I love the books of Jane Austen (apart from Northanger Abbey, can't seem to get the hang of it) and have read several adaptations, prequels and sequels. So, when I saw this one, I knew I had to get it.
The blurb: The year is 1803. Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years, and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual ball, a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham -Elizabeth's younger, unreliable sister- stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered.
My verdict: When you read any book about something contemporary, there is no need to explain anything, after all you know the 'time'. And when Jane Austen wrote her books, everybody who read those books knew about the situations, the surroundings, the conventions of the age. There was no need to explain anything. Because it was contemporary.
PD James may have been able to set the scene, but in my view there were too many explanations about almost everything. Adding staff to the mix felt out of place, even if it had to do with the plot. Having Darcy behave the way he did was diminishing the strong figure he was. And even though there were no loose ends, it felt as if there were.
So, would I recommend this book? This thin, over-explanatory book? Which would have been half as big if all that had been taken out. Well... no. I wouldn't. Because it didn't feel right. PD James may be a brilliant writer, but I feel in this case she made a bit of a booboo. It felt too contrived. *spoiler alert* Especially when letting in characters from other books. Just... wrong.