Monday, May 29, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Late Mrs. Willoughby

Title:   The Murder of Mr. Wickham
Author:  Claudia Gray
Series:  Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney #1
Publisher:  Vintage Books
Genre:   Historical Fiction/Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:   386
Date of Publication:   May 3, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars


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

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a house party, 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. The unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.


George Wickham is a fictional character created by Jane Austen and features in Pride and Prejudice. One of these days I will read Jane Austen, but since I have not, Mr. Wickham was a new character to me. With the aid of Google, I was quickly able to ascertain that he was not well liked.

So, what about this book, The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray? I am pleased to say that despite this lack of prior knowledge of this character I was able to truly enjoy reading the first book in her new series. 

The setting of this book is a house party and the hosts are the newly married Mr. Knightley and Emma, and the guests are those who are familiar to Jane Austen's novels. Although uninvited, Mr. Wickham joins the house party, and he is among his enemies. It should not come to any surprise that he turns up murdered. Since it is a house party, everyone indeed is a suspect, So two of the guests, young Juliet Tilney and Jonathan Darcy take it upon themselves to solve the mystery of Mr. Wickham's murder. What a great start to a new series - new characters to me, familiar characters to Jane Austen fans.

The story was intriguing, but especially the epilogue. I love that each of the guests/characters had their brief assessment of everything that went on. Although I went right on to the second book in this series, The Late Mrs. Willoughby, I definitely plan on reading Ms. Austen's novels before the third book in Gray's series is released.

Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

***Featured Blog Tour Review***

Title:   The Late Mrs. Willoughby
Author:  Claudia Gray
Series:  Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney #2
Vintage Books
Genre:   Historical Fiction/Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:   400
Date of Publication:   May 16, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars   


The suspenseful sequel to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, which sees Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney reunited, and with another mystery to solve: the dreadful poisoning of the scoundrel Willoughby's new wife.

Catherine and Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey are not entirely pleased to be sending their eligible young daughter Juliet out into the world again: the last house party she attended, at the home of the Knightleys, involved a murder—which Juliet helped solve. Particularly concerning is that she intends to visit her new friend Marianne Brandon, who's returned home to Devonshire shrouded in fresh scandal—made more potent by the news that her former suitor, the rakish Mr. Willoughby, intends to take up residence at his local estate with his new bride.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley are thrilled that their eldest son, Jonathan—who, like his father, has not always been the most socially adept—has been invited to stay with his former schoolmate, John Willoughby. Jonathan himself is decidedly less taken with the notion of having to spend extended time under the roof of his old bully, but that all changes when he finds himself reunited with his fellow amateur sleuth, the radiant Miss Tilney. And when shortly thereafter, Willoughby's new wife—whom he married for her fortune—dies horribly at the party meant to welcome her to town.

With rumors flying and Marianne—known to be both unstable and previously jilted by the dead woman's newly made widower—under increased suspicion, Jonathan and Juliet must team up once more to uncover the murderer. But as they collect clues and close in on suspects, eerie incidents suggest that the killer may strike again, and that the pair are in far graver danger than they or their families could imagine.


  • “An absolute page-turner full of well-plotted mystery and hints of simmering romance.... More of the Jane Austen characters we love (as well as those we love to hate).” —Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo

  • ”Gray makes her endearing leads’ sleuthing both plausible and entertaining while evoking the wit and feel of Austen’s classic novels. Admirers of P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley will be delighted.” Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

  • ”Absolutely delightful! Fans of Jane Austen and historical mysteries will fall in love with this series. Gray remains true to Austen’s style and intent for her beloved characters while still adding her own spin on them and their progeny—one that is both refreshing and absorbing. I’m already looking forward to the next installment.” —Anna Lee Huber, USA Today bestselling author of the Lady Darby series





I was pleasantly introduced to Jane Austen's characters by reading The Murder or Mr. Wickham prior to reading this second book in Claudia Gray's series. As stated in my review of the first title, I definitely plan on taking the time to finally getting around to reading Austen's novels - definitely long overdue.

After successful solving the murder of the despicable Mr. Wickham at a house party, Miss Juliet Tilney and Mr. Jonathan Darcy had no idea if they would be able to continue their acquaintance and see one another again. No worries, because they are again in attendance together as guests at another party, and before long a guest, Mrs. Willoughby, is poisoned, and the young pair do their best to find the person responsible.

I love this pair of young people. It is Regency England and propriety must be honored, but they are rather ingenious at finding time to put their heads together to solve the mysteries they encounter. 

This second book in Claudia Gray's series was a true delight. I love the misdirection when it came to trying to find out how and why Mrs. Willoughby was poisoned. It was great to see Juliet and Jonathan continue their friendship while also honing their investigative skills. I cannot wait to see what else this young pair will get into in the future. 
Many thanks to Vintage, AustenProse PR and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline, and Jane Austen-inspired series, A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mysteries. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 


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