Thursday, October 9, 2008

Silent in the Grave (A Lady Julia Grey Mystery, Book 1)

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (2007)

Pages: 509

ISBN: 0778324109

Description: These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection. Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

Prepared to accept that Edward's death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret wen she discovers the damming paper for herself, and realizes that truth.

Determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues than lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.

Review: The novel opens with a house party at the Grey's London home. Sir Edward Grey begins to convulse on the floor and shortly after, dies. Lady Julia is faced with the death of her husband and the questions of Nicholas Brisbane. Brisbane believes there has been foul play, but Julia is convinced that it was just a natural death. After a year passes, Lady Julia begins to discover more about her husband and comes to believe that there may be more to her husband's death. She enlists the assistance of Brisbane and enters a deadly game of cat and mouse.

From the very first paragraph I was intrigued with this story. The writing was fantastic and it was obvious that Raybourn did much research. You felt with every page that you were in Victorian London following Lady Julia trying to discover the truth. This novel will appeal to both historical fiction and mystery fans alike. A must read.

Score: 4 out of 5

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