In 'Death Comes to Pemberley,' a brisk mystery in Austen-land

October 24, 2014 1:51 PM

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That Jane Austen failed to write a murder-mystery sequel to "Pride and Prejudice" was an oversight remedied in 2011 by P.D. James with her novel "Death Comes to Pemberley." Like "P&P" and many other Austens before it — and many of James' own works, for that matter — that book has been adapted for television. Making its American debut Sunday via the PBS series "Masterpiece Mystery," 201 years after Elizabeth Bennet finally said yes to Mr. Darcy, it's a highly satisfying riff on the original work, as well as a credit to the modern British costume drama.

Pemberley, of course, is the estate of which Elizabeth Bennet became mistress in the last pages of Austen's 1813 original. As James picks up the tale, six years have passed; there's a little Darcy running through the manorial halls; big Darcy (Matthew Rhys, of "The Americans") is less forbidding tha...

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