Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Review-Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris


I hear the sobbing and wailing from the literary purists already. But I can't help it-I love these books and there's nothing you can do about it. Nyah nyah.

I heard of the "Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries" over at the Republic of Pemberley. At first I, too, thought it would all be ridiculously silly, for I too tend toward literary purism (I'm almost entirely certain that is a word; if not, well, Webster's had added "chillaxing" so they can add this as well). However, I finally decided to give them a try; and I'm glad I did.

The first book of the series is Pride and Prescience. It starts out with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett at their wedding, where Caroline Bingley has, true to her traits, happily announced her engagement with a rich American, who she seems to have known for only a few weeks, and who she plans to marry within another few short weeks. Though this throws a wrench into the Darcys' plans, they concede with good grace and remain in London for the wedding.

However, right after the wedding, very strange things begin to happen to the former Miss Bingley, starting with wandering around on the streets of London late at night. Elizabeth begins to suspect something...unnatural at work, but Darcy is having none of it. It's like Mulder and Scully in reverse.

Carrie Bebris maintains a tone and language similar to Austen's (though no one will ever be exact on that), and nails the characters pretty well. Elizabeth is appropriately teasing, and Darcy is still a bit stiff though learning to tease back.

I also enjoyed this and subsequent books because, well, the resolution doesn't remind me of a Scooby-Doo cartoon. "Oh, the ghost was just old Farmer Jenkins trying to scare the hooligans away from his crops!" "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids, and your dog too!"
It's more like "I am an old professor with an odd knowledge of pagan magic. How are you? Shall I aid you in fighting the darkness?" sort of resolution, which is fine with me. I get tired of there being a last minute rational explanation. It's fiction, people! Go wild with it!

So, go read this book, enjoy the proper madness involved, and have a cup of tea. Just make sure that old professor doesn't try to read the leaves when you're done.