Tuesday, November 03, 2009

a couple mysteries

Pride and Prescience:
Or, a Truth Universally Acknowledged
by Carrie Bebris

Another Pride and Prejudice spin-off, Pride and Prescience is the first in a series (the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries). It combines paranormal elements with Austen's characters and social milieu.

Caroline Bingley announces her engagement to a mysterious American at the Darcy/Bingley wedding reception, characteristically trying to showup the two brides. After her own whirlwind wedding, however, Caroline begins to act quite strangely. After a number of inexplicable incidents, Elizabeth begins to wonder whether other forces are at work in their small community.

I don't think the book is at all true to Austen (not even Austen's more gothic novel Northanger Abbey), but it was a quick read and can be fun if readers accept Elizabeth as a sleuth with possible psychic abilities and overlook some obvious flaws. The way that the various characters address each other is inconsistent and not appropriate to the timeperiod. Harder to overlook is the fact that the two main American characters are more or less stranded in England because of the war breaking out, one of them suggests that Caroline should be taken to the Louisiana estate to recuperate from her nervous disorder.

Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Landlord is the first book in Harris' Lily Bard series. Unlike the Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connolly series, there's nothing supernatural going on in Lily Bard's Shakespeare, Arkansas.

Shakespeare's Landlord is a cozy mystery, but darker. Lily is a fiercely independent woman who runs a cleaning service and studies martial arts. Shakespeare's Landlord opens with Lily happening upon someone disposing a body with her own garbage cart. Because she doesn't want the police unearthing her own past, Lily withholds the information she knows about the killing and tries to figure out the mystery on her own.

The backstory that Harris gives Lily is horrific and may turn off readers who normally enjoy reading cozies.


  1. I have read all the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the Harper Connelly books but I haven't yet moved onto Charlaine Harris's other series. I really must.

  2. You have really pricked my curiosity...I might pick up this book just to find out what it is

  3. I didn't want to spoil it, but at the same time I did want to give a warning to those who are turned off by sick sh*t.