Monday, March 12, 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James.
Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. 291 pgs.

Guess what Santa Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas?  That's right, the New York Times bestselling book, Death Comes to Pemberley by renowned author PD James.

First, the plot:  A murder occurs on the eve of Lady Anne's ball at Pemberley.  At the heart of the murder:  Lydia, Wickham and Captain Denny. Cue mystery to solve; GO!

Ok, so here's the thing: As I write this blog entry this book sits at #12 on the New York Times Bestseller List.  It was #11 last week.  And has been on the list for the last 13 weeks--since it was released.  And here's my thought.  It was good, but I'm not sure it was that good.  I think it's selling like hotcakes because of its author.  Which isn't a bad thing, but it's not the best piece of JA fanfic to come across one's desk.

It's not that I'm an expert or anything.  Or that I have this extremely amazing memory for P&P, but I was distracted at the beginning of the book.  PD James spends quite a bit of time introducing the characters, plot and their nuances to us.  Her exposition is a lengthy twelve pages long.  And I felt like some of it was, well, wrong.  Obviously, there are things to make up with one's own imagination, and I can't put my finger on it exactly (esp. because I write this entry at least 2 weeks after I finished it.  Please blame work/kids/life.).  And maybe it is something as simple as the voice with which James wrote.  The exposition is written as an omniscient narrator, from the view of Meryton's female residents collective thoughts on the the Bennet daughters marriages. Maybe it just didn't sit quite right with me.  I'm not sure.

Once I was past the introduction and on to the novel, it was more enjoyable and a great little mystery.  Albeit, one that was a bit obvious and for that I was a bit disappointed.  (I guess I like a bit more "Oh my gosh! No Way!" plot to my mysteries.) Nevertheless, I did enjoy it and give it 3 Bonnets--with pretty ribbon.