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WesternSFA
The Intrigue at Highbury
Tor, $13.99, 317pp
Release Date: August 2, 2011
The Deception at Lyme
Tor, $22.99, 303pp
Release Date: September 27, 2011
both by Carrie Bebris

The Intrigue at Highbury is the fifth novel in the Mr & Mrs Darcy Mystery series and is based on Jane Austen’s Emma.

The Darcys are heading for a visit with friends when a damsel, apparently in distress, first stops their coach and then disappears into the night along with their possessions. Once they arrive at their friend’s house Mr. Knightley and his new wife, the former Miss Emma Woodhouse (the heroine of Jane Austen's Emma), things turn darker. While the Knightlys are hosting a party to celebrate the wedding of their friends, the groom’s uncle is murdered. The Darcys and the Knightlys join forces to solve the murder and discover that the murder and the robbery may be connected.

The Deception at Lyme is the sixth book in the series and is based on Persuasion

The Darcys visit Lyme, a seaside resort, for a holiday and a bit of family business. Mr. Darcy’s cousin, a Navy lieutenant, has died in action and Darcy must collect his personal effects. While there they stumbled across a body at the base of the Cobb who turns out to be a Mrs Clay, a woman with a sordid past which includes a child. The existence of the child is a threat to several society men. So the question becomes - did she fall or was she pushed?

Then Darcy finds evidence his cousin might have been murdered so he allies with Captain Frederick Wentworth (from Austen’s Persuasion) to examine the circumstances of his cousin’s death.

Carrie Berbis’ Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mysteries are loosely based on Jane Austen’s six Regency Era novels and feature newlyweds Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as reluctant detectives who become involved in various mysteries surrounding their friends and family.

Confession time, I never read the Jane Austen novels these characters originated in, but, that said, while there are probably some nuances or background I am missing, on their own these mysteries are delightful period mysteries guaranteed to hold the interest of both Jane Austen fans and fans of cozy mysteries. I intend to look for the first four in the series. Highly recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

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