Blog Tour (#giftedbook): The Late Mrs. Willoughby

I am thrilled to be the blog tour stop today for Claudia Gray’s newest book, The Late Mrs. Willoughby! I adored Gray’s first book in this Austen-inspired mystery series, The Murder of Mr. Wickham, and was so excited to read this second in the series. Read on for the synopsis and my thoughts! 🙂


The suspenseful sequel to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, which sees Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney reunited, and with another mystery to solve: the dreadful poisoning of the scoundrel Willoughby’s new wife.

Catherine and Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey are not entirely pleased to be sending their eligible young daughter Juliet out into the world again: the last house party she attended, at the home of the Knightleys, involved a murder—which Juliet helped solve. Particularly concerning is that she intends to visit her new friend Marianne Brandon, who’s returned home to Devonshire shrouded in fresh scandal—made more potent by the news that her former suitor, the rakish Mr. Willoughby, intends to take up residence at his local estate with his new bride.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley are thrilled that their eldest son, Jonathan—who, like his father, has not always been the most socially adept—has been invited to stay with his former schoolmate, John Willoughby. Jonathan himself is decidedly less taken with the notion of having to spend extended time under the roof of his old bully, but that all changes when he finds himself reunited with his fellow amateur sleuth, the radiant Miss Tilney. And when shortly thereafter, Willoughby’s new wife—whom he married for her fortune—dies horribly at the party meant to welcome her to town.

With rumors flying and Marianne—known to be both unstable and previously jilted by the dead woman’s newly made widower—under increased suspicion, Jonathan and Juliet must team up once more to uncover the murderer. But as they collect clues and close in on suspects, eerie incidents suggest that the killer may strike again, and that the pair are in far graver danger than they or their families could imagine.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this follow-up to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, and the return of amateur sleuths Juliet Tilney and Jonathan Darcy. Juliet is once again charming as a young woman who wants to question, explore, and use her wits in a time when women are not encouraged to do so. If Jonathan was around today, he would probably be considered neurodivergent, and I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to feel so different in a time that does not celebrate difference. I think Gray has treated his character with care and love.

While the setting of the first book was in Emma’s world, this one is set in Marianne and Elinor’s world. Is it too much to hope that we will get a book in this series set in each of Austen’s books’s setting? Did that sentence make sense? Whatever. I loved the intrigue that came with Marianne, her husband Colonel Brandon, Willoughby, his new wife, AND the young woman Willoughby fathered a child with all living in the same area. The drama!

As the title suggests, a murder occurs, and I want to tell you that I guessed the murderer early…but while I did, I also suspected many others in quick succession so it still came as *somewhat* of a surprise when revealed. The investigation is a bit all over the place, but I was satisfied with how the mystery wrapped up.

Complaints? This story felt a bit slow-going in some areas, the beginning especially. While probably historically accurate, it definitely felt like it was just a lot of walking between houses for a while. Also…as a sucker for romance, I absolutely wanted more romance between Juliet and Jonathan. I really just wanted more interaction between Juliet and Jonathan. There was individual pining, but we got so many sweet, exciting moments between the two of them in book one, and I had hoped that would progress in this book? While in a way, each one’s understanding of her/his own feelings towards the other (eventualllyyyy) becomes clearer, I just wanted more.

Overall, if you are a fan of Jane Austen, historical mysteries, etc, I would recommend! Do read The Murder of Mr. Wickham first, though.

Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline, and Jane Austen-inspired series, A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mysteries. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 


Purchase links:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s