Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Murder! Mayhem! Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James

Death at Pemberly? Odious indeed!

Dawn by Soundtrack on Grooveshark

If you check out my profile to see what books and authors I love, and I'm sure you all have by now, you will note that I love Jane Austen and the great mystery author, P.D. James. So imagine my delight when I discovered a mystery sequel to Pride and Prejudice while surfing the iBook store in a fit of sheer bed-rest induced boredom (breath) written by none other than my beloved P.D. James! She is a noted mystery novelist, best known for her Adam Dalgleish Detective stories.

The Blurb:
The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth's happiness in her marriage is complete. But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered.

In a pitch-perfect recreation of the world of Pride and Prejudice, P.D. James elegantly fuses her lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen with her talent for writing detective fiction. She weaves a compelling story, combining a sensitive insight into the happy but threatened marriage of the Darcys and the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted detective story.

Death Comes to Pemberley enshrines the qualities her readers have come to expect: psychological and emotional richness of characterization, vivid evocation of place, and a credible and superbly structured plot, in a powerful and distinguished work of fiction.
Mr. Wickham
Death? What delightful character meets an untimely and most distasteful end? Who could possibly be a suspect? Hmm . . . who *could* that be? (I have my ideas.)

I have high hopes for this sequel. I've just begun reading it, as I've only just discovered it today. It starts off with a quick recap for those who may not have read the original story and is written in a style very similar to the original. Would Jane Austen approve? Read the note written by P.D. James below.

Author's Note:

I owe an apology to the shade of Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in the trauma of a murder investigation, especially as in the final chapter of Mansfield Park Miss Austen made her views plain: "Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest." No doubt she would have replied to my apology by saying that, had she wished to dwell on such odious subjects, she would have written this story herself, and done it better.

P.D. James, 2011

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I must admit to falling prey to the zombiefied version of Pride and Prejudice a few years ago. It utterly cracked me up for the first few chapters and then failed to sustain my attention. I ended up skimming to the end, where it did admittedly crack me up once again -- (tut, tut) poor Mr. Wickham.

Here's to hoping this version is more readable and true to the original intent. Ahhhh . . . Mr. Darcy!

Sincerely and with the utmost civility,

Which movie version of Pride & Prejudice is your favorite? I love the A&E version, but the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley is just soooo romantic and I know I will be vilified for saying this, but I much prefer Keira's characterization of Elizabeth. My dad owns both copies of these, and I've seen them several times, but the 2005 movie is the one I "borrowed" two years ago, and haven't gotten around to returning. ha, ha.