Suspense and Sensibility or, First Impressions Revisited: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries)
by Carrie Bebris
Cover Artist: Teresa Fasolino
Review by Gayle Surrette
Forge Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765318442
Date: 30 October 2007 List Price $12.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Kitty, to her very material advantage, spent the chief of her time with her two elder sisters. In society so superior to what she had generally known, her improvement was great. She was not of so ungovernable a temper as Lydia; and, removed from the influence of Lydia's example, she became, by proper attention and management, less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid.While Suspense and Sensibility is subtitled "Or, First Impressions Revisited", this is very much about Kitty. While Mr. & Mrs. Darcy are front and center, gathering clues and trying to find an explanation and an acceptable ending to this mystery, we do get to learn just how much Kitty has changed due to the calming, knowledgeable, and direct influence of her older sisters. As readers we now have a chance to see the Kitty who could have been if not for Lydia's influence in the absence of either of her parents taking a hand except to over ride the advice of her older sisters. Darcy has agreed to assist Kitty with a season in London and he takes his position in society and his agreement to see Kitty well settled seriously. So, when Kitty gives her heart -- it's up to the Darcy's to decide if her choice is acceptable and reciprocal.
Bebris does a wonderful job in not only bring the characters to life, but also in maintaining the qualities of personality and integrity that made them live for us beyond the covers of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The mysteries usually revolve around some sort of event that on the surface seems to have a mundane explanation; however, the mystery can also have a supernatural explanation. Darcy, of course, favors the rational or intellectual explanation of events. Elizabeth, while understanding the logical rational explanation, can't help but wonder if perhaps more is involved than meets the eye.
So, the book builds tension between these two methods as they do all in their power to help the people they care about and positively interact with, from making errors that could impact others. That Bebris pulls this off admirably while keeping the reader entertained, not overstepping the boundaries of the time period, or flouting Jane Austen canon.
If you've ever wondered what happened after Darcy and Elizabeth married and you like mysteries, especially those with just a touch of the supernatural, give Suspense and Sensibility a try.