Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley by Kelly Miller – Book Review

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley by Kelly Miller – Book Review

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley by Kelly Miller

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley

Author – Kelly Miller
Publisher – Meryton Press
Pages – 242
Released – 9th June 2019
ISBN-13 – 978-1681310329
Format – ebook, paperback
Review by – Julie
Rating – 3.5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


What will the master of Pemberley do when confronted with the mercurial whims of an all-powerful angel?

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s well-ordered life is about to become a chaotic nightmare. A man of fortune, property, and social prominence, he has everything he could desire. Blissfully married to his wife, Elizabeth, they have a two-year-old son. With so much to live for, Darcy is shaken by a near-fatal riding accident. After a miraculous escape, he is visited by an otherworldly being: an angel of death named Graham. Threatening dire consequences, Graham compels Darcy to guide him on a sojourn in the world of mortals.

Darcy immediately questions the angel’s motives when he demands to be a guest at Pemberley. Can he trust Graham’s assurance that no harm will come to his wife and child? And why does Graham insist on spending time with Elizabeth? How can Darcy possibly protect his family from an angel with power over life and death?

In this romantic fantasy, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice must contend with both human and unearthly challenges. Are the fates against them? Or will their extraordinary love conquer all?

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‘Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley’ is an historical novel by American author, Kelly Miller. It is written in the third person and the past tense, with the main characters being well known to Jane Austen fans.

We meet Darcy and Elizabeth after they have been blissfully married for three years and have a small son, Bennet. Their happiness would have come to an abrupt end had it not been for an apparent chance encounter with the enigmatic Mr Graham who saves Darcy from certain death. All this supernatural Samaritan asks in return is to spend a week with the family in their home. What could possibly go wrong? I felt the author had cleverly laid the groundwork for all manner of possibilities.

Darcy is already uneasy about this bizarre arrangement but then his sour, controlling and snobbish aunt, Lady Catherine, arrives with a beautiful companion in tow. As the book develops, more characters join the cast but each have their place in the lives of Darcy and Elizabeth and for anyone unfamiliar with Pride and Prejudice, the author takes care not to overwhelm the reader with names without explanations.

The characterisations are strong and we see the action from the perspectives of several people and I am pleased to note that Kelly Miller hasn’t fallen into the head-hopping trap. Her dialogue is believable for the time in which the book is set and she has created a delightfully pleasant backdrop to her story.

I was anticipating that Graham would spread malevolence and mayhem but in that respect, he proved a bit of a disappointment. Where I’d hoped for discord and havoc, he initiated self-discovery and healing; I wanted more jealousy, more fear, more passion and more confrontation. The closest we came to any of this, was Lady Catherine’s hapless plot but I found her motive a bit thin.

On the other hand, for lovers of a cosy warm romance, albeit with some fantasy thrown in, this book will definitely be a winner. There is no graphic content to offend anyone and if readers have engaged sufficiently with the story, the twist at the end will come as a huge relief.

Whilst I appreciate the work that went into this book and enjoyed its gentle development in parts, I confess to a certain amount of sympathy for those who are uneasy with the concept of pastiche. Kelly Miller is by no means the first author to pen a follow up adventure for the residents of Pemberley and I cannot get away from the fact that Darcy and Elizabeth are synonymous with Jane Austen.

This story gives them a sympathetic outing and devotees of Austen will be better placed than me to judge whether or not it adds anything to their place in historical fiction.

Book Reviewer – Julie

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About the Author

Kelly Miller Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley

When not writing, Kelly Miller spends her free time singing, playing the piano, reading, and working out. Like a much loved Jane Austen character, she is an excellent walker, sometimes to the chagrin of her walking partners. She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.


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15 Responses

  1. Beautifully worded and written review!

  2. DJ Sakata says:

    This is quite an unusual hybrid

  3. Great review! I love the little dog on the cover!

  4. Great review! It sounds like an interesting read.

  5. Stormi says:

    Lovely review. I have mixed feelings about this one.

  6. cynthia reyes says:

    Did you read Death Comes to Pemberley?

  7. Great review Julie, this book looks and sounds very intriguing. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

  8. Thank you, glad you like it.

  9. Thank you, I know, so cute.

  10. Thank you, It really is.

  11. Thank you, I don’t think it is a book that will suit everyone.

  12. No, never heard of it either.

  13. Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

  14. Kathy West says:

    Great review!