Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pride and Prescience

Pride and Prescience: Or A Truth Universally Acknowledged. A Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery. 2004. Tor. 288 pages.

On the day Miss Elizabeth Bennet wed Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, she did not mind dividing with her elder sister, Jane, the notice due a bride. Indeed, she had been delighted when Jane chose to marry Mr. Charles Bingley in a double ceremony. It seemed only right that two sisters and two men who were themselves particular friends should all embark on their new lives together, and she hoped the event presaged many happy hours spent in each other's company in the years ahead.
Elizabeth did mind, however, sharing the stage with Mr. Bingley's sister Caroline.

I wouldn't exactly say I loved this one. As in love, love, love. But I did enjoy this one. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Because whether it is a truth universally acknowledged or not, most Austen sequels have a difficult time in successfully capturing the characters and narrative style of Austen's original novels. (A good many exist purely as an excuse to write in great detail of intimacies between the couples.) Carrie Bebris's Elizabeth and Darcy were well done. Their conversations felt right. The chemistry between them felt right. (Not over done, not explicit. Yet you knew they were deeply in love.) It was just delightful to spend time with these two.

This novel begins with the wedding of Jane and Charles and Elizabeth and Darcy. Elizabeth is unhappy that Caroline decided to use this gathering as a chance to make a big announcement: she's getting married to a wealthy American, Mr. Parrish. They're getting married in a week. And, of course, Elizabeth and Darcy feel obligated to attend. Despite the fact that they hoped to be on their way to Pemberley by then. A trip that keeps getting postponed time and time again. For better or worse, these two have a difficult time escaping the company of Caroline and her new husband! And that is where the mystery begins...

At the first, it seems that Caroline (Bingley) Parrish is the target. But. The Darcys soon realize that the threat includes the whole Bingley family. Can Elizabeth and Darcy solve this mystery in time?

I enjoyed many things about this one. I enjoyed spending time with these characters. I liked how Bebris developed Austen's original characters--Caroline Bingley, Charles, Jane, Elizabeth, Darcy, etc. I liked her new characters too. Even the "bad guys" felt properly developed. I will definitely be interested in reading more Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery novels.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kaye said...

This story almost demands further exploration than the simple happy ending that Jane Austen leaves us with.

oprahfollower said...

I will have to read some Jane Austen this year, since I decided for now to only read books by women.

I am not at all familiar with her. Do you have any suggestions to get started?

Becky said...

Kaye, I have really enjoyed the two Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mysteries that I've read. I'd definitely recommend them :)

Oprahfollower, My personal favorite (of Austen) is Persuasion. But Pride and Prejudice is great too. And if you happen to like gothic literature--Northanger Abbey is fun!

Laurel Ann (Austenprose) said...

Wow Becky, you are on a roll! Two M/M Darcy Mysteries in a week. Well done. I love Carrie Bebris' writing. Her mystery it always intriguing and keeps me guessing until the end.