Review: Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Author: P.D. James
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Published: Nov. 1, 2011
Genre: Mystery, Pride and Prejudice retelling
Source: Borrowed from library
Goodreads Summary:The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband Bingley live nearby and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, the guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham - Elizabeth's younger, unreliable sister - stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered. Inspired by a lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen, PD James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly-crafted crime story. Death Comes to Pemberley is a distinguished work of fiction, from one of the best-loved, most- read writers of our time.
This book had been on my radar for some time. Then a few weeks ago, I found it available at my library and decided it was finally time to start reading it. P.D. James is a new-to-me author. I've heard good things about the author, and of course, my love for all things Austen I had high-hopes for this book.
Darcy and Elizabeth have been married happily for six years. They're on the eve of the Lady Anne Ball when a carriage comes careening down the driveway and out jumps a hysterical Lydia. She claims Wickham has been killed in the woods of Pemberley. Darcy and a few of his guests go out in search of Wickham and find him leaning over Captain Denny's body making a sort of confession. This leads to the premise of the book. A murder mystery involving Wickham.
Anytime Wickham and Lydia are involved, you know it's going to be interesting to say the least. Wickham has played a scoundrel in Darcy's past. And through Elizabeth, Darcy and Wickham are forever related. Darcy has a lot of inner turmoil throughout this book. He doesn't regret his marriage to Elizabeth, but only the baggage that comes with it. Despite all of Wickham's faults, Darcy isn't quite sure he's capable of murder.
James takes us through the investigation, the trial, and the effects it has on people. She leaves a couple of red herrings about to keep the audience guessing. I was thoroughly entertained and engaged in the story to the end. I don't want to tell too much of the story lest I spoil it for someone who hasn't read it yet. I'm so glad I finally had the opportunity to read this book. Now bring on the movie!