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Death Comes to Pemberley (excerpt) by P. D. James

Death Comes to Pemberley (excerpt) by P. D. James

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3.09

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Published by Alfred A. Knopf
A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem. Read the prologue!
A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem. Read the prologue!

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Publish date: Dec 6, 2011
Added to Scribd: Nov 03, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

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aelizabethj reviewed this
Rated 2/5
Oh man, I think I expected too much from this book. I was on the waiting list for FOREVER at the library and I had to really force myself to finish this. I don't know if it because you just shouldn't mess with the classics, or if it was just this book in general, but it didn't work for me. I never really got into it, and it was a chore to finish. Bummer!
john_pappas_35 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Meh. I am not a fan of mysteries but I said I would give one a shot. Since I am a fan of Regency Era fiction, Victorian melodrama and Edwardian hijinks; I expected that this would have the highest chance of success. Overall, it was plodding, somewhat predictable and not particularly endearing to me. There was a lack of personality throughout the novel - a constant rehashing of the older text (sometimes from the same characters) and not much of a resolution at the end.

I don't regret the time spent on this one but would not doom myself to repeat it.

To sum up - This was similar to the experience of being trapped beneath Jane Austen's petticoats. For the first 15 minutes it is exhilarating until you realize you are trapped, can't breath and are being slowly kicked to death.
krumbs_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
If anybody is going to write what is essentially a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, it occurs to me that P.D. James has certainly earned that right. While the language is a bit off (come on, Jane Austen died a really long time ago and I don't think anybody can directly channel her talent) I found it pretty believable what James did with the characters. I'm not completely on board with it, but I greatly enjoyed her summation of what Mr. Bennett has been up to and I found Jane quite believable--and I liked what the author did with Mary. The author is a mystery writer so having a murder made sense, but it also felt wrong. I liked the bits of the book more that didn't have anything to do with the death.
jammies_4 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This didn't wow me--it's much better written than most of the Austen sequels/ripoffs/homages/reimaginings that have hit the market in the last few years, but it's by a professional writer, so that's not surprising. Most of the character have evolved in ways that fit with their original depictions, and the relationships have done the same. The mystery is decent if not innovative, and handled well, but overall, the book just didn't grab me or live up to the standard set by Ms. Austen.
zeborah reviewed this
Rated 1/5
As a Pride and Prejudice sequel, it failed miserably; as a murder mystery it wasn't much better.

A back cover blurb calls it "pitch perfect" -- what it might have been pitch perfect as, I'm not sure, but it wasn't as Austen pastiche, of which it managed about three successful sentences in the whole novel. (Also, "paradigm" early and "eradicably" later hit my "I don't think that word means what you think it means" button.)

As for the mystery, there wasn't any attempt at detecting whatsoever. It's more of a procedural, if you count "resolutely suspecting, trying, and convicting the obvious suspect and only finding out you were wrong when the real killer conveniently confesses" as a procedure.

But its worst fault was its constant infodumping. Even my mother, who otherwise enjoyed the book, was irritated by that. I swear I'm not exaggerating that half the book consisted of infodumps, from first page, when Elizabeth couldn't even walk into a room without reflecting for pages on end about the last few years, to the last several chapters where the characters painstakingly narrate to each other stories full of details about their several motives which the reader already guessed half the book ago.
jen6e6moore reviewed this
Rated 2/5
Well, thank goodness that's over. Longer review later.
kherrington_6 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
As a sequel to Pride and Prejudice and an homage to Jane Austen, I found this book very satisfying, but I thought the mystery was not satisfying at all. There just wasn't enough detective work for me. The last minute confession of the murderer feels more like a deus ex machina rather than a natural result of the events leading from the murder to the trial. Lovers of Jane Austen's novels or just Pride and Prejudice will, I think, enjoy this novel, but fans of James's mystery novel will likely be disappointed by it.
druidgirl_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The night before the Lady Anne ball there is a murder on the Woodlands of Pemberley estate. Elizabeth and Darcy are having a family dinner when the are informed of the murder, and Darcy,the Colonial and the lawyer form a search party. They are surprised to find Darcy's brother-in-law leaning over the body. This is a great storyline and the characters are well developed. P.D. James has done it again.
quiltinfun06 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is an Oprah bookcase pub selection. It is fraught with dysfunction, angst and hardship all components of an Oprah selection. That being said , it was well written with great character development. The twelve tribes refers to the eleven children ,making with one grandchild, that Hattie raised. A story depicting the power of motherhood. Not a pleasant read as some of it can become depressing but definitely a story worth the time.
laura9rodd reviewed this
Rated 2/5
This book was sadly disappointing for me, especially since I adore the writings of P.D. James immensely. Her general formula works so very well. The use of a strong male protagonist who is obsessively intent on solving a wonderfully crafted mystery, usually involving a grisly murder complete with fascinating suspects. The reader walks with the investigator and is given the case details, thus joining in the mental exercise of reaching a plausible solution to the crime. This book faltered on many levels. Although it is well known that James is a devoted fan she has done a great disservice to the wonderfully imagined characters of Jane Austen that have been read and critiqued for over 100 years. What is so attractive about Elizabeth Bennet in "Pride and Prejudice" is her verve and wit in using play-on-words that expose the preposterous behaviors and vanities in her social circle. She is quick to laugh at herself, enjoys her simple rural life and finds beauty in nature. This novel proposes to follow Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy years after their socially unequal union of marriage. They now have a male "heir and a spare" to ensure the continuation of the Darcy line governing the Pemberley Estate. Lizzy and Darcy rarely spend quality time in conversation together and romantic moments seem few and far between as this "society couple" take care of the daily management of a giant Victorian mansion and grounds, plan expected balls and dinner menus, silver upkeep, etc. Their children are seen in the morning and the evening briefly by their parents in the nursery, an area of the house isolated from the adults and ruled by a nursemaid nanny and servants. Lizzy has conformed and seemingly cares deeply about fulfilling all the duties that are expected of her regardless of the hypocrisy and stultifying boredom that results. Gone is the laugher and lightness of spirit. Gone are the open frank conversations with the love of her life, Darcy. Moreover, the" mystery" is little more than a crime where the details are reported in court. Strange revelations are made and this heavily burdened story drags on revealing ugly seductions, misdirected violence and the horrible, grasping traits of Mr. Wickham.

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