Nov 192009

Darcy and Elizabeth Solve The Mystery of the Lost Ivories

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

Jane Austen is invading the mystery genre with clever and captivating series such as the “Jane Austen Mystery Series” by Stephanie Barron and this series, “Mr. And Mrs. Darcy Mystery Series,” by Carrie Bebris. In this series, poor Elizabeth and Darcy are attempting to enjoy their first year of blissful marriage, but unfortunately, they seem to be surrounded by a web of intrigue and mystery. Even though North by Northanger is the third book in the series, it is not essential that book one and two are read prior to reading this book. However, North By Northanger is a Pride and Prejudice sequel, so I would recommend being familiar with Pride and Prejudice. In addition, Ms. Bebris incorporated characters and settings from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, so I would recommend reading that novel prior to this one as well.

Elizabeth Darcy, the new Mistress of Pemberley, is finding it difficult to step out of her mother-in-laws’ (Lady Anne Darcy) shadow. Lady Anne was deeply loved, respected, and revered by all who knew her, and even though she has passed away many years ago her influence and presence in Pemberley is still felt. However, when Elizabeth finds a twenty-year old letter addressed to her from Lady Anne, she discovers new insight, understanding, and appreciation of the former mistress and the life she lived. Furthermore, Elizabeth learns that Lady Anne’s most precious item, a heirloom ivory statuette of the Madonna and child, went missing right before Georgiana’s birth.

Lizzy and Darcy are soon expecting their first child, yet this joyful occasion has produced some tension between them. Darcy is apprehensive about Elizabeth giving birth because his mother died while giving birth to Georgiana, so he desires to hire the best and most qualified physician money can buy. However, Lizzy stubbornly protests that she is strong, hearty, and would be much more comfortable with a midwife during her lying-in. Fortunately for Darcy, Elizabeth agrees to meeting with a prosepective physician and they journey to Bath to make the acquaintance of Dr. Richard Severen. While the couple are in bath they receive a letter from a Captain Tilney who wants to make their acquaintance at his home, Northanger Abbey. As it turns out, Captain Tilney’s mother, Helen Tilney, was friend and correspondent to Lady Anne Darcy, and Captain Tilney is eager to meet the offspring of his mother’s closest friend and confidante, or does he have an alternative motive…

What ensues is an entertaining and captivating tale of misadventure, calamity, hidden treasures with past secrets, and of course, arrogant and domineering Lady Catherine stirring up all sorts of commotion. I greatly enjoyed this delightful mixture of intrigue, mystery, and Jane Austen. Ms. Bebris portrayed Darcy and Elizabeth very accurately and true to Jane Austen’s original characters. Furthermore, her story is imaginative and creative, yet at the same time it is plausible and realistic. I appreciate that she did not incorporate any supernatural or paranormal aspects in this book (as she did in the first and second books of this series) and enjoyed the book more because of it. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good mystery and loves the characters from Pride and Prejudice, it will not disappoint!

Check out the rest of the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery Series:
Pride and Prescience: Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged
Suspense and Sensibility: Or, First Impressions Revisited
The Matters at Mansfield: Or, The Crawford Affair (reading it next!)
The Intrigue at Highbury: Or, Emma’s Match (out March 2010)

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  3 Responses to “North by Northanger (Or, The Shades of Pemberley) – Carrie Bebris”


    I really enjoyed this series and am looking forward to the next volume. I love how Bebris brings characters from all of Austen’s novels into play.


    Is this a series that needs to be read in order?


    Alexa – I love how she did that too.

    Katy – No, it doesn’t need to be read in order, each can stand on its own.

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