Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £19.99

Buy Now for £19.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Two great literary minds - master of suspense P.D. James and literary icon Jane Austen - come together in Death Comes to Pemberley, a bestselling historical crime fiction tribute to Pride and Prejudice. Conjuring the world of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and combining the trappings of Regency society with a classic murder mystery, James creates a delightful new story that will intrigue any fan of Jane Austen.

The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband Bingley live nearby and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, the guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham - Elizabeth's younger, unreliable sister - stumbles out screaming that her husband, George Wickham, has been murdered.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen, P.D. James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice. Combining Austen's characters with her own signature excitement and suspense, James has crafted a brilliant crime story. Death Comes to Pemberley is a distinguished work of fiction, from one of the best-loved writers of our time, and was adapted as a miniseries by the BBC in 2013, starring Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin, and Matthew Goode.

©2011 P.D. James (P)2014 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"P.D. James has recreated the world of Jane Austen magnificently." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Dazzling...a book that combines the grace of Jane Austen with the pace of a thriller...as good as anything P.D. James has written and that is very high praise indeed." ( Sunday Express)
"An elegantly gauged homage to Austen and an exhilarating tribute to the inexhaustible vitality of James's imagination." ( Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Death Comes to Pemberley

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    120
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    115
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    95
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's ok

Not a particularly well written book. Way too much 'Elizabeth said and 'Darcy said' and not enough of a feeling of actual conversation. She messes about with the timeline of things and also there's a glaring error when it's revealed the Colonel Fitzwilliam apparently knew nothing of the particulars of Georgiana's and Wickham's element which is important in Pride and Prejudice.

If you don't like the characters you already love being messed with then don't bother.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KH
  • 26-11-20

excellent story

I really love this story but the narrator just did not work for me. If it was not for the fact that already knew the story I would have given up. As it was I had to re-wind several times as I either switched off or fell asleep.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

This was spoilt for me by the retelling of chunks of Pride and Prejudice. It made the actual story quite thin. So probably excellent for those who don’t already know P&P well.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

James is right it was great for any Austin fan to catch up with Elizabeth and Darcy. Interesting plot. Will definitely be coming back to it again.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So irritating and disappointing!

I realise I should have read the Amazon reviews before I bought this audiobook as all of the ones I've just glanced at say exactly what I feel about this book. Unfortunately, in the audiobook version we also have to grit our teeth through the narration. There seems to be a current trend for narrators to half whisper the words adding totally meaningless stresses to at least one word in every sentence as if to create a sense of suspense or drama. It doesn't work. If that is a trend you have also noticed and it irritates you, I'm afraid this narrator is to be avoided.
I'm only a third of the way though this book but I already feel myself struggling on to see how it turns out. I don't think the denouement will be a surprise.
As for the Austen characters, they seem to relate so little to the original it feels more like laziness on the part of the author who couldn't be bothered to invent a back story for new characters. Such a shame.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A good concept that doesn't quite hit the mark

Probably the only time I will admit that the TV adaptation was better. This is no Jane Austen. There is a lot of overly described scenes with large chunks of Pride and Predjudice repeated. You do not really get to see much from Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, there is no real building upon their characters. In the TV Adaptation Elizabeth becomes the real detective rather than just an extra character to the story. As an audio book it does not work. Conversations do not flow as they are continually interrupted with " he said".

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

oh so dreary

I expected soooooo much better from P D James, whose novels are usually so intelligent and captivating. But this contrived continuation of Pride and Prejudice never gets off the ground. Whoever had the brilliant idea of trying to tie two genres together (especially when one is brilliant social commentary and the other is brilliant detective fiction, set in different centuries to boot) should have kept it to him- or herself. James uses every cliche in the book to move her story along, including the risible "stood rooted to the ground", and. her characters utterly fail to come alive in any sense. I slogged along to about halfway and then lost any interest I might have had in whodunnit. The story is not helped by a monotonous narrator who pauses irritatingly at every comma and doesn't make much effort to distinguish between different voices.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Poor Jane Austen. Poor Jane Austen!

Unconvincing, badly written characters and plot bookended by Fanfic summary of Pride and Prejudice.Only finished it because I couldn't believe it could be so poor.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Jane Austen would be proud!

Hard to believe that miss Austen didn't write this! I had held off reading this as I love Pride and Prejudice and thought reading this might somehow spoil it for me. How wrong I was! This sequel has simply enriched my attachment for Miss Austen's characters.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ok

I enjoy reading Jane Austen and P D James so this should have appealed to me. The story seemed to ramble about with no purpose, especially at the end, and the characters were unrecognisable. Nice idea but should have remained unwritten.

1 person found this helpful