Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book Review: "Death Comes to Pemberley"

"Death Comes to Pemberley" by P.D. James
First published in 2011
My rating: 4 out of 5
(image source)

It's pretty simple: if you're a fan of "Pride and Prejudice," you'll enjoy "Death Comes to Pemberley." Six years later, we catch up with all our old friends from the original -- Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Bingley, Lydia and Wickham, Georgiana, Mr. Bennett -- and look over their shoulders as Pemberley becomes the center of a muder mystery.

The Darcys are happily settled at Pemberley with two sons in the nursery and their close friends the Bingleys a few miles away at Highmarten. On the eve of the annual Lady Anne's ball, an apparent murder (of one of the characters we know from "Pride and Prejudice") occurs on the Pemberley grounds. We're with the Darcys from the discovery of the body to the inquest to the trial and to the ultimate revelation of the truth.

While this is hardly a high-octane, fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat type of muder mystery, it's gripping all the same -- mostly, I think, because the main characters are ones near and dear to our hearts. The novel could easily have become slow and dry in parts and bogged down in antiquated langauge, but James deftly keeps readers crusing on through.

If you're a fan of Jane Austen or period pieces, I would definitely recommend this book. On the flip side, if you've never read "Pride and Prejudice" or seen a movie version, you'll likely have no idea what's going and find this to be a rather miserable read.

Happy reading!

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