North by Northanger: Or, the Shades of Pemberly (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries Series #3)

( 23 )

Overview

After the intrigues and excitements of their time in the city, the Darcys are more than prepared for a bit of peace and quiet at Pemberley. This is time that they can spend together as Elizabeth settles into her pregnancy. However, such serene solitude is not meant to be. First a letter from Lady Anne Fitzwilliam Darcy, long deceased, is discovered. The contents are both mysterious and prescient for Mrs. Darcy. Then a summons to Northanger Abbey involves the young couple in intrigues that threaten not just the ...
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North by Northanger: Or, the Shades of Pemberly (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries Series #3)

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Overview

After the intrigues and excitements of their time in the city, the Darcys are more than prepared for a bit of peace and quiet at Pemberley. This is time that they can spend together as Elizabeth settles into her pregnancy. However, such serene solitude is not meant to be. First a letter from Lady Anne Fitzwilliam Darcy, long deceased, is discovered. The contents are both mysterious and prescient for Mrs. Darcy. Then a summons to Northanger Abbey involves the young couple in intrigues that threaten not just the Darcy legacy and good name, but Mr. Darcy's freedom as well. And to make matter even worse and more uncomfortable for the expectant mother, Darcy's overbearing aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, arrives on the scene to further bedevil Elizabeth. Add to this rumors of treasure and past scandals, and it becomes obvious that peacefulness is not at home in Pemberley, but secrets and spirits of the past are, and their revelations can have a most a chilling effect on both the Darcys and their family to come.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bebris provides another feast for Janeites in her third Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery (after 2005's Suspense and Sensibility). Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam, about a year into their marriage, stop off at Northanger Abbey on their way from Bath to Pemberley, at the invitation of Captain Tilney. There the couple find a poorly managed house and their good-natured host swathed in bandages. After a brief visit, they've scarcely resumed their journey when a Gloucestershire constable arrests them on the charge of stealing a diamond set belonging to the late Mrs. Tilney, the captain's mother. A note written by Darcy's mother 18 years earlier hinting at a lost family heirloom and Elizabeth's "condition" further complicate this well-told tale. Austen's fans will be happy to see the reappearance of not only the Bennet family but also Lady Catherine de Burgh. For film buffs, there's an echo of Hitchcock's thriller, though the crags of the Peak District must stand in for Mount Rushmore. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
In this third Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery-which presumably will number six with each based on one of Jane Austen's six Regency-era novels-Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet Darcy are at last living at Pemberley, his family estate, awaiting the birth of their first child. They accept an invitation to stay at the Tilney estate, Northanger Abbey, primarily to learn about the deep friendship that existed between Darcy's mother and Mrs. Tilney, now both deceased. Strange events occur (ss la Hitchcock's North by Northwest when estate owners turn out to be impostors), and Darcy is accused of diamond theft. He only avoids prison by agreeing to house arrest under the supervision of his haughty, intolerant aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Nevertheless Elizabeth and Darcy work scrupulously to unearth (literally) a dozen relics once owned by the Abbey and secreted away by Mrs. Darcy and Mrs. Tilney. They also discover the identities and motives of the impostors who covet the ivory figurines. The writing is crisp, dryly humorous, and consistent with Austen's style. This book is the best of the three series mysteries so far. It is tightly and credibly constructed down to the last detail, heavy on danger and intrigue, historically accurate, and engaging. Through her mother-in-law's letters, Elizabeth develops a deep affection for the woman who died in childbirth. The book ends fittingly with the birth of the Darcys' daughter and the establishment of another mother-daughter relationship. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Forge, 320p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Florence H. Munat
Kirkus Reviews
A pregnancy Jane Austen never imagined; third in the overwrought Mr. and Mrs. Darcy series (Suspense and Sensibility, 2005, etc). Elizabeth Darcy, nee Bennet, is awaiting the birth of her daughter-or, as Mr. Darcy believes, her son-when she comes across a letter written 20 years before by Lady Anne, Darcy's mum, while giving birth to Georgiana. The letter mentions an heirloom, an ivory statuette of Madonna and child, that would doubtless have comforted Elizabeth in her lying-in if it hadn't disappeared. The search for the statue leads Elizabeth and Darcy to Northanger Abbey, the home of Lady Anne's correspondent, Mrs. Tilney, now the home of her son, war-wounded Captain Tilney, and his lax housekeeper Dorothy. Once they're settled, Darcy's servants are drugged, Mrs. Tilney's diamonds turn up in Darcy's walking stick and the Darcys themselves are hauled into court, released only after autocratic Lady Catherine, Darcy's aunt, posts a surety for them. She wants the ivory heirloom. So does George Wickham, Elizabeth's smarmy brother-in-law. While Elizabeth reads trunks of Lady Anne's letters, Darcy tries to sort out the Tilney masquerade and Lady Catherine opines on everything. Elizabeth's so distressed by all this, and by the arrival of her flibbertigibbet mum, that she spends hours sitting in Lady Anne's garden, where only the scent of Madonna lilies can soothe her. If you're desperate to spend more time with Elizabeth, you'd do better turning to Keira Knightley, Jennifer Ehle or Greer Garson.
From the Publisher
On Pride & Prescience :

" Well crafted ...Bebris works her own brand of Austen magic, whetting the reader's appetite for a sequel...Taking a lighter approach than Stephanie Barron's sleuthing Jane Austen series this one should appeal as much to Regency readers as to Austenites."—Publishers Weekly

"Mannered prose, Regency backdrops, moody country houses, and delightful characterization place this new series high on the to-buy list."—Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765323828
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Series: Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries Series , #3
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 440,957
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Carrie Bebris is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin. She holds a master's degree in English literature and is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. North by Northanger is her third Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery

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Read an Excerpt



North By Northanger, or The Shades of Pemberly



A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery



By Bebris, Carrie


Tor Books



Copyright © 2007

Bebris, Carrie

All right reserved.


ISBN: 0765352745



Chapter One
 
At that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!
 
--Pride and Prejudice
 
Less than a year into the marriage that made her mistress of one of England's finest houses, Elizabeth Darcy knew she still had much to learn about the place she now called home. Of one thing, however, she was certain.
 
A ghost haunted Pemberley.
 
She was not a ghost in the traditional sense. She did not moan, or shriek, or rattle chains. She did not cause rooms to grow cold, objects to fall, or fires to sputter. She did not manifest at midnight to pace on creaking floorboards, visiting in death the rooms she had occupied in life.
 
Yet the continued presence of Lady Anne Fitzwilliam Darcy was as real and pervasive as that of any spectre. And far more difficult to exorcise. Though her corporeal form had been laid to rest nearly twenty years earlier, she inhabited the estate as if it were still hers, casting a shadow so long that her daughter-in-law wondered whether she would ever escape it.
 
Elizabeth had known coming into her marriage that she entered a family and a house with a long, respected history. She had embraced that history, and her new place in it, as she had embracedher husband and the life he had offered her when they wed. She had thought she was prepared for her new role as mistress of Pemberley. She had not realized that the previous occupant had not yet vacated it.
 
"You are--you are certain, ma'am?"
 
Elizabeth left the corner of the small parlor and crossed to a spot nearer the center of the room. "Yes," she assured the housekeeper. "Quite certain. I would like the desk moved over here, facing the window."
 
"Of course. I will summon the footmen directly." Despite her statement, Mrs. Reynolds made no move. The white-haired housekeeper lingered in the doorway of Elizabeth's morning room, worrying her lower lip, apparently wishing to say more but holding back out of deference to her employer.
 
Circumstances had prevented Elizabeth from spending much time at Pemberley since marrying Fitzwilliam Darcy nine months ago, but in that period she had come to respect Mrs. Reynolds's intelligence and opinions. One did not casually dismiss the concerns of a trusted servant with twenty-five years' tenure, and the housekeeper's advice had proven critical in easing Elizabeth's adjustment to overseeing a house far grander than the ones she had known growing up. Mrs. Reynolds was both extremely capable and unquestionably loyal to the Darcy family.
 
Sometimes too loyal. Guessing the source of the housekeeper's reservations, Elizabeth nevertheless asked, "Is there any reason not to move the desk, Mrs. Reynolds?" She resigned herself to the anticipated reply.
 
"Her ladyship preferred it in the corner. At certain times of year, this part of the room receives very strong sunlight. Lady Anne found the glare unpleasant."
 
Lady Anne, Elizabeth had been given to understand by various members of the household, had also found the Wedgwood breakfast set superior to any of Pemberley's many others, particularly the Royal Worcester china Elizabeth had thought to use last week. The fortnight previous, she had learned that the pattern of the music room's wallpaper was the only possible one that could adequately complement the view from that chamber's windows. The bird motif of the conservatory, another selection of her predecessor's, Elizabeth did not dare touch. Further, Lady Anne's taste in decorating had apparently been matched by equal excellence as an art collector, hostess, domestic manager, and philanthropist. As a result, Elizabeth had begun to find the glare of Lady Anne's perfection growing unpleasant.
 
"Thank you for the information, but I do not care to face a wall when I write," she said. "I would much rather look out. Pemberley has such beautiful grounds. I am exceptionally fond of the south garden."
 
Mrs. Reynolds smiled wistfully. "So was her ladyship. Lady Anne planted that garden herself--selected all the plants and put them in the ground with her own hands. But I am sure you already knew that."
 
"It might have been mentioned to me previously."
 
The housekeeper withdrew, and minutes later two footmen arrived to relocate the rosewood writing desk. As weary as she had become of most things related to Lady Anne, Elizabeth had to concede her own partiality for this particular furnishing. The graceful Chippendale piece practically beckoned one to take a seat and invent cause for correspondence.
 
The footmen lowered the desk to rest in its new position, then replaced the items they had removed from its top during the transfer. As soon as they left, Elizabeth rearranged the quill stand, wick trimmer, and wax jack, the latter of which she managed to drop in the process. She seemed to be dropping a lot of things lately. She bent to retrieve it--a motion more difficult now than it had been mere weeks ago--and positioned it to her satisfaction. The glass inkwell she then slid into place rather than trust herself to lift.
 
She sat at the desk, admiring the prospect from its chair. From her new vantage point, she could see not only the river and valley, as she could previously, but also the south garden. Though Michaelmas approached, the roses yet held their own, the marigolds vigorously announced their intention to stay until kissed by frost, and the morning glories climbed heavenward. The blooms' gentle perfume wafted through the open windows, dominated by a particularly sweet fragrance. As she attempted to identify it, her husband entered.
 
She held her breath as he silently noted the desk's new location. Though Darcy had given her leave to make any changes in the house she wished, and had especially encouraged her to remake Lady Anne's former rooms into her own, she could not escape consciousness of the fact that any alteration of hers severed another small tie to the mother he had lost at far too young an age. Fitzwilliam Darcy had been but eleven when Lady Anne died giving birth to his sister, Georgiana. Their father, George Darcy, had left most of his beloved wife's effects untouched, and his son had made minimal changes in the six years since he inherited the estate. Out of sensitivity to her husband's feelings, and those of Georgiana, she hesitated to adapt much at Pemberley to her own taste. A lifetime stretched before them--time enough for a gradual transformation. She need not sweep in and obliterate all traces of the first woman he had loved. If not yet secure in her role as Pemberley's mistress, she was secure enough in Darcy's affections to share them with his mother's memory.
 
If only that memory were not so idealized. Lady Anne had been loved not only by her family, but also by friends, neighbors, tenants, and servants. She had been a paragon of grace and lived an idyllic life. How Elizabeth would ever find her own place here, she could scarcely imagine.
 
Darcy at last nodded at the desk in approval. "You shall enjoy a finer view."
 
She exhaled. "I am glad you agree. Mrs. Reynolds so disapproves that I thought I might have to move the desk myself."
 
"I hope you jest. No mistress of Pemberley should be pushing furniture across a room, but especially not one in your condition."
 
"Of course I jest. If the servants mutinied, I would have prevailed upon you."
 
"And if I resisted?"
 
"I might have threatened to name this baby something ridiculous, such as Nancy."
 
"Nancy Darcy? You would never saddle a daughter of yours with such a singsong name. Besides, you carry a boy. The Darcys for countless generations have fathered boys as their first offspring, so it only stands to reason that we would continue the family tradition."
 
"Very well, then. Quincy Darcy."
 
"You do not frighten me."
 
"Chauncey? Percy?"
 
"Enough. We shall name him something that sounds well with Darcy. Richard, perhaps."
 
"Nay, not Richard. That, I could not countenance."
 
"It is a perfectly respectable name. In fact, it is the name of the physician I wish to engage for your lying-in. Dr. Richard Severn."
 
"The London doctor? I thought we agreed our child would be born here?"
 
"I will arrange for him to stay at Pemberley during your confinement. He already divides his time between London and Bath, where he is at present, so I am certain he can be persuaded to come to Derbyshire this winter."
 
"Should we not meet Dr. Severn first? What if we do not like him?"
 
"He has an excellent reputation."
 
"So does the village midwife."
 
His expression grew shuttered. "I do not want to entrust your safety to a country midwife."
 
"I do not want to entrust it to a doctor I have never met."
 
He regarded her quietly a moment, his air grown serious. "Very well," he said finally. "When we have concluded our visit with the Bingleys, we will return home via Bath--provided you feel well enough to prolong our travel."
 
"Our little Darcy has been behaving herself much more of late."
 
"I am glad to hear it. You have looked rather green these many weeks."
 
"I feel quite better." The morning queasiness that had plagued the early weeks of her condition had nearly abated--a fact for which she was grateful. Her sister Jane, who had just delivered her first child, had suffered nausea right up until the day she was brought to bed. Though Elizabeth remained hypersensitive to scent, only a few smells yet set her insides quaking. "In fact, just now I am famished. If I ring for luncheon, will you join me?"
 
"It is only half past ten."
 
"Your child cannot yet tell time." She headed toward the bellpull, discovering on her way a folded sheet of paper on the floor. Certain it had not been there during her conversation with Mrs. Reynolds, she took it up.
 
"What have you found?" Darcy asked.
 
"A letter."
 
"On the floor? The servants are seldom so careless."
 
The note was sealed with the cinquefoil symbol from the Darcy crest. She turned it over and discovered her name on the front: Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy. She smiled softly. Had her husband, intending some surprise, dropped it for her to find? "It is addressed to me," she said, studying his expression closely.
 
"Indeed?" His countenance remained open, revealing mild interest but betraying no prior knowledge of the note. "From whom?"
 
Perhaps he had not authored the letter, or its sudden appearance, after all. Now that she looked at it again, the handwriting resembled Georgiana's more than his, but was not quite his sister's hand, either.
 
Her curiosity piqued, she broke the seal and unfolded the paper. The lines began neatly but became progressively uneven and blotted. She quickly scanned to the end, then lifted her gaze to Darcy in astonishment.
 
"It is from your mother."
 
Copyright 2006 by Carrie Bebris


Continues...




Excerpted from North By Northanger, or The Shades of Pemberly
by Bebris, Carrie
Copyright © 2007 by Bebris, Carrie.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Very true

    The characters, dialogue, annd writing style are very true to the original even if the plot is not. I loved it.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    good mystery

    This is the story of Elizabeths pregnency and Darcy being very overprotective. While they are in Bath meeting a doctor to discuss the baby they recieve an invitation from Cpt. Tilney to come to Northanger Abbey. Lady Ann Darcy and Mrs. Tilney were apparently friends and Cpt. Tilney would like to renew the connection. While staying at Northanger Cpt. Tilney and his servants behave strangley and the couple leaves. They are then accused of stealing jewels and a new mystery must be solved. It was a good book but the reason I did not give it for stars is the fact that Catherine Morland never makes an apperance. Carrie Bebris does such a good job with the Darcys and I was hoping to see the same thing with the characters from Northanger Abbey.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    This book is a must read!

    This is the first book I have read in this series and I LOVED it. It stayed true to the characters in Pride and Prejudice. Darcy and Elizabeth's love and devotion shine through in this well written novel. None of the writting that leaves nothing to the imagination. Now I will start at the beginning and complete the rest of the series. Can't wait.

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    Mr. and Mrs. Darcy should sue for slander

    I loved the earlier books in this series, but Carrie Bebris poses such a clunky, ridiculous plot line and has Mr. and Mrs. Darcy behaving in such an obtuse and unrealistic manner that I slammed the book shut on page 85.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2010

    needs to be an ebook

    complete the series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2006

    Ridiculous

    I get angry when I buy a book and it's so badly written that I can't stand to finish it (an extreme rarity). So angry, that I'm writing my first-ever review here. If I could give this book zero stars, I would. This story stretches so much, it is ridiculous. The Darcys visit a total stranger and their servants disappear but our intrepid super-sleuths just help each other dress and wonder what could have happened to their servants. The servants reappear the next day when it's time to leave, both telling the same story. They got sick and passed out and they're really sorry but they just now woke up. The amateur detectives just tell them to pack. They find diamonds in their room (and don't mention it to anyone) and one (bad) servant on the entire estate and Mr. Darcy just resolves to give his own housekeeper a raise because she's wonderful in comparison. After they've left, a constable (before 1815???) questions Darcy about some missing diamonds and here is a direct quote from the book: Elizabeth gasped and looked at Darcy. 'The diamonds...' Mr. Chase seized upon the utterance as if it were a confession. -- end quote -- Mr. Chase (the 'constable') then tells Mr. Darcy that because he got an anonymous letter saying that some diamonds disappeared while the Darcys were at Northanger Abbey, he wants to search their possessions or 'Would you rather subject both her and yourself to the indignity of sitting in gaol while I complete my investigation?' At this point (pg 83), I threw the book across the room. I won't finish it but I think Mr. Chase will probably find the diamonds during his search. Duh! I LOVE the characters of Darcy and Elizabeth and would love for their story to continue in any type of book. They're great characters and it's too bad the author didn't use them. But, she chose to use only their names in a novel that is definitely not worth the cost, in time or money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2006

    Excellent

    In North by Northanger the newly wedded Elizabeth Darcy finds a letter to her that was written twenty years previously from her mother-in-law¿s deathbed. In the letter Anne Darcy directs her future daughter-in-law to find a missing family heirloom. Through letters exchanged between Lady Anne and a dear friend, Mrs. Tilney, Elizabeth comes to truly know her husband¿s cherished mother and also discovers a bigger mystery that involves the missing family heirloom. With the birth of their first child fast approaching and having to deal with the ever difficult and imposing Lady Catherine, Darcy¿s aunt, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam seek out who has stolen the precious heirloom and who has caused Darcy to be accused of stealing diamonds from Northanger Abby. Will Elizabeth and Darcy discover the scoundrels responsible before their first child is born or will Darcy have to appear before the courts? .................. ***** Carrie Bebris has created a wonderful mystery novel in the charming and delightful Jane Austen style. The story is written with such elegant prose that I believe Austen would very much approve. Elizabeth¿s quick wit in the face of such stuffiness of the upper class manners of the English ton makes this such a wonderful story. The intimacy that Elizabeth and Darcy exhibit toward each other is very refreshing and romantic. North by Northanger is a real treat for Jane Austen fans! *****

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great Regency amateur sleuth

    Family friend Captain Tilney invites Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy to stop at Northanger Abbey for a few days. Stunned by finding a letter written by Fitz¿s long deceased mother Lady Anne Fitzwilliam that shockingly implies a family heirloom was lost or stolen in some mysterious ways, the couple agrees to visit the Captain who knew Lady Anne. However, the married couple are shocked by how run down his house is and even more so by all the bandages the captain wears. --- Keeping the visit short, as Fitz wants his beloved pregnant wife resting at their country home, the Darcys continue their trek only to have a Gloucestershire constable arrest them for stealing jewelry that once belonged to the Captain¿s deceased wife. Fitz and Elizabeth worry about his potential incarceration as a jewel thief so they begin to investigate what is happening now and what had occurred in the past perhaps with his mother¿s involvement at Northanger Abbey. --- The latest Darcy Regency amateur sleuth connects five degrees of Jane Austen to Alfred Hitchcock in a well written exhilarating tale that the great author and excellent director would have appreciated. The inquiries this time are refreshed by a knowing growing desperation as the one year married couple begins to doubt they will have a second anniversary together. Fans who gain pleasure from SUSPENSE AND SENSIBILITY in their novels will enjoy this strong thriller and Carrie Bebris¿ previous mysteries that pay homage to Austen. --- Harriet Klausner

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