Friday, August 21, 2009

The Matters At Mansfield (Or, the Crawford Affair by Carrie Bebris

So, having just finished Mansfield Park Revisited, I decided to stay on the MP kick and the the fourth Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery by Carrie Bebris--The Matters at Mansfield (Or, the Crawford Affair). Which was all fine and dandy until I was about a chapter in, hooked, and realized I've read books 1 and 2, but not 3. So apparently, I'm a bit behind as the characters are talking about things I didn't remember occurring. Oh well. My guess is that I wouldn't have remembered even if I had read book 3.

Plot description: Lady Catherine is set to marry off Anne de Burgh to a wealthy gentleman who has the personality of a pit bull. Unbeknown to anyone, Anne runs off with, yes Henry Crawford (who she met in Bath during the previous book's time while Lady Catherine was at Pemberley). Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam chase after Anne and Henry to Gretna Green to bring them back to her family, but along the way the weather holds them up in a small village--Mansfield. No one there is happy to see Mr. Crawford. And then Lady Catherine and Elizabeth arrive and so does Henry's other wife and then there's a murder. And it's all very Murder She Wrote-esque with D & E solving the crime with no help of today's forensic science wonders. :)

Overall, I was pretty entertained by this book. I vaguely remember the other two and know I liked the first one but wasn't thrilled with the second. Bebris gets Lady Catherine dead on--and D & E's sense of dread of Lady Catherine is priceless--both think they are going to die at the card table with her at several points. While not something Jane would have actually written, the witty sentiments expressed by the two could have come from Jane's pen. So, while a bit outlandish and silly, it was entertaining and anything that ends in a duel wins the excitement award.

3 Bonnets out of 5.

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