“How unfortunate for public morals that being unladylike feels so… exciting.”
― Claudia Gray, The Murder of Mr. Wickham
Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of author Amy Vincent. Amy has written multiple young adult novels, including the Firebird trilogy, the Constellation trilogy, and the Evernight series. She has also written several Star Wars novels. Her latest novel written under her pseudonym is the one that has captured my interest: The Murder of Mr. Wickham. This book is Claudia’s debut adult historical mystery. It’s a delightful read full of characters from Jane Austen novels.
Mr. Knightley and Emma are happily married and wanting to throw a house party. They have decided to bring together a group of distant relatives and some new acquaintances: Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Marianne and Colonel Brandon, Anne and Captain Wentworh, Fanny and Edmund Bertram, and a couple others. Once the company has assembled at the Knightley’s country estate, they are shocked to discover an interloper: Mr. Wickham. He was not invited, but his arrival coincides with a storm that makes his much wished departure delayed. Wickham’s latest financial scheme has earned him a great number of enemies, quite a few of them at the Knightley’s house party. Tempers flare amongst the guests and secrets are revealed. As the party progresses, many people are heard discussing that they wish Wickham would finally be brought to justice.
What none of them expected though was that Wickham would be found murdered on the estate and that the killer would be one of them! Now almost everyone at the party is a suspect, so two of the youngest guests decide to solve the mystery (after all, they know that neither of them committed this crime). Juliet Tilney, the daughter of Catherine and Henry, is at the Knightley’s estate without her parents and eager to explore beyond Northanger Abbey. Jonathan Darcy is the Darcy’s eldest son with an almost militant adherence to propriety which rivals his father’s. Jonathan and Juliet must set aside their feelings for each other and their mediocre first impressions to discover who the guilty party is hiding amongst the guests.