Death Comes to Pemberley
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(January 1, 2013)
Really, gentle reader, there are limits. When mystery grande dame P. D. James felt the mantle of Jane Austen fall on her shoulders, why didn’t she simply shrug it off? Instead, she has produced a straight-faced mystery—no zombies—in which a murdered body is found on the grounds of Darcy and Elizabeth’s stately home, Pemberley. James places a template of Austen characters and Austen-like language over a traditional mystery plot and even takes on the role of the omniscient Austen narrator herself. The mystery is set in 1803, six years after the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy, with ample space given to catching us up on the recent doings of the Bennet family. On the mystery side, there’s plenty of action, from the discovery of Captain Denny’s body, through a trial, assorted deceptions and mix-ups, and love affairs. Unfortunately, though, if this is meant as an homage, it’s a pretty weak cup of tea, starting with a greatly diluted version of Austen’s famous “truth universally acknowledged” opening. James’ many fans will be pleased to see any kind of new book from the 91-year-old author, but discriminating Austen devotees are unlikely to appreciate the move from social comedy to murder.
I am not sure why I picked up this book unless it was because I saw it often in reviews and then found it at a thrift store. I've never read Jane Austen so I was surprised that I had no problem following the story.
I am glad that it had a mystery attached to it, or I might not have read the whole book. I love watching movies like Pride and Prejudice but unless there is a mystery or murder, reading it takes me too long!
I will say that one doesn't have to have read other Austen books to be able to read this one. It was pretty good. I know this because when I can read a book quickly that means it kept my interest! But, for sure, if you like Austen books you will positively like this one!