146 of 159 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Gloom comes to Austen fans, 22 Nov 2011
I am always a bit dubious about the 'hommage' to a successful writer--and Austen has suffered more than most in this respect--but I do enjoy the writing of PD James usually, and so thought 'Death Comes to Pemberley' might be a delightful exception to this general grim rule that imitators never prosper.
Sadly, no. No wit, no social commentary, no sparkling dialogue, no self-examination. The characters were unrecognisable, and there was no sense of their development. This book at times reads only like a badly-written precis of the original--the epilogue, especially, resembled a re-hash of Darcy's previous thoughts about his courtship--would he really be obsessing about this six years in the future? It is hard to imagine that anyone would read this if they were not familiar with Austen, so why tediously re-tell the original plot (unless of course it is a space-filler--the thought did cross my mind).
I was sadly disappointed by this book. As a crime novel it was predictable and dull, as an Austen tribute clumsy and unsophisticated. I find it hard to believe the ecstatic reviewers here actually read the same text as I did. Please, gentle reader, don't be fooled. Save your money and buy one of James's other (excellent books). Oh that the shades of Pemberley should be thus polluted!