Surprisingly, I’m not even talking the Grahame-Smith zombieladen kind today. I picked up a book called Pride and Prescience, A Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery a little while back and just finished it this week. It was a cheap book, and somewhat of an impulse buy, but it was a pretty good killing time read.
As it sounds, it’s a murder mystery (except there isn’t much murder; the only character who gets murdered isn’t even one of Austen’s, just a newly invented wealthy old stodgy fellow) starring the characters of Pride and Prejudice. There’s very little business with the Bennets, which in many ways is all right (Mrs. Bennet and Kitty and Lydia are insufferable; I will admit to having a strange sort of soft spot for Mary, but she wouldn’t really fit in the story at all, so it’s all right. I have just decided that some day I will write, like, The Mary Bennet Diaries. And it will be epic). The whole plot sort of revolves around a character I generally despise, Caroline Bingley, but she spends most of the book (spoiler alert) in varying states of hypnosis, so I want to smack her upside the head a little less.
You did just hear me right when I said hypnosis. In addition to being a murder mystery (the back touts the story as the Regency era’s answer to The Thin Man‘s Nick and Nora, which I’m not sure about, not knowing too much about The Thin Man, but anyway) it happens to be a murder mystery that plays with the supernatural a tad. Nothing more interesting than spiritualists and cursed objects, but the back doesn’t really say anything about it outright, so it was a surprise. Knowing me a pleasant one, because I do have a strange fondness for mysticism in literature (and film and television and theatre and music and — yes).
But did you ever imagine what would happen if Elizabeth and Darcy (newly married, of course) would react if they felt compelled to solve the mystery of who seems to be attempting to kill Caroline Bingley (also newly married, to a wealthy American ~who is not all that he seems~)? Because that’s the dilemma this book will resolve for you. Ridiculous, yes. Fun, yes. It’s frothy and ridiculous, and the characters do manage to stay in character, which is nice. Jane is appropriately desirous of being sweet and thinking the best of everyone. Bingley is an appropriately good host. The Hursts are appropriately bitches. Lizzy and Darcy banter a lot.
In short? I… well, I may not have ever finished the original Pride and Prejudice. But I’ve seen both the films (the Keira Knightley one multiple times) and I’ve read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its’ sequel and the graphic novel of it and the graphic novel of the original and… I do like it. I should maybe pick up the original again some day, but I just feel like it would be less fun without any murder now.
What on earth does that say about me? Oh yes. I’m a morbid little thing.
–your fangirl heroine.