Death at Pemberley

October 25, 2011

I am not in the habit of perusing lists of forthcoming books, but one particular book recently caught my eye: Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James. James, looking to do something a little different after all these years, I suppose, has written a murder-mystery ‘sequel’ to Pride and Prejudice, with my beloved Elizabeth Bennet — or, should I say, Elizabeth Darcy — in the role of sleuth.

Is it a silly idea? Sure, sort of. Is it presumptuous to trespass in this way on sacred literary ground? We’ll see. James is a good enough writer that she just might — might — be able to pull it off.

Anyway, my eyebrows have gone up. The book is to be published next week, on November 3.

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21 Responses to “Death at Pemberley”

  1. Janet Says:

    There are sooooo many sequels to Pride and Prejudice out there and this is the first one that looks like it just might be good.

    AMDG

  2. cburrell Says:

    I predict that it will at least be better than was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

  3. Janet Says:

    Wow, Craig, what a gutsy prediction!

    AMDG

  4. cburrell Says:

    Today I was completing a ‘risk tolerance’ survey for a friend’s research project, and I was discovering that I don’t take many risks — unless you count things like “Trying to get on the elevator even when the doors have started to close”, or “Going out without an umbrella”. I guess I can now add another item to my list.

  5. Janet Says:

    I only do one of those things.

    AMDG

  6. Francesca Says:

    It’s going into my amazon cart.

    I enjoyed the Bollywood version of P&P

  7. Janet Says:

    Lord help me, so did I.

    AMDG

  8. cburrell Says:

    The Bollywood version? Was that Bride and Prejudice? I saw it, but — well, it was not for me.

  9. Janet Says:

    I know. I hate myself for liking it, but it made me laugh, and I don’t really think of it as P&P.

    AMDG

  10. cburrell Says:

    The unabashed corniness of Bollywood inspires a forgiving spirit in me.

  11. Janet Says:

    I feel so much better now.

    AMDG

  12. Janet Says:

    I now have Death at Pemberley. Did you ever read it? I am reading something else at the moment, but hope to get to it soon.

    AMDG

  13. cburrell Says:

    I haven’t read it yet. I’ve requested it from the library, but last I checked there were 973 people in line ahead of me. I hope you’ll let me know what you think of it.

  14. Grumpy Ex Pat Says:

    I didn’t really enjoy it – sorry to be a kill joy. One factor was that I was on a plane, and first I read a novel by Alexander McCall Smith that was really good. ’44 Scotland Street’ beautifully evokes the atmosphere of Edinburgh, *and* its a page turner! Then I turned to Death in Pemberley. It was simply less good by comparison. I am not, or I really hope I am not :) an anti-anachronism bore, but I just didn’t like the way it simply transported the 21st century into the 18th century, down to the use of phrases like ‘life style.’ That’s as much about me as the novel, because clearly it wasn’t even trying to capture the 18th century. In my opinion, there are good things in it, but it is far from PD James’ best. For me, the great thing about James is that she can really make us empathize with the criminal, and understand why they did it, without conveying moral relativism.

  15. cburrell Says:

    Yours is the first opinion I have heard about the book (from someone who has read it). How disappointing. I am afraid that I am an anti-anachronism bore too. I don’t particularly care about the murder mystery side of things; I just really want to meet Elizabeth and Darcy again, to see how they are getting on.

  16. Janet Says:

    I, too, am anti-anachronism, but we shall see what we shall see.

    AMDG

  17. Janet Says:

    Did we talk about this on lodw after I read it?

    AMDG

  18. cburrell Says:

    Not that I remember. Did you like it?

  19. Janet Says:

    I really disliked it. REALLY. My favorite part was when my kindle told me I was more than 50% finished.

    One thing I figured out about halfway through is that part of the problem is that Austen and James are a bad match. Austen is light and funny, and James has no sense of humor whatsoever. DaP is very heavy and solemn. Can you imagine Lizzy being always solemn?

    And Col. Fitzwilliam is unpleasant. This is rank calumny.

    AMDG

  20. cburrell Says:

    Oh dear. That is really disappointing. Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m getting it from the library (someday): I probably won’t be able to read the whole thing during the loan period. You could not be more right: Lizzy should not be solemn. Oh dear.


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