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P. D. James to publish Jane Austen murder mystery

23rd September 2011

Crime writer P. D. James has turned her attention to the Jane Austen universe and revealed her next novel will be a murder mystery starring characters from Pride and Prejudice.

The 91-year-old author has set Death Comes to Pemberley six years after the events of Pride and Prejudice and said it will involve the murder of Mr Wickham, throwing the lives of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy into disarray.

James said the chance to 'immerse herself' in Austen's world was irresistible and promised the novel will satisfy fans of the 19th century novelist, as well as the crime writer's own work.

'I have to apologise to Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in a murder investigation but this fusion of my two enthusiasms - for the novels of Jane Austen and for writing detective stories - has given me great pleasure,' James added.

She refused to give away any more plot details about the novel, which will be published in November, though Stephen Page, head of James' publisher Faber, said it is an 'elegant, intelligent and moving' book.

James is not the first writer to bring murder to the Jane Austen universe, with Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 parody novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies bringing chaos to the lives of the Bennet sisters.

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