Death Comes to Pemberley

  • by P. D. James
  • Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
  • 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.
It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.
Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.
Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

doesn't quite work

The narrator had such a mocking tone in the extended prologue that I was tempted to stop and get the printed version, but she seemed to relax a little and give a slightly better performance after the prologue. As to the sequel itself, sadly it wasn't a good mystery as James cheats the reader, and it doesn't have the charm or wit of a good comedy of manners in the Austen style. The attempt at a romantic dilemma with the Georgiana angle was pretty weak. It's as though James couldn't quite make up her mind what kind of book she was writing and missed on both counts. On the positive side, it was nice to revisit Pemberley for a brief stay and spend a little time with Elizabeth. In the end, I was glad I took the time to listen to the audiobook, but it will not be the annual favorite that the Jane Austen books have been for decades. I did like the ending, which is very important. If this book by it's very nature wasn't begging comparisons to "Pride & Prejudice", then it might get 3.5 stars from me with a better narrator.
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- Kindle Customer

Attention P&P Lovers! Don't waste your Credit!!!

If you are a Pride and Prejudice junkie, you will be horrified at seeing the P&P crew thrown into this unnecessary mess of a story. The subtle humor of the P&P tale is positioned awkwardly beside the abject horror, untouched by any possibility of laughability, of the brutal murder of a beloved, if minor character. The agony of a family watching a young man slowly dying is not exactly light reading, and the Herculean task of trying to reform Wickham from a likeable villain to a model citizen that you fervently hope will be the next victim is cruel to P&P lovers. The whole P&P crew are transformed from a cast of characters that you understand and love, into gang of empty-headed plug-uglies you would find it impossible to care less about. As for Darcy and his pleasant cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam, I promise you will not even recognize them!

If you are a mystery aficianado, your inevitable disappointment will be based on the fact that none of the heavily handled list of suspects have anything to do with the murder, and the one who did the deed had an inside story that the author did not see fit to share with you so you could have the fun of exercising your own powers of deduction.

I feel sure every P&P character, down to the lowest footman, would complain bitterly at being made a part of this affront to the memory and brilliance of Jane Austen. This story could have easily centered around any random family, the presence of the P&P crowd is not necessary in the slightest. It would not have been one bit more interesting, but at least it would not have been an abomination on top of being a deadly bore.

I took a chance on this book because it was written by a seasoned author that I was informed was a class act. This is my first experience with Ms. James, and I wanted to like this. Now all I want is my money back, but I will not pursue this option, because I deserve to pay some penalty for thinking the original Pride and Predjudice saga could be added to by anyone but J.A herself.

PS: Rosalyn Landor did a beautiful job narrating this, and I will certainly look for more of her work!!!
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- Andrea

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-06-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio