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Pride and Prescience: Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries) Hardcover – February 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Series: Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1 edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765305089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765305084
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,641,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her well-crafted mystery debut, fantasy author Bebris (Pool of Radiance, etc.) picks up the action where Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice left off-on the wedding day of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy, who marry in a double ceremony with Elizabeth's older sister Jane and Charles Bingley. The Bennett brides are soon upstaged by Bingley's sister, Caroline, who announces her engagement to a Louisiana planter. Caroline's imminent nuptials mean the Darcys must remain in London, where an evening party leads to a meeting with an archeology professor who specializes in the indigenous culture of North America. Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Darcy later travel to Netherfield, as does the professor, who brings along some "curiosities" he's collected that he credits with unusual powers. A series of improbable events ensues, leaving one murdered house guest and two sedated hosts. Can the American artifacts hold the key to the bizarre occurrences? When an unexpected blizzard cuts the house off from the rest of the neighborhood, it's up to Mr. and Mrs. Darcy to unmask the killer and restore everyone's peace of mind. Despite an anachronism or two (e.g., summoning a constable rather than the local magistrate), the author provides convincing portraits of life in London and at Netherfield. With a touch of sorcery and lots of red herrings, Bebris works her own brand of Austen magic, whetting the reader's appetite for a sequel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Bebris' charming mystery employs the beloved characters from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice in a bit of sleuthing. The novel opens with a double wedding--that of Elizabeth Bennett to Fitzwilliam Darcy and Jane Bennett to Charles Bingley. It's the happiest day of Elizabeth's life, but she's a tad put out that her former rival, Caroline Bingley, has chosen this day to announce her engagement to a wealthy American landowner named Frederick Parrish. Rather than returning to Pemberley as they would like to do, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam stay on in London until the wedding. But events conspire to keep them there longer when Caroline begins acting strangely: they discover her walking in a dangerous neighborhood, and days later she almost dies from wounds that appear to be self-inflicted. Everyone close to Caroline is baffled, and the mystery deepens when the father of a former rival for Parrish's hand is found murdered. Fans of Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen books will want to check out Bebris' series debut. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

Believe me, I won't EVER read another book inspired by P&P again.
Hannah Somers
If this isn't bad enough, the plotting is so poor that the author has to rely on a really lame plot device to make the solution even remotely plausible.
NOLA Books & Cooks
Fans of Jane Austen's book, PRIDE & PREJUDICE, will adore this novel!
Detra Fitch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on July 21, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book delightful in its portrayal of the newly-married Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy. The author has done a creditable job of maintaining the wit and lightness of Pride and Prejudice. I am delighted that the newly weds' intimacy is indicated by playful banter, not graphic sex scenes.

On the other hand, although I have a great love for folklore and I have read several detective series with supernatural themes, I don't think that it fits in well with Jane Austen.

I found the American connection in this story a bit implausible. A plot device has to satisfy both the ongoing narrative and the hidden plot(s) that are revealed as the story goes on, particularly in a mystery. If something seems odd, the characters need to comment upon it.

For me, the plot first began to fall apart with the unlikely suggestion that the solution to a case of nervous prostration would be to embark on a several month journey from England to the United States during the War of 1812, delaying any expert treatment until she arrives in New Orleans. The Bingleys and Darcys do object, but Elizabeth Darcy seems to have forgotten that Professor Randolph, who puts forth the scheme, has told her only the week before that the war had more or less stranded him in England. One needs to keep in mind that the US was what we would now call a Third World or Developing Nation. Sending someone with serious nervous and physical problems from England to the United States would be about like having a heart attack in Baltimore and going to Zimbabwe for emergency care. Even if one could get perfectly good care in the latter place, it isn't likely to be better than what one could get locally. Why risk the stress and delay of the trip?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By anonymouse on December 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
..which means that it's not bad, I don't regret purchasing it, I'd probably buy the next installment, but I have some reservations.

My cons: 1. I really didn't like the fact that Darcy and Lizzy had to postpone going to Pemberley for the sake of Caroline Bingley. Jane and Bingley would have been obligated, but not the Darcys.

2. The whole subject of the occult ~ Austen's original characters didn't seem the type to be interested.

3. Caroline's fiance - I doubt if she would have considered marrying an American and even if she had,(given the importance of family, connections, etc. at the time) someone would have nosied about for his true background.

My pros: 1. The language was not Jane Austen (of course not) and some 21st c. expressions came through but I liked it. The tendency of other sequel authors is to compose wordy sentences to mimic Ms. Austen. Thank goodness Ms. Bebris didn't do this.

2. The witty scenes between Lizzy and Darcy.

3. There was nothing offensive. I know that this doesn't sound like much of a compliment, but it is. ;) The characters were recognizable and obviously much effort was made to stay true to the original personalities.

4. The quality of the book itself was good; hardbound, no typos that I could tell.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Susan Sloate, Author, FORWARD TO CAMELOT & STEALING FIRE VINE VOICE on June 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
For lovers of Jane Austen's PRIDE & PREJUDICE, Carrie Bebris's brilliant sequel appears to pick up precisely where Austen left off, with the first days of married life for Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. The style, grammar and characters are so thoroughly consistent with Austen's masterpiece that they seem to blend into one. You cannot imagine Elizabeth and Darcy NOT behaving as they do in this wonderful novel. Their witty verbal sparring and Elizabeth's no-nonsense observations of the other characters are fresh, engaging and authentic.
For those who think that drawing room comedies are gentle and lack action, Bebris has provided an antidote: PRIDE AND PRESCIENCE features a woman going mad, a spooked horse, a terrible carriage accident, arson and murder. It's hard to imagine the characters have time to change their gowns for tea, with all that going on. Yet the plotting is strong and sure, and each incident appears both surprising and inevitable.
Bebris's own new characters are intriguing and well drawn. They blend beautifully with the Darcys, et al from Austen's classic.
I picked up this book the night I got it and have been unable to resist it since. A lovely, swift and absorbing read, featuring characters you already know if you know the original P&P. If you don't know them, reading Bebris BEFORE reading Austen's original will whet your appetite for the original itself.
This book gets my highest recommendation.
You'll love it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. Lyons on September 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have a love-hate relationship with this book and its sequel. On one hand, the author manages to draw quite a charming and convincing portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. I am happy to meet them again, and they do feel like the beloved characters of P&P. Having read a number of contemporary Jane Austen sequels, I dislike those that try to debuke the original characters and show their miserable futures. This is not one of those books.

On the other hand, I hate the woo-woo, supernatural plots. Miss Austen herself told us what she thought of gothic novels (and she read many) in "Northanger Abbey." I just don't think that this is the right approach for Jane-ites. Although the author has started this way, she can evolve her approach. Dorothy L. Sayers changed Lord Peter Whimsey considerably over the years. Agatha Christie changed Miss Marple--compare "Murder in the Vicarage" with "Nemesis."

Also as noted by others, the author has a dead ear for the language of the period. Many of her word choices are bizarre. For example, would Mrs. Darcy, would Jane Austen, would anyone in 1813 refer to the United States as "the States"? The solution is simple: use no words not used by Jane Austen or her contemporaries.

Finally, I must say that I was really irritated by the continual references to "Darcy." Elizabeth Bennett Darcy would never call her husband "Darcy." No one, except his equal men friends (i.e. Mr. Bingley or Col. Fitzwilliam), would. Elizabeth would call him Fitzwilliam, perhaps Mr. Darcy, perhaps darling, but never "Darcy." Nor would Jane Austen have referred to him in that manner. Why on earth the author didn't simply follow the conventions used by Jane Austen? In "Emma," she made it clear what she thought Mrs. Elton calling her husband "Mr. E" was vulgar.
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