Suspense and Sensibility: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery

Written by Carrie Bebris
Review by Nina de Angeli

It is a truth universally acknowledged that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Clearly a sincere tribute by a devoted Janeite to the great Austen, this mystery series uses characters from the original novels in newly imagined stories of Regency England, this one set in 1813.

Suspense and Sensibility takes the newly-wed Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to London with their sisters for the social season. Tea parties, balls, and the intrigues of the marriage market occupy them, and they soon become involved with the Dashwood family (borrowed from Sense and Sensibility). Young Henry Dashwood and Elizabeth’s sister Kitty seem destined for each other, until Henry undergoes a drastic personality change. A whiff of supernatural evil emanates from an antique mirror Henry has inherited from his devilishly libertine ancestor. (The ancestor, Sir Francis Dashwood, is loosely based on a real leader of the eighteenth-century Hell Fire Club.) What could explain these bewildering events? The Darcys must investigate. If this tale is more sensibility than suspense, with a slow pace that may cause classic mystery fans to be impatient, other readers will find it a pleasant, light entertainment. Second in series.