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Death comes to Pemberley
P. D. James
Adult Fiction JAMES

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Historical mystery buffs and Jane Austen fans alike will welcome this homage to the author of Pride and Prejudice from MWA Grand Master James, best known for her Adam Dalgliesh detective series (The Private Patient, etc.). In the autumn of 1803, six years after the events that closed Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Darcy, the happily married mistress of Pemberley House, is preparing for Lady Anne's annual ball, "regarded by the county as the most important social event of the year." Alas, the evening before the ball, Elizabeth's sister Lydia, who married the feckless Wickham, bursts into the house to announce that Captain Denny, a militia officer, has shot her husband dead in the woodland on the estate. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, who purists may note behaves inconsistently with Austen's original, head out in a chaise to investigate. Attentive readers will eagerly seek out clues to the delightfully complex mystery, which involves many hidden motives and dark secrets, not least of them in the august Darcy family. In contrast to Pride and Prejudice, where emotion is typically conveyed through indirect speech, characters are much more open about their feelings, giving a contemporary ring to James's pleasing and agreeable sequel. 300,000 first printing. Agent: Carol Heaton, Greene & Heaton Ltd. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Ladieeees and gentlemen, in this corner, in Empire-waist trunks, is Miss Jane Austen (aka the Chawton Nonpareil); and in the opposite corner, in the tiara, Miss P.D. James (aka the Duchess James of Holland Park). Initially, the contestants are evenly matched in this sequel to Pride and Prejudice that starts off with the briskly told story of Lydia Wickham's melodramatic, unexpected, and totally characteristic arrival at the stately doors of Pemberley; this alerts residents to the discovery of her husband on the grounds kneeling over a dead body. Thus death comes to a richly detailed Pemberley, and thus is set in motion the investigation and trial that propel the remainder of the book. When there is an autopsy (and at Pemberley!), it seems clear that this is definitely James's fight to win or to lose. Before it's all over, a gaggle of Janeites have to be forcibly ejected from the arena. Verdict A draw. Both Austen and James survive the affray to be able to fight again. Nonrabid fans of both will find enjoyment in this heartfelt, idiosyncratic valentine from the one writer to the other, although they might also be able to agree that it shows neither author at the very top of her game. [See Prepub Alert, 11/3/11; 300,000-copy first printing.]-Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Elizabeth
Female
Married
Has been married to Darcy and living at his estate, Pemberley, for the past six years; has two sons; her disgraced sister, who had been banned from Pemberley, arrives claiming her husband has been murdered.

Darcy
Male
Married
Has been married to Elizabeth for six years; owns the magnificent estate called Pemberley; has two sons.



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