Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation/Mystery
TIME FRAME: Begins while Jane and Elizabeth are staying at Netherfield
SYNOPSIS: What if someone was found murdered while Jane and Elizabeth were staying at Netherfield? What would happen if the magistrate could not discover who the murderer was before another murder took place in Meryton? What do Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy when there is danger and mayhem present in the community of Meryton?
WHAT I LOVED:
- A Puzzling Mystery: Well done, Jenetta James, for creating a mystery that I don’t think many will solve (I certainly didn’t!) The intrigue begins in the very first chapter and the series of events and discoveries continue to engage and mystify the reader. While some clues point us in certain directions, there is still so much that remains unknown throughout the tale. I thoroughly enjoyed all the intrigue and being stumped! Ms. James is quite adept at being mysterious and not giving much away!
- Well Blended: While some may say that the romance was secondary to the mystery, I found this tale to be a very satisfyingly blend of both. After all, what is prompting Mr. Darcy’s aid in the investigation and determination to solve this mystery if not his love and concern for Elizabeth? I loved seeing this protective side of Mr. Darcy, his ardency and fervent devotion is undeniable in all his thoughts and actions. In addition, I loved observing Elizabeth’s change of heart take place, and seeing how and why she grew to admire Mr. Darcy. The moments of their “courtship” and when they come to an understanding were especially favorites of mine!
- A Darcy POV: I loved that this story took place in first person point-of-view. It was wonderful to be in Mr. Darcy’s head, to see the events of the story from his perspective, and of course, spend all that extra time with him! We see much of Mr. Darcy’s high intelligence, silent observations, and purposeful actions which naturally lead him to be helpful in the investigation. But what I enjoyed observing most was all his reserved feelings – they were intense and palpable. His fear and anxiety, his restlessness and need for action, his crushing despair and burgeoning hope….all were expertly displayed and perceived.
- Eloquent Prose: I have long admired Jenetta James’s writing style and beautiful way with words, but that admiration grew to new heights with Lover’s Knot. There was such a lovely focus on the details of each scene and action. Whether describing rooms, the scenery, sounds and smells, or Mr. Darcy’s internal sensations, Ms. James’s descriptive prose was deftly weaved into this tale and vividly enhanced the reader’s understanding and visualization of all that took place. Talk about feeling like you are transported into the story!
- Characters to Admire: Aside from our admirable hero, there are many other characters to admire in this tale – Elizabeth, for her composure and courage in the face of such grizzly happenings, Mr. Bingley, for maturely stepping up to his responsibilities and role in Meryton, and Jane Bennet, for reasons I shall not disclose. (spoilers!) In addition, I greatly enjoyed Ms. James’s original characters Mrs. Protheroe, Mr. Darcy’s godmother, who is as kindhearted as she is perceptive, and Mr. Allwood, the magistrate, who is serious, a little gruff, and assiduously determined on finding the answers to these murders. Not only is he a character to admire, but also spectacularly well-drawn!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Conceivability: I found the mystery’s resolution plausible on paper and feel that Ms. James set it up all well within the plot events and characters of her story. Yet at the same time, part of me struggles marginally to buy into it. Even though there were some details and explanations at the end, I was left with some misgivings that prevented me from feeling fully satisfied and on board.
With Lover’s Knot, Jenetta James delivers an exceptionally riveting and enigmatic tale that cannot fail to intrigue and entertain readers; proving, once again, her indisputable talent and breadth of creativity as a writer! I am all anticipation to see what she writes next!