There was another round of applause and then Higgins got to work with the silver tray, distributing glasses of the cocktail which Dame Pamela had named the Fitzwilliam Fizzer. There was also a non-alcoholic alternative that Dame Pamela called a Pink Bingley but it wasn’t proving quite as popular as the Fitzwilliam Fizzer but it got everybody talking about cocktails.
‘I think a Wicked Wickham would slip down rather nicely,’ Roberta told her sister Rose who had the good grace to blush at such a suggestion.
‘What about a Tickling Tilney?’ Doris Norris suggested.
‘Or a Wentworth Wallbanger,’ Roberta said.
(from Christmas With Mr. Darcy)
From this passage, it’s easy to see that Christmas With Mr. Darcy is a lot of fun, and even though it’s a bit early for seasonal reads, the chilly fall weather should help get you in the right mood. I’m not a big fan of seeing Christmas trees, ornaments, etc., on display before Halloween, but how could I resist an early Austenesque Christmas?
Christmas With Mr. Darcy is the novella sequel to Victoria Connelly’s Austen Addicts trilogy: A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy Forever. Connelly brings the heroes and heroines from each of these novels together for a special Christmas Jane Austen Conference at Purley Hall, hosted by Dame Pamela Harcourt, an actress known for her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet, Marianne Dashwood, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Fanny Dashwood in TV adaptations of Austen’s novels over the course of her career. From the preparations for the conference to the discussions and activities, Connelly brings the conference to life and makes die-hard Austen fans wish they could enjoy such companionship.
Readers will catch up with Dame Pamela, Robyn, Dan, Katherine, and Warwick from A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, Kay, Adam, and Gemma from Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, and sisters Sarah and Mia from Mr. Darcy Forever, along with such unforgettable characters as Doris Norris and Mrs. Soames. Connelly merges these characters together seamlessly, while incorporating new dramas. Mia is worried that something isn’t right with her sister, Sarah, and Katherine is worried that Warwick is hiding something from her…again. Dame Pamela is upset that her brother, Benedict, is coming to Purley Hall uninvited and wonders what trouble he’s gotten into this time. Moreover, things are disappearing, and when Dame Pamela’s newly acquired three-volume first edition of Pride and Prejudice goes missing, chaos erupts.
I gobbled up Christmas With Mr. Darcy in just a couple of hours, curled up on the couch under a warm blanket, and I enjoyed it so much, I wish it had been a novel instead of a novella. Although the mystery was pretty obvious, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the Austen talk and the Christmas charm. With all the discussions about Austen heroes and film adaptations, it’s clear that Connelly knows what it’s like to be an Austen addict. I think you need to have read the previous three books to understand all the connections, so if you enjoy contemporary romances with plenty of Austen references and endearingly flawed characters, what are you waiting for?
I should mention that Christmas With Mr. Darcy was my very first e-book, which I read on my husband’s Nook Tablet. It was a mostly pleasant experience, just “mostly” because there’s nothing like the smell of a physical book. I don’t think I can give up the sound of turning pages and the scent of paper and ink…and I don’t think my husband wants to share his Nook. But I’m glad I gave it a try!
Disclosure: I received Christmas With Mr. Darcy from the author for review.
© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.