A summer house party turns into a whodunit when Mr. Wickham, one of literature’s most notorious villains, meets a sudden and suspicious end in this mystery featuring Jane Austen’s leading literary characters.
The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a house party, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.
Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. The unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.
Claudia Gray has captured the essences of Pride and Prejudice to a masterful level.
If you’re looking for a book that reads much like the works of Jane Austen, look no further. The Murder of Mr. Wickham will drop you years into the future from the events of Pride and Prejudice and lull you into a the world with new characters joining old favorites. She plot drops events from that book, so if you haven’t read it, don’t worry. It is unneeded to enjoy this story. Every character with Jane’s beloved tale is also mentioned by name so you are aware of how they faired over the past decades.
However, if you are in search of something that has the essences but with a modern writing style you will be a tad bored with this read. It took me well over a month to finish the story mostly because the writing was more telling than showing and very dull. Instead of people visiting houses, it’s people visiting rooms.
While I adore Jane Austen, her writing style is representative of her time period. This book would have been much more enjoyable if the author brought the world to life with the modern way to tell a story. By showing the characters move through the plot, instead of telling us how it happened to them through so much introspectiveness and point blank telling.
That aside, we find Mr. Wickham up to his same old devious games, and dead within the half of the book. (Yes, it takes far too long to get to the body, which adds to the boredom of it all.) The mystery was well laid out and I loved the way Johnathan Darcy and Miss Tinley played into the story. It was a clean mystery that had you discovering dirty secrets through connecting with members of the party throughout the unraveling of the culprit. I was surprised by the twist at the end, and glad with how everything turned out.
I could see this turning into a mystery series, with the two amateur sleuths at the helm.
Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.