Miss Bingley Requests

Written by Judy McCrosky
Review by Lauren Miller

In this introspective reimagining of Pride and Prejudice, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s romance is entirely unsuitable in the eyes of our protagonist, Miss Caroline Bingley. Naturally, as close as the Bingley and Darcy families have been for years, it is only a matter of time before Darcy recognizes in Caroline a true peer, a highly refined lady of fashion, and an ideal mistress of Pemberley. So why is it that her heart flutters in every drawing room encounter with Mr. Stephen Tryphon, a gentleman friend? And whatever can Caroline’s brother, Charles, be thinking, being captivated by Elizabeth’s older sister, Jane? It’s up to Miss Bingley to set her brother on the straight and narrow path if the Bingley family is going to have any hopes of rising beyond their nouveau riche background by making an excellent match in marriage.

McCrosky turns her hand to the difficult accomplishment of working the unlikable character of Miss Caroline Bingley into a sympathetic one when seen through the lens of Regency mores. Standing up next to Mr. Darcy as a love rival is a daunting dance for even the most practiced of drawing room lovers but Tryphon puts on a good display. In Tryphon, we have a marriage of personalities—the affability of Mr. Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey) and the occasional gloom of Captain James Benwick (Persuasion). This novel will appeal to the curiously insatiable appetites of “Janeites” who wonder, “What was Netherfield Park like when the Bennets were absent?” and “What did the Bingleys do whilst in London?” Previously published in the UK by Accent (2016), Miss Bingley Requests makes her hardcover debut this month.