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The Phantom of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery by Regina Jeffers is a Historical Fiction/Romance Event pick #historicalmystery #mustread #giveaway



Title:

The Phantom of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery

 

Author:

Regina Jeffers

 

Genre:

classic historical fiction; historical cozy mystery; fiction mystery cozy; Regency historical tales; romantic suspense; adaptation; pastiche fiction, vagary, variation, classic romance fiction

 

Book Blurb:

 

HAPPILY MARRIED for over a year and more in love than ever, Darcy and Elizabeth can’t imagine anything interrupting their bliss-filled days. Then an intense snowstorm strands a group of travelers at Pemberley, and terrifying accidents and mysterious deaths begin to plague the manor. Everyone seems convinced it is the work of a phantom—a Shadow Man who is haunting the Darcy family’s grand estate.

 

Darcy and Elizabeth believe the truth is much more menacing and someone is attempting to murder them. But Pemberley is filled with family guests as well, as the unexpected travelers—any one of whom could be the culprit—so unraveling the mystery of the murderer’s identity forces the newlyweds to trust each other first and last and to work together.


Written in the style of the era and including Austen’s romantic playfulness and sardonic humor, this suspense-packed sequel to Pride and Prejudice recasts Darcy and Elizabeth as a husband-and-wife detective team who must solve the mystery at Pemberley and catch the murderer—before it’s too late.

 

The Phantom of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery  

 

2010 SOLA’s Fifth Annual Dixie Kane Memorial Awards, 3rd Place, Romantic Suspense

 

2023 San Francisco Book Awards, Honorable Mention in General Fiction

 

2023 International Book Awards, Finalist in Mystery/Suspense

 

Excerpt:

 

Slowly, Darcy trudged up the stairs. He hated the disorder surrounding him at the moment. Maybe Mr. Nathan is correct. Maybe a curse besets this household.

 

In the middle of the night, a light but persistent tapping brought Darcy to his wife’s bedchamber door. He almost expected to see Georgiana huddled in the dimly lit hallway—perhaps her nightmares had returned. Finding his cousin took him by surprise.

 

“Anne,” he whispered, attempting to allow Elizabeth to go back to sleep. “What is amiss?”

 

Tears ran down his cousin’s cheeks. “Please come,” she pleaded. “It is Mildred. She is very ill. I cannot ... I cannot lose her.”

 

“Allow me—” he began, but then Elizabeth slipped his shirt into his hand. “Lead the way,” he indicated, pulling the shirt over his head as they hurried through the hallway.

 

He heard Elizabeth behind them. When she turned the servants’ staircase, he intuitively knew she sought Mrs. Reynolds for medical help. He followed Anne to Mildred Jenkinson’s small room. The woman’s gaunt figure thrashed about in pain. Darcy rushed over to steady her, making certain her violent movements did not cause her to fall from the raised mattress.

 

“Light more candles, Anne,” he ordered as he touched the woman’s head, checking for a fever. “She is cool and damp to the touch. Bring a cloth and some water.” Darcy took the woman’s shoulders and repositioned her in bed.

 

Mrs. Reynolds, followed by Elizabeth, appeared. Both women were wearing muslin gowns and robes, with their hair in long braids down their backs. He often considered how his housekeeper had taken on the role of Elizabeth’s mother some time ago, but this image solidified his thoughts. Mrs. Reynolds pushed him from the way so she could examine the woman. “Tell me what you know of her illness,” she demanded. She touched Mrs. Jenkinson’s stomach, and the woman recoiled in pain. “She has a tenderness in her lower abdomen.”

 

“Mildred ate so little at supper,” Anne barely whispered as she came to the bed’s end. She handed Darcy the water bowl and the cloth. “She said she did not feel well; we thought maybe she had taken an ague, being out in the cold so long today.” Elizabeth moved beside Anne, sliding an arm around the woman’s waist to offer both physical and emotional support. “She took a tray in her room, saying she was chilled.” Anne caught the post for support, swaying in place. “Mildred never complains, so I knew she was not well; I kept checking on her. She has been experiencing stomach pains for several hours. I came for you, Fitzwilliam, when she brought up her meal in the chamber pot I held for her.”

 

Darcy moved to where he could see the pot. He knew from his parents’ final illnesses that the contents of one’s stomach provided clues to the illness. The yellowish tint of the congealed liquid in the pot told him that his cousin’s companion suffered greatly. Mrs. Jenkinson’s body shook with pain. “If I did not know better,” Mrs. Reynolds spoke for Darcy’s ears alone, “I would suspect cholera. I saw cases of it when I was a mere child, and this woman shows all the signs.”

 

He shook his head in denial, and the woman who had served him for six and twenty years swallowed her words. “Let us try some warm barley water to settle her stomach. Mrs. Darcy, will you ask Mrs. Thompson to send up some barley water and mayhap some peppermint or ginger?”

 

Elizabeth nodded and rushed from the room. Mrs. Jenkinson’s eyes flew open in terror. She fought to reach the edge of the bed. Darcy brought the pot to her as Mrs. Reynolds supported the woman’s body. Mildred Jenkinson retched repeatedly—her body convulsing. Blood and saliva seeped from the corners of her mouth; however, nothing but dry heaves came from her efforts. “Rest now,” Mrs. Reynolds whispered as she gently pushed the woman back against the pillows.

 

“Anne, come closer ... my girl.” The hoarseness of the lady’s voice caused Anne to tear up again, but she went to sit by her only friend. With much difficulty, the woman offered Anne peace. “I will ... see my ... husband and baby girl soon.”

 

“No!” Anne pleaded, grasping the woman’s hand in hers, kissing it gently.

 

 “Find your heart ... my girl ... allow love ... to guide you.” A paroxysm shook the woman—and then a shudder as she collapsed in her final peace. Mildred Jenkinson breathed her last.

 

Moments later, Elizabeth rushed into the room to discover a terrible tableau. Mrs. Jenkinson lay lifeless on the bed, with a sobbing Anne de Bourgh lying across the woman’s body. Mrs. Reynolds stood with her face buried in Darcy’s shoulder as he lightly stroked the woman’s hair. Elizabeth gasped and froze like the others for a brief moment before she took charge. “Come, Anne,” she said and pulled her husband’s cousin into her embrace. “Permit me to see you away from here.”

 

His wife’s voice brought Darcy out of his trance. He turned Mrs. Reynolds in his arms before catching Elizabeth’s eye. His wife mouthed “Georgiana,” and he nodded his agreement. He would not entrust Anne to her mother’s care this evening. Lady Catherine could not offer the compassion his cousin required.

 

“Mrs. Reynolds,” he set the woman away from him, “find Mr. Nathan. Move Mrs. Jenkinson’s body to the other wing. I do not want it where it might remind my cousin of her loss. It is too cold and the ground too frozen to bury the lady right away. Clean this room from top to bottom in case of disease, although I do not suspect any such condition exists here. We should move Miss de Bourgh to other quarters and assign someone to be with her at all times.”

 

“Yes, Mr. Darcy.” She wiped her eyes on her gown’s sleeve.

 

“I will want to speak to everyone in the morning. Set up the main drawing room. We must reach the bottom of this madness, including the missing items, Miss Darcy’s visitor, Miss Donnel’s fall, a phantom footman, and now this.”

 

Mrs. Reynolds frowned in puzzlement. “Do you suspect foul play? Not at Pemberley, sir!”

 

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” he murmured as he pulled the sheet up to cover Mrs. Jenkinson’s face.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 

 

 

Audible (Virtual Voice Narration) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CXJJTJ7F

 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

The characters are ones of which are all likely to be familiar, but the circumstances have changed. It does not hurt when those characters are strong and relatable. Add to that, the element of mystery, a vividly depicted setting to add depth to the story telling, and a deep connection to various “players” in the tale. All these combine to carry the “who dunnit” to a satisfying ending.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs March 21 – April 2, 2024.

 

Winner will be drawn on April 3, 2024.

 


Author Biography:

 

Regina Jeffers writes books about corsets, rakes, daring heroines, dashing heroes and all aspects of the Georgian/Regency era. She is an award winning author of cozy mysteries, historical romantic suspense, and Austenesque vagaries. Jeffers has been a Smithsonian presenter and Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, as well as having her tales honored by, among others, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the Frank Yerby Award for Fiction, the International Digital Awards, and the Chanticleer International Book Award.

 

Social Media Links:

 

Every Woman Dreams (Blog)  https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com

Always Austen (Group Blog) https://alwaysausten.com/

1 Comment


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Mar 27

Thank you, Regina, for sharing your book in our Historical Fiction/Romance Bookish Event!

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