The world is classic Jane Austen. The mystery is vintage P.D. James.
The year is 1803, and Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet 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 Bennet’s younger, unreliable sister – stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered.
Hmmm, where to start? I wanted to like this, but it just didn’t capture me. I felt most of it was too long winded and extraneous. This was my first time reading P.D. James, but I felt the story was just trying too hard for most of its entirety. The word choice, the restating of the P&P story (if I bought this it should be assumed I am well-acquainted with P&P). Reading it just felt tiresome.
There were enjoyable parts to be sure. I enjoyed the OCs more than James’ hackneyed attempts at writing the original cast that just felt too out of character in many instances.
It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. The plot was dragging and when it finally started going somewhere the focus would switch to another cast member. The actual mystery itself was hinted at too early and rather easy to solve suspending any actual investment I had in the murder.
Just an overwhelming “meh” from me.