Best-selling British novelist P.D. James has written a new book that picks up where Pride and Prejudice left off and introduces a decidedly sinister twist to the Jane Austen classic: a deadly crime. Death Comes to Pemberley will be published by Knopf on December 6th ...Knopf obviously has high hopes for Death Comes to Pemberley. It’s ordered a first printing of 300,000 copies. The same book will be published in Britain on November 3.
Set in 1803 at Pemberley, the Darcy family estate, five years after Austen concluded her original story, James’ new novel finds Elizabeth and Darcy happily married, with two fine sons, and enjoying regular visits from Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband Bingley. There is talk about the prospect of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana, lingering resentment over the elopement of Elizabeth’s sister Lydia with the dishonorable Wickham, and rumors that war will soon break out between England and France.
Still, life continues at Pemberley, and preparations are being made for the annual ball. But on the evening before it is to take place, the idyll is suddenly shattered. There are gunshots and screams, a body is discovered in the woods, and all at once the story evolves into a murder mystery--one recognizable as P.D. James at her best, yet conveyed with all the charm and wit of Jane Austen.
“I have to apologize to Jane Austen,” says James, “for involving her beloved Elizabeth in a murder investigation. It has been a joy to revisit Pride and Prejudice and to discover, as one always does, new delight and fresh insights. This fusion of my two enthusiasms--for the novels of Jane Austen and for writing detective novels--has given me great pleasure.”
Thursday, October 13, 2011
This news release from U.S. publisher Alfred A. Knopf brings word of a novel that you might not expect to receive from 91-year-old P.D. James, but could nonetheless look forward to reading: