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Darkness at Pemberley by [White, T H]
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Darkness at Pemberley Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 286 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 809 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Ostara Publishing (2 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006HITDUC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,266 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was this, I wonder, the first Jane Austen fanfic? It's become rather fashionable of late to give mysteries Austen settings - we've had Lynn Shepherd's Murder at Mansfield and P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley, but this little oddity predates them by 70+ years. What this isn't is a whodunit - because you know who, almost from the very beginning - or even a howdunit, because you know that, too. It's what happens next that's important. And as the action moves from its opening in Cambridge to Pemberley, the excitement steps up with not one but two thrilling chases, as Inspector Buller and his old friend Charles Darcy (scion of the famous Mr Darcy) join forces. Sort of Jane Austen meets John Buchan.

To say much about the plot would be to spoil the fun, but it starts with two bodies in Cambridge (and a wonderful disclaimer at the beginning) - it's a classic locked room mystery, but is it a murder and a suicide or, as Buller begins to suspect, a double murder? He's a conscientious policeman, but unusually, one with an imagination, and the outcome of his investigation leaves him so hugely disillusioned that he feels he has no option but to resign. In many ways, Darkness at Pemberley reminds me most of Edmund Crispin's Gervase Fen novels, having the same mix of suspense and glee, plus an absolutely implausible plot. You also need to make some allowances for the period - White was, after all, what one of his characters describes as "a bit of a nationalist" (along with a number of other writers with whom he shared his affinity for nature).

Suspend your disbelief before you start, and you'll be in the right frame of mind to enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
This book was an early blind alley in White's writing career, so I'd expected to be disappointed. Yes, it's a bit ragged in places, the characterisation is thin, and some of the inter-war thriller tropes are pushed to the limit (e.g. the disgraced baronet's staff being reduced to 'just sixteen') but the dramatic premises are exciting, almost Greek in their elemental simplicity. As has been said, think Geoffrey Household, Erskine Childers, Rider Haggard. It was a good read, and I'm sorry that White never gave Inspector Buller another outing. (Did he?)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting - not much to do with Pride & Prejudice but a good read nevertheless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a thriller by my dear T.H. White
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a5729c0) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a57abb8) out of 5 stars Part Murder Mystery, Part Adventure/Thriller 8 Aug. 2011
By J Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is really two stories in one. The first part is an intellectual murder mystery set at a university very like Cambridge (White's own school) - an example of that school of English who-done-its whose solution depends on timelines and knowing where the furniture is placed about the room. (Dorothy Sayers would wholly approve.) The detective, Buller, is refreshingly clever: he figures out in 100pgs what would take most fictional detectives the whole novel to puzzle out, but the real fun of the first part of the novel is T.H. White's wonderfully dry wit. His send-up of college professors and Scotland Yard mini-celebrities made me laugh aloud more than once.

Then the story takes an abrupt turn, becoming a sort of cat-and-mouse adventure thriller in which Buller and the other members of the Pemberley estate are stalked by a mad murderer. Confess I didn't find this part nearly as entertaining, though think the fault has to do with time and changing tastes rather than any deficiency on the part of the writer. These days television and movies have accustomed us to spectacular chase scenes; in contrast, White's version - probably considered riveting and dramatic in its day - seems a little plodding and improbable. However, White's lovely prose and wit were enough to sustain me through the less-than-riveting bits, and the ending, when it comes, is satisfying.

I understand this is one of White's earlier works and I think it shows. There are elements of imagination here, but feel like the author let himself be constrained by the genre in which he was writing. Had he undertaken this later in his career, believe White probably could/would have shaped this material into something more unique, more cohesive, and more enduring. The fact remains, however, that even a relatively bad book by White outshines the best efforts of hundreds of other who-done-it authors who have come since!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a57ac18) out of 5 stars Mystery and suspense 9 Jun. 2014
By Graham Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Darkness At Pemberly is billed as a mystery story, but in truth it's more of a suspense story of the sort that Geoffrey Household was so good at. The house at Pemberley is under siege by a murdering lunatic; he's decided that Charles, the owner, must go. The only man who knows his secret is the former detective Buller, and he's determined to keep his friend Charles safe.

Very exciting book, though without the plot twists you would expect from Christie or Sayers or some of the other Golden Age writers.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aac2c78) out of 5 stars Would I re-read this, or not? 7 Oct. 2012
By Rotterdam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although this makes a good stab at being a civilised mystery, I would not re-read it.
It lacks life, a lot of the descriptions were out of my experience and I could not find definitions anywhere (sporting a door?), and somehow this irritated me rather than stimulating me.
It is an OK read, but does not live.
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