Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Novella, Variation, Mystery
TIME FRAME: Jane’s visit to Netherfield – her and Elizabeth’s return home
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth and Jane Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Charles and Caroline Bingley, Wicked George, Tilly the maid
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
- A New Author: Penelope Swan has released 7 Austenesque books so far and I haven’t read any!
- A Hint of Mystery: Anyone who has seen my Nancy Drew collection would know that I definitely enjoy a dash of intrigue and a bit of puzzle-solving with my stories!
- The Name of the Series: Dark Darcy…sounds very ominous!
WHAT I LOVED:
- Wonderful Balance: I liked how the author composed her story by extracting real occurrences from the Pride and Prejudice timeline – like Jane visiting Netherfield and falling sick, and added some new intriguing elements – like rumors about Netherfield being haunted and legends of a highwayman by the name of “Wicked George.” It was a wonderful balance of traveling through familiar and unfamiliar territory at the same time. While we may hear a bit about the merits and rarity of “accomplished ladies” there are other, more pressing matters to discuss at Netherfield in this story!
- Darcy and Elizabeth, Amateur Sleuths: With their quick minds and keen observation skills Darcy and Elizabeth would make excellent sleuths, don’t you think? I loved seeing both of them question the mysteries surrounding Netherfield, sneak around and conduct their investigations, and search for logical explanations for all these puzzles. It was also lovely to see these mysteries bring Darcy and Elizabeth together in company more and witness them share several moments alone without the watchful eyes and ears of Caroline Bingley! Is Elizabeth’s first impression of Darcy about to change?
- More Than One Mystery: When Elizabeth arrives at Netherfield she sees a ghostly-looking face in the attic window, at night there are strange noises in the house, and now valuable objects are being reported as missing…what is the cause of all these mysteries? Who is behind the thefts? Are the members and servants of Netherfield to be trusted? With so much going on and several new characters being introduced, this story definitely kept me captivated!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Left Wanting More: This volume in the Dark Darcy series ends with Elizabeth and Jane returning to Longbourn. I am curious to see what happens next now that Darcy and Elizabeth have had some different and more amicable interactions. I know book series like this are very popular, and I usually don’t mind multi-part stories. But in this case it did feel a little bit of a letdown to have this story, when it is already a quick-read, end so early. I appreciate the mysteries being resolved, but the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth was left very much open-ended! I guess I’ll have to get a copy of Book 2 in this series, Intrigue at the Ball, to see what happens next!
Delightfully intriguing, this Pride and Prejudice novella variation shows Darcy and Elizabeth traveling a different path together – I wonder how many more mysteries will abound in the next installment of this series! The Netherfield Affair is an excellent choice for readers who are looking for a entertaining and engaging quick read with a dash of mystery mixed in!