Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
This is a tall order: Write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, and throw in a murder. If anyone could do it justice, it’s P.D. James. And I think she does.
But still, I was a wee bit disappointed. Which actually makes me feel like a dreadful ingrate, because the book’s darn good and decently captures the feeling of both P & P and a decent historical mystery.
I’m not sure, really, what I found lacking. I think maybe I just feel like it’s somewhat bogus when anyone (even Baroness James herself) deigns to write a sequel to a classic. There’s something in me that just kind of looks askance on such a thing, even when I know it’s been done by an expert.
OK, so enough about that.
The mystery in the book is this: Mr. Denny, Wickham’s sidekick, ends up dead in the Pemberley woods. And that’s decidedly not OK, because Pemberley is meant to be all that is good and calm and decent. And it appears that the horrid Wickham has murdered his friend (heck, he even confesses).
And then the investigation and trial begin… and there were moments where I actually had the feeling I was reading an Anne Perry novel (during the trial at the Old Bailey). This isn't a bad thing, just odd.
There are some surprises in the story, which is always a fine thing in a mystery, and it all made sense and rang true and did all the things a sequel is meant to do.
But still. I’m only mostly satisfied.