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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
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I remember looking at this in the bookstore on the basis of that first sentence. I am grateful that you reviewed this as I'm much more apt to go and track it back down now.ReplyDelete
Jill - That first sentence is startling, isn't it? I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's that first sentence that grabbed me as well. I'm not usually drawn to modern Victorian novels, but I think I'm going to have to give this one a go.ReplyDelete
Jenclair, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. I just really must not have been in the mood for it when I picked it up. I can't explain it any other way, as it sounds very good. I may try it again.ReplyDelete
BSR - You are right about the mood being important. I was just finishing Palace Walk when I started Silent in the Grave and was in the mood for something light and fun (with women who were independent)! Palace Walk had me so disturbed about women who contribute to their own subjugation that seeing Julia refuse to conform was a positive pleasure.ReplyDelete
I've had my eye on this book for a while. So glad to hear you liked it! It's definitely on my list.ReplyDelete
This sounds like just the type of book I would love. Thanks for the great review. Am adding it to the ever-growing list.ReplyDelete
iliana - It was a fast read!ReplyDelete
booklogged - We like several of the same series so I think you'd enjoy it!
This sounds good! I will have to look for it at the library!ReplyDelete
Oh this one sounds really good!!!ReplyDelete
Danielle & Suzi- It was just the thing after Palace Walk, a perfect contrast.ReplyDelete
I loved this book! Her word crafting was delicious! I loved it when the author stated of the men in the Grey family, "they will not make old bones." The voice in her writing was a pleasure. And isn't the cover spectacular?!? That was another piece of art!ReplyDelete
Inside - And the contrast between the March family with all its eccentrics and delicious names! I'm looking forward to the next installment...ReplyDelete