Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Book Review Club: Lady Julia Grey Mysteries


To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.

In SILENT IN THE GRAVE, Lady Julia Grey literally meets Brisbane over her husband's dying body. Brisbane informs Julia her husband may have been poisoned, but she refuses to believe him. Edward's death brings the large and mostly eccentric March family down on her en masse, including her Lesbian sister Portia with her obnoxious, flatulent pug, and The Ghoul, an aging aunt whose mission in life is to comfort the bereaved and make sure they observe the elaborate rituals of Victorian mourning.

Nicholas Brisbane is a private enquiry agent (19th c. PI) with a mysterious past. Almost a year after the death, Julia finds a threatening note sent to Edward and begs Brisbane to re-open his investigation. He refuses, as the trail is now cold, but she eventually talks him into it, appointing herself his partner, much to his dismay. He knows she isn't prepared for the dangers of the business and tries to protect her from herself, but she has had a taste of freedom and refuses to go back into her gilded cage.

I came across this bundle of three books at Amazon for the incredible price of $9.99 total and bought it immediately for my Kindle. Before I knew it, I had devoured all three books in no time at all, even though they are not short books. It's fun to watch Julia change from conventional Victorian widow to amateur sleuth and daring conspirator. Her family is delightful, esp. in the second book SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY when they gather for a very unusual Christmas celebration, marred by murder.

Nicholas Brisbane is a fascinating character: sexy and mysterious, a dangerous man with a soft spot for the lovely Julia. He's an intriguing combination of Sherlock Holmes' brilliance, including his skill with a violin, Heathcliff's wildness, and Rhett Butler's dark good looks and bad boy attitude. In SILENT ON THE MOOR, we finally learn more about his mysterious background. (There are definite Gothic overtones to this one.) The romance takes a back seat to the mysteries, and it takes all three books for Julia to bring Brisbane to heel, though it's clear he will never be tamed. Recommended.

Raybourn is a Rita winner for SILENT IN THE GRAVE (Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements)


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@Barrie Summy


Barrie said...

That line alone would entice me to read one of these books. Is it the opening line? It's great!!! Thanks for reviewing.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Barrie, yes, that's the opening line and it's a doozie!

Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly! Sounds fascinating!

Ellen Booraem said...

Hoo boy, these sound wonderful. Like Barrie, you definitely had me at the opening quotation. I'll look for these...thanks!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I am a HUGE fan of Deanna Raybourn and the Lady Julia Grey series. I have THE DARK ENQUIRY waiting on my Kindle right now... :)

Glad you found her (and at such a great deal!)

Linda McLaughlin said...

Kathy and Ellen, glad I was able to catch your attention. I doubt you'll be sorry if you read the series.

Alyssa, I just finished DARK ROAD TO DARJEELING and THE DARK ENQUIRY is next.

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Jeff Rivera said...

I'm not a huge fan of Deanna Raybourn but after reading the blurb I should say that it is indeed interesting. Nice cover too! Great job on the blurb!