Who wrote this book and when?
Elizabeth Aston published this in 2005.

Has there been a film version?

Who are the important characters?
Alethea Darcy/Napier – the youngest Darcy daughter, stuck in an unhappy marriage
Titus Manningtree – a gentleman recently jilted by a lover, now racing to find a lost Titian painting
Figgins – Alethea’s maid, saucy and capable, has street smarts
Napier – Alethea’s husband, cruel and twisted
Mr. Warren – a shady man also pursuing the Titian painting

What’s it about?
The youngest Darcy daughter is now married, although very unhappily. When she reaches her breaking point, she convinces her trusty maid, Figgins, to accompany her to Venice to Camilla’s residence. However, the two are to go dressed as men. Titus Manningtree is still reeling from having his proposal of marriage turned down by his long-time mistress when he finds evidence suggesting a long-lost painting owned by his father has resurfaced. But Titus’s nemesis, Warren, is also out to recover the painting for the King of England. Titus, Warren, and Alethea all meet up in various circumstances as they travel to Venice in pursuit of their various prizes.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It’s a bestseller because it’s a well written pastiche based on “Pride and Prejudice.”

Do I recommend you read this book?
If you enjoyed the first book in the series, “Mr. Darcy’s Daughters.”

How did this book make my list?
See the above.

Has it won any awards?

Favorite quotes:
“Alethea heard Bootle muttering under his breath that if God had any sense, He’d strike Mrs. Vineham a swift one with a thunderbolt and spare them all a deal of playacting, and she grinned inwardly.” – p 112

Anything else?
I’m a little disappointed the next book in the series doesn’t cover any of the five Darcy girls.

Personal thoughts:
I know I espoused some negative opinions about Alethea Darcy as she was in the first book of this series, but in this novel she completely redeems herself. This story is set several years after the first book, “Mr. Darcy’s Daughters,” and Alethea has grown up quite a bit. She’s now a capable young woman who has been heartbroken and abused but has had enough and is attempting to make her own way in the world. Aston does a great job of relating Alethea’s travels and run ins with nature and perverts and poverty and such – while maintaining the suspension of reality that makes her books such good Saturday reads.