Lately I have been feeling the need to diversify my reading habits but I can’t stay away from Elizabeth and Darcy for too long, so I’ve been reading different genres within the Austen universe, such as mystery novels, and The Meryton Murders matched exactly what I was looking for with the usual characters in the same setting but with a different plot.
This book has another advantage, it has an audible version, and with so little time to read and so much time spent in the commutes to and from work, audiobooks have become my best friends! This is to say that my review refers to the audio version of the book narrated by Erin Evans-Walker. Some of you may consider this irrelevant, but those who frequently listen to audiobooks will understand the need to specify the narration of the book. I’ve listened to great books that were ruined by a bad narration, and books that would not capture my attention if it were not for the appealing narration, so the narrator is an aspect I always take into consideration before purchasing an audiobook.
I was very pleased with the narration of Erin Evans-Walker who is now on my list of best narrators. She has a pleasing voice and is perfectly capable of adapting it to male and female characters keeping the narration fluid. Also I believe she truly understood the characters and that understanding is visible in the way she played the characters. I particularly liked the easiness with which she introduces small details such as Elizabeth’s laugh, it made the listening pleasant and appealing.
Erin Evans-Walker is definitely a narrator I will be recommending in the future and I will be looking for more books narrated by her.
The Meryton Murders is a mystery sequel to Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth is called to Meryton by her father to help Jane who seems out of spirits lately. Once she arrives at Meryton Elizabeth starts to understand that Jane’s marital concerns is not the only mystery with several bodies appearing in the neighborhood.
We revisit Austen’s characters in this book and one of the things I liked the most about it was how close the characters were to the ones Austen developed, especially Caroline, Mary and Lydia. Listening to this audiobook I felt transported into Austen’s reality and not as if I was reading a different story. The characters faced different situations, obviously, but they remained exactly as they were in Pride and Prejudice, they were not embellished to make the reader like them more, nor were their negative traits exaggerated, they were perfect, just as Austen wrote them. Caroline and Mary were definitely favourites of mine despite their minor roles. Aunt Phillips is also an interesting character who brought some humor to the story.
The mystery itself felt sometimes slow paced and it took some time for me to be fully engaged in it, but I was happy to see how it all turned out to be connected. I was afraid the author would have too many loose ends to wrap in the end of the book, but that did not happen at all with all events and behaviors falling into place at the right time.
At the end of the audiobook the author explains what she tried to achieve with this book and I consider that a plus. I always like to learn more about authors and the writing process, and knowing Victoria Grossack’s main goals with this book was interesting because after listening to the audiobook I can say she met them in perfection!
I recommend this book to those who want the company of our beloved characters but do not require a romance story. As this is a sequel you will follow the lives of these characters, you will learn their habits and relationship dynamics but you will not find the usual romance, so if you don’t necessary need it, you will enjoy this story.
Erin Evans-Walker would like to offer my readers a chance to listen to The Meryton Murders Audiobook, so she is offering 3 copies of it to those commenting on this post.
The giveaway is international and it ends on the 15th of June. To enter it all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts with us.
Good luck everyone!