Review: The Darcy Mysteries (Books 1-3), by Carrie Bebris
I've never really been one for Austen continuations. I read P+P+Zombies because I felt I must. And it's more of an alternate reality than continuation. I read Pamela Aidan's Mr. Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy because they were recommended to me and they are beautifully written and, again, they're of a parallel nature. I've been very stubborn about Austen continuations and Austen fanfiction. I've always been a purist when it comes to my Janeite membership.
But somehow or other I was led to read Carrie Bebris' Darcy mysteries. I believe the suggestion came through librarything.com. I figure a database that has all of the books I've read and what I think of them must have some good suggestions. Turns out, they were right. Unfortunately, I'm only 3 books-in. Ms. Bebris has created a fictional--though logical and realistic and very very appropriate--"ending" to Pride and Prejudice in the form of a series in which Mr. and Mrs. Darcy begin their new lives and (like many couples) experience bump after bump in their new road of life together. But their bumps, in Ms. Bebris' world, are extremely-well-researched mysteries in which the author has managed to pull the Darcys on a fine thread through all of Austen's novels.
She has literally steamrolled us into Sense and Sensibility but about 15 years later AND has expanded the original story's origins. In this story, the magic is darker and more volatile. This story is much more dangerous and as a result is much more interesting, especially because it expands the character of Kitty Bennett. While the first novel resisted expanding Caroline's character by subduing her through the magic, this one is more willing to take steps beyond the inspiring work and gives Kitty a chance to breathe.
Ms. Bebris has finished 2 other novels of the series - The Matter at Mansfield and The Intrigue at Highbury; the former is already out, though I don't have it yet, and the latter is due out in March. I only want for her to get around to adapting Persuasion to her scheme. And I only hope it doesn't involve Sir Walter--though his family ledger would make an interesting starting point. Hmm. Think it over, Ms. Bebris.