Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

One thing I’ve noticed about myself since I’ve started blogging, aside from my love for Jewish fiction, is that more often than not, I like the books I read.  If I don’t like a book, it’s generally impossible for me to finish it.

This book however, was one of the few that I finished but wasn’t thrilled with.

Death Comes to Pemberley follows Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, after they’ve been married a number of years, have kids and are accustomed to their life as they know it.  The night before a big annual ball that is help at Pemberley, Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s sister, shows up in a panic claiming that Wickham is dead, slain by his friend Denny.

There ensues the quest to find Wickham, which they do, and their ongoing search for the truth surrounding the death of, not Wickham, but Denny, and Wickham’s trial for the murder of his friend.

This novel is the reason why “show me, don’t tell me,” is such a legendary writer’s adage.  This book had lots and lots of telling and very little showing.  I believe that’s why I feel like I didn’t really read anything once I was finished with the book.  I felt like I had sat through a really long speech where the speaker talked a lot but said very little of substance.   The plot was entertaining enough to keep me from putting the book down, but not entertaining enough to have me riveted, or even really all that interested.

The other big let down was that I didn’t see a lot of the Pride and Prejudice characters in these adaptations of them.  Elizabeth seemed like just a bleak shadow of the vixen I love.  She didn’t have any fire or spirit in this one and that’s probably the worst injustice.  To take a character that is so defined and beloved by so many people and do a mediocre job of portraying her.  Makes me die a little bit inside.

I would not recommend this book.  I would ESPECIALLY not recommend this book to people who really love Pride and Prejudice.

Also, having Wickham work for Walter Elliot, another character from a different Austen novel?  That was just lame.



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Filed under Bad Books, Reviews

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