Jane Austin Murder Mystery #1

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

Publication Date: April 6, 2021

Summary from NetGalley:

Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit.

When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.

ARC provided by Harper Collins Children’s Books via NetGalley for an honest review.

Confession:

This is more of a reimagining of the Pride and Prejudice story than a retelling. Almost all of the characters from the original are there, some more prominent than others, but the story is totally different. But the essential themes are there and then some. I ended up quite enjoying the story, once I accepted that this was not a retelling but more of a fan fiction with more modern ideals established for the characters.

All of the important characters from the original are present, and if you know the story well, then it won’t be a complete surprise who the villains are in this murder mystery. Both Lizzie and Darcy make the same assumptions about each other in this book and work their way around to changing those opinions. It might have helped to see Darcy a bit more than we did. He kind of disappears for awhile, as Lizzie works on the mystery. Jane is also surprisingly absent as well. It would have been nice to see that sisterly relationship developed in this book too.

With the characters already well established, the focus of the book then becomes the murder mystery which was pretty well done. I liked that even though it was easy to figure out who had done it , the why was not as apparent. There were quite a few surprises in this regard and some well done scenes when all is revealed. The author does take some liberties in giving Lizzie more agency in this book than would have been allowed in Austin’s time. But you can forgive that modernization. And except for some dialogue that was perhaps more modern than it should have been, the setting of Regency London was nicely done.

If you are a Jane Austin fan, you will probably enjoy this book as long as you go into them with no expectations that they will stay true to the original story. There are more Austin mysteries to come, one based on Sense and Sensibility and the other on Mansfield Park. I am looking forward to these books as fun and well done re-imaginings of well loved classics.

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