Revisit Austen's characters and solve a crime... The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray (Review) #MurderWickham @ClaudiaGray @VintageAnchor #AustenprosePR

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review of this fun Austen twist below...

The Murder of Mr. Wickham
By Claudia Gray
Adult Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Austenesque
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook,  Pages
May 3, 2022 by Vintage


A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen's Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.

Advance Praise

“Had Jane Austen sat down to write a country house murder mystery, this is exactly the book she would have written. Devotees of Austen’s timeless novels will get the greatest possible pleasure from this wonderful book. Immense fun and beautifully observed. Delicious!” —Alexander McCall Smith

“What a splendid conceit! . . . Gray provides plenty of backstory and enough depth to her characters that even those who mix up their Pride and Prejudice with their Sense and Sensibility will delight in the Agatha Christie–style mystery. . . . There’s so much fun to be had in this reimagined Austen world—and the mystery is so strong—that one can only hope, dear reader, that more books will follow.” —Ilene Cooper, Booklist (starred review)

“[An] enchanting mystery. . . . Gray perfectly captures the personalities of Austen’s beloved characters. This is a real treat for Austenites.” —Publishers Weekly

“Who would NOT want to read a book in which one of literature’s most notorious rakes meets his final demise? . . . A delightful Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen romp.” —Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

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My Review

THE MURDER OF MR. WICKHAM is a story for Austen lovers who finally get to see the downfall of the villain from Pride and Prejudice. Full of most of Austen's beloved couples who come together at a house party and get stuck there due to Mr. Wickham's murder. What ensues is a bit of drama, hilarity, anger, friendship and love.

I really enjoyed getting to fall back into Austen's world with so many of her characters all together in one place. It was interesting seeing how they interacted as couples years after their original stories had ended (for most of them), as well as with each other. I have to say that my favorites were the Darcies and Knightleys as well as the two young adults who are included in the party. I also thought it was interesting how the Darcies' son was characterized. It was unusual but appreciated as it's so rare to have representation for someone who might be on the spectrum in a book like this. Bravo to the author for how Jonathan Darcy was portrayed and her handle on all the different characters. Not once did I feel they fell flat or blended together. They each stood out in their own way with their own complex situations and emotions. The writing was also done nicely, immersing me in this world.

Beyond the characters, I also enjoyed the mystery in this story. We see things much as the characters do and as Jonathan and Juliet do as they try to piece everything together. I really love it when I experience a story and the author does a fantastic job with this. As a reader, I got to see and feel what all these characters did about Wickham and also what occurred. This is definitely more cozy than intense mystery, but I enjoyed that it was as well. It was honestly quite fun.

I also had a few issues with the story. Maybe more of annoyances. I think the characters felt a bit too much the same at times as they were years earlier, except not all the time (Darcy didn't seem quite as confident and decisive). I wanted to see more of how they had developed and changed over time, including in their relationships. I think Fanny and Edmund from Mansfield Park, and then Frederick from Persuasion (whose wife is Anne) were the characters who most frustrated me because they felt like they hadn't changed, or in Frederick's case had become very illogical and uncontrolled which felt counter to his personality. I also would have loved a touch more romance between some characters, such as a sweet kiss or two.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a genuinely fun story to read! Definitely would recommend to Austen fans who would love revisiting these characters and have a bit of a mystery thrown in as well. Looking forward to more from this author in this same vein, such as another story involving Jonathan and Juliet (hint, hint).

Content: Some innuendo and violence, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through the tour hose, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs.

Are you an Austen fan? Would you enjoy stepping back in to see how the characters are fairing after their stories have ended?

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