Monday, September 26, 2011

Austen and James

How many Austen mash-ups have we seen? Dozens in recent years. Jane Austen is so hot right now, that writers are not only eager to write in her time period, they're eager to write fan fiction based on her books. And these books are selling in large numbers, so clearly the demand for them is high.

Image copyrighted by Faber and Faber Into this climate, the doyenne of British classic crime P.D. James is going to drop her Death Comes to Pemberley. It recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice and sets a murder at its heart. James, fuses her lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen with her talent for writing detective fiction with, I'm sure, a deft hand and elegance.

Image copyrighted by Random House To me, James is a mystery writer extraordinaire as compared with any other mystery writer I have ever read. And next to romance fiction, mystery is what I read the most. Also, My love of Austen is known to you all who read this blog. So a James meets Austen? I nearly fell off my chair when I heard about it.

Death Comes to Pemberley is set in 1803, when Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy have been married for six years and are the proud parents of two young sons. Drama arrives in the form of Elizabeth’s sister, Lydia Wickham, who turns up at Pemberley uninvited and with the shocking news that her husband has been murdered.

Look for Death Comes to Pemberley to be released in the UK on November 3, 2011.


Victoria Janssen said...

I wonder if she's fulfilling a lifetime fantasy that Wickham was murdered?

Kris Kennedy said...

Where would you suggest starting with her books, Keira? Cover Her Face (2001), which looks to be the first in the Dalgliesch books? (I sound like I know what I'm talking about, but I don't--just culling info from internet. :) ) Or earlier?

Keira Soleore said...

@Victoria: What her interviews seem to suggest is that Austen is one of her great bookish loves. As far as choosing a murder victim: she could not off Darcy, Lizzy, Jane, or any of the others since that would really harm Austen's narrative and royally tick her fans off. Wickham was never liked much, he was a good villian, so killing his off was a good start to the story.

Keira Soleore said...

@Kris: Ooooh, you want to start reading her books? You've asked the right person. In case you haven't guessed: I adore her books!!

I would recommend that you start with A Mind to Murder and read a couple before going to Cover Your Face. While yes, there's a certain build-up of Dalgliesh from book #1, that debut book is not her best work.