Maria Grazia's Reviews > The Intrigue at Highbury: Or, Emma's Match

The Intrigue at Highbury by Carrie Bebris
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Mar 02, 10

bookshelves: read-in-2010, austen-inspired
Recommended for: Janeites
Read on February 01, 2010 — I own a copy

The Intrigue at Highbury by Carrie Bebris
As you start reading, it seems you are back where you had to stop. They are all there, just like you left them at the end of Jane Austen’s novel: Emma, now Mrs Knightley, and her fascinating loving husband, Mr Woodhouse, The Westons and The Eltons, Miss Bates and her mother, Harriet Smith now Mrs Martin, Jane Fairfax now Mrs Churchill with Frank , her husband. Pleasantly indeed” for the readers, though not in the best circumstances, their lives cross with Mr and Mrs Darcy’s and with that of handsome Mr Deal - who for the first time will make Miss Bates feel toungue-tied!
Plot summary
Mr and Mrs Darcy are looking forward to a relaxing stay with dear friends when their carriage is hailed by a damsel in distress on a dark road outside of the village of Highbury. Little do the Darcys realize that gypsies roam these woods, or that both their possessions and the woman are about to vanish into the night.
The Darcys seek out the parish magistrate, who is having a difficult evening of his own. Mr Knightley and his new wife, the former Miss Emma Woodhouse, are hosting a party to celebrate the marriage of their friends, Mr Frank Churchill and Miss Jane Fairfax. During dinner, Mr Edgar Churchill, uncle and adoptive father of the groom, suddenly falls ill and dies. The cause of death : poison.
When the Darcys and the Knightleys join forces to investigate the crimes, they discover that the robbery and Edgar Churchill’s death may be connected…

My review
What I most appreciated, apart from this book being a real page-turner, is Bebris’s hold on Austen’s witty style. Just a couple of examples:
1. “Emma would listen to Mrs Weston’s counsel, then act as she generally did: precisely as Emma wished” (p.31)
2. “(Mrs Elton) You must be very happy in your new establishment.
Harriet began to reply, but Mrs Elton’s interest in her happiness did not extend so far as wanting to hear any assurance of it. Before Harriet had uttered two words, Mrs Elton brought the discussion back to her favourite subject – herself”
(p. 121)
It is a brilliant mystery- story- including sharades, riddles and word games - in which eventually Emma finds a friend who is her intellectually equal, where our heroine proves her smart mind and her “talent at matchmaking” again. In this delightful series – this is the 5th issue - the Darcys take center stage in searching for truth between teatimes amid the social whirl of Jane Austen’s England.
(closing) As you can imagine, The Intrigue at Highbury is a real feast for Janeites. If you haven’t read the other Mr & Mrs Darcy Mysteries by Carrie Bebris, you may well start from this latest publication and, then, go back to discover the other ones: Pride and Prescience, Suspence and Sensibility , North of Northanger, The Matters at Mansfield.
As for me, I can’t wait for Bebris’s next Mr & Mrs Darcy Mystery inspired to my favourite among favourites: Persuasion!

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather Glad to know you enjoyed this one! I've heard a lot of great things about this series...will check them out soon! Thanks!


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