Customer Reviews for

Death Comes to Pemberley

Average Rating 3.5
( 356 )
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(83)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

recommended.

I've read many British mystery books by Phillis.James, so naturally had to get the next book. It did not disappoint!

posted by simple344 on December 7, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

19 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

Disappointed.

Honestly, I am very disappointed in this novel. This is my first time reading anything by PD James but I am unhappy. I LOVE Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels. I feel like Austen's novel was tainted. "Death comes to Pemberley" was...
Honestly, I am very disappointed in this novel. This is my first time reading anything by PD James but I am unhappy. I LOVE Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels. I feel like Austen's novel was tainted. "Death comes to Pemberley" was confusing, dull, and tedious. The only positive thing I can say was of the storyline. The plot was interesting but it didn't materialize properly and was undeveloped. Also, Elizabeth, the main character in Pride and Prejudice barely existed in James's novel. The tone and manner of the novel was dull and hard to understand (I am an avid reader). It was disheartening to say the least! No wonder Austen didn't want anyone using her novels in any way for use after her passing.

posted by yowen2010 on December 20, 2011

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  • Posted December 7, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    recommended.

    I've read many British mystery books by Phillis.James, so naturally had to get the next book. It did not disappoint!

    20 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2011

    Disappointed.

    Honestly, I am very disappointed in this novel. This is my first time reading anything by PD James but I am unhappy. I LOVE Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels. I feel like Austen's novel was tainted. "Death comes to Pemberley" was confusing, dull, and tedious. The only positive thing I can say was of the storyline. The plot was interesting but it didn't materialize properly and was undeveloped. Also, Elizabeth, the main character in Pride and Prejudice barely existed in James's novel. The tone and manner of the novel was dull and hard to understand (I am an avid reader). It was disheartening to say the least! No wonder Austen didn't want anyone using her novels in any way for use after her passing.

    19 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 11, 2011

    James and Auten: You can't go wrong

    This was a terrific sequal and tells us what James thinks happened next. Add a mystery and you have a winner! I'm read most of James and all of Austen. In fact, have reread much of both. James captured the spirit of Austen with a Jamesian plot. One of the few books I have read cover to cover is almost one sitting.

    18 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Riddled With Errors

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that the writer of a sequel should carefully read the original. From the first paragraphs through the entire work, James gets her references to the events and especially the timeline of "Pride and Prejudice" wrong as often as right. She even managed to work a glaring error into a reference to "Emma"! It's disappointing that an author of James' caliber and stature would so carelessly and disrespectfully mangle another author's work.

    Without the constant irritation of these easily avoided errors, this mystery would have been a fairly amusing, if shallow, confection. As it stands, I can't recommend it to anyone who knows and loves their Austen.

    16 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    If you love Jane Austen, don't read this book!

    I've always known that no one could replicate the beauty and wit of Jane Austen's work and I have avoided all modern-day reworking or additions to her novels. But after hearing an interview with P.D. James and a review of the book on NPR I decided to give it a chance. I should have known better. I do believe that any true Austen fan will be greatly disappointed. James' portrayals of the characters we love and loathe from 'Pride and Prejudice' bear little similarity to the ones that Jane created in the original. And the attempt to tie-in the Knightly's from 'Emma' and the Eliot's from 'Persuasion' was just too outrageous.

    This is the only book I have read by P.D. James and she may well be brilliant at telling other stories but she should have never taken on Austen.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Complete waste of good reading time

    This book was extremely disappointing. 3/4 of this book is an overview of Pride and Prejudice without any substance of its own.
    It is a complete waste of good reading time!

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Terrible

    It took me over a month to have the motivation to even finish this book. I love Austen's characters, however, they are completely unrecognizable in this novel. No wit whatsoever and entirely joyless.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Pleasantly Surprised!

    Being a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice I was not expecting this to be as good as it was. It was a little predictable, but still entertaining. I only cringed once or twice when I felt like the author had misinterpreted the original.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    EXCELLENT NARRATION

    With a dulcet mannerly voice Rosalyn Landor is the perfect actress to bring the writing of Jane Austen and P. D. James to life. Many will remember her for her television appearances in Rumpole of the Bailey and Sherlock Holmes in which she also so memorably captured the British sound. Her voice control is superb as she segues easily in conversations between Elizabeth and Jane - listeners have no doubt which sister is speaking. This is an extraordinary listening experience - do believe Jane Austen herself would approve.

    The story begins some time after the ending of Pride and Prejudice - long enough for Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet to become engaged, marry, have two children and seemingly have settled happily into life at Darcy¿s magnificent estate, Pemberley. The year is 1803, the eve of the grand Lady Anne¿s ball, and the Bingley¿s have come.

    Elizabeth is, of course, delighted to see her beloved sister, Jane, and the two are happily looking after final preparations for the ball when an unexpected visitor arrives - a carriage careens up the driveway carrying a woman who is screaming hysterically - none other than Lydia Bennet Wickham. She married a handsome rogue who was well paid to make a respectable woman of her. Now, her husband is soon discovered deep in the woodland, covered with blood, bending over the dead body of his dear friend, Captain Denny. Quite obviously, Denny has been viciously murdered (although we¿re treated to explanations from local medical experts), and Wickham is charged with the crime.

    There are many hidden secrets at Pemberley, including the life of Darcy¿s grandfather who built a cottage for himself in the woodland where he lived and died accompanied only by his faithful dog. Now, the only residents of the woodland are the Bidwell¿s, a family headed by a man who has served Pemberley with pride for many years.

    I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Rosalyn Landor¿s narration.

    - Gail Cooke

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    disappointing

    I typically avoid the many pride and prejudice inspired novels but gave this a try becausr I have liked other books by James. This was exremely disappointing. The author spends way too much time recapping the original novel and it continues throuh to the end, even in the epilogue. The plot is uninteresting and slow without any compelling mystery. Not worth a read.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    Cant wait!

    6 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Decent, but forced. Missed an oppurtunity.

    James accomplished a great imitation of Austen's writing style, but missed an oppurtunity to allow a strong female character to shine. Elizabeth seemed pushed aside and dependent on the men folk to sort out the sordid mess. I felt that there was a juicy story, but the novel was so uncomfortable with the situation it did not want to bother any one with the morbid details and wanted to quickly find a solution that did not besmirch the name of any one important.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Not impressed!

    It was very difficult to finish this novel. I seriously doubt Jane Austen would of written Death comes to Pemberly as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I also found it disturbing that the author briefly linked Jane Austen's Persusion to this novel. I certainly hope this novel isn't made into a movie. It would be an insult to her literary fame.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    Underwhelming

    I really wanted to like this book, but found it quite boring. It's difficult to build on Jane Austen's classic and I was disappointed that I ended not caring much for many of the characters. The only upside was that it was a pretty quick read. Very cool idea but the actual story was weak.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    It was good in the beginning

    But by the time the trial began, I was ready to close the book. I did not care who did it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    No!

    Cinderella should never have grandchildren or arthritis. A story well told ends when it ends. PD did literature a grave injustice.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    terrible

    the worst

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Foxylady

    I didn't quite enjoy this book. It dragged on way too long and frankly was told in the same manner as a newspaper article rather than a novel. I love P&P and this book is an insult to the characters , Elizabeth has no voice at all, and the quintesiential Darcy comes across as a self-involved ass. Wickham is portrayed as a charming, wronged man and there were way too many other unimportant people and worst of all the author managed to take the romance out of one of the most romantic couples ever created! BOO!


    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    This is not our Lizzy...

    I am a fan of Pride and Prejudice "sequels" and I read a lot of mystery. I enjoyed this book on neither count.
    The story could have taken place on any manor in any place at just about any time. I can honestly say that I almost didn't care at all about the mystery - I only kept reading to get to the next scene with Darcy and Elizabeth. There are few and the characters are just about absent. Elizabeth has none of her passion and Darcy none of the affection that we want and expect.
    The mystery aside from Darcy and Elizabeth is only so-so. The ending should be a complete surprise, but like I said, I only mildly cared. I have read "Children of Men" but I don't think I'll pick up anothe PD James unless it falls in my lap.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2012

    Don't bother !

    I was very disappointed at the slow pace and flimsy story line. Pick something else......

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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