The Intrigue at Highbury: Or, Emma's Match
by Carrie Bebris
Cover Artist: Teresa Fasolino
Review by Gayle Surrette
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765318480
Date: 02 March 2010 List Price $22.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The Intrigue at Highbury or, Emma's Match by Carrie Bebris is, in my opinion, the best of the series so far. Building on the characters and events of Emma, Bebris created a credible and convoluted mystery that not only entertains but manages to echo traits and characteristics of the characters from the original book. What's not to like?
The story opens when the Darcy's, on their way to visit Colonel & Ann Fitzwilliam, are waylaid by a damsel in distress. While dealing with the damsel, they are robbed and the damsel disappears. This happens just outside of Highgate where they had expected to spend the night. Receiving the name of the local magistrate, Mr. Knightley, they call on him to report the robbery. Mr. Knightley is agitated as that very evening a guest had died at a dinner party of a potential poisoning. Once Mr. Knightley learns that the Darcys have solved previous crimes, the game is afoot -- not only to solve the robbery but the poisoning.
There are some new characters introduced and most of the characters from Emma play a part in the drama as it unfolds. Emma is just as quick to think she knows what's best for everyone and who should make a good match for marriage. Mrs. Bates is just as talkative and just as kind-hearted. Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax are finally married and Mr. Knightley is just as suspicious as he was in Emma of Frank's incredible good luck. The Reverend and Mrs. Elton are as officious as ever and quick to judge and pass on gossip.
The mystery is truly a challenge for the Darcys as they are not acquainted with the potential suspects, which is exactly why Mr. Knightly asked for their help. However, Bebris plays fair with the reader and all the clues are available. To solve the crime, everyone has to put aside their prejudice and preconceptions and look only at what is before them.
Once again Bebris has given us a follow-on that delights, and a mystery that intrigues. They Darcys have changed and grown closer and more attuned to each other as time has passed but they indeed suit each other.
If you enjoy continuations for the characters of Jane Austen's works, you could hardly go wrong with Carrie Bebris' Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries.