The Matters At Mansfield

Written by Carrie Bebris
Review by Janette King

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Aunt Catherine is up to her manipulative best, but Elizabeth Darcy is determined that Aunt Catherine’s daughter, Anne de Bourgh, be spared the constant presence of her mother long enough to enjoy a turn around the dance floor at Riveton Hall. Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s small kindness leads to some rather dire consequences.

The Matters at Mansfield is the fourth book in the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery series. This delightful novel is set two years after the marriage between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Since situations and characters in this series are primarily based on those in Jane Austen’s novels, here we see characters Anne de Bourgh of Pride and Prejudice falling in love with Mansfield Park’s rogue, Henry Crawford.

Carrie Bebris’s style, replete with humor, is reminiscent of the Austen narratives, though with a slightly easier, contemporary feel. My favorite witty lines come in a series of dialogues where Aunt Catherine gets her comeuppance courtesy of a rather common young woman called Meg. For a mystery, it’s good, but The Matters at Mansfield’s real strength is the fusion of the Austen elements in a relaxed way. Nothing stuffy about this period novel! It’s a fun book to read.