The Murder of Mr. Wickham

Claudia Gray. Vintage, $17 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-31381-7

This enchanting mystery from YA author Gray (Defy the Stars) answers the question long in the mind of every Jane Austen fan. Did all the couples from her novels live happily ever after? In 1820, Emma Woodhouse Knightley, social as ever after 16 years of marriage, decides to host a house party for her friends, including Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy and their 20-year-old son, Jonathan, and Juliet Tilney, the 17-year-old daughter of Emma’s good friend Catherine Tilney from Northanger Abbey. Emma definitely did not plan on George Wickham, despised widower of Elizabeth Darcy’s sister Lydia, showing up unannounced during a raging thunderstorm. Age has not improved Wickham’s character. He’s now a financial “advisor” whose latest investment scheme has brought several of his clients to the brink of ruin—including more than one of Emma’s guests. When Wickham is murdered, no one in the house party is above suspicion. The younger generation rises to the occasion when Jonathan and Juliet make a secret plan to uncover the murderer. The middle section drags a bit, but Gray perfectly captures the personalities of Austen’s beloved characters. This is a real treat for Austenites. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (May)
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