Title: Pride and Premeditation
Series: Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1
Author: Tirzah Price
Genre: YA, Retellings, Mystery
Published: April 6th, 2021 (HarperTeen)
Synopsis: 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.
Thank you to the publisher, HarperTeen, and Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet wants to work at her father’s law firm, but must prove herself before he will consider it. When wealthy Mr Bingley is arrested for murder, it is the talk of London high society, and Lizzie sees an opportunity to prove herself. Mr Bingley’s lawyer, Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, is none too pleased with her interference, but she is determined to solve the murder herself and prove Bingley innocent. But as the case grows both complicated and dangerous, they realize that they may have to work together after all to find the real culprit before it is too late.
Pride and Prejudice is a classic I’ve read multiple times, and I’m very fond of retellings based on it as well. This is the first mystery based retelling I’ve ever read though and it was such an entertaining read! The mystery storyline was fun, and far more complex than I expected. The good thing about the way this is written is that you don’t have to have read the original book to enjoy this, but it does add another perspective if you have – though not enough to spoil the mystery.
“Do you purposefully misunderstand everything I say, Miss Bennet?”
“Do you purposefully overlook all inconvenient truths, Mr. Darcy?”
I really liked that the author presented the characters in a way that they were clearly recognizable, while making only small adjustments to their personalities and situations to account for the new setting of the story. This is of course, still set in the Regency era, which lends it the same familiar feel from the original. However, Lizzy and Darcy’s romance felt a bit lacking to be honest – but their witty banter was hilarious. I wish they would have had more interaction throughout the book as this aspect was rather neglected in favour of Lizzie’s sleuthing. Otherwise, Lizzie was very in character, and her wanting to be a lawyer is just so perfect for her personality.
Here’s the one thing that threw off the feel of the book for me though. It was rather unrealistic, even before you can get to Lizzie wanting to become a lawyer. The strict rules of decorum of the era would have never allowed for half the things that happen in this book to ever take place. Lizzie would certainly not have been permitted to wander about London talking to strangers – and definitely not without a chaperone as she frequently does in this book. This also carried over to the language which sounded quite modern at times. The author’s note indicates as much, acknowledging that some liberties have been taken in this area, but for me, as a frequent historical fiction reader, period authenticity is a huge factor in how much I enjoy a book. If the author wanted a more outgoing Lizzie, the time period of the book should have been changed accordingly.
Apart from that however, this was a quick and enjoyable read, and an interesting twist on the tale. The ending of the mystery itself was a satisfactory conclusion, but with regards to the characters, it leaves things a little open ended which was nice. I’m looking forward to the next two adaptations in the series and I can’t wait to see how those stories are going to go, particularly if Lizzie is going to make an appearance again. As long as you don’t expect a historically accurate rendition, I would recommend this book for fans of both the original and retellings in general.
Pride and Premeditation releases on April 6th, 2021.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.
Other reviews in this series: