Sometimes, you need to settle in with a cozy book and maybe a cup of tea. Or a fast read to make your flight (I took a flight!) speed by. Enter Pride and Premeditation (Harper Teen, 2021) by Tirzah Price, a fun spin on – you guessed it – Pride and Prejudice. And that’s exactly the book you’d start with if you were beginning a Jane Austen Murder Mystery series.
This version of P&P has 17-year-old Elizabeth Bennet wanting, more than anything, to join her father’s law office and present a case in court. Ah, but that’s not what young women were expected to do in the day. Even so, her father agrees: convince him of her capabilities, and he might be swayed to hire her.
And so she sets out to do just that with the case of a Mr. Bingley, who has been accused of murdering his brother-in-law. Elizabeth is determined to prove his innocence but to stay on the case, she must contend with Bingley’s good friend and family attorney, Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a fun whodunit, filled with danger and desire and with all the characters you love and hate from Jane Austen’s classic.
Ah, the characters! Tirzah Price has done a wonderful job capturing the spirit and voice of each and, at the same time, manages to make this an ultra-approachable read even for those who shy away from older literature. And while this book may be more fun if you are familiar with Pride and Prejudice, in no way is that a prerequisite for enjoying it.
Do understand that you may need to suspend your knowledge of Regency-era facts. The author admittedly took liberties with the time period to allow the plot to play out. Her note at the end of the book explains it all.
If you turn out to be a fan of this book, #2 in the series, Sense and Second-Degree Murder came out yesterday (4/5/2022).
I will be picking this up in time for my next flight.
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