Oh, dear: P. D. James, Death Comes to Pemberley

Jane Austen has nothing to worry about from P. D. James.  I just finished Death Comes to Pemberley.  Ho-hum.

There’s such a buzz surrounding the book that I was afraid I had not only missed the boat, but missed the bus to the train to the boat along the way. Except there doesn’t seem to have been much of a boat to begin with.

Too much distilled summary of background from Pride and Prejudice.   I grant that I had forgotten a lot of P&P, so I needed the background to understand what was going on, but my eyes started crossing over in my head when I tried to work my way through such a concentrated torrent of background information.

Not really much of a plot.  When the killer was revealed at first I didn’t believe it.  I’m still not convinced it was possible.  Then there was a great deal of recapitulation and explication of things that I’m sure were perfectly clear from P&P and didn’t need to be subjected to microscopic and uninteresting further examination.

I had hoped to find some of Austen’s pointed humor and pithy character observation, but alas the borrowing from P&P stopped with the appropriation of the characters and setting, rather as if a doll house, its contents, and its inhabitants had been borrowed for an afternoon of lackluster play by a determined, but plodding child.

I’m sorry to say: don’t bother.

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