Saturday, February 13, 2021

Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery, #1)
by Tirzah Price

Synopsis (via Goodreads):  Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit.

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. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I'm not a huge fan of the classics, but I'm pretty sure I read Pride and Prejudice in high school. I at least know the general storyline and have seen pieces of the movie (the one with Keira Knightley) that I also likely watched in school. (I was big on Spark Notes back then, and during the movie I was probably writing notes to a boyfriend or something equally ridiculous.) Why am I rambling about this? Because I have absolutely no idea why I requested this audiobook, but I am so very happy that I did! I really enjoyed Price's retelling of Lizzie and Darcy, and I even Googled comparisons throughout the book. She made me want to read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which is really saying something. The murder mystery was a wonderful addition to the story, and I really liked seeing Lizzie fight for herself and her future.

My one small complaint would be the lack of romance between Lizzie and Darcy, despite knowing it was accurate for the time period depicted within the book. I wanted heated looks and stolen moments, more bickering and hate-to-love vibes, even though it was obvious neither character would be so bold or forward with the other. Lizzie wants to one day be a respected barrister or solicitor, so she's willing to push past conventional norms to achieve those goals, but she still tries to adhere to society's rules and expectations regarding ladies and what's appropriate for them when men are involved (walking the streets unchaperoned, being alone in room with them, etc.) It doesn't always work out that way, but she is conscious of her actions and how they may appear to others. I just really wanted Lizzie and Darcy to have more passion and romance between them, but it was a small thing. I liked what was there, I just wanted more.

I really enjoyed seeing how certain events unfolded, and was very surprised by specific revelations (which probably had a lot to do with my vague recollections of the original story). However, I'm sure even the most avid Austen fan will like Price's spin on a beloved classic and the addition of a murder mystery. I thought Lizzie's relationship with her parents was relatable and authentic, despite wanting to shake her mother on more than one occasion. Her daughter's value shouldn't rely on what kind of marriage she can secure, and Lizzie's wishes should have been respected. I know it was common during the time period, but it was still frustrating to see her being ignored and pushed towards a life she clearly didn't want for herself. I also thought her relationship with her sisters was humorous and wish there'd been more interactions between them.

I don't want to say too much about the murder mystery itself, because I don't want to spoil anything on accident. Every clue and revelation meant something, so talking about any of the other secondary characters could potentially give something away. You should definitely go into this book with as little knowledge as possible! Already knowing and being familiar with Pride and Prejudice will give you some insight, but not enough to spoil the story. Definitely keep this book on your radar if you enjoy Austen, historical fiction, or murder mysteries. (★★★★☆)

Side note: Synthetic voices are weird. It sounded like a normal narrator, but it lacked variation. Every character sounded the same, there were no long pauses or heavy sighs, and you have to really pay attention to the details so you don't miss anything important. It's not horrible to listen to, but I would like to listen to this one again when it's properly narrated.

3 comments:

  1. I've never read Pride and Prejudice but I've learned a lot about it from blogger Sophia Rose. And a Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

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  2. I love P&P retellings, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one!

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  3. I love Pride and Prejudice adaptations and re-tellings. Oddly, I could never get through the original book when I tried to read it back in my late-teens early-twenties... It's on my list of classics to revisit at some point over the next few years. :)

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