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|Darcys as detectives; why I included magic
Written by CarrieB
(4/5/2004 5:39 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Questions for Carrie A Bebris, penned by LynneRobson
Well, thank you! I was really holding my breath to see what Pemberleans had to say about it, so I'm both delighted and relieved that it met with your approval :)
]1. What made you make Elizabeth and Darcy as the sluthes in this story and why not Jane and Bingley?
I talked a bit about choosing Elizabeth and Darcy in my previous "Why a mystery?" post, so rather than repeat those points here I'll simply add to them. E. and D. each had strengths that, especially when combined, I thought made them a good sleuthing team not just for this book but for an ongoing series. She is a student of character; he is a man who knows how to move about in the world. They are both people who think critically—by that I don't mean negatively, but rather, they engage their minds in what's going on around them, whether it's a conversation about what constitutes an accomplished woman, or Darcy deducing from Elizabeth's response to Lady Catherine that she might now be open to his addresses. They have a great dynamic, one that can sustain readers' interest (I hope, anyway!) through multiple adventures.
Jane and Bingley, on the other hand, I think are a bit too compliant, passive, willing to accept things at face value. Can you imagine Jane standing up for herself with Lady Catherine? Or Bingley prevailing upon Lydia to marry Wickham? So by extension, I don't know that they have it within them to identify and then confront a murderer. They are just a little bit too nice :)
]2. Why did you make Caroline as the victim?
]3. Why did you include magic and mystic as well as gothic intrigue?
I felt Darcy needed something to make him uncomfortable, something that he did not have all the answers to in his library at Pemberley. He has mastered his own world; an encounter with something beyond it would be a challenge he *hadn't* faced before.
I considered having the resolution ultimately be a mundane explanation, as Austen does in NA, but thought that for the long-term future of the series, the preternatural element had to be real this time or no one – from the Darcys to the readers – would consider it a serious threat in future books. Anything eerie would be only so much gothic window dressing, not something that truly added suspense. Now that the foundation's been laid, future mysteries may or may not involve the supernatural, but the possibility can't be just dismissed.
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