The Late Mrs. Willoughby: A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mystery (Book 2), by Claudia Gray — A Review

From the desk of Char Jones: 

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.


A Janeite & Rom-Mystery Delight

The author’s first book in the series made me a fan for life. Now the sequel equally compels readers to find a quiet nook where they can devour this newest without interruption. It’s that delicious. 

Beloved & Austen-inspired Characters

What wit, what gripping prose as youthful sleuths Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney re-team to uncover the killer, this time of heinous Willoughby’s wife. I said to myself, “Not a good time to be a Willoughby. Not at all,” as I raced through the pages filled with beloved Austen-inspired characters, eager to learn whodunit. And never in a thousand years did I ever guess …

The most invigorating and interesting experience of Juliet’s life was to be repeated! She would have to pray for forgiveness, taking such delight in circumstances that had proved tragic to another. “I quite agree, Mr. Darcy,” Juliet said. “Let us investigate.”” (87)                  

Neurodivergence: A Sleuth’s Best Asset!

I loved that Jonathan, somewhere on the autism spectrum, puts his different abilities to brilliant use, as Juliet treats him with respect, yet even affection. Their sweet connection adds to the growing mystery as much as the burgeoning clues that lead to …. Gasp! Alas, I can’t reveal more, or I’ll spoil this dazzling puzzle for you, dear reader. 

Wit, Mystery, & Romance

My only wish is that Miss Gray will sally forth with the next book in this addictive series, posthaste, (although you can read Books 1 & 2 solo but why not double your pleasure?). They’re awash in Austen-like wit, mysteries that truly mystify, and the hint of something more for Jonathan and Juliet. Cheerio! 

5 out of 5 Stars


❤️ Jane Austen & Her Dear, Dear Characters

❤️ Wit & Charm & Quirkiness

❤️ Mysteries That Keep You Guessing 

❤️ Series That Leave You Wanting More

❤️ Histfic Tales with Romance Afoot 


  • The Late Mrs. Willoughby: A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mystery (Book 2), by Claudia Gray
  • Vintage Books (May 16, 2023)
  • Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook (400) pages 
  • ISBN: ‎978-0593313831
  • Genre: Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Austenesque


We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Cover image courtesy of Vintage Books, © 2023; text Char Jones, Literary Redhead © 2023,, an Amazon affiliate.

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7 thoughts on “The Late Mrs. Willoughby: A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mystery (Book 2), by Claudia Gray — A Review

Add yours

  1. I, too, liked The Murder of Mr. Wickham, and am looking forward to reading this book. What can I say – I don’t like Mr. Wickham nor do I like Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby so this will be fabulous. I really liked Mr. Darcy and Miss Tinley as sleuths.


  2. I love that they are doing the audiobook again. I also love how Jonathan and Juliet just “work”. I look forward to seeing how their relationship grows.


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