by Tirzah Price
Series: Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit.
When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.
Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.
Please welcome Sophia Rose who is popping in to share a young adult historical mystery with us! Check out her thoughts on Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price, the first novel in the Jane Austen Murder Mystery series.
Sophia Rose’s Review
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an intrepid young woman desirous of being an investigator must prove herself worthy of the career- in spite of the insipid males who qualify to the position with little effort- and succeed against parental and societal expectations while vying with a persnickety, brooding, handsome and already successful investigating lawyer on a big murder case. Not a retelling exactly, not even a variation, but more of a historical mystery strongly flavored by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. The start to Tirzah Price’s new book has a claim on Young Adult Historical Mystery fans and Austen lovers alike.
Pride and Premeditation is at heart a fun YA historical mystery. I was eager to read a murder mystery set in the Pride and Prejudice world. For some reason, I was under the impression that the story would be more enmeshed with that world than it was. Instead, this fresh take on the original borrows a few infamous P&P moments and general traits of its characters to form something new. I enjoyed the story more when I set aside the P&P connection and simply read it as its own tale. I found it entertaining, though I will admit that I wasn’t deeply drawn in.
Seventeen-year-old Lizzie is an audacious and anachronistic creation, little like a Regency Era woman of her class with quite modern tendencies and thinking. The author writes her so on purpose. I didn’t mind and went with it. There is engaging banter and I chuckled at times over some of the comebacks.
“Do you purposefully misunderstand everything I say, Miss Bennet?”
“Do you purposefully overlook all inconvenient truths, Mr. Darcy?”
I loved the idea of Lizzie and Darcy pitted against each other detecting the same crime, but it does take some adjustment. In other words, don’t get your knickers in a twist if details and dialogue go a tad off script when it comes to historical authenticity and storyline.
And, because of this liberty, the reader gets a bold, clever, and impetuous heroine detective sparring with a capable and seasoned criminal lawyer who learns to see her in a much more favorable, respectful light than she ever sees him. Like the Elizabeth Bennet she is created after, this Lizzie assumes and takes the word of those she shouldn’t. Eventually, they draw closer together as the investigation progresses.
On a side note, I enjoyed Lizzie’s interactions with her sisters. Jane is so calm and wise with the youngest, Lydia, boisterous and ripe for trouble. I wish the group of sisters had more page time together.
There is a hint of romance, but in this arena, the author does follow Regency Era etiquette, so there is nothing blatant. The romance is also not as developed and, though they sparked against each other professionally, I didn’t see that so much when it came to attraction, though it wasn’t devoid of romance, either. The mystery was not deeply intricate, though it had some decent twists and turns. Things got plenty exciting and suspenseful at times, what with more death, kidnappings, seedy locations, and trailing through the evidence to the truth. For those in the know, would you believe Wickham is a cop (aka Bow Street Runner)? And, yeah, his character is much the same as the original because he tricks Lizzie for his own purposes. Besides the investigation, there is courtroom drama, as well.
The epilogue wrapped it up and let the reader see where things are headed in a satisfying way. This is a series and I’ve already caught sight of the title for book two which looks like it may enter the world of another Austen novel. I’m unsure if Lizzie will continue as the main detective or another intrepid female will step up in that role. All in all, I had a good time and was entertained by the characters and the story. Those who want a mystery with beloved Pride & Prejudice characters peopling the story shouldn’t hesitate to reach for this one.
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About Sophia Rose
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. Associate Reviewer for Delighted Reader blog.
Lovely review. I am excited about this one and would like to read it someday soon – whenever I can get a copy. I’m glad you enjoyed it overall, Sophia Rose!
It is well worth getting excited about, Lauren!
I saw this book at Barnes & Noble and loved the cover. I didn’t know the author was a Michigan native though! My state haha. Now I want to get it even more! This sounds really fun- thanks for a great review! 🙂
I love supporting the local writing talent, too. It was a fun, gritty one for a YA Historical Mystery.
Anne - Books of My Heart
This isn’t what I usually read but I love the cover on this one.
I saw Jane Austen and murder mystery so I had to read it. 🙂 Oh yes, that cover is lovely.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful review! I will put this on my wishlist.
Glad to put it on your radar, Cyndy. 🙂