Friday, January 9, 2015

Audiobook: Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Read by Rosalynd Landor

 It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery. 

My thoughts: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a timeless piece. I adore the story and enjoy reading and watching other presentations based on the book. The title of Death Comes to Pemberley grabbed my attention. I was fascinated at the idea that there was a death over at the Pemberley estate. I was also drawn at the thought of reading about some of my favorite characters. Sadly, this audiobook did not live up to my expectations. 

The story started off strong but it soon became weak.  The beginning reminded me a lot of Jane Austen's book for the author tried to stay true to the style of the original story. My interest was piqued when Lydia came barging out of a carriage crying out that her husband had been murdered. Now, the idea of having Wickham dead was intriguing because he was an unlikable character from P&P.  Afterward, the real victim was revealed to be someone else and Wickham became the main suspect. This revelation definitely caught my attention; however, the way that the murder mystery was solved was not as intriguing. There were little clues to give the reader an idea as to what might have happened, which lead to a very droned out and lengthy explanation towards the end. Unfortunately, the story was not able to keep my attention most of the time and I found myself saying, "Eh," at the end of the book.

Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators and because of her I was able to stick with the audiobook until the very end. She's an excellent actress for she had the perfect British accent and was able to portray the characters well. Her voice was smooth, which made it easy to listen to and helped me focus when I found myself losing interest in the story. If it wasn't for her, I would have stopped reading this book about halfway.

As a whole, the production of the book was excellent but sadly the story was not as great. Rosalyn Landor was able to keep my interest because she executed the characters well. This showed promise at the beginning but ended up being a disappointment at the end. I rate it:

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