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.
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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 HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved