Sunday, December 5, 2021

Review: Pride, Prejudice, and Peril by Katie Oliver

Pride, Prejudice, and Peril by Katie Oliver
Series: A Jane Austen Tea Society Mystery, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Mystery 
Pride Prejudice and Peril cover
ISBN: 9780593337615
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Phaedra Brighton is perfectly content with her life of lecturing college students, gossiping with her best friends, and dreaming of Mr. Darcy. As a young, respected (if somewhat peculiar) English professor, her expertise lies in all things Jane Austen—but she knows that the closest she'll ever get to being a real-life Elizabeth Bennet is in her dreams.

When Who Wants to Marry Mr. Darcy, a new reality TV show, starts filming at her best friend Charlene's estate, Phaedra is intrigued. And when the producer asks her to lend her Austenian knowledge as a consultant on the show, she's over the moon. But on the first day of filming, when Charlene's new husband is found electrocuted and Charlene herself is accused of the crime, Phaedra comes crashing back to reality.

With murder on the syllabus and her best friend in dire straits, there's no Mr. Darcy around to help Phaedra—she'll have to get to the bottom of this mystery herself.
Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie meets The Bachelor in Pride, Prejudice, and Peril. Perhaps this is a combination that shouldn’t work, but in author Katie Oliver’s hands it does, resulting in an entertaining cozy mystery.

Phaedra Brighton is a professor and Austen expert, perhaps best known for teaching her classes in full Regency wear. She dreams of Mr. Darcy but knows the closest thing to Pride and Prejudice in her real life is her mother pulling a Mrs. Bennet trying to see her daughters wed. When Who Wants to Marry Mr. Darcy, a Jane Austen-inspired reality dating series, starts filming at the estate belonging to her best friend, Charlene, Phaedra is offered the job as consultant. Then during filming Charlene’s husband is murdered and evidence points to his wife as the most likely suspect. Phaedra is determined to clear her friend of suspicion and find the true killer, but as someone who is more Lizzy Bennet than Miss Marple, she’ll have her work cut out for her.

Phaedra is an entertaining heroine with just enough quirkiness to make her stand out. In the usual cozy mystery way, she takes it upon herself to investigate, frustrating the local detective with her interference and putting herself in danger. I liked the nods to Austen Oliver sprinkled throughout the story and – as an admitted Janeite – these tidbits made me smile. Phaedra has a rather extensive list of suspects to choose from during her investigation – the deceased was anything but beloved. It was entertaining watching her put the puzzle pieces together while trying to juggle everything on her plate. Information is doled out as needed in order to keep things going and while I sometimes found the reveals to be inorganic in their delivery, it didn’t pull me out of the story. Phaedra’s family and friends are all interesting and I look forward to learning more about them. All in all, I really liked Pride, Prejudice, and Peril and I’m looking forward to seeing what Phaedra gets up to next!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.