Boredom Comes to the Reader

 It is a truth universally acknowledged that a disappointing book by a beloved author is more depressing than a genuinely bad book by an unknown author.  Death Comes to Pemberley is such a disappointing book. Surprisingly disappointing given my love for P. D. James, especially her Adam Dalgliesh series, and my enjoyment of Jane Austen's books. Jane's suffered more than her share of exploitation of late between mash-ups, story extensions and a series depicting her as busy-body-mystery-solver, and while this latest re-purposing of her characters doesn't involve anything as nutty as sea monsters it is nonetheless a mystifying endeavor

I truly cannot understand why P. D. James felt the need to write this book but my bafflement there is miniscule compared to my total incomprehension of why she felt the need to publish it. I can't understand why, having committed to writing a book based on Pride and Prejudice she felt the need to retell the entire plot of that book in the first 10 pages of this one. Nor can I come up with a reasonable answer as to why an author with a finely honed style like James would want to play ventriloquist with another well-known style.

What really left me staggered in this book is how dull, nay, boring it is. I don't mean slow-moving, I mean actively, aggressively dull. The book focuses on proud, shy and aloof Darcy, which cuts down on the conversational opportunities. The sisters Bennet are barely present and only two of them having anything approaching a conversation. Which made no sense - a murder happens at your sister's house and you don't want to chat it over? The murder isn't interesting and all the opportunities it gives Darcy to plumb the depths of his soul just proves that Darcy isn't all that deep. The absolute nadir, however, involves one character explaining the events of the murder while allowing that another person will probably want to tell their own version. And they do. Except it's pretty much the same version. Just told twice.

To sum up, while this book does not feature zombies, it might as well have been written by one. Avoid this one.

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