HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Loading...

Death Comes to Pemberley (edition 2011)

by P.D. James, Rosalyn Landor (Reader)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8022522,081 (3.03)303
Member:Laura.Rodd
Title:Death Comes to Pemberley
Authors:P.D. James
Other authors:Rosalyn Landor (Reader)
Info:Random House Audio (2011), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:historical fiction-take off of Jane Austen

Work details

Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James

Recently added byjgodby, PenultimateBooks, yoyogod, rnbwpnt, private library, Bookwormious, Llin5
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 303 mentions

English (248)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (253)
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
Easy read, not much to it. Library book. ( )
  aine.fin | May 12, 2016 |
While this was not a bad book, I was disappointed with it.

I have read and enjoyed most of James's novels, and "Pride and Prejudice" is one of my top favorite books. I was very excited to learn about a novel that combined them!

Sadly, this did not live up to my hopes and expectations at all.

Far too much of the first parts of the novel were devoted to reiterating- many times over- the basic plot of P&P. Since I think it unlikely that anyone who is not a fan of P&P would read this, we really did not need the constant harping on its plot- and even if someone had no familiarity with P&P, repeating its plot at least 3 times does not show respect for the reader.

And while the characters in P&P are vivid, here they all fade to gray. "Workmanlike" is the best way I can summarize what James did with Austen's vivid personalities. Even Lady Catherine was toned down!

Also, the murder mystery did not make much sense. I suppose it was a decent excuse to revisit the characters- and redeem some of the awful ones to some degree- but I found the resolution very unsatisfying, and the tying up of loose ends- especially as it pertains to the characters in various other Austen novels- to be a fairly pointless clever trick.

Darcy is not going to turn into a Sensitive New Age Guy. Lizzie is not going to turn into an indulgent helpmeet for him. Wickham is not going to change his spots. Et cetera.

James did do a lot of research into the way "great houses" worked, and the current legal system; I wish she had integrated that better with the vivid characters in the original P&P. ( )
1 vote cissa | Apr 6, 2016 |
It was a chore to slog through this book. I really liked the premise and I really hoped the story would improve. Unfortunately, it did not get better. Really disappointed. ( )
  jhadsell | Mar 23, 2016 |
Just OK, it seemed a bit of an unsuccessful mix of Austen and PD James. ( )
  csmith0406 | Mar 18, 2016 |
Some years after [b:Pride and Prejudice|1885|Pride and Prejudice|Jane Austen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320399351s/1885.jpg|3060926], Lydia Wickham (nee Bennet) stumbles through the front door of Pemberley in hysterics. There were gunshots in the woods, and she's sure her husband has been murdered. Darcy and some of the other men go out in search, and find Mr. Wickham crouched over Denny's body. He is covered in blood and, upon seeing them, says he killed his friend. Darcy summons the magistrate and then spends the entire rest of the novel thinking anachronistic thoughts and doing absolutely nothing related to the murder investigation. In fact, there really isn't a murder investigation; the most the characters do in regards to the murder is sit around the fire talking about whether or not the alleged murderer has the mindset possible to do the deed. No evidence turns up, nor do the characters make any attempt to find any. The full story of the murder is randomly turned up in a deathbed confession, and then another character equally randomly confesses the rest of the plot.

It's a very odd book. Usually a murder mystery involves a long period of finding out clues, or talking to witnesses, or figuring out the motives--and instead the characters just go over the same three facts ad nauseum. For example: we see the discovery of the body through Mr. Darcy's eyes, and then he relives the discovery a few times, and then he recounts the discovery several times to various law enforcement personnel. His story and view of the facts never change, so there's no point to going over it all again almost word-for-word.

It's no good as historical fiction, because although James has clearly done some research into the period (which she infodumps randomly; for example, apropos of nothing, Darcy soapboxes about the need for an appeals court) she doesn't seem to get the underpinnings of Regency society. The characters are worried that they might upset the police by moving the body--even though they would have no reason to expect an autopsy, and the police of the time were a distrustred force of ill-trained, ill-paid, low class dudes who barely existed yet. And even a century later the police wouldn't be going in the front door, let alone questioning rich gentlemen about their alibis in the parlor!

And it doesn't work as a continuation of Pride and Prejudice, either. The spirit and wit of Austen is completely missing, but then I expected that. But the characters are all wrong as well! Elizabeth is a quiet, maternal figure in the background, who has about three scenes total. She and Mr.Darcy hardly speak to each other, except to utter platitudes about how happy they are to have children or to rehash old lines from P&P. Colonel Fitzwilliam gets a complete character assassination--far from the wry, practical man who bantered with Lizzy, here he's a prig who despises her. It doesn't ring true.

[b:Death Comes to Pemberley|12875355|Death Comes to Pemberley|P.D. James|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1318936579s/12875355.jpg|17822238] just doesn't satisfy on any level. If you're looking for murder mysteries set in the Regency period, I suggest the Julian Kestral series by Kate Ross instead.


(The review I used to have up, before I read the book, was "Ooh, I hope Wickham's been murdered! That child-molesting, predatory lying scumbag.") ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
. . . an excellent period mystery, replete with all manner of mayhem, and a most welcome way to revisit Elizabeth and Darcy. . .
added by 4leschats | editBookPage, Sukey Howard (Apr 1, 2012)
 


Really, gentle reader, there are limits. When mystery grande dame P. D. James felt the mantle of Jane Austen fall on her shoulders, why didn't she simply shrug it off? James places a template of Austen characters and Austen-like language over a traditional mystery plot. The mystery is set in 1803, six years after the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy, with ample space given to catching us up on the recent doings of the Bennet family. On the mystery side, there's plenty of action, from the discovery of Captain Denny's body, through a trial, assorted deceptions and mix-ups, and love affairs. Unfortunately, though, if this is meant as an homage, it's a pretty weak cup of tea. James' many fans will be pleased to see any kind of new book from the 91-year-old author, but discriminating Austen devotees are unlikely to appreciate the move from social comedy to murder.
added by kthomp25 | editBooklist
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. D. Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Estrella, JuanjoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kauhanen, MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landor, RosalynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landor, RosalynReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, SheilaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ragnhild EikliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trond Peter Stamsø MunchNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is a (non-series) sequel to

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Joyce McLennan
Friend and personal assistant who has typed my novels for thirty-five years
With affection and gratitude
First words
It was generally agreed by the female residents of Meryton that Mr and Mrs Bennett of Longbourn had been fortunate in the disposal in marriage of four of their five daughters.
Quotations
Author's note: 
I owe an apology to the shade of Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in the trauma of a murder investigation, especially as in the final chapter of Mansfield Park Miss Austen made her views quite plain: 'Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.' No doubt she would have replied to my apology by saying that, had she wished to dwell on such odious subjects, she would have written this story herself, and done it better.
Here we sit at the beginning of a new century, citizens of the most civilised country in Europe, surrounded by the splendour of its craftsmanship, its art and the books which enshrine its literature, while outside there is another world which wealth and education and privilege can keep from us, a world in which men are as violent and destructive as in the animal world. Perhaps even the most fortunate of us will not be able to ignore it and keep it at bay for ever.
Simon Cartwright’s management of the prosecution was now apparent and Darcy could appreciate its cleverness. The story would be told scene by scene, imposing both coherence and credibility on the narrative and producing in court as it unfolded something of the excited expectancy of a theatre. But what else, thought Darcy, but public entertainment was a trial for murder? The actors clothed for the parts assigned for them to play, the buzz of happy comment and anticipation before the character assigned to the next scene appeared, and then the moment of high drama when the chief actor entered the dock from which no escape was possible before facing the final scene: life or death. This was English law in practice, a law respected throughout Europe, and how else could such a decision be made, in all its terrible finality, with more justice? He had been subpoenaed to be present but, gazing round at the crowded courtroom, the bright colours and waving headdresses of the fashionable and the drabness of the poor, he felt ashamed to be one of them.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published: London : Faber and Faber, 2011.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy's magnificent state. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. Elizabeth's sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy's sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth's disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberly. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P.D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.

[from the back cover]
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Pemberley is thrown into chaos after Elizabeth Bennett's disgraced sister Lydia arrives and announces that her husband Wickham has been murdered.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
81 avail.
97 wanted
10 pay18 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.03)
0.5 5
1 49
1.5 12
2 145
2.5 64
3 322
3.5 101
4 189
4.5 11
5 38

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,874,137 books! | Top bar: Always visible