P. D. James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly-crafted crime story.
The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister, Jane, and her husband, Bingley, live nearby, and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, while the guests are preparing to retire for the night, 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.
Death Comes to Pemberley - inspired by P.D. James’s lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen - is a distinguished work of fiction from one of the best-loved and most-read writers of our time.
©2011 P. D. James (P)2011 AudioGO
I have read other books by this author, and have found them to be most enjoyable. She uses good English and charactisations.
P D James ruined the characters borrowed from Jane Austin. She should have invented the characters and built them up as she wanted instead of trying to borrow those which were developed by another author and making them behave out of character. The worst book I have heard so far - so bad I couldn't bear to finish it - unheard of for me!
Author should stick to her own characters.
Not that kind of mystery. This is relaxed social commentary. The death is really a sideline.
No. She's good.
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice II
Kudos to P.D. James for this excellent follow-up. Please tell us what happens after all Jane Austen's books.
This is a fabulous book. Death comes to Pemberley picks up the Pride and Prejudice story six years after the end of that book and takes us on an new adventure with Darcy and Elizabeth. All our favorite characters make another appearance, the odious Lady Catherine de Bourgh. the insipid Mr Collins, Denny and Wickham etc. I felt like I was visiting with old friends.
I have listened to it twice already! The language is fantastic and pays homage to the language of the period without replicating it, this makes it very easy to listen to.
I am an Austin fan, and I think PD James has done a superb job and has captured the Austen style beautifully. I highly recommend this book, I enjoyed it from beginning to end.
I just adore the dreadful Lady Catherine and her profound yet odious comments; “I have never approved of protracted dying. It is an affectation in the aristocracy; in the lower classes it is merely an excuse for avoiding work.”
Sheila Mitchell's performance is brilliant. She captures the style, and characters, perfectly, and her voice is a pleasure to listen to.
Yes, however, I felt for someone who is very familiar with Jane Austen's work there was too much recapping of the characters and the events of Pride and Prejudice.It wasn't the mystery that I had foreseen when first reading the title and the summary so I was disappointed when the book's main complication was revealed. The more I listened to the book the more I enjoyed it.
Well read. I listened to part of this text on a faster setting, still being able comprehend the reader. So if you want to finish the book quicker it is an option.
Yes, it it was nicely performed and the story flowed well.
I really liked the way Ms James summarised Pride and Prejudice in the beginning of the story, and included her own views of things happening 'behind the scenes'. I thought the story overall was a bit long and sometimes overly technical in describing the inquest and trial. But maybe that was because I actually longed to hear more about Elizabeth then about Darcy :).
Yes, particularly as an audiobook, if they were wanting a not particularly taxing period drama and had read P&P. Though I'd warn them not to expect too much Lizzie. I would say, 'P. D. James is in her nineties and she can do whatever she wants.' In fact this indulgence was what I enjoyed most about the book!
Yep, because she's so accomplished.
A lovely grace. I possibly wouldn't have persevered with the novel if I'd been reading.
Watch the period drama montage set to "It's Raining Men" on youtube over and over again.
Will the BBC televise it? Let's hope so!!
Although the setting and characterization of the characters was admirably done, I found it irritating that once the characters opened their mouths english with modern grammar came out. Also the constant dwelling on the "good old days" of the original book distracted from the plot of this book. In other words you can't write a compelling sequel if the language is not the same as the original and if you put too much emphasis on the original storyline then you can't convincing sell the new one.
P.D. James writes excellent mystery novels with high suspense and interesting characters, I was expecting the same thing here but it just got very dull and predictable.
A well read and flawless performance still can not carry a dull story.
Mainly boredom and slight annoyance at the predictability of certain characters.
"Better than expected"
I didn't know what to expect with this book. I've recently been enjoying a variet of sequels by modern authors so I thought I'd give it a go and was pleasantly suprised that this one was as good as the others given that I am a closet Jane Austen fan.
There were 2 things that stopped me giving it 4 stars. One was the constant references to the original Pride & Prejudice...going over old thoughts and emotions in their entirety was a bit much. I understood the need for the first chapter which gives an overview of original story, but I didn't quite feel the need for Darcy to go through all his faults in the original book and saying how wrong he was. Or Lizzy to mull over the missundersandings of each other in the first book.
The second was that there were times when the characters didn't quite add up. During the trial I kept wondering where Lydia was - as a drama queen she wouldn't have wanted to miss out on that - but there was no reference to her at allm not even a letter telling Lizzy & Darcy that it was all their fault.
However the actual premise of the murder was quite cleverly thought out....and had me guessing right up to the end. If you are a P&P fan and fancy something a little different, I would recommend it.
Too much directly taken from P&P and too little new material. I expected something much better paced and I became rather bored by the repetition. I suspect PD James may have been too much of a fan and was too reverential to make the most of what is at heart an intriguing concept.
I suppose I had high hopes for this as it was written by P.D. James, who I have always enjoyed. I actually found it very dull, and found myself longing for the end. I didn't even care who did it!.
None of the characters were appealing and so much of the narrative was spent going over the original that it was tedious in the extreme. I confess I have not read Pride and Predjudice - but I do know the story very well. The characters were out of character and the justice system was really hard work. I also regret to say that the reader brought nothing to it, just tedium.
Overall, I would say don't bother.
The premise and plot are quite clever. The characterisation is poor - in fact the characters we know from Austen are not there at all - only by name or painstaking reference to Austen's storyline, and I found them very one-dimensional (the exception is Colonel Fitzwilliam, who by virtue of a small part in P&P suffers a character assassination early on, which I don't think he deserves).
Last but not least, the reinterpretation of a key plotline within Pride and Prejudice towards the end is unforgiveable.
"Diabolical reading - fluff after fluff"
What's the first thing you expect from an audio book? That the reader delivers the text without making any mistakes. This recording is packed with fluffs - a simply bit of audio editing from the team that put it together would have sorted the problem. The book itself is ok - a bit dull really. But it's the first audio book I've heard with so many errors. Money back please!
"Ultimate Fan Fic?"
Not a detecticve story nor truly a Murder Mystery but rather a tossing of violent death into the lives of those who live at Pemberly and how it all unfolds. These are not Austens characters for they are 6 years older and, possibly because of the slightly flat narration, rather more staid. The first chapter caught something of Jane's wit but the following chapters failed to sparkle for me. May be because it was mostly from Darcy's point of view.
A good story though.
"Too much exposition"
One would think, that with the combination of Jane Austen and P.D. James, the publisher, editor and author could presume that the reader knows the basic plot of Pride and Prejudice, and could do away with the quite enormous amount of re-hashing and expositions.
One would also think, that Dame James' editor could have gently nudged her to do less of 'Elizabeth said' and 'Darcy said' and help her get the story and dialogue flowing as effortlessly as we, who love her, knows she can.
If one can get past the tons of exposition and rehashing of P&P, the apparently completely absent editor, and the frequently tiresome dialogue, it is a good enough novel. Not nearly as excellent as Austen and James usually are, each on their own, but ... fair enough.
This was so shallow and slight that I had to double-check my library incase I had accidentally downloaded the abridged version! I usually avoid tributes, prequels and sequels of famous works but thought that with P D James, Jane Austen's work might be in safe hands - I was wrong!
"Death comes to Pemberley"
If you loved Pride and Prejudice and are a little forgiving of a modern sequel then you will love this one. The story is written in the same style as the Austen book, with the language and the customs matching the original. It is satisfying to see Elizabeth and Darcy settled at Pemberley, and equally to find many of the characters, good and bad, back in the limelight. It is not really much of a murder mystery, although the setting and the details of the murder are annoyingly repeated to great length, but the surrounding mini-stories of the characters involved are fascinating and PDJ intertwines new characters and old with convincing deftness. It has a satisfying ending wrapping up all ends. Did not like Sheila Mitchell reading - a voice too old for all the young characters (sorry to be ageist but her voice only suited aged characters!).
"What a disappointment"
A faster-moving plot. Omission of the many historical inaccuracies of both fact and language - eg references to the police when the book is set long before Sir Robert peel invented the first police force. A solution which did not depend on a "deus ex machina" ending.
Check when I bought it in case I could send it back!
This book had the hallmarks of a self-published first novel. It slipped in to modern useage at times; had numerous inaccuracies (eg a reference to a witness "stepping down from the dock"); introduced characters only to fail to follow them through (eg the investigating magistrate and notably Lydia Wickham). The main intent seems to have been to tie up perceived loose ends from Pride and Prejudice, rather than giving a creative story involving Jane Austen's characters.
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