Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 Review #16 – Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Oopsie, I was wrong. Yet more Austen-plus stories. This one at least has a bit of a twist – a murder mystery written by the venerable P.D. James. I’ve read a bunch of James, so much so that I unfortunately can spot the murderer pretty easily. Yet, I was still entertained by the story, and would recommend this one.
Lizzie and Darcy are at Pemberley and the Bingleys are visiting. One night, Lydia shows up (ugh – I have always found her one of the more loathsome Austen characters) in hysterics, screaming that Wickham has been murdered (if only). Sadly, he’s alive, but his friend Denny is lying dead in the woods, with Wickham standing over him. Wickham swears he didn’t do it. Darcy still needs to make enquiries, because he’s the local magistrate. He has to recuse himself, though, given the family relationship. Wickham is prosecuted for the murder, but Darcy does some investigating on his own, like the clever lad he is.
The book was neither great nor bad, it was just all right. The murderer was pretty well telegraphed, and the characters weren’t strictly Austenesque. I heard an interview with James on NPR when the book first came out, and I about fell all over myself to get it the moment it was released (on Kindle). I guess I don’t mind having spent money on it, but I might have preferred to have spent less. Or maybe I’m just spoiled by all the freebies.
Either way, this is yet another OK addition to the post-Austen genre, and pretty standard P.D. James fare.