Published: April 6 2021
Format: eBook (ARC)
Tags: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Romance
| Synopsis from the Publisher |
When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.
Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.
Keywords to describe this book: plot-centered, dramatic, fun
I received a complimentary copy of this book from HarperCollins Children’s Books & HarperTeen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This book had some expectations to live up to because I’m a huge Jane Austen fan and Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorites of hers. That being said, I really, really enjoyed Price’s retelling! This book really channels Austen’s mannerisms and playfulness. I love the Regency setting of this story and that the family business is law. That and the mystery element do a lot to elevate this story out of a rune-of-the-mill retelling into something unique and interesting.
One of the things that really makes this book work is that Price has clearly set out her own story to tell, though she uses Austen characters to tell it. The murder-mystery plot is pretty straightforward and some might consider it to be predictable, but to me it didn’t really matter because I was enjoying myself so much while reading it. I love Lizzie Bennet solving crime! While the mystery isn’t very complex, it holds up the rest of the story well and it makes for a page-turning adventure.
Price also manages to put her own unique spin on the classic cast of characters. Everyone has their recognizable traits, but they still feel fresh and new. Lizzie has her typical air of know-better and fierce loyalty, but Price manages to make her fun and a bit more clueless when it comes to understanding other people’s perspectives. She is challenged throughout the novel to do better and eventually she begins to show growth in this area. It was nice to see a reasonably flawed heroine. Darcy, too, is brooding and ultra-well-mannered, but he’s also less unapproachable than his original. He warms up nicely over the course of the book and I liked seeing more of him than we get to see in Austen’s novel.
While the other characters are not as present, Price still manages to put her own spin on Jane, Mr. Collins, Wickham, Lady Catherine, and the Bennett parents. There is lots of witty/snappy dialogue throughout. I really enjoyed seeing the characters interact with each other because that’s where this story really shines. The Regency-era setting is detailed and the writing style really reflects this period well.
Ultimately, this is a decent mystery wrapped within a P&P retelling. If you’re an Austen fan, this book won’t disappoint. If you’re not, it’s still incredibly enjoyable and there’s a lot of period-drama aspects for historical fiction fans to enjoy.
| My Rating |
Definitely Worth the Read
I really enjoyed this re-telling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. Setting the story in Regency-era England and making the family business law was an interesting twist. I really like Price's small changes to characters, making Mr. Collins and Catherine du Bourgh more villainous and making Elizabeth a little more openly clueless when it comes to her opinions of people. The writing is really good! I love how Price matched the tone and overall sound of the story to Austen's style. It reads very similarly and so lovers of Jane Austen will probably find a kinship with this book just because of that. The story is unique enough, though, that it doesn't feel like it's retreading old ground. The mystery element creates a sense of newness to the familiar P&P story that will keep the reader guessing and turning pages. I think that this is probably one of my more favorite re-tellings of this story and I look forward to reading more from Price. I definitely would recommend this book to Austen lovers, or lovers of historical mystery.