2012: 46. Death Comes to Pemberley

"It was generally agreed by the female residents of Meryton that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of Longbourn had been fortunate in the disposal in marriage of four of their five daughters."

Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James

     I love James, and have read almost everything she's written, so I felt that I had no choice but to read her latest, which was, sigh, an Austen pastiche.  That is, it's the story of what would happen if Lizzie and Darcy were faced with MURDER.  In other words, it's fan fiction, but because it was written by a famous mystery author, it's published fan fiction.  

     While I do have an interest in retellings and reimaginings of classic stories a la Wide Sargasso Sea, I'm pretty tired of these Austen continuations.  There are just so, so many, and they seem so, so trashy.  They seem less like reimaginings, and more like, well, I already said fan fic, and I'm sticking to my story.  This is well written, as all James novels are, and she did a decent job capturing Austen's tone.  It's definitely the classiest of the Austen fan fics, at least the ones I've seen.  The mystery itself wasn't terribly interesting - particularly because we are talking about a time before policemen so the clues need to be pretty basic to solve it, and because, well, in order to make it seem authentic, Lizzie takes no role in solving the crime, and let's face it, if you want to read a Price and Prejudice pastiche, you at least want to read about Miss Elizabeth Bennet doing stuff.  I don't know - it's a fine book if you like that kind of thing, but I just couldn't get over my slight embarrassment the entire time I was  reading.

Categories:  Fiction, P.D. James Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017