With this inspiriting notion, her questions increased in number and meaning . . .
How do you pronounce your last name?
"BEB-ris." Short "e" and short "i." Accent on the first syllable. Rhymes with "Tetris." Before I married, I had a simple English surname that nobody had trouble spelling or pronouncing. I miss that sometimes, particularly when addressed as “Carrie Debris.” Ah, the things one does for love.
Do readers need to be familiar with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to enjoy the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries? And must they be read in order of publication?
Familiarity with Austen and/or reading the mysteries in order helps, but isn't essential. Like any sequels, part of my novels' appeal lies in seeing how established characters and relationships grow and develop in response to new events. Knowing more about the characters' histories creates a richer reading experience, and readers familiar with Austen will enjoy catching references from her books. But Pride and Prescience and each of the other mysteries that follow stand on their own. Their plots are self-contained, necessary background details are explained, and the Darcys are a fun couple to spend time with no matter when you meet them.
When is the next Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery coming out?
Book #7, The Suspicion at Sanditon (or the Disappearance of Lady Denham) has just released!
How many Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries will there be?
The series is open-ended. Austen’s works contain no shortage of troublesome characters and interesting plot possibilities—certainly enough to keep the Darcys occupied and readers entertained through more adventures.
Now that you have written six mysteries—one based on each of Austen’s major novels—what will the Darcys do next?
The Darcy’s newest adventure takes place in the village of Sanditon, the setting of a manuscript Jane Austen left unfinished when she died. She left behind a whole cast of characters for me to work with, and it was a pleasure to finally give them a story.
Do all of the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries contain supernatural elements?
The first two books (Pride and Prescience and Suspense and Sensibility) have supernatural elements in them. North by Northanger (#3) and The Suspicion at Sandition (#7) have hints of ghosts, but everything can also be explained by ordinary means so it is left up to the reader to determine whether ghosts are indeed present. There are no supernatural elements in The Matters at Mansfield (mystery #4), The Intrigue at Highbury (#5), or The Deception at Lyme (#6).
Are the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries available in digital format?
Yes! The Darcy Mysteries are available as e-books for a number of different reading devices, including Kindle, Nook, Sony, and Apple.
Are the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries available in audio format?
Yes! Recorded Books publishes The Deception at Lyme unabridged in CD, cassette, and digital Playaway formats. It is a wonderful recording, featuring the vocal talents of actress Leslie Carroll (herself an author of historical fiction and nonfiction) and is a pleasure to listen to even if you have already read the novel. It can be purchased directly from Recorded Books. You might also find it in your local library's collection. If you don't, please encourage your library to add it. If the audiobook version of Deception sells well, it is my hope that audio versions of the other Darcy Mysteries will follow.
Are the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries available in large print?
Unfortunately, none of my books are presently available in large print format, although users of e-book readers can adjust the type to larger sizes. I would love to see traditional large print editions of my novels, and I remain hopeful. If such editions of my books ever do become available, I will post the news on my website and also in my e-newsletter.
What are you working on now?
My next novel! I am afraid I cannot tell you any more about it than that just yet. It’s still early days, and writers are very superstitious creatures (at least, I am). Talking about a work-in-progress too much when it is still in embryonic form eliminates the need to write it. As the book takes shape, I’ll tell you more about it on this website, so revisit from time to time!
Where did the idea for the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery series come from?
From the Darcys themselves. Austen's works lend themselves well to the mystery genre, and as I contemplated the possibility of a mystery series based on Austen's novels, the Darcys emerged as natural protagonists. Though they would never think of themselves as "detectives," Elizabeth and Darcy make a great team when it comes to solving problems and piercing the armor of people they encounter. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth is a sharp observer of human nature and foibles, a witty conversationalist, a woman who relies on her instincts. Darcy, in contrast, is a deductive reasoner and a man who knows how to move about in the world. She predicts her sister's scandalous elopement, and Darcy ferrets out the missing couple. And that was before they got together as a couple—only think what they could accomplish after. But not only do they complement each other intellectually, they have a wonderful dynamic between them that has captivated readers for two centuries. With their signature banter, they are just plain enjoyable to watch, and I thought the opportunity to spend more time with these characters—to see their quick intellect and hear their lively dialogue applied to cooperative endeavors—was too appealing to pass up. I hope readers agree.
Were you intimidated by trying to follow in Jane Austen's literary footsteps?
She has some very devoted fans. I know—I'm one of them! Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel of all time. In writing the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy series, I do not attempt to imitate Austen, as no one could ever duplicate her genius. I try, rather, to be respectful of her creations while telling my own stories. Austen herself read popular novels and defended their value as entertainment; she also amused her family members with hints about what happened to some of her characters after her novels ended. So I like to think she herself might take pleasure in my books.