cover image The Deception at Lyme: 
Or, the Peril of Persuasion

The Deception at Lyme: Or, the Peril of Persuasion

Carrie Bebris. Tor, $22.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2797-0

In Bebris’s lively if padded sixth Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery (after 2010’s The Intrigue at Highbury), the Darcys; their toddler, Lily-Anne; and Fitzwilliam’s sister, Georgiana, visit Lyme, where they encounter the people and places of Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion. Soon after their arrival, a pregnant woman suffers a fall on the Cobb seawall and dies just after giving birth to a son. The former Mrs. Clay, she was just married to Sir Walter Elliot, but pregnant from her liaison with his cousin William. Suspecting that the poor woman was pushed, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam investigate the murky tangle of relationships in her past. Subplots involving several distant deaths overload parts of the story with exposition. But Janeites will delight in the author’s clever reintroduction of Austen’s characters, the charm of Georgiana’s budding love life, and the accurate and appealing portrait of Regency ships and sailors. (Oct.)