Good Afternoon everyone,
After having received Kelly Miller at From Pemberley to Milton in the beginning of the month with the cover reveal of her latest book, Accusing Mr. Darcy, I am very happy to welcome her once more today with an excerpt and a giveaway. I am currently listening to the audiobook of Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match which has some interesting twists (never seen a Wickham behave like that), but I am very curious about both Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley (which by the way is currently on sale for 0,99$), and Accusing Mr. Darcy. I believe these two books will differ from canon in a very interesting way, and they got me curious. The excerpt we are sharing today, however, is as closest to canon as you can get, and is everything one wants to read in JAFF, I hope you like it as much as I did 🙂
Thank you for visiting again Kelly, and thank you for organizing the tour Janet 🙂
Could Fitzwilliam Darcy harbour a shocking, sinister secret?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet count themselves among the many guests of the Kendall family, whose estate lies amidst the picturesque hills, gorges, and rocky slopes of the Peak District in Derbyshire. Elizabeth’s cousin Rose Kendall believes her dashing brother-in-law, Captain James Kendall, is Elizabeth’s ideal match. Rose’s husband, Nicholas, hopes his good friend Darcy—a rich, proud, and taciturn gentleman with a spotless reputation—will fancy one of the other eligible lady guests.
News of a brutal killing at a neighbouring estate sends a wave of shock through the genial group of friends and family. When one of the Kendalls’ guests is attacked, all of the gentlemen become suspects, but the former Bow Street runner tasked with investigating the crime finds the evidence against Mr. Darcy particularly compelling.
In this romantic mystery, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice cross paths with a ruthless killer. When faced with dire warnings against Mr. Darcy, will Elizabeth heed them or follow the dictates of her heart?
You can find Accusing Mr. Darcy at:
This excerpt takes place the morning after Elizabeth Bennet’s arrival to her cousin Rose Kendall’s estate and is in Elizabeth’s point of view.
The footman who opened the door for Elizabeth received a greeting and a cheery smile as she passed over the threshold. She took the stone steps two at a time and veered left when she reached the bottom. She had a particular destination in mind: Rose had described a path that followed the river for half a mile before diverting through a forest of oaks and winding up the crest of a hill. On her morning jaunts in Hertfordshire, she tended to walk at a swift rate; for this reason she went unaccompanied whenever possible. While walking with a companion had its advantages, it invariably required a more moderate speed than she preferred.
As she assumed her usual rapid pace, an immediate rise of her spirits followed. The exhausting monotony and confinement of the three-day journey had been a trial, so she welcomed the opportunity to stretch her legs at last.
Elizabeth froze, and her contented smile evaporated. The voice was unmistakable. Of all people, of all times—why did he interfere with her walk? As his footsteps drew nearer, her promise to Rose came to the forefront of her mind. Damn! She would be polite and make her escape as soon as possible. With a controlled breath, she spun around and spoke with affected cheer. “Good morning, Mr. Darcy.”
The gentleman reached her with a few extended strides of his long legs. He had not been visible when she walked by. He must have been hidden by one of the trees along the river. “Good morning, Miss Bennet. It seems you formed the same notion as myself. I thought to walk before breakfast. Shall we proceed together?”
She floundered. Her usual adroitness at producing plausible excuses or witty repartee at a moment’s notice failed her. In the absence of a polite way to decline his offer, her jaw stiffened. “I must warn you that most people who agree to accompany me on my morning walk end by bowing out. Despite my slight stature, I prefer to move at a quick pace and can maintain it for a long time.”
Mr. Darcy’s lips edged up. “I shall take my chances. I believe I shall manage to keep up.”
She blinked at the gentleman whose smile transformed his countenance. He had never smiled so in her presence before. Despite his unpleasant disposition, his appeal could not be denied, and a contented expression rendered him remarkably handsome—the handsomest man of her acquaintance. Well, she would make the best of the situation. At least she would not be required to slow her pace, and Mr. Darcy was not apt to talk overmuch.
Precluding any further discourse that might delay the activity, Elizabeth resumed walking. Mr. Darcy’s visage revealed surprise, but he required no more than a few steps to reach her and match her velocity. While it did not surprise her that a man of his height could maintain her stride with ease, in her experience most gentlemen would much rather ride a horse.
True to form, Mr. Darcy did not engage her in much conversation although he pointed out several objects of note as they progressed. When they strode past the river, he informed her of the animal life therein and indicated several spots ideal for fishing. He even persuaded her to stop and view a group of turtles sunning themselves on a log. At her exclamation that she had never seen turtles before, he explained how they came to be there: an uncle of Mr. Duncan Kendall had been a Navy Admiral and had brought a group of them back from a trip to Spain, presenting them to the then ten-year-old Duncan Kendall as a gift. Thus, Elizabeth benefitted from Mr. Darcy’s knowledge of the estate, attained during his many previous visits.
The path took a circuitous course up a hill, and Elizabeth exerted herself to maintain her previous speed. Walks from her house at Longbourn to the top of Oakham Mount each morning had inured her to such activity. Although her breathing accelerated, she maintained an unruffled presence. More than once, Mr. Darcy directed glances at her with his eyes flared in either alarm or disbelief. Although the gentleman maintained his position at her side, the heaving of his breath became audible and a sheen of sweat appeared upon his temple.
By the time they reached the top of the hill, Elizabeth, too, perspired a bit, but she had energy to spare, having been invigorated from the exercise. She continued to a clearing that provided a prospect of the house, the gardens she had walked through with Miss Darcy the day before, and the River Wye. Although she anticipated exploring other areas of the estate in the days and weeks to come, she would return to this spot during her stay. The summit was a similar distance and elevation to Oakham Mount and provided stunning views.
Elizabeth’s gaze landed upon Mr. Darcy, standing at her side. His breathing, though still audible, had slowed. He wiped his forehead and temples with a handkerchief.
Her lips formed a wry smile. “I hope I did not tire you overmuch. Near my estate in Hertfordshire, I take a path similar to this each morning. It is an exhilarating way to start the day.”
Mr. Darcy laughed.
The euphonic sound—unexpected from such a man—made her start and set off a peculiar agitation in her empty stomach.
Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.
Accusing Mr. Darcy is her third novel published by Meryton Press. Her previous books are: Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy; and Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic variation.
Kelly’s blog page is found at www.kellymiller.merytonpress.com, her Twitter handle is @kellyrei007, Instagram: kelly.miller.author, and she is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Kelly.Miller
Want to know more about this book? There is still time 🙂
Good Luck everyone!