P.D. James – Death Comes to Pemberley


publisher: Faber & Faber
published 2012
pages: 352

Book on Amazon




The year is 1803, Darcy and Elizabeth have been married six years, and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual ball, a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley’s wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham – Elizabeth’s younger, unreliable sister – stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered.

In (Very) Short:

+ wonderful continuation of Darcy’s and Elisabeth’s story
+ understandable without previous knowledge of Pride and Prejudice
+ exiting, traditional detective story
+ writing is beautiful, eloquent, and fluid

My Opinion:

I personally really enjoy reading Jane Austen novels and I have to admit that Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite novels. Yes, maybe because I like the film version with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I know, I know the one with Colin Firth is much better. Well, I don’t think so and I digress.

The book is set six years after Elizabeth and Darcy married and are settled in Pemberley. After a brief summary of the past years the preparations for the annual ball at Pemberley take place. On the evening previous to the ball the Darcys, the Bingleys and some friends are ready to retire for the night when a carriage races up the road towards the house.

Elizabeth’s sister Lydia Wickham stumbles hysterically screaming from the carriage and claims that her husband is murdered. He and a friend left the carriage in the woodlands of the estate and shots were heard.

Wickham and his friend are found and Wickham is arrested for murder. Being thrown in the midst of this horrid business Darcy has to help free his brother by marriage as well as deal with the resentment felt towards Wickham.

The story is a wonderful version of the traditional detective story that lives without many gruesome and bloody details, but through the trust and mistrust felt by Darcy and his family.

He is torn between avoiding scandal and desire to save an innocent man from the noose and his mistrust and animosity he feels towards Wickham and their shared past.

The narrative is fluent and effortless and continues Jane Austen’s story successfully. The language is beautiful and eloquent and smoothly carries on Austen heritage.

The characters are as vivid and loveable as the original ones and the readers sees and experiences the familiarity that James has with those characters.

It is obvious that James is an Austen fan and this book her personal fan letter to the author.

Bottom Line:

I personally enjoy reading Austen and I was really looking forward to P.D. James book. She did a superb job and wrote so beautifully and wonderfully as if she has known and created the characters herself. I have to admit that I enjoyed her writing even more than Austen’s. It is a successful sequel to Austen’s famous novel Pride and Prejudice and an absolute delight to read.


rating 5


2 thoughts on “P.D. James – Death Comes to Pemberley

  1. Pingback: End of Year Review | Franzi's Book Chase

  2. Pingback: My Top 5 Crime Authors | Franzi's Book Chase

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s