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Death Comes to Pemberley

Narrated by: Katie Scarfe
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
4 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Summary

Two great literary minds - master of suspense P.D. James and literary icon Jane Austen - come together in Death Comes to Pemberley, a bestselling historical crime fiction tribute to Pride and Prejudice. Conjuring the world of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and combining the trappings of Regency society with a classic murder mystery, James creates a delightful new story that will intrigue any fan of Jane Austen.

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, the guests are preparing to retire for the night when 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, George Wickham, has been murdered.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen, P.D. James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice. Combining Austen's characters with her own signature excitement and suspense, James has crafted a brilliant crime story. Death Comes to Pemberley is a distinguished work of fiction, from one of the best-loved writers of our time, and was adapted as a miniseries by the BBC in 2013, starring Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin, and Matthew Goode.

©2011 P.D. James (P)2014 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"P.D. James has recreated the world of Jane Austen magnificently." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Dazzling...a book that combines the grace of Jane Austen with the pace of a thriller...as good as anything P.D. James has written and that is very high praise indeed." ( Sunday Express)
"An elegantly gauged homage to Austen and an exhilarating tribute to the inexhaustible vitality of James's imagination." ( Sunday Times)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It's ok

Not a particularly well written book. Way too much 'Elizabeth said and 'Darcy said' and not enough of a feeling of actual conversation. She messes about with the timeline of things and also there's a glaring error when it's revealed the Colonel Fitzwilliam apparently knew nothing of the particulars of Georgiana's and Wickham's element which is important in Pride and Prejudice.

If you don't like the characters you already love being messed with then don't bother.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great

James is right it was great for any Austin fan to catch up with Elizabeth and Darcy. Interesting plot. Will definitely be coming back to it again.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

So irritating and disappointing!

I realise I should have read the Amazon reviews before I bought this audiobook as all of the ones I've just glanced at say exactly what I feel about this book. Unfortunately, in the audiobook version we also have to grit our teeth through the narration. There seems to be a current trend for narrators to half whisper the words adding totally meaningless stresses to at least one word in every sentence as if to create a sense of suspense or drama. It doesn't work. If that is a trend you have also noticed and it irritates you, I'm afraid this narrator is to be avoided.
I'm only a third of the way though this book but I already feel myself struggling on to see how it turns out. I don't think the denouement will be a surprise.
As for the Austen characters, they seem to relate so little to the original it feels more like laziness on the part of the author who couldn't be bothered to invent a back story for new characters. Such a shame.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ok

I enjoy reading Jane Austen and P D James so this should have appealed to me. The story seemed to ramble about with no purpose, especially at the end, and the characters were unrecognisable. Nice idea but should have remained unwritten.

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A lovely tribute!

I came to Jane Austen late and have enjoyed P D James for a long time. This is a delightful marriage and very enjoyable. It extended the pleasures of Pride and Prejudice and was well written and we'll presented by the narrator.

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Very Jane Austin!

It was as though Jane Austin had written it herself and that was wonderful. I have to say that I was not taken with the performance, but that is very subjective.

But the story was every inch what it should have been.

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satisfying sequel

A strange mix, this is neither the romance of the original nor a fully fledged murder mystery. It is more reminiscent of Willie Collins than Jane Austen, although PDJames clearly loves Austen's work. It is devoid of Austen's wit but is nevertheless enjoyable. The narration is not top drawer but is acceptable.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Pleasure Comes From Pemberley

Loved it. An excellent follow on from P&P leaving one with warm glow at the end.