Thursday, September 22, 2011

PD James follows on from Pride & Prejudice (with a murder)

I've written about Jane Austen related/inspired crime fiction before but this one comes as a surprise! A press release from Faber:

Faber is delighted to announce the publication of a new P. D. James novel. Death Comes to Pemberley masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and sets a murder at its heart. It will be published on 3 November.

The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth’s happiness in her marriage is complete. But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley’s wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered.

In a pitch-perfect recreation of the world of Pride and Prejudice, P. D. James elegantly fuses her lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen with her talent for writing detective fiction. She weaves a compelling story, combining a sensitive insight into the happy but threatened marriage of the Darcys and the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted detective story. Death Comes to Pemberley enshrines the qualities her readers have come to expect: psychological and emotional richness of characterisation, vivid evocation of place, and a credible and superbly structured plot, in a powerful and distinguished work of fiction.

Stephen Page, CEO and Publisher at Faber said:

‘It is always a moment of great excitement when P. D. James delivers a new novel but the brilliance of both the idea and the execution on this occasion is simply breathtaking. It’s such an elegant, intelligent and moving book that is certain to delight an enormous readership.’

P. D. James said:

‘It has been a joy to revisit Pride and Prejudice and to discover, as one always does, new delights and fresh insights. I have to apologise to Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in a murder investigation but this fusion of my two enthusiasms – for the novels of Jane Austen and for writing detective stories – has given me great pleasure which I hope will be shared by my readers.’

Well! Will you be reading it because a) you like P D James, b) you like Jane Austen c) both or d) I won't be reading it at all?


Carol said...

wow! what a surprise! I'll read it because I read everything P.D. James writes. At her age, she should write whatever she wants.

Maxine Clarke said...

First of all I checked the date to make sure it was not 1 April. I am surprised at P D James for writing this. I shan't be reading it, unsurprisingly. I've read a couple of P&P "sequels" (written by pretty good authors) and found them risible. I don't like authors pinching other authors' ideas/books, I prefer them to write about their own fictional worlds. At the end of the day, there really is no need for a sequel to P&P!

Martin Edwards said...

It's very difficult to do this sort of thing well, but occasionally it can work, and I'll be reading this one. I think the key thing is for the new work to be respectful of the original, and to offer something fresh at the same time, rather than to be a simple jumping-on of the bandwagon.

lyn said...

I'll be reading it because I love P D James & I've read & enjoyed all her novels. I also love Jane Austen & haven't read any of the sequels because I don't think they work. So, this will be interesting!