Somewhere in Regency heaven, Jane Austen blesses Carrie Bebris. Not only does Bebris perfectly render Austen's characters and the subtle tone of their relationships, she also captures, in exquisite detail, the Regency period.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy have come to town to chaperone Elizabeth's sister Kitty through her first London season. When Kitty meets the debonair Mr. Dashwood, she tumbles into love. Their romance blooms, with the Darcys' approval, until Dashwood begins to change into someone more like his rakehell ancestor than the gentleman Kitty fell in love with.

Dashwood's descent into depravity is swift and mysterious, and the Darcys are ready to write him off when Elizabeth makes a startling discovery that may explain the young man's actions. Now it's up to the Darcys to right a wrong by dabbling in dangerous, otherworldly things.

Suffice to say, the ingenious plot lives up to the rest of this delightful novel. (Feb., 304 pp., $22.95)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison