Tag Archives: P D James

Audiobook Review: Death Comes to Pemberley

7 Jun

9780307959850In their six years of marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy have forged a peaceful, happy life for their family at Pemberley, Darcy’s impressive estate. Her father is a regular visitor; her sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; the marriage prospects for Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, are favorable. And preparations for their annual autumn ball are proceeding apace. But on the eve of the ball, chaos descends. Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister who, with her husband, has been barred from the estate, arrives in a hysterical state—shrieking that Wickham has been murdered.  Plunged into frightening mystery and a lurid murder trial, the lives of Pemberley’s owners and servants alike may never be the same.

Excerpt

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authP. D. James is the author of twenty previous books, many of which feature her detective hero Adam Dalgliesh and have been televised or filmed. She is the recipient of many honors, including the Mystery Writers of American Grand Master Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature, and in 1991 was created Baroness James of Holland Park.

My Impressions:

P. D. James is one of my all time favorite mystery writers, and, of course, Jane Austen is my all time favorite author. So when I learned that James had a written a novel set in and among the writings of Austen, I just had to read it (or in this case, listen). I have to say, I had a little trouble getting into this book. The first part is spent bringing the reader up to speed on the characters of Pride and Prejudice and what they have been doing since Elizabeth and Darcy’s wedding. But after the mystery finally began, I was firmly entrenched in the story.

The body of Captain Denney is found with Mr. Wickham kneeling over it drunkenly crying that it is all his fault for his friend’s death. And Darcy just has to be part of the ensuing investigation and trial because the murder happens on Pemberley land. There are a number of red herrings and revelations to keep the reader on his/her toes. I did have my suspicions on what truly happened and I was right on in terms of motive, I just had the wrong person as murderer!

Death Comes to Pemberley will definitely appeal to all Austenites. I am not so sure that fans of mysteries in general and James in particular will find this as good a read if they do not have Austen as a favorite. I did like that James alluded to characters from other Austen novels, namely Emma and Persuasion. She also kept the style of writing true to Austen. I found the narration quite good and enjoyed this bit of Regency lit. Perhaps I would have liked it more if James could have had a time-traveling Inspector Dalgleish solve the crime. But that is probably pushing it a little!

Recommended. 

(I purchased this audiobook from Audible. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase a copy of Death Comes to Pemberley, click on the image below.