Saturday, December 31, 2011

REVIEW: Death Comes to Pemberley

Since I love both Jane Austen and P.D. James, I was thrilled to hear that James was coming out with a Pride and Prejudice sequel that was also a murder mystery. Now, most Austen sequels are dreadful, but I figured if anyone could pull it off, James could. And I was right - this book was delightful. The language was right on, and James got the tone, too, which is rarer. Her characterization managed to stay consistent with the original while also allowing for growth and development, and I particularly liked how Elizabeth and Darcy had a good relationship but still cared about other things than standing around mooning at each other. James clearly spent a lot of time thinking through the consequences of the events of P&P, and had some interesting and plausible ideas, especially regarding what various people would think of Elizabeth. There are a few fun cameos I don't want to spoil, and the court scenes are particularly well-done. (Darcy has Ideas about how things should be reformed. It's pretty amazing.) Oh, and the mystery itself is solid and resolves in my favorite way: the solution completely surprised me but instantly made more sense than any of the other theories the characters or I had been considering.

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