Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Review: The Deception at Lyme by Carrie Bebris
From the publisher:
In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the Cobb—Lyme’s famous seawall—proved dangerous to a careless young woman. Now it proves deadly.
Following their recent intrigue at Highbury, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy visit the seaside village of Lyme on holiday. Family business also draws them there, to receive the personal effects of Mr. Darcy’s late cousin, a naval lieutenant who died in action.
Their retreat turns tragic when they come upon a body lying at the base of the Cobb. The victim is Mrs. Clay, a woman with a scandalous past that left her with child—a child whose existence threatened the inheritance of one of her paramours and the reputation of another. Did she lose her balance and fall from the slippery breakwater, or was she pushed?
Mrs. Clay’s death is not the only one that commands the Darcys’ attention. When Mr. Darcy discovers, among his cousin’s possessions, evidence that the young lieutenant’s death might have been murder, he allies with Captain Frederick Wentworth (hero of Jane Austen's Persuasion) to probe details of a battle that took place across the sea . . . but was influenced by a conspiracy much closer to home.
The Deception at Lyme (Or, The Peril of Persuasion) is the delightful sixth installment in the critically acclaimed and award-winning Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series by Carrie Bebris.
My thoughts: Having never read this author before nor recently reading any of Austen's works, I was pleasantly surprised to see how Bebris seemed to pick up where Austen left off. It felt like I had just recently read Perusasion or any other of Austen's books; the sense of place was there (loved the descriptions of Lyme) and the characters' voices had that authentic Regency era feel to them.
As for the mystery itself, it was quite complex but Bebris handled it with a deft hand. Richly drawn characters with their complicated relationships, clues and red herrings were introduced at a perfect pace. These Georgian era characters did more than just sit around drinking tea or attending balls. There were a lot of things going on in this mystery; murder, possible murders, adultery, theft, extortion, conspiracies and smuggling. Talk about action packed and excitement all around! Darcy and Elizabeth worked well together to help solve the mysteries. That's one of the things I like about their personalities; they are so well suited to each other. Plus, as Staci says, Darcy is HOT!
If you are a Jane Austen fan, a lover of Regency era/Georgian period fiction or historical mysteries, this one should be on your must read list. Definitely an enjoyable story and one that should be savored; it's refreshing to read a slower paced and more genteel mystery after reading a lot of contemporary suspense fiction. Pen and ink maps at the beginning and an interesting note from the author at the end give the reader more insight into the location. 4*
Carrie Bebris has also written several fantasy novels and is a contributor to the anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It. Carrie, a Goodreads author, can be found at her website.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Tor/Forge Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.