Book #11 in our A to Z Mystery Tour.
Carrie Bebris, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries, Book 1
Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are newly married, as is Elizabeth Bennet Darcy’s sister Jane, to her Mr. Bingley. Various logistical problems prevent the Darcys from going to Pemberly after the double wedding, and soon both couples are sequestered at Mr. Bingley’s rented estate, along with a few relatives and hangers-on.
It’s clear to the readers early on that some sort of magic is afoot at the impromptu and reluctant house party; this is frustrating since none of the characters are actually catching on. With elements of The Moonstone and Jane Eyre, the story very slowly unfolds until a murder occurs (very late in the book) and the killer is eventually, of course, unmasked. But who is the magician?
Pride and Prescience has been rated quite highly in Goodreads, and I can see why a die-hard Austen devotee might love the book and the series. The author mentions on her website that she is not trying to imitate Miss Austen’s work; rather, she is trying to respect what has been created while telling her own stories.
While acknowledging this, it seems impossible to write a story using Jane Austen characters while not striving to coninue the tone and style with which those characters were imbued by their creator. Ms. Bebris is successful most of the time, but some anachronistic phrases slip through, and modern viewpoints sneak in there too. I think this is unavoidable; this author has two centuries of perspective to work with, and that’s not easy to hide.
I found the book to be longer than necessary, with lots of speculation about the murder and the events leading up to it. I don’t have patience for that kind of conjecture in mysteries anymore; the identity of the killer was obvious, and the ruminations added nothing but length to the story for me.
Again though, I’m not a huge Austen fan. I’m rating this story at 2.5 stars, but don’t let that stop you from reading it! If you want to spend more time with the Darcys you will enjoy this book.