Dimensions: 304 pages, 9.53 × 6.4 × 1.07 in
Published: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307362035
ISBN - 13: 9780307362032
Read from the Book
AUTHOR''S NOTE I owe an apology to the shade of Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in the trauma of a murder investigation, especially as in the fi nal chapter of Mansfield Park Miss Austen made her views plain: “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.” No doubt she would have replied to my apology by saying that, had she wished to dwell on such odious subjects, she would have written this story herself, and done it better. P. D. James, 2011 PROLOGUE The Bennets of Longbourn It was generally agreed by the female residents of Meryton that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of Longbourn had been fortunate in the disposal in marriage of four of their fi ve daughters. Meryton, a small market town in Hertfordshire, is not on the route of any tours of pleasure, having neither beauty of setting nor a distinguished history, while its only great house, Netherfi eld Park, although impressive, is not mentioned in books about the county’s notable architecture. The town has an assembly room where dances are regularly held but no theatre, and the chief entertainment takes place in private houses where the boredom of dinner parties and whist tables, always with the same company, is relieved by gossip. A family of five unmarried daughters is sure of attracting the sympathetic concern of all their neighbours, p
From the Publisher
In a marvellous, thrilling re-creation of the world of Pride and Prejudice, P.D. James fuses her lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen with her own great talent for writing crime fiction.
The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome, healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth''s beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth''s happiness in her marriage is complete. But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley''s wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered.
Death Comes to Pemberley is a powerful work of fiction, as rich in its compelling story, in its evocation of place, and its gripping psychological and emotional insight, as the very best of P. D. James. She brings us back masterfully and with delight to much-loved characters, illuminating the happy but threatened marriage of the Darcys with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted mystery.
About the Author
P. D. JAMES was born in Oxford in 1920 and educated at Cambridge High School for Girls. From 1949 to 1968 she worked in the National Health Service and subsequently in the Home Office, first in the Police Department and later in the Criminal Policy Department. All that experience has been used in her novels. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Society of Arts and has served as a Governor of the BBC, a member of the Arts Council, where she was Chairman of the Literary Advisory Panel, on the Board of the British Council, and as a magistrate in Middlesex and London. She is an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. She has won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature (US). She has received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983, and was created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected President of the Society of Authors. She lives in London and Oxford and has two daughters, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
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LONGLIST 2013 – IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
“A sparkling curio that will appeal to both Janeites and Jamesites.”
“Jane Austen herself would have applauded.”
“A great joint achievement, and a joyous read.”
“Death Comes to Pemberley is as good as anything P. D. James has written and that is very high praise indeed.”
“A delight. It reads happily and, as ever in P. D. James’s novels, the settings are beautifully and thoroughly imagined, the descriptions and exact. I can’t think that it could be better done.”
“Brimming with astute appreciation, inventiveness and narrative zest, Death Comes to Pemberley is an elegantly gauged homage to Austen and an exhilarating tribute to the inexhaustible vitality of James’s imagination.”
—The Sunday Times
“Of all the other pens to take up where Austen left off, P. D. James’s is head and shoulders above the rest.”