Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery
I read this book very soon after its publication, mainly because the storyline appeared to take on a new angle for one of my favorite characters, Colonel Fitzwilliam. As the story begins, we are provided with a glimpse into the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth, who, after four years, are still very much in love. The Darcys are enjoying their shared responsibilities, as the parents of their two young children. Then, the opening scene quickly transitions into the story’s central plot, where Darcy receives a note from Yadkin Hall, apprising him that all is not well between Georgiana and her husband. It is revealed that Georgiana’s husband, Major General Edward Fitzwilliam, has left his family, leaving behind more questions than answers. Begrudgingly, Darcy, along with his family, leave for Oxfordshire, in a quest to not only locate Colonel Fitzwilliam, but to support Darcy’s troubled sister.
Once the Darcys arrive at Yadkin Hall, Darcy gathers all the clues that he can regarding Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disappearance, as he sets off to London to devise a plan to locate his cousin. As he calls upon his former associate, Mr. Cowan, they put together a strategy to not only bring Colonel Fitzwilliam back to his family, but to also uncover the root of the colonel’s anxieties. But once Colonel Fitzwilliam returns to his family, he finds himself accused of two murders that have occurred while the colonel was wandering alone, suffering the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Now, the colonel, and his family, find themselves in an uphill battle, as they work to fight against the British court system, to prove the colonel’s innocence. Yet, the real catch is, does the colonel, along with his family, really believe he didn’t commit these horrific murders?
As the mystery unfolds, we witness the various problems within Georgiana and the colonel’s marriage. Since the colonel has shielded Georgiana from many of his confidences and concerns throughout the past several years, their marriage hasn’t developed the deep connection or the level of comfort achieved by the Darcys’ marriage. Not only does this revelation bring unrest to Darcy, but it nearly unhinges Georgiana’s marriage, as she fights with all of her courage to save her husband, as she attempts to help the colonel prove his innocence to himself and to the courts.
I loved Georgiana’s character in this book, especially the way Mrs. Jeffers has developed her as a strong, mature woman, who wants to be both her husband’s wife and confidant. Her relationship with Elizabeth continues to serve as a source of strength for Georgiana, which was also well-developed throughout the story. Watching Darcy struggle as both her brother and her former guardian, adds another nice dimension to these characters’ interactions, as I love to witness Darcy grapple with his control “issues,” especially in these new circumstances.
This book combines the characters of “Pride and Prejudice,” within a historical mystery, that also deals with the serious concerns surrounding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mrs. Jeffers presents the workings of British Common Law during the early 1800s, as Colonel Fitzwilliam serves as his own attorney, presenting his case in an effort to uncover the truth. As we follow along through the twists and turns of this mystery, we are treated to an engaging read, filled with suspense, romance and just enough action to keep us guessing until the very end of the story.
It was wonderful to spend time with the Darcys and see how parenthood has deepened their bonds. I loved the ever-adorable interactions with their son, Bennet, the young Darcy heir, who is being raised in Darcy’s footsteps to become a responsible and proper English gentleman. However, I did struggle with some of the cloying dialogue between Darcy and Elizabeth, because for me, it felt somewhat unnatural and forced at times. Yet, this was the only point of contention for me as I read this entire book.
As we know, Jane Austen didn’t include many details about the Napoleonic Wars in her six published novels; yet, this war lasted most of her adult life and had numerous ramifications for all of Europe. As we recognize our veterans this week, it’s vital to remember that although their bravery and sacrifices have been tremendous, their struggles due to serving as soldiers, can have significant repercussions for themselves, as well as for their love ones.
To bring awareness about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mrs. Jeffers has included the information below:
Please also see the link below to view the Pinterest Board dedicated to this book, which includes additional information surrounding the historical inspirations for this book:
You can purchase this book at the links below:
Regina Jeffers has generously offered to have us provide two Just Jane 1813 readers with a copy of this ebook. To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment about a JAFF mystery you recommend for our readers. All recommendations should be recorded in the comments section of this post by November 18th. The two winners of this giveaway will be announced on this blog on November 19th.
I would like to thank Mrs. Jeffers for writing such a gripping “Pride and Prejudice” sequel, while allowing us to enjoy a compelling historical fiction mystery. I also want to thank her for her generosity with this giveaway, as well as taking the time to gift our readers with her insightful interview, which is also being posted today on this blog.