Death Comes to Pemberley

death-comes-to-pemberleyBeing a Pride and Prejudice fan, this really is the sort of book I should not read.  And after a delightful ten minutes reading the exposition in the first chapter, which mimics Austen’s style and humour beautifully, a reader could be forgiven for forgetting this text has any relationship to Pride and Prejudice at all.

While James has crafted a reasonably solid mystery with some clever clues and tangles, what she has failed to do is bring any meaning into setting it with such well-known characters.  Ultimately, no new light is shed on any of them. How have they changed in the years since the wedding that shocked all of Meryton?  Hard to tell.  I never felt as if I got into the minds of any of  them.  The only character who is fleshed out more at all is Wickham, who is pretty much universally detested by Austen readers. The rest all felt like shadows of themselves. Much of the narrative was in fact rather dull.  Sometimes when things seem too good to be true – they are!


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