Eliza Darcy (yes, she’s related to THAT Darcy) visits some relatives in the sprawling estate of Pemberley. Before long, she finds herself entangled in a murder mystery that promises to be much more complicated than a simple whodunit. With her literature-based sleuthing skills and the dashing Heath at her side, she finds herself deeper and deeper in danger the closer she comes to unmasking the killer.
There’s a lot going on in this book! A gorgeous setting, sweet romance, a great sense of humor, and a gripping mystery — what’s not to love? It’s easy to root for our nosy heroine, and the dotty old aunt Iris and party-girl Joy are icing on the cake. I was surprised how intense the story became towards the end; it ramped up to be a bit darker than most cozies, so sensitive readers, brace yourselves.
The flirting between Eliza and Heath is swoon-worthy, let’s say. I imagine anyone with a thing for English blokes would have a massive crush on Heath by the end of this book. It’s a clean, sweet romance that feels genuine. The match doesn’t seem too improbable and the couple had such great banter, it’s a joy to see them on the page together.
For the first third of the book, I was afraid Murder Most Pemberley wasn’t for me. I love a good mystery, especially a cozy, but I’m not a huge Jane Austen fan — I’m more of a Dickens person, to be honest. I don’t have a working knowledge of Pride and Prejudice. The word “Pemberley” meant nothing to me before I picked up this book, so I’m sure I missed tons of great lines, asides, and meaningful scenes. But even without a love of Austen, the story held water.
By the time the Agatha Christie influence reared its head, I was already sucked in. The central mystery is scandalous, twisty, and branched. Eliza doesn’t trip over many clues; she goes out and finds them. She’s very snoopy and whoa does she sniff out some dirt! There’s so much going on in this book, I have no doubt this is just the first installment in a long, long series.
I can’t wait to read the next installment and even as a non-Austen fan, I gave this an easy 5 stars. I suspect a reader with a crush on the original Mr. Darcy would give it 6.
Murder Most Pemberley by Jessica Berg is expected to be published May 8th, 2021.
Thanks to BookSirens, the author, and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.