Posts Tagged ‘carrie bebris’

the matters at mansfield

Source: Public library
Rating: ★★★★★

“If Henry Crawford found dealing with his own mother-in-law unpleasant, Maria Rushworth’s is worse. Today has been enough to make me grateful for my own.”

“Indeed? My mother will be in such transport over your admission that she might require a visit of several months to sufficiently vocalize her felicity. Shall we invite her to Pemberley as soon as we return ourselves?

“I am not that grateful.”

(from The Matters at Mansfield, page 103)

Quick summary: The Matters at Mansfield, or The Crawford Affair is the fourth book in the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series by Carrie Bebris. The novel brings Elizabeth and Darcy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, along with their baby daughter, to Riveton Hall as a guest of Darcy’s cousin, the Earl of Southwell. While Lady Catherine is scheming behind her daughter’s back to arrange a seemingly advantageous marriage, Elizabeth inadvertently encourages Anne to make her own decisions. After Anne elopes with Henry Crawford, the Darcys, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Lady Catherine find themselves at an inn near Mansfield Park, and the Darcys soon find themselves sorting through a case of multiple identities, duals, betrayals, and of course, murder.

Why I wanted to read it: I loved the first book in the series, Pride and Prescience, and am intrigued by the Darcys as amateur sleuths.

What I liked: The Matters at Mansfield is the fourth in the series, but it stands on its own. I couldn’t bring myself to return this book to the library unread, so I took a chance and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of spoilers from the previous installments. I loved how Anne shocked her mother by running off to get married, and I loved seeing a more sinister side to Lady Catherine. I wasn’t sure how Bebris would bring together Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park, but it worked. I figured out who the villain was early on, but that didn’t bother me, especially since all the twists in the murder mystery kept me on my toes.

What I disliked: I only wish the characters from Mansfield Park, aside from Henry Crawford, had been featured more prominently.

Final thoughts: This is such a delightful series! The mysteries are complex enough to hold my attention, even if I do manage to pick out the villain fairly quickly, and they are well paced. I enjoy watching Elizabeth and Darcy mature as a couple and as detectives, and I love to see them interact with characters from Austen’s other novels. I definitely intend to read the whole series.

Disclosure: I borrowed The Matters at Mansfield from the public library.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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pride and prescience

Source: Public library
Rating: ★★★★★

Once, there had been many such awkward moments between them, when prejudice and lies and pride and misunderstandings had clouded their vision of each other and themselves.  But then they’d found their way to each other, and not since then had such tension hung between them as it did now. (from Pride and Prescience, page 253)

Quick summary: Pride and Prescience, Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged is the first book in the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series by Carrie Bebris.  The novel opens at the wedding breakfast of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy and Charles and Jane Bingley and is a sequel of sorts to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  The sisters’ big day is somewhat overshadowed by Caroline Bingley’s announcement that she is to wed Frederick Parrish, a wealthy landowner from New Orleans.  Forced to postpone their travels to Pemberley to attend the upcoming nuptials, the Darcys spend the early days of their marriage in London, where they encounter a father and daughter with a beef against the Bingleys and Mr. Parrish, meet an archaeologist whose specialty is supernatural artifacts, and witness a sudden and dramatic change in the new Mrs. Parrish’s mental state.  It’s not long before Caroline’s troubles lead the Darcys, the Bingleys, and a host of other guests to Netherfield, where strange and even dangerous events occur and dark secrets come to light, forcing the Darcys to sort through the chaos and their differences of opinion to uncover the truth.

Why I wanted to read it: This series has been on my radar for a couple of years now, and I decided that I wasn’t putting it off any longer!

What I liked: Pride and Prescience is a clever mystery, and even while I was able to solve it on my own, there were plenty of twists and turns and even humor to keep my attention throughout.  I liked how Bebris challenged Elizabeth and Darcy from the start of their marriage.  Their disagreements over the supernatural added some tension to their relationship, which made their happily-ever-after more believable.  I especially liked how Bebris shows the passion between them without readers having to witness everything that goes on in their bedroom.  There were plenty of intriguing original characters to liven things up, and I certainly was surprised by the turn Caroline’s story took.

What I disliked: Nothing!  Overall, I thought this was a well-paced, exciting novel.

Final thoughts: Elizabeth and Darcy were believable as amateur sleuths, as both are intelligent and observant.  Elizabeth’s curiosity and open-mindedness complemented Darcy’s take-charge attitude and focus on reason.  Their love for each other comes before everything else, and their mutual respect and ability to confide in one another make them perfect partners.  Pride and Prescience is a great start to a series, and I can’t wait to read the other books!

Disclosure: I borrowed Pride and Prescience from the public library.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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