Mr. Darcy, Vampyre begins with the wedding of the sisters Bennett to their respective husbands, Darcy and Bingley, and then follows Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as they go on their wedding tour. The wedding tour is supposed to be to the Lake District, but Darcy surprises Elizabeth with a wee change in plans -- they will be going to Europe instead. Relations between England and France are currently peaceful and Darcy uses this excuse to justify the change in plans. The real reason has to do with the title of the book which truly does give away the storyline. That is too bad since it would have been more fun to discover that Darcy is a vampyre. So ... now that you know this little tidbit, there isn't a whole lot to tell you since the storyline is all about waiting ... and waiting ... and WAITING for this fact to be revealed to Elizabeth. Really. More than two thirds of the book before SHE FINALLY GETS IT!!!
The atmosphere of the book is alternately sunny, then gloomy, then sunny, then suddenly gloomy. Yes, plenty of back and forthing going on. And of course when the weather and scenery is sunny and pleasant Elizabeth tells herself that the gloom, menacing characters, and howling wolves is really nothing but her imagination run wild and all is truly well with her world.
OK ... something good about the book. Well, the author did a fair job keeping Darcy and Elizabeth consistent with Austen. And I really, really, really liked the descriptions of the masquerade ball with elaborate masks, Venice, and some very colorful characters. Did I mention that there are some colorful characters? I love colorful characters. There is a particular "spooky guy" with mesmeric abilities that quite added to the strange exoticism of the masquerade ball. He had a GREAT mask. The story might be worth it just for that image alone. That and Mme Rousel who reclines on a chaise longue framed by the entrance "like a living portrait." And the Parisian women who "undulate ... across the rooms with the sinuous beauty of snakes." Ah, such decadent images!
All in all Mr. Darcy, Vampyre was a pleasant enough way to spend a couple of afternoons. I think I expected a different story than the one I got though.
I did not put this book on my challenge list, but will count it as one of my reads for the R.I.P. V Challenge.
Venetian Mask photo credit: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net