Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price ~ 416 pages ~ published April 5, 2022 by HarperCollins
When eighteen-year-old aspiring scientist Elinor Dashwood discovers her beloved father slumped over the desk of his office study, she knows his death means dire straits for the Dashwood women. To make matters worse, an outdated will entails his estate—including Norland & Company, the private investigation firm where her younger sister Marianne worked as her father’s partner and protégé—to their half-brother and his haughty wife, who waste no time in forcing the Dashwoods out of their home and into a cramped apartment on London’s Barton Street.
But before they go, the Dashwood sisters make a startling discovery that points to foul play, and the killer might be family.
Obviously, the girls must investigate. It could be dangerous; it could ruin their reputations; and most importantly, it won’t bring back their father. But if the Dashwood sisters can combine their talents and bring their father’s murderer to justice, it may bring them all some comfort—and it might even lead to love.
What I Thought:
*I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you so much to NetGalley and HarperCollins for this ARC!*
If you know me, you know I love Jane Austen. The concept of this book was incredibly intriguing to me, and I’m happy to say that I feel it was done very well!
I really enjoyed that this was a retelling that was done during the same era as the original story. I feel like most Austen retellings I have read have been modernized, which I enjoy, but it was nice to see it done this way. I liked that the setting was changed slightly in that it was entirely set in London, rather than having the Dashwood ladies move off to the sea side, as was done in the original story. It made sense in the context of this story, so I was happy with the change.
I felt that Price did a great job keeping the spirit of the original characters intact. Elinor was still the sensible sister, and I felt that her working in the sciences made perfect sense for her as a character. I really enjoyed that Marianne was still the sister that made spur of the moment decisions and followed her feelings to a fault, while also trying to solve a murder mystery. Margaret was a wonderful, spunky little sister, just as she was in the original story. Making Brandon a surgeon and Edward a lawyer were also great choices based on their original characters.
I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book. I will say, I figured out who did it fairly early on, but there were still some surprises along the way. I loved getting to see these characters that I love working in professions that were not typically held by females at the time. It was done so well, and made me smile to see the Dashwood sisters embracing ‘girl power’. 😉
I am now super pumped to read the other books in this series and see how Price does with retelling Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. I really enjoyed this book!
I gave Sense and Second-Degree Murder 4 Stars!
Are you interested in learning more about this book/series? Check out the links below!
Have you read Jane Austen’s original story, Sense and Sensibility? How do you feel this compared? What do you think about retellings? Do you think you will pick up any other books from this series? Let’s chat in the comments!
Love and happy reading,