About the Book
Title: The Murder of Mr. Wickham
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Austen-esque
Publisher: Vintage (May 3, 2022)
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.
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.
I absolutely loved every minute spent in this story. The Murder of Mr. Wickham is an excellent read and I want more! Please, Ms. Gray, write more of these fantastic Mysteries. There is so much to love about this book. I am blown away by the amount of dedicated research Ms. Gray did for this story. It is beyond obvious that she is a huge Austen fan for sure, but the research she had to do to make sure all the timelines and character interactions work seamlessly is totally impressive. I love how she perfectly captures each Austen character’s unique personality and quirks, yet they feel fresh and uniquely Ms. Gray’s creations.
The Murder of Mr. Wickham is ultimately a story about relationships. It is a look at couplings and how we relate to our significant others — the pitfalls and miscommunications of the newly married, the testing of firm foundations by life’s unexpected hardships in established marriages, and the foibles and insecurities of potential new love. In this story, we get a taste of it all, and I really loved it. It made me think on the many stages of my relationship with my husband. There are issues that come up in this story that made me grateful that Robert and I are not newlyweds or newly dating anymore! So grateful we are the established relationship that we are today. It took a lot of work to get to where we’re at in our relationship — we had to overcome some serious obstacles in the early days of our marriage that could have easily broken us if we had let them. And that is one of the many themes in this novel: real relationships take work. It’s about spending quality time with each other, accepting the things you cannot change about your circumstances and/or one another, loving your person’s quirks and uniquenesses because that’s how God made him/her, admitting when you are wrong and asking for forgiveness, and fighting the battles life throws at you together. It’s about being a united front always. I love how Wickham’s murder becomes the vehicle for change in each character. They are forced to take a good, hard, honest look at who they are as individuals and as they are in their couplings. And the murder gets characters to admit to needing to make necessary changes, to opening lines of communication that had never been opened before or that had been broken by past events, and to forgiving and making new, better plans for their futures. Who knew a murder could be so cathartic?! 😉
I could go on and on with this review. This book is SO good it lends itself to be discussed at great length. But I don’t want to spoil a thing. So, purchase a copy of this magnificent book today. I had so much fun immersing myself into this world and I know you will, too!
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, via AustenProse PR and NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.