Thursday, March 1, 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley

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

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?" Some of the reviewers of "Death Comes to Pemberley" put me in mind of Lady Catherine's statement. A little over the top? With great expectation can come great disappointment, apparently. Thankfully, I have experienced neither in my read of P.D. James's follow-up to P&P.

The whodunit part was not too surprising, one of the culprits acting suspiciously from the outset, and the killer being the person who seemed incapable of doing the deed. Some of the details of the crime and motivations of characters were not obvious until revealed at the end, so I enjoyed the mystery as well as the story. However, my favorite passages dealt with minor characters, rather than Elizabeth and Darcy. As a married couple, they seemed a bit dull. Here is a description of Caroline Bingley's recent activities that I enjoyed:

Her pursuit of a widowed peer of great wealth was entering a most hopeful phase. Admittedly without his peerage and his money he would have been regarded as the most boring man in London, but one cannot expect to be called "your grace" without some inconvenience, and the competition for his wealth, title and anything else he cared to bestow was understandably keen. There were a couple of avaricious mamas, long-experienced in the matrimonial stakes, each working assiduously on her daughter's behalf, and Miss Bingley had no intention of leaving London at such a delicate stage of the competition.

Overall, as a mystery this book was fun to read. As a sequel, it was less successful, but still worth reading.

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