Sunday, February 3, 2013

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Aw phooey.  I was so hoping I would love this mystery, but I am shocked to say I didn't care much for it at all and struggled to finish it.

What went wrong?  I loved seeing Darcy and Elizabeth after their marriage, happy and with two small boys.  Wickham was still a sorry! total dick (that's how I've always thought of him) and Jane is still a totally loving and supportive sister.   Lydia is still a selfish  and hyperactive nitwit.

The mystery is about the murder of Captain Denny in the woods surrounding Pemberley.  Wickham is found kneeling next to his friend, bloody hands and face, saying it's his fault his friend is dead.  He's promptly arrested and faces trial in the murder of his friend.  Darcy is called to testify as a witness, and he struggles with his emotions--he still intensely dislikes Wickham for all the mayhem he caused with his sister Georgiana, and with the Bennett family. But he knows Wickham was not capable of killing anyone, including his only friend.  So what happened?  There's not much evidence to prove Wickham did it, but nothing to indicate another person may have killed  Captain Denny.

You do find out towards the end what exactly happened, and who killed Captain Denny.  I found myself having a hard time being patient reading this mystery.  There wasn't much mystery to it.  I only realized that mostly what I felt at the end was that yes, Wickham is a total jerk and will never change.  What happens in this mystery only firmly establishes that fact.  And it is probably a good thing to have read Pride and Prejudice before you read this, otherwise you won't understand why there is such animosity between Darcy and Wickham--to the extent that Wickham is never welcome at Pemberley.

This mystery had so much buzz when it was out in hardcover--I personally handed copies of it over to so many customers requesting it that I lost count!  So when it came out in paperback I decided to read it, based on how popular it was and some good reviews.  Sadly, I was not terribly impressed.  It wasn't terrible, just not compelling at all.

Rating:  4/10  

Available in paperback, E-book, and Audio.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for such an honest review. I have to admit that when I heard about this book I was very excited to read it. I love P&P it's my all time favourite book.
    After reading your review I think that I will still give it a go but that I will wait for the PB or borrow a copy and after reading your review at lest I'll have more realistic expectations.