Will Jane Austen’s happily newlywed Mr. Darcy ever install his bride as Pemberley’s new mistress? Not until the couple solve a disturbing mystery surrounding a wedding guest.
Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are married in a double ceremony including Elizabeth’s sister Jane and Charles Bingley, Darcy’s best friend. All goes well except for Jane’s new sister-in-law, the insufferable Caroline, who grabs the spotlight to announce her engagement to Frederick Parrish, a wealthy, charming American. The Darcys, lingering in London to attend the hastily arranged Parrish wedding, prolong their stay when something goes very wrong with Caroline. While wandering unaccountably through a dangerous part of the city, they rescue her, but soon thereafter she’s found with her wrists slashed. Why would such a selfish, shallow woman kill herself before she had a chance to parade her new husband and wealth? Darcy discovers that Parrish had been almost engaged to Juliet Kendall, daughter of moneyed, unscrupulous Lawrence Kendall, once a partner of Charles Bingley’s late father and now a bitter adversary of the Bingley family. But Elizabeth intuits more sinister influences tied to Parrish’s best man, Professor Julian Randolph, who specializes in occult studies.
Brittle comic dialogue vies with lurid Gothic sensation: a debut that, for all its polish, shows why the world hasn’t been waiting for a collaboration between Jane Austen and Mrs. Radcliffe.