(ABC News) -- Bridget Jones fans are outraged over a shocking spoiler in the new installment in the Bridget Jones series: one of the most beloved characters, Mark Darcy, is dead and Jones is now a widow.
In author Helen Fielding's upcoming third book, "Mad About The Boy," excerpts of which were published by the U.K.'s Sunday Times Magazine on Sept. 29, readers get a glimpse at Jones' life after losing Darcy.
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"Why didn't I just stay as I was. Sad, lonely, workless, sexless ….but at least a mother, a widow, and faithful to their… Faithful to their father," the excerpt reads.
It's been over a decade since Bridget Jones fans saw the endearing spinster finally find love and settle down with the charming Mark Darcy, and presumably live happily ever after (until now).
Bridget Jones became a cult phenomenon with the first two novels selling 15 million copies worldwide. The film adaptation, starring Renee Zellweger as Jones and Colin Firth as Darcy, grossed over $500 million at the box office.
Fans took to social media to lament the news of Darcy's death.
"Won't read it if he dies!!!!" fan Stefanie Cantzler wrote on the Bridget Jones fan page on Facebook.
"Gutted but will soldier on and read the book. Poor Bridget!" Edith Sinclair commented.
Is killing off Darcy at the expense of fan outrage really a good idea? Experts say that the spoiler has jump-started publicity for the book, which is out on Oct. 10.
Jones' next chapter explores her life as a single mom, now in her fifties, with two children, Mabel and Billy.
"Bridget's now basically trying not to lose the children by checking Twitter followers while they're up a tree, that kind of thing," the author explained in June at the Book Expo of America.
Another new saga that fans can look forward to is Jones' reported romance with a 30-year-old boyfriend, Roxter, that she met on Twitter.
It has long been believed that Jones' character is loosely based on Fielding herself - a theory she has denied. Like the heroine, Fielding is also in her fifties, a mom, and newly single - though her ex didn't die.
"She is older," Fielding said at the Expo of Jones. "So the same way I was looking at the problems of being single at thirty-something, now I'm looking at being older."