First Line Friday — The Murder of Mr. Wickham

15 Apr

I am a sucker for Jane Austen knock-offs or variations, as they are often called. When I found out there was a murder mystery with Mr. Wickham as the victim, I said yes, please! Claudia Gray has included a number of Austen’s characters from across her novels in The Murder of Mr. Wickham , and I cannot wait!

Here’s the first line:

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Knightley of Donwell Abbey had been a surprise to those who knew them best and not in the least surprising to those who knew them hardly at all.

A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst. 

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang. 

5 Responses to “First Line Friday — The Murder of Mr. Wickham”

  1. Cindy Davis April 15, 2022 at 12:04 pm #

    That’s an interesting first line. Enjoy! Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

  2. Laurel Ann Nattress April 15, 2022 at 1:19 pm #

    One of literature’s biggest cad meets his demise! This is such a fabulous concept. Thanks for sharing, Beckie.

    • rbclibrary April 16, 2022 at 7:17 am #


  3. Paula Shreckhise April 15, 2022 at 2:18 pm #

    My first line comes from Shadows in a Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp:
    Darkness had long ago swallowed the greyhound bus moving down the road so slow that it might as wrll have been going backwards.

    • rbclibrary April 16, 2022 at 7:17 am #

      I’m reading that now!

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