Who wrote this book and when?
Carrie Bebris published this in 2004.

Has there been a film version?
No, not so far.

Who are the important characters?
Elizabeth Darcy – The new wife of Mr. Darcy who wants to get to Pemberley and is adjusting to married life with a fashionable and socially important gentleman
Fitzwilliam Darcy – Elizabeth’s new husband, a proud, quiet gentleman of extreme kindness
Caroline Bingley Parrish – Jane’s new sister-in-law, newlywed Caroline Bingley seems to be happy but is she falling deeper and deeper into madness?
Frederick Parrish – an American gentleman who has fallen in love with Caroline Bingley and married her, he is very devoted
Professor Randolph – a doctor of supernatural sciences and a friend of Mr. Parrish
Mr. Kendall – a former business associate of the late Mr. Bingley (not Jane’s husband but her late father-in-law) who has a grudge against the Bingley family and Mr. Parrish
Juliet Kendall – Mr. Kendall’s daughter and the former fiancee of Mr. Parrish

What’s it about?
This book picks up precisely where the active plot of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” leaves you. It is Jane and Elizabeth’s wedding day to their respective gentlemen, and both are supremely happy. It is marred by one thing, however. It is also the day Caroline Bingley chooses to announce her engagement to the rich American, Frederick Parrish. The wedding of the two prevents them from returning to Pemberley, and when Caroline Parrish begins to act in a way contrary to her nature and more along the lines of a madwoman, Elizabeth and Darcy decide to maintain their closeness to the Parrish and Bingley family to see what can be done to help. Is Caroline really going mad, attempting to kill herself and others, or is it someone else influencing her? There are also the bitter Mr. Kendall and his daughter Juliet, the odd Professor Randolph of the supernatural studies department, and Mr. Hurst whose debts have reached nearly insurmountable amounts…

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
I don’t think it is.

Would you recommend I read this book?
Yes, if you enjoy mysteries and “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s received mixed reviews from “formal” critics, but I enjoyed it.

Why did this book make your list?
It didn’t actually. I just picked the second book in the series up off the shelf and then decided to start with the first book – this one.

Has it won any awards?
It was named one of the Five Best Mysteries of 2004 by Library Journal.

Favorite quotes:
“Elizabeth so loved life that she found completely alien the notion of taking one’s own. To intentionally end the adventure of daily existence was to close a book before reaching its last page. Even for those in dire worldly straits, she considered suicide not taking arms against a sea of troubles, but a cowardly refusal to face them.” – p 102

Anything else?
This book also claimed to be Nick and Nora – esque from “The Thin Man” series – which is absolutely wonderful. It, rather than the inclusion of the Darcy couple, was the main draw for me when it came to this book. However, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t seem very Nick and Nora like at all…

Personal thoughts:
I’ve always wanted to venture into the realm of the “spin off” books when it came to Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” I love the book, adore the movies, and although I don’t know if Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are my absolute favorite literary characters, they are wonderful. Unfortunately, I decided to begin this foray into spin offs with “Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife.” It was wretched. All it seemed to be was an excuse to write graphic sex scenes between the poorly portrayed Darcy newlyweds with a few obligatory attempts at a plot which wasn’t all that interesting anyway. I was much depressed over this for a few days.
Enter Carrie Bebris and her “Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery” series. I am not a big mystery novel fan. But this woman’s book blew me away. She doesn’t just use Jane Austen’s characters for her own mysteries but allows the mysteries to be shaped and influenced by the people who populate “Pride and Prejudice.” Elizabeth is still inquisitive and outspoken, curious and stubborn. And Darcy is still proud but kind, caring but…well – stubborn. And the other characters from the book are also captured and further developed skillfully. The plot is good enough to keep me guessing (and if you’ve ever watched CSI with me, you know how hard that is…) and has a supernatural element to it that naturally appeals to me. The author even writes to her readers at the beginning of the novel apologizing for any liberties she may have taken with the characters and explains part of her struggle in using such classic persons in a modern novel. And that, my friends…earns points in my book.

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