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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

The Suspicion at Sanditon Or, The Disappearance of Lady Denham (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy, #7)

The Suspicion at Sanditon Or, The Disappearance of Lady Denham - Carrie Bebris

I struggled at the beginning with this one; partially, I'm sure, because Sanditon is the only one of Austen's works I haven't read.  This made it very difficult for me to keep track of all the characters (there's a lot of them).  

 

Elizabeth and Darcy find themselves at Sanditon on the behest of Colonel Fitzwilliam, who is considering an investment in Sanditon's development as a resort for families of good quality.  An impromptu dinner invitation from Lady Denham lands them in the middle of a mess that begins with Lady Denham's disappearance.

 

Once I sorted out the who's who and got past the story setup, the book became a lot of fun.  We have a large important house, a terrible storm, a missing Lady, and a bit of a locked room mystery vibe from the whole thing, with just a touch of the gothic.  Some of the reveal was a bit silly but not enough for me to roll my eyes.

 

Has the author has kept true to the real Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy?  Certainly I thought so when I read her first book, Pride and Prescience.  But I've read all 7 of them and after 7 books I can't say the two of them haven't become Bebris' own characters in some ways.  This book is also told in the 3 person narrative, so we actually spend a lot of time with the others, and overall, the reader gets very little time with either Darcy or Elizabeth.  Bebris has an afterward at the end that talks about how she studied Sanditon by accessing and studying Austen's original manuscript.  I imagine this allowed her to remain true to the other characters as well, even as she speculated about what kind of people they might have been had Austen lived to complete the work.

 

I'm curious whether Bebris will continue on with this series; she's run out of novels and manuscripts to use for characters and settings.  This would be the logical place to bring things to a close, but if she comes out with another I might give it a try.