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.
A wholly enjoyable P&P retelling–This book was truly a balm after reading a very emotionally heavy book (A Court of Silver Flames). Pride and Premeditation plays fast and loose with P&P’s setting, characters, and motifs, refreshing them and making them more interesting for the new generation. You get the archetypes you have known (and perhaps loved) for many years now, but with a twist and a more focused look into the struggles of POC and women in general.
I did enjoy how P&P isn’t wholly invested in following the society’s norms of the time to the letter. It really let Lizzie be able to investigate the murder at her own pace. Not all of society’s rules are thrown off the window (the mother is still super invested in getting her girl’s married for instance) so you get a good balance of freedom with restrictions making the plot interesting. I loved seeing Elizabeth’s world view change as she is confronted with real life issues, coming to terms with her limitations as well as her innate privilege when compared to other women such as her half-POC best friend Charlotte. It is refreshing seeing this tackled in the book and not just ignored or set aside by not adding any POC characters to the story. Well done.
If you are looking for a historically accurate retelling–THIS IS NOT IT. I think fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper will enjoy Pride and Premeditation immensely. There are other books out there who attempt to be historically accurate, and sometimes suffer for it. I like that Pride and Premeditation is trying to do its own thing while playing within the beloved world of Jane Austen. I liked the murder aspect, I loved Lizzie, and am really looking forward to future books.
It wrapped up nicely; I didn’t get a sense of what the future of the series would entail. Will every book be about a different sister? Will we follow Lizzie and her career? Maybe Lizzie will be involved in solving crimes that relate to other Jane Austen’s books like Sense and Sensibility (the second one is titled Sense and Second-Degree Murder, WHICH I LOVE). I want to keep Lizzie as the MC, because I loved her character so much, but I guess we need to wait to see what the future will entail when the blurb of the second book is out. At least Pride and Premeditation does not end on a cliffhanger, so we have that as a consolation at the very least.
PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!