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Death Comes to Pemberley


Death Comes to Pemberley Cover

ISBN13: 9780307959850
ISBN10: 0307959856
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Denise Morland, January 25, 2012 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
Death Comes to Pemberley may sound like yet another Jane Austen knock-off. The difference? This one is written by P.D. James, an accomplished mystery writer with 20 previous books and many awards to her name.

The story begins years into the happily settled marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth. They are pleasantly occupied with the domestic concerns of their household, Jane and Bingley live nearby, and Lydia and Wickham's bad behavior is nothing more than a memory from the past. All this bliss comes crashing to a halt on the eve of Lady Anne's ball, named after Darcy's deceased mother and organized by Elizabeth herself. It is a highlight of the social season, attended by all their high society neighbors and the entire Pemberley staff is intimately involved in the many preparations. So when Lydia, unexpectedly and most inconveniently, arrives in the middle of the night, dramatically screaming that her husband has been shot, the whole household is thrown into chaos. What Darcy discovers in the woods that night will cast a shadow on the ball and put into jeopardy everything that Darcy and Elizabeth hold dear, even the marriage of Darcy's innocent sister Georgiana.

P.D. James has done a wonderful job of deepening and adding to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. She always stays impeccably true to the master's style and intentions, never trying to impose her own will on the characters already known and beloved by so many readers. Instead she furthers the story, letting the reader see Darcy's emotions over his conflict with Wickham, the little imperfections in his relationship with Georgiana that make Darcy seem more human, and Elizabeth's small, quiet guilt that she saddled Darcy with her inferior family when she married him. Death Comes to Pemberley truly makes you feel that all your favorite characters have been restored and allowed to live a little longer.
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terracotta21, January 20, 2012 (view all comments by terracotta21)
It's wonderful to find a writer as sure and capable as P.D. James trying something out of her comfort zone, and doing so well! It has the feel of the way Austen wrote -- quite an enjoyable read.
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terracotta21, January 20, 2012 (view all comments by terracotta21)
It's wonderful to find a writer as sure and capable as P.D. James trying something out of her comfort zone, and doing so well! It has the feel of the way Austen wrote -- quite an enjoyable read.
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Lemon Lemon Lemon, January 8, 2012 (view all comments by Lemon Lemon Lemon)
As a reader who loves both Jane Austen and mysteries, this late-2011 release was irresistible. While P. D. James's prose isn't indistinguishable from Austen's, it's probably as close as a modern author can come to writing like a cleryman's daughter from Georgian England. The mystery is interesting and surprising, but the real treat is visiting the characters from Pride and Prejudice and their imagined futures.
The best thing about this book is that it turned me on to P. D. James. I don't know why I've never read her long-running series featuring Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh, but it's terrific and required reading for fans of detective fiction.
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CindyHY, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by CindyHY)
Not quite a true "Jane" but enough of the original plus a fun murder mystery to make you feel satisfied with a bit more Austen. James doesn't give nearly enough character to Eliza Bennett, with much more focus on Darcy and the logistics of the mystery. Still, it's a fun read, and an interesting look into the 18th Century English legal system.
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Product Details

James, P. D.
Knopf Publishing Group
James, P.D.
Mystery & Detective - General
Mystery-A to Z
Mystery Historical
Publication Date:
9.53 x 6.6 x 1.12 in 1.22 lb

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Death Comes to Pemberley Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307959850 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Historical mystery buffs and Jane Austen fans alike will welcome this homage to the author of Pride and Prejudice from MWA Grand Master James, best known for her Adam Dalgliesh detective series (The Private Patient, etc.). In the autumn of 1803, six years after the events that closed Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Darcy, the happily married mistress of Pemberley House, is preparing for Lady Anne's annual ball, 'regarded by the county as the most important social event of the year.' Alas, the evening before the ball, Elizabeth's sister Lydia, who married the feckless Wickham, bursts into the house to announce that Captain Denny, a militia officer, has shot her husband dead in the woodland on the estate. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, who purists may note behaves inconsistently with Austen's original, head out in a chaise to investigate. Attentive readers will eagerly seek out clues to the delightfully complex mystery, which involves many hidden motives and dark secrets, not least of them in the august Darcy family. In contrast to Pride and Prejudice, where emotion is typically conveyed through indirect speech, characters are much more open about their feelings, giving a contemporary ring to James's pleasing and agreeable sequel. 300,000 first printing. Agent: Carol Heaton, Greene & Heaton Ltd." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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