Saturday, March 10, 2007
Silent in the Grave
Raybourn, Deanna. Silent in the Grave. Raybourn's first novel is a success in my book. I mentioned a few days ago that I was enjoying it--and so I did, right to the end. A fast-paced Victorian mystery with some interesting twists and turns. There are some flaws, some characters who could have used a bit more fleshing out and whose backstories appear interesting but too brief, but the novel is a wonderful bit of fun.
Always fond of the historical mystery, I enjoyed the details associated with Victorian mourning and other social conventions Raybourn, an English and history major, includes. While Lady Julia Grey is not the typical Victorian lady-- she repeatedly asserts that she wants to be conventional. It amusing to see the contrast between what Julia says and what Julia does.
The novel opens with the line: "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." And we're off!
When Nicholas Brisbane first suggests that her husband was murdered, Lady Julia shrugs off the idea -- her husband had always suffered from a weak heart, the family physician accepted the heart disease as cause of death. A year later, Julia discovers a clue that sends her back to Brisbane . Determined to discover her husband's murderer, she decides to participate in the investigation.
Silent in the Grave is difficult to put down and a pleasure to pick up. To make things even better, Raybourne is working on her next novel, and I couldn't be more eager to find out what Julia, her eccentric family, her servants and friends (love Fleur) will get up to next.
Fiction. Mystery. 509 pages. 2007