I recently finished my first P. D. James novel, which is incidentally a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. A number of friends asked me to let them know how it was, and so I shall:
A basic look at the plot finds Darcy and Elizabeth (several years after their marriage) at home with Jane, Bingley, and a few other house guest on the eve of Lady Anne's ball. To their surprise, a carriage pulls up in the midst of the storm and Lydia falls out shouting that Wickham has been murdered.
I found this story to be exceptionally true to the characters in the well-loved classic. Perhaps more impressive was James' ability to further explore out-workings of previous themes and consequences of former doings.
Language and sexuality were extremely mild. A limited use of "Good God" or "Damn" here and there, and of course the euphemistic references to Wickham and his previous misdeeds.
Violence was a bit more intense, due to the nature of the murder itself, but the death wounds were not described in terribly gross detail.
Some twists in the story will bring about a few deliciously familiar faces.
As a mystery: the plot built steady and then increasing excitement until concluding with an interesting and clear solution to the events which had befallen the inhabitants at Pemberley.
As a novel: this sang. The mystery itself took (for me) a backseat at times to the glorious character development and atmosphere.
I would highly recommend "Death Comes to Pemberley" for any lover of Jane Austen or mystery buff. The beautiful prose makes this book ideal reading for the fall with a cup of tea and a roaring fire.