Tuesday, January 17, 2012
P. D. James Comes to Pemberley
I am an avid mystery reader, & a huge fan of the writer P.D. James. She has a new book out this year-at age 92! But, rather than featuring her usual detective, Adam Dalgliesh (or even Cordelia Gray, her other detective), she has set her latest mystery in the world of Jane Austen. Wha...?
It's true, I am having kind of an issue with this. A couple of years ago, James told the Guardian that she was worried about starting a new book at her age & possibly not being able to finish it. So, I was surprised & delighted to hear she had a new book coming out in December 2011! & then I heard what it was, & a niggling disappointment surfaced in my brain, despite the fact that I tried hard to squelch it.
Like a dedicated fangirl, I put my hold on a copy of her newest, Death Comes to Pemberley, as soon as it was in the catalog. I got my copy last week. It has sat, front & center on my couch, since I brought it home, but I can't bring myself to open it.
P. D. James in a wonderful writer, & I love Jane Austen. I'm just not sure I'm ready for them at the same time. I'm not sure why it's irking me so much. P. D. James has written non-mysteries (most notably the sci-fi The Children of Men) that haven't bothered me. I have read from the copious titles written around Jane Austen & her oeuvre-Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Austenland & their ilk-before. I also know that Stephanie Barron & Carrie Bebris both write mysteries set in Austen's world, though I have never read those, mostly because they look silly.
I should just trust in P.D. James. The book has gotten some glowing reviews (although somebody on Amazon did say "Not for purist Austen fans or demanding readers of PD James"), & apparently writing it was a dream of hers. I have the book until January 28th - I don't know how much more time I have to waffle.
Reader, what would you do?
To read other P.D. James titles (or watch the TV movies), check the library catalog.
Read the prologue to Death Comes to Pemberley at the Knopf Publishers' site.
A Life in Writing: P.D. James