A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr.Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.
The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.
Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.
“Had Jane Austen sat down to write a country house murder mystery, this is exactly the book she would have written. Devotees of Austen’s timeless novels will get the greatest possible pleasure from this wonderful book. Immense fun and beautifully observed. Delicious!” —Alexander McCall Smith
“What a splendid conceit! . . . Gray provides plenty of backstory and enough depth to her characters that even those who mix up their Pride and Prejudice with their Sense and Sensibility will delight in the Agatha Christie–style mystery. . . . There’s so much fun to be had in this reimagined Austen world—and the mystery is so strong—that one can only hope, dear reader, that more books will follow.” —Ilene Cooper, Booklist (starred
“[An] enchanting mystery. . . . Gray perfectly captures the personalities of Austen’s beloved characters. This is a real treat for Austenites.” —Publishers Weekly
“Who would NOT want to read a book in which one of literature’s most notorious rakes meets his final demise? . . . A delightful Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen romp.” —Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose
Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs.
You can read a quick Q&A with Publisher’s Weekly here.
How long does Happily Ever After last? We’ve come to know these beloved characters for years, each story ending in a happy sigh. This book takes place in 1820. Some character’s HEA have just happened and some were decades before but they come together to this house party. Which quickly becomes a prison as Mr. Wickham is found murdered and no one can leave. Jane Austen + Clue = Pleasantly Enjoyable
I was so intrigued by this book concept! I knew Claudia Gray wrote Star Wars novels and I asked my friend, who’s husband is a huge Star Wars fan and he said Gray’s novels are some of the best. So I had high hopes going into this novel that it would be fun and amazing.
I’ll admit, for as much as I love Austen and Austen-inspired works, I haven’t read many of her books. I’ve see a few film adaptations, so I know of the characters and the main plot points but I don’t know their true character and personality. With this book, you follow the point of view of many of the characters. I was surprised by some of the character’s actions or words which didn’t seem to quite fit with how they are portrayed in books/film all the time but I think Gray did a great job of adding the realism of life and its stresses which overtime can greatly affect one’s mental health and happiness.
This book kept me guessing! The more I read, the more motive would be discovered. And how can you accuse your favorite characters? Wentworth? Elizabeth? Colonel Brandon? Mr. Knightley? I really enjoyed Juliet Tilney and her interactions with Jonathan Darcy and their sleuthing skills. Mr. Frank Churchill as the magistrate was a fun surprise, I loved the little Easter eggs 🙂
I think Gray did a masterful job with yielding these characters and creating intrigue, and justice. I would’ve liked the murder to happen sooner, I felt the book was a little slow to get into because there’s so many characters to meet and see their POV and how they felt about Wickham crashing the party. But once that happened, it was a quick read and I hope she writes more in this genre.
I received an advanced copy from the publisher and these are my own thoughts and opinions.