Hardcover - 288 pages (February 2004)
Forge ISBN 0765305089
I feel greatly misled by the dust jacket; it spoke of the book being in the "tradition" of Barron's mystery series, mentioned Radcliffe and the Brontes and mentions "dark forces" so I wasn't expecting traditional JA, but I was totally unprepared for it to delve as deeply into the occult as it did. It was freaky, not cerebral the way I would expect a mystery to be. How it could be called "A Mr and Mrs Darcy Mystery" when mainly what they did was argue with each other and not work together is the real mystery! :)
I also wonder about Lizzy's portrayal. While some of the time it is spot-on, I doubt if she would easily embrace occultic notions the way she does in the book. Also, if she is supposed to have some huge, powerful latent occultic power, shouldn't she be able to tell instinctively who is good and who is evil and not be so totally wrong about it?
Incidentally, no one showed any prescience either. (Pity I didn't have any about this book, or that I didn't read closer to the end before I bought it!)
I am so
disappointed! Why is there so little good published fan fiction? If
anyone else has read this, I am curious to hear your reaction.
Written by Vania
Thanks for the tip, Amy. I bought one as soon as I could. I read it and it wasn't so bad. It's not JA, but whose book is? I wasn't freaked out at all by the occult aspect of it, although I did expect an Agatha Christie-type of mystery. Wasn't involvement in the occult popular in England during the Victorian period? I'm not sure. Lizzy was a pioneer perhaps? ;)
The characters were done well for the most part. I liked the way the Darcys took their responsibilties seriously during and after the Netherfield fire. It was in line with how I imagined them to be. The source of their argument made sense: rational vs. feeling. The Bingleys were as Mr. Bennet predicted: very kind to their servants and they couldn't turn a disagreeable guest out of their home!
Magic, murder and mayhem. It was entertaining, but I doubt if the Darcys would have spent so much time with Caroline's concerns, especially so soon after their own wedding. In the beginning I found it irritating that Caroline had married a man of almost Darcy's worth, but since the author was kind enough to turn Miss Bingley (Mrs. Parrish) into a madwoman for a time, things were set to right for me. A 'happy' ending.
As the subtitle indicates, its a mystery. In my opinion, this is no bad thing. It gives a focus to the book that is frequently lacking in "here's how they lived after the wedding" sequels.
I started the book expecting Pride & Prejudice meets The Thin Man (without the martinis). Actually, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, although interested in the central mystery, do less sleuthing than I expected. The mystery itself is rather drawn out too long. I would have preferred the murder earlier in the book and more crime-solving.
Despite a few anachronisms, the author kept the correct period feel without resorting to fake Jane Austen word usage.
I think she did a really good job of keeping the characters true to their originals. The Bingleys suffer a series of minor domestic disasters because they hired household help who had no experience, but needed the jobs.
All-in-all, this is one of the better sequels I've read. I wouldn't mind seeing another "Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery".
I really felt sorry for Caroline in many ways, and found that all the time I was thinking that she was being drugged in some way. Her Husband seemed to be a nice person and his friend a bit on the weird side who was into the magical mystical methods used by the ancients. Many mysterious things happen to Caroline and then to the Bingley's. Some sets fire to Jane and Charles's bedroom, a carriage wheel pin is disloged on their carrage which causes it to overturn. Then a murder happens, Elizabeth and Darcy are there to save the day it is a wonderful book well written and thought out. I would recommend it to everyone who loves pride and prejudice. It is one of the better sequels out there.