Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Intrigue at Highbury

The Intrigue at Highbury: Or, Emma's Match. Carrie Bebris. 2010. Tor. 317 pages.

Emma Woodhouse Knightley, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition--a happiness recently compounded by her marriage to a gentleman of noble character and steadfast heart--seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-two years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
With two notable exceptions: the Reverend and Mrs. Philip Elton.

I loved this one. I just LOVED it. Every time I pick up a Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery novel, I think I've found it, the one that I love above the rest. And such is the case with The Intrigue at Highbury. In this fifth mystery, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy find themselves at Highbury, the victims of gypsies! While most of their belongings are safe, they've lost two very precious heirlooms: a christening gown (soon to be needed for Anne Fitzwilliam) and a ring.

They seek the local magistrate--who happens to be Mr. George Knightley. Problem is, Mr. Knightley has concerns of his own. He was hosting a dinner party, a special celebration in honor of the recent marriage between Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax. And in the middle of the party, Frank's uncle, his adopted father, dies. The cause of death is suspicious at best. The local apothecary, Mr. Perry, feels he was poisoned. But who is the murderer? Frank Churchill, no doubt, has the greatest motive, but is he capable of the crime?

This one is told through multiple narrators. I equally loved Emma Knightley and Elizabeth Darcy. Carrie Bebris completely redeemed my perception of Jane Austen's Emma. I loved how Austen's original characters are depicted in this one. I loved seeing the "feud" between Emma and Mrs. E continue! I loved Emma's growth--how tender she is with Miss Bates now. And, of course, I loved Bebris' depiction of Elizabeth and Darcy. It felt so natural, so right, for Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley to become friends so quickly. As I said, I loved this one. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it.

See also: Pride and Prescience, North by Northanger, The Matters at Mansfield.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


cleemckenzie said...

I haven't heard that someone on the blogosphere, "loved, loved, loved" a book for a while. I guess this one is a must buy and read!

Becky said...

This whole series has been so wonderful! I am just amazed at how great Bebris is at capturing Austen's characters!

Christina T said...

This sounds like fun! I just finished watching Emma this afternoon (the one with Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightly) and I just read Pemberley Ranch yesterday (retelling of P&P in post Civil War Texas). I will have to add this to my TBR list! Great review :)