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3.2 out of 5 stars
862
3.2 out of 5 stars
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I received this book a mere 48 hours ago, and - at the risk of being hopelessly out of sync with other reviewers - found it impossible to put down! I was enthralled from the opening paragraph to the end. PD James, cleverly, imo, uses a prose-style which is broadly 19th century, reminiscent of Trollope, Dickens or indeed Austen herself without aping them slavishly. And let's not forget that whereas Jane Austen could rely on her readers understanding the customs of the day, PD James has to work harder, since over 200 years separate her audience from them. Inevitably, therefore, she needs to use more description, and the dialogue will sometimes appear stilted - verbose, even - to the 21st century reader. I can live with that. Furthermore, she faced two important constraints in attempting to set a murder mystery in 1803; constraints which we the readers must bear in mind: the total absence of the forensic laboratory, on which Adam Dalgleish would rely, or even a professional detective with his training! Instead the crime had to be investigated by the two local magistrates. So it is perhaps fairer to compare this story to, say, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins than to Devices and Desires. And on that basis, this is an excellent read - Highly recommended!!
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2012
This was a real disappointment. I am always suspicious of novels written as sequels to classic novels and apart from Wide Sargasso Sea (Jane Eyre's prequel)have not found one that lives up to the original. This is no exception. Although the 'voice' is by and large right for Austen, there is no sense of the wit and sparkle of the original. Elizabeth, who was so lively and full of character in Pride and Prejudice, comes across as rather a snob in this novel and frankly, quite dreary. The plot isn't up to much and there is no real sense of tension in a place which should have us hanging on the edge of our seats (I can't say more without giving away what happens). The most risible part comes at the end when Darcy urgently asks to speak to Elizabeth and you are led to think that something important is going to be said. It isn't.

What annoys me most of all though is that by the end of the novel I verged on actively disliking Darcy and Elizabeth, something that I'd never thought I'd say, especially of Elizabeth. I'm amazed that this got good reviews in the press.
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on 30 March 2017
I hated the T.V. version of this. After Colin Firth and co. I felt the actors were insipid. So it was with some trepidation I approached the book. I like P.D. James but I probably would never have read this had it not been a reading circle choice. I also dislike authors who write sequels to other authors work. I was surprised at how much I liked it. Beware it could've been better with more depth of character and a better plot.
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on 18 April 2014
What's not to love,
The book itself, in hardback is a joy to physically read, hold, turn the pages of and later store on a bookshelf -- this is a keeper. PD James and Mr Darcy? It's like a match made in heaven. I have passed this along -- sorry booksellers and it's lead to the re-reading of Pride and Prejudice and a re-visiting of a number of Austen's books.
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on 19 May 2017
I enjoyed the development of the existing characters and the introduction of the new. I will read again in the future.
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on 29 October 2015
I was affraid of being serously deceived but I loved it ! Really fantastic !I enjoyed because I was In Jane's Austen world ! The plot is excellent and PD James makes us forget that we are not reading a Jane Austen 's novel.
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on 18 April 2017
its no jane austen but its a good story and who doesn't love darcy and elizabeth
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on 9 July 2015
Fantastic what more can i say, i love period drama books and this is one of the ones i'd read over and over again.
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on 29 December 2015
Good read
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on 30 October 2012
P.D. James is a brilliant crime writer and Jane Austen excellent at commenting on the behaviour of people of her time. Sadly, the two do not combine well. Very disappointed with this book. It had so much potential as a concept but is very hard to read and have any interest in.
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