Wednesday, 10 October 2012

"Death Comes to Pemberley"

I had read all the Jane Austen novels by the time I was fourteen, transported to a world of landed gentry and gentle romance. Watching the BBC adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" was a thread running through my early relationship with DH. The poor man had to live up to Colin Firth!

I am also a great fan of PD James. I like her style; realistic without being too gritty. I really do not get on with the Scandinavian noir which is so popular at the moment. And who can resist a detective who is also a poet?

So I approached "Death Comes to Pemberley" with some trepidation. Could it possibly live up to its promise and combine my two favourite genres? Would the characters be true to the original? Could PD James capture Jane Austen's style?

As you would expect from PD James it is a very clever book. Although it is based around a murder, it is not a traditional "whodunnit" with the denouement coming in the last chapter. The language does read like Jane Austen's prose. I particularly liked, "If this were fiction, could even the most brilliant novelist contrive to make credible so short a period in which pride had been subdued and prejudice overcome?", written about the brevity of Darcy and Elizabeth's courtship. By the end lots of ends are nicely tied up.

It is well worth reading. I borrowed my Dad's copy, but I may invest some of my birthday money in my own copy. I also feel the need to re-read the original, which I suspect may please Baroness James.


  1. Yes, I agree, PDJ has done a brilliant job - quite believable, but no 'cod-Regency' prose. It has the right 'feel' to it.

    This is a great review - thanks!

  2. I haven't read this one -- yet. Thanks for the review. I'm adding it to my library list.


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