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Publisher: 29 September 2015 by Crooked Cat Publishing
Pages: 100 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, thriller, regency, Jane Austen
My Rating: 3 crowns
"The King? Dead? Here? Murdered? Regicide! Oh, heaven preserve us! Was it the French? Are they here? They will kill us all, and make us eat strange sauces."
So says Mrs Bennet, but the king is not dead - Miss King is dead, and it looks like murder.
Three years after the events of Pride and Prejudice, and having long been considering the role of single women in society, Mary Bennet puts her formidable mind to work to solve the case. Armed only with philosophy, her best friend, Cassandra Lucas, and some nifty detective techniques involving embroidery, Mary discovers secrets and scandals that may make her the murderer's next victim...
Short and interesting - it was that simple. I am a huge Jane Austen fan and always venture into any spin-offs of her work. Some, of course, are better than others. Bryant doesn't claim to produce a continuation of the famous 'Pride and Prejudice', rather:
"Nor do I presume to call this a sequel. It is a light-hearted story and a tribute, and that is all."
And she does it well. It is well written in style and story, planning and plot, character and setting. What more could you ask for in a weekend escape?
This tale picks up three years from the end of Pride and Prejudice. Mary Bennet - still living at Longbourn - is friends with Cassandra Lucas - Charlotte's younger sister. As they are out walking one day, they see someone fall from the local bell tower. It is Mary who sees a shadow in the tower and decides to find out who the murderer is. And the victim, remember Miss King?
"Poor Miss King has few enough advocates in life - she has at least us in death."
I was pleasantly surprised with 'Pride and Regicide'! In fact, with Bryant's Regency voice in line with Austen and her pick up of character traits quite good, she presents a valid and entertaining short story. In fact I found it to be much like:
"... a comfortable social blanket, soothing us all and keeping out the cold facts of life."