Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

In 1803, Elizabeth and Darcy have embarked on a peaceful life together at Pemberley with their sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane and her husband, Charles Bingley, live nearby, and preparations are well under way for their annual ball named for Darcy’s mother, Lady Anne.

Then, on the eve of the ball, a brutal on Darcy’s property is committed by a brother by marriage with whom Darcy is known to be at enmity with. The entire family and all those tied to the estate are plunged into a murder mystery that threatens not only the peace of the estate but also the carefully constructed story Darcy has constructed to protect his family’s name.

Right about the time this book was published I discovered that my grandmother creates sequels to Austen’s classic in her head just like I do. It was fun to dream up our own version of Darcy and Elizabeth’s life together when we were together over Thanksgiving break. She was so excited to read this book particularly because like the rest of my family she loves mysteries/crime thrillers. I think she was more excited to read this one than I was, and I think she liked it more than I did.

I was surprised at how spunky Elizabeth took a backseat in this tale. It’s all Darcy, all the time. And even Darcy looses the deep characterization Austen gave him. Actually, nearly as the characters I know and love have become shadows of their former selves. Those looking for a competent Pride and Prejduice sequel may be disappointed. Yet, at the same time, those looking for a compelling mystery novel will also be disappointed. It’s not all bad as the book did keep me largely engaged throughout a long flight cross country. It’s just not the best out there.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • James, P.D. Death Comes to Pemberley. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. eBook. 291 pgs. ISBN: 9780307959850. Source: Purchased.
Book Cover © Alfred A. Knopf. Retrieved: May 13, 2012.