Author Helen Fielding outrages British fans after excerpts from Mad About the Boy are published in London paper

By Wade Rouse
September 30, 2013 01:00 PM

Did you hear the screams of shock echoing all the way from England yesterday?

If not, then fair warning, Bridget Jones fans: This is a spoiler alert!

Should you wish to be surprised by the plot twists in Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding’s third installment about everyone’s favorite dating, dieting, diary-doodling heroine, then cover your eyes now!

If you’re still reading, be prepared to hyperventilate or have the Kleenex ready:

Darcy is dead! Bridget is a widow!

How are you feeling?

Well, it turns out British fans did not take the news so well after London’s The Sunday Times excerpted the new book.

After waiting 14 years for this new book in the bestselling series, BBC News reported that legions of fans were stunned to learn that the author had killed off the dashing hero leaving Jones a single mother of two.

The revelation was the worst timing ever for Mairi Thomson, who Tweeted, “Saw the news about the Bridget Jones sequel, it comes out on my birthday and Mark Darcy is DEAD!!!! Awful news #birthdayruined”

In the published excerpts, readers learned that Mark Darcy (played by Colin Firth in the movie version) died five years earlier, leaving 51-year-old Bridget (immortalized by Renée Zellweger, who was nominated for an Oscar) with two kids, Mabel and Billy. Bridget is currently dating a boy toy named Roxster as she comes to grips with Darcy’s death.

The plot centers on the debut film script from Bridget – still counting calories and enjoying cigarettes and alcohol – as well as Internet dating. Ex-flame Daniel Cleaver has survived Fielding’s pen and remains a part of Bridget’s life as “naughty godfather” to her children.

All of the buzz, however, is just likely to help sales of the book, which will be published Oct. 15.