The continued popularity of Jane Austen’s novels is feeding all things Austen. Carrie Bebris has cleverly parlayed this interest into a series of mysteries starring Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth and Darcy. The now-married couple keeps running into odd situations that need a little investigating.
Having read the three Mr. and Mrs. Darcy novels, including Pride and Prescience and Suspense and Sensibility, I believe I like this latest one the best. It is the most fun and the least supernatural of them. This novel has the Darcys squarely at home at Pemberley for most of the book, and they are investigating a true crime, rather than just an odd otherworldly occurrence making people do strange things.
Someone has framed the Darcys for theft at Northanger Abbey. At the same time, they learn about an old artifact belonging to Darcy’s late mother and go about trying to find out more about it — and where in the house it could be hidden. The Northanger crime and the lost artifact at Pemberley are tied together, and the Darcys must find out how before they face punishment for a crime they did not commit.
The series is very true to the style and tone of the Austen novels. It is a pleasure spending more time with the beloved Darcys and enjoying their interaction with each other — and the assorted colorful characters in the novels. In the case of this novel, they must put up with Lady Catherine de Bourgh as well as Elizabeth’s sister Lydia and her ne’er-do-well husband, Wickham.
North By Northanger is an enjoyable read for any fan of the Austen books.