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by P.D. James. Read by Sheila Mitchell

1*

A murder drama, by PD James no less, set in the world of Jane Austen, and the victim one of Pride and Prejudice’s most ambiguous characters, a man with a past and a veritable hoard of people with motive.

It all sounds ripe for a cracking good drama, but this is a dreadful, plodding, stodgy, slow piece of work! The characters do not shine, they bear little resemblance to the originals; the language used – in description and the character’s interminable, dreary dialogue – tries hard to sound like Austen, but lacks the required wit and sparkle and becomes mere pastiche.

The worst of it is that it’s so terribly boring! My attention was constantly drifting, so that I kept losing track of the plot – which, as it turned out, was so unimaginative and predictable, it hardly mattered that I’d missed bits here and there (when I fell asleep) – in fact, bedtime is about the only time I would recommend anyone attempt to listen to this, it is so very soporific. It should have a warning on the box: not recommended when driving or using heavy machinery.

There is fanfic out there which is 1000 times better written than this, and it’s free. I’d recommend any Austen fan looking for sequels and prequels to go out and find some and not to waste their money on these CDs.

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