Genre: British Detective
Narrative Style: Third person, chronological
Synopsis: Six years after Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy are preparing for their annual ball when Captain Denny’s body is found in the woods at Pemberley. The ball is cancelled and the Darcys and Bingleys are plunged into a murder mystery.
Reading Challenges: 2020 Alphabet Soup Author Challenge
Well, this was disappointing. I thought that it was an interesting idea and I like P. D. James so it seemed like a good idea. But I didn’t realise that it was going to be written in a similar style to Austen’s – not something I’m massively fond of at the best of times. Well, this book was not the best of times.
While I wouldn’t say that I was a massive fan of Austen, reading this made me realise exactly how good she actually was. James’ prose has none of the refinement of Austen’s. In fact, it was leaden and had no sparkle. It was tedious to read and I felt little compulsion to finish this book. It also had none of the excitement of James’ usual storytelling and style. It was like the worst of both worlds.
Even worse, the characters of Darcy and Elizabeth were thin and underdeveloped. James completely sucked the life out of them. Even Wickham, who should be the most interesting character in this little tale, seems flat and lifeless. None of the characters were what they were in Pride and Prejudice.
Finally, the plot, for a large part of this novel, is just not very exciting. The hints that are dropped are obvious and so the big reveal is not surprising. I wasn’t all that interested in what the results were anyway. I was just glad that it was over.