Subject: suspicion, family separation
Setting: Derbyshire, England
Main Characters: Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, George Wickham
Dates Read: August 16 - August 21
Number of pages: 418
Off the Shelf (pre-2012)? Source?: no, MCL
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Speech Class
Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice are two of the best loved characters in fiction and so have often been "kidnapped" by other authors for use in their novels. P.D. James' version has the Darcys living happily at Pemberley with their children, Elizabeth's sister Jane and her husband Charles Bingley and their family living in the neighborhood and plans underway for the annual Lady Anne Ball. But before the festivities can commence, Lydia shows up in a fit, screaming that Wickham is dead!
The gentlemen of Pemberley return to the nearby woods and find Wickham bending over the body of his friend Denny, wailing of how Denny is dead and that he killed him. Regrettably, the Wickhams must be offered Pemberley's hospitality until the local magistrate can be notified. The Ball is cancelled and the investigation begins into the circumstances of Captain Denny's death.
News spreads of the events and fortunately, for the readers the only "sightings" of Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins come in the form of letters with their typical tones of condescension and haughtiness in the form of unwanted advice and disdain.
This book was by no means a heavy mystery lacking twists and turns that would hide the inevitable conclusion, it was a lighter mystery showing that the inhabitants of Pemberley are still the characters we loved and that the issues that they are forced to endure can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
This wasn't the greatest mystery but it was fun.