Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Review: The Deception at Lyme by Carrie Bebris

The Deception at Lyme
or, The Perils of Persuasion
by Carrie Bebris

Genre: Mystery / Historical Fiction / Austenesque Sequel

Ages: 15 and up

Sequel to Pride and Prescience, Suspense and Sensibility, North by Northanger, The Matters at Mansfield and The Intrigue at Highbury.

I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you Cassie at Tor / Forge!


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:

I was so excited when Ms. Bebris announced that she was finally writing her Persuasion novel (having written mysteries to tie in with Miss Austen's five other published works already). Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, accidental detectives, were finally going to meet the Wentworths. At Lyme (I love Lyme).

The Deception at Lyme had all the things I loved about the previous books in the series - fun characters, complicated mystery, a bit of danger, a bit of humor and, especially in this case, romance. One thing it didn't have was any hint of the supernatural, but the very human mystery more than made up for the lack of magical influence.

I love how well the author incorporated the characters from Persuasion into the mystery. Mrs.Clay, Mr. Elliot and Sir Walter Elliot are all perfectly portrayed in all their less-than-likable glory, tangled in ambition and deceit. Captain Wentworth and Mr. Darcy get along famously, as I have always suspected that they would. My two favorite Austenesque heroes working together at last (sigh). The new characters were wonderful as well, especially the two gentlemen who take an interest in Georgiana (much to Darcy's chagrin). The charming Sir Lawrence and the enigmatic and possibly villainous Lieutenant St. Clair. Watching Darcy's discomfort was highly entertaining.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes cozy mysteries that you can curl up with on a rainy afternoon, and, of course, to anyone who loves Jane Austen's marvelous characters.

Rating System: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).

I rate it a 2.10 for brief mild swearing.

I give it a 2.10 for references and infidelity.

I rate it a 6.10 for multiple murders and the description of a battle at sea.

                                        Lieder Madchen

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