Elizabeth and Darcy would be happy. I was certain that Bingley and Jane were a good match. Would Mr Wickham ever get his come-uppance and would Lydia's and his marriage last? What about the younger Bennett sisters? Would dear Mr Bennett ever get any peace? 
P.D. James does an excellent job of providing the answers to these questions and more. I truly lost myself in the world she created and on more than one occasion had to remind myself that I was not actually reading Austen. The characters felt so familiar. 
Underlying all this is an excellent mystery to keep the pages turning and to acknowledge what we all knew. That when Mr Darcy married Elizabeth he would be brother-in-law to Mr Wickham and that is something that would continue to serve as a threat to their happy world, no matter what else they did to pretend it would all be okay. 
When Captain Denny goes missing near Pemberley and is found dead, all the family skeletons will be coming out of the closet. Mr Wickham is found with him, covered in blood and in shock.  How will the Darcy's deal with this event? What about the Bingley's? After all, Lydia is a sister, no matter her unfortunate choice of a husband. Their pride will be put to the test once more as well as their loyalties and strength. 

You can read an excerpt here.


  1. Fantastic review, Kate! I love the mention of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, and I must say I've read it myself once. There was a copy for sale at the old location of the comic shop I go to on weekends -- very, VERY cool, even for a genre us guys aren't thought of as enjoying.

  2. Very nice review. I enjoyed it immensely.


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