Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Death Comes to Pemberley

Posted by nliakos on April 1, 2012

by PD James (Knopf 2012; eBook)

I love Jane Austen; I love Pride and Prejudice; and I love P. D. James, so it was inevitable that I would have to get James’ sequel to P&P.  It is several years after Elizabeth married Darcy; they are living at Pemberley with their two young sons, and Elizabeth’s sister Jane lives not far off, at a place called Highmarten with her husband Mr. Bingley and their children.  Just before the Darcys are about to host their annual ball, Elizabeth and Jane’s wayward sister Lydia descends upon the house in hysterics. On her way to crash the party with her husband, the despised George Wickham, and his friend Captain Denny, the two men had gotten out of the carriage and run into the Pemberley woods and had not returned, but shots were heard. Sure enough, Captain Denny is found dead, with Wickham kneeling over him and proclaiming his guilt. Surely an open-and-shut case! But not at all. James strings us along all the way to the end, dropping hints along the way but never revealing whodunit.

I especially enjoyed being privy to the inner thoughts of both Darcy and Elizabeth. James describes Darcy as shy, determined to do the right thing, and very much in love with Elizabeth.  She paints Elizabeth as good, but not completely immune to status and money, and as still somewhat  conflicted about Wickham. Other characters, whether known or unknown from Austen’s books, are convincingly portrayed.  Although it’s not a page turner (it falls short of James’ best Dalgliesh novels), I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

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3 Responses to “Death Comes to Pemberley”

  1. bleiva2003 said

    I love Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice too and read it several times a year (I know some of its dialogues by heart 🙂 I wasn’t aware there was a sequel by James but will try to get a copy to read it. Thanks for this post, dear Color Twin ❤

  2. Joan MArie Dabidson said

    Not a huge Austen fan and I found the PD James novel somewhat slow going in the beginning…but I persisted and enjoyed in thoroughly.
    Nina,I appreciate your honest summaries, reactions and forthright discussions of your various and extremely varied readings. As i recall you live in Westport, Ct.? Or Weston? where I grew up part of my life, ent to Staples when it was a smaller HS joinng young eople from Weston, Wilton and Westport. My graduating class was about 150 students.

    • Nina Liakos said

      Joan, you must be confusing me with somebody else. I live outside of Washington, DC in the Maryland suburbs; I grew up in northern New Jersey.
      Thanks very much for your comment and for visiting my reading blog! 🙂

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