Sunday, May 1, 2022

Blog Tour: The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray


I'm part of the blog tour for Claudia Gray's The Murder of Mr. Wickham and I will say if you are any kind of Jane Austen fan, you must pick this up! 

I'll confess years after I first read Pride and Prejudice I will still occasionally think "I wonder what Darcy and Elizabeth are doing?" Yes. I know. This murder mystery will answer that question. Bonus: all of Jane Austen's couples from her novels are all together, in one place, for a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. 

Emma and Mr. Knightley, happily married, are having a house party, and they've invited a lovely group of folks: Elizabeth, Darcy and their son Jonathan, Colonel Brandon and Marianne, Fanny and Edmund, Captain and Anne Wentworth, and Juliet Tilney, the young daughter (and potential match for Jonathan) of Catherine and Henry of Northanger Abbey. It is to be a delightful party, except the weather has turned foul and rain just keeps pouring down. 

The party has barely settled in when Wickham shows up, an unwanted and unplanned guest. Why is he here? He's loathed by all, even those who don't have, at first glance, much of an acquaintance with him. He sets everyone on edge, and due to the weather, he can't leave. His latest money scheme has left many people on edge, stressed, and angry.

Sure enough, as the title indicates, Wickham is found dead late one night by Juliet. He's clearly the victim of foul play, and with so many people and so many motives to murder him, just who could have done it, and why? Juliet and Jonathan decide together they will figure it out. The magistrate is called, and the questioning begins. 

The mystery really took off at this point, and I certainly had no idea who could have been the killer. Wickham had long-reaching plans and schemes that come to light and will keep you guessing as to who had the best motive and opportunity to silence him. 

It's also quite fun to see the lives of favorite characters after their original stories have ended. Gray cleverly weaves all of the characters together so that it makes complete sense that they would all know each other and gather together for a country house party. This was a happy visit to the world of Austen, wrapped up in a whodunnit that will surprise you. A satisfying ending will have you sighing as you turn the last page. 

A big thank you to Austenprose PR for an advanced copy of the book to read and review. The book will be available in the US on May 3, 2022. It is available in trade paperback and ebook. Also thanks to Vintage/Random House. 

Publisher's Weekly has a great interview with author Claudia Gray and her inspiration for The Murder of Mr. Wickham. Click on this link to read the article. 

Rating: 5/6 for a mystery that has you putting your sleuthing cap on and pouring over clues. The gathering of Austen characters together, under one roof, is delightful and well written. Very well done, Claudia Gray! 

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