Apologies to all the reviewers who loved this - but I found this book lightweight and ultimately rather disappointing. Shepherd generally does a good job of keeping the elegant tone of Austen's diction but I never felt that her re-writing throws any new light back on the original.
I'm not an Austen purist and have enjoyed the anarchic chaos of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, for example, as well as Juliet Archer's modern re-tellings of Emma (The Importance of Being Emma) and Persuasion (Persuade Me). All of these, I think, re-open the original texts and give us new ways of seeing them.
I guess Shepherd's take, for me, is too unsubtle and descends into silliness: the idea of the new tamed and meek Mary Crawford single-handedly laying out, washing and preparing a violently murdered body for burial, for example, in a big house like Mansfield Park, packed with servants, seems ludicrous. And the Poirot-style cross-questioning of the Bertram and Norris families' alibis never really came to life.
So plenty of people have loved this - I really wanted to enjoy it but ultimately found it a bit absurd.