A Murder at Rosings
By Annette Purdey Pugh
Published by Honno
What it’s about?
When Mr Collins is found stabbed to death in Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s garden, simmering tensions are revealed beneath the elegant Regency surface of the Rosings estate.
The prime suspect is Mr Bennet, who was overheard arguing with Mr Collins over the entail of Longbourn in the days before the murder was committed – and who
stands to benefit more than anyone from the Rector’s death.
His daughter Mary uncovers a scandalous secret that holds the key to the murder. Can she prove her father’s innocence in time to save him from the gallows?
What I think:
Fans of Jane Austen have probably contemplated the demise of Mr Collins once or twice before! And this book turns his death into a fantastic murder mystery.
Staying true to the characters personalities, the writer crafts a classic whodunnit. The prime suspect is Mr Bennet.
With Mr Collins, wife Charlotte and their growing family settled into the vicarage there is no need for them to move to Longbourn following the death of Mr Bennet. Concerned about the fate of Mrs Bennet and his as yet unmarried daughters, Mr Bennet and Mary come to stay with the Collins family hoping to reach an agreement. Instead Mr Collins and Mr Bennet argue so loudly the whole household can hear.
And when Mr Collins is found dead, stabbed with letter opener from Rosings, Mr Bennet had the most to gain.
What emerges is a twisted story, pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle as the staff and household of Rosings are interviewed.
Despite Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s strict rules and high standards, there is a lot of unsavoury business going on at Rosings, and lots of people have secrets to hide.
What struck me about this book is the power that the more senior staff had. They were literally able to prevent a murder from being investigated by claiming that servants were too busy.
The friendship between Anne de Bourgh and Mary Bennet is really lively and they are natural allies, despite the fact that Lady Catherine is still furious that D’Arcy chose Elizabeth. Both girls have a chance to shine independently of their overbearing families and are far more appealing characters than in the original.
This is a mystery that will keep youbguessing with a cast if characters who are both familiar and completely original. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
About the author:
Annette Purdey Pugh grew up in Flintshire and graduated in English from Lancaster University. In a varied career, she has worked as a medical librarian, an optical assistant, and a milkwoman, bottling and delivering milk for almost twenty years to customers in Ceredigion.
A writer from childhood, she has won awards for her short stories and poetry at the National Eisteddfod of Wales but was inspired to take up her pen more regularly following an Open University course in Creative Writing.
A Murder at Rosings is her first novel, and has its roots in a lifelong love of Jane Austen. She still lives on the family farm in West Wales with her husband and three hundred
Thank you to Honno for the gifted digital copy of A Murder at Rosings and to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this enjoyable blog tour.