When Murder and Mr. Darcy Mix: Top 5 Reasons to Watch Death Comes to Pemberley

Last night, like so many Jane Austen fans across the country, I tuned in to watch Masterpiece’s mini-series version of Death Comes to Pemberley.

Ok, I did a little more than “tune in.”

Death Comes to Pemberley


Yes. Yes, that is me watching the show, following the live tweet stream,
and texting my sister about it all at the same time. 

I need 2 more hands and maybe a Go Pro to capture the real magic of this moment. 


The PBS movie is based on the bestselling book, Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James. And it’s written as a sequel to the happily ever after ending in Pride and Prejudice by my girl, Jane Austen.

Lizzie Bennett is now married and mistress of Pemberley. She and Darcy have one son. And the day before they are to throw a grand ball, Lizzie’s compulsive little sister, Lydia, shows up screaming bloody murder. A search party finds the body of one former militia man, Denny, DEAD in the woods. And the leading suspect? None other than Derbyshire’s King cad, George Wickham.

Much to their disappointment, Lizzie and Darcy now find themselves pulled back into the reckless life of Wickham.

It’s murder and mayhem with a dash of Mr. Darcy! 

Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy and Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth Darcy 

The Twitter feed following the first episode was alive with comparisons of P.D. James’s book and Jane Austen’s. Everything from the cast to the costumes was scrutinized, and for the most part applauded. I did laugh out loud when for a brief minute, the hashtag #FreeWickham started trending.

Five Reasons to Watch Death Comes to Pemberley

1) Reunite With All Your Favorite Characters

They’re all back. Lizzie. Mr. Darcy. Lizzie’s parents. Jane.

2) Reunite With All Your LEAST Favorite Characters

Lydia is a big part of this murder mystery, as it is her husband, the sleazy George Wickham who is suspected of committing the crime. Twitter fans raved over Jenna Coleman’s portrayal of the selfish, whiney Lydia. She is still selfish beyond compare. And Wickham is still deceitful and anything but a gentleman. But, is he a murderer?

3) Return to Pemberley 

The set of Pemberley and the rooms inside were well constructed to match that of the previous books and films we’ve come to adore. An English manor set in the countryside full of the finest china and most beautiful sunrooms. The costumes are exquisite. Darcy is still strapping as ever. Lizzie is handsome in egg shell blue gowns. Even Wickham, in his redcoat regimentals, has the ladies of Twitter still swooning – it helps that he’s played by Matthew Goode.

4) Experience the Gothic Version of Pride and Prejudice

The cinematography of the show is quite stunning. From wide open green spaces to haunted woods with scraggly trees, to mist covered mansions, and ghost stories! P.D. James’s version of Pemberley seems to be taking a nod from the Bronte sisters’ love for gothic literature. Or from Ms. Austen herself, with her earlier work, Northanger Abbey.

5) Find out MORE about the Lizzie and Darcy love story!

Yes, there’s a happily ever after, but that isn’t the end of the tale. Both Lizzie and Mr. Darcy still struggle with their pride and prejudice. And there are secrets Darcy hasn’t yet told. Can Lizzie reconcile the damage her family has once again caused their social standing? So many new questions!

The second, and final, episode of Death Comes to Pemberley is set to air on November 2nd, 8pm CST. Join in to witness how Wickham’s trial for murder goes. If he’s found guilty, he will hang.

Did you tune in this week?

16 responses

  1. Good timing as I just rewatched the series.
    I don’t like the idea of Wickham as a murderer.
    To me he changed a lot from what he was before the book. Yes, he’s still very sly and makes bad choices. But a murderer? No, I don’t think so. I fear this spin-off will make the characters too much like how we remember them and not so much how they actually are, making them more stereotypical.
    Anyway, i’ll have to watch. Mr Bingley returns ❤

    1. I think that’s a fair concern. Lydia is quite despicable as the selfish younger sister, but people loved her!

      Are you a bigger Bingley fan over Darcy? Do tell!

      1. Yet Lydia is the most modern of the girls. She is merely high-spirited and wants to try all her options. She’s struggling to fit into the very tiny box society of the late 1700/early 1800 put women in. She’s actually an early feminist and though she’s silly and ought to play her cards better that’s still pretty brave.

        For myself I’d definitely prefer Bingley. He is a happy man and would fit well with my own gloomy self.
        Darcy is an awesome character but I think women swooning over him forget a few facts: He fits with LIZZY, not EVERY woman.
        Have you watched “stuck in austen” or whatever that mini series was called where she stumbled through a wardrobe and ended up in Pride and Prejudice?
        Well, in the end, of course, all the men in the series fall in love with her and she ends up with Darcy.
        But I really doubt that would happen to any of us.
        The great thing about Jane Austen’s books is that the characters feel REAL. They have opinions and modes of reaction, which means that you can’t impose most fantasies on them without seriously altering their character.

        So while, yes, I sigh and cheer every time Coling Firth is on the screen and says something awesome, it’s mostly because “YAY, HE LOOKED AT LIZZY, HE LOOKED AT LIZZY” than “omg, Mr. Darcy so fine.”
        Does that make sense? X)

        Viewing Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley as actual characters I know my own temper would match Bingley much better.
        And the way he struggles to make everyone feel good is so cute.

        1. Fascinating! You’ve given me a new viewpoint. And OF COURSE I’ve seen LOST IN AUSTEN! It’s kind of a weird one, but I own it anyway. You should try to see the Pride and Prejudice movie version from the 90’s starring Kam Heskin! It’s a trip!

          1. Never heard of that one! 😀 Will give it a try. Hopefully it’s better than the one with Keria Knightley. One of my friends describes the newest movie as “a quick fix when you don’t have time for the real deal” X)

  2. That was such a good book! I’m a PD James fan anyhow, so seeing “Death” on PBS last night was a fun way to relive the book.

    1. Ooh you’ll have to join the twitter chats next time! Lots of fans discussing the genre mixing and characterization. I now have the book on my to read list!

  3. Okay…I love Pride and Prejudice. I just added the book to my kindle wish list. Is this a new series that just started this past Sunday?

    1. The book has been out roughly a year by mystery writer whodunnit guru, P.D. James. I added it to my Christmas list! The series is only 2 parts and already on sale on Amazon! I think it must’ve released in the UK earlier. Part 2 airs next sunday! Join in!

  4. Sorry, the only Austen I’m familiar with is the capital of Texas…and that one has an I. But I respect and admire your dedication, and gotta say based on that first picture, you’re hard core, Jess!

    1. My love for Jane Austen is true and unwavering. 😀

  5. As you know, I did not tune in. Ack! Now it’s catch up time. And I didn’t know that this story was broken into parts. So I best get busy. But I am a true blue Pride and Prejudice girl, so no problem. And I love Anna Maxwell. If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t she in P and P with Colin Firth? I know she’s been in several period pieces. And so has Matthew Rhys. Then there’s Matthew Goode. Okay, I’m sold. Thanks for perking my interest girl. 🙂

    1. I know Anna played Cassandra, Jane Austen’s sister in Becoming Jane. I’ll admit I see her more in that role than as Lizzie, but I’m willing to suspend belief for now. Let me know when you’ve caught up!

  6. I read about the series in the newspaper and then forgot to watch it. Best characters in a book, EVER! Thanks for the review.

    1. Tune in next week! The second half is all about Wickham’s trial!

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