by Deanna Raybourn
Series: Lady Julia Grey #2
Publication Date: December 26, 2007
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Mystery
After the longest, driest reading month of my life it was wonderful to fall into this book and lose myself in the story. I had read Silent in the Grave before leaving for holiday back in May and enjoyed it so much I searched out and ordered the rest of the books in the series, but none of them arrived before I left, leaving me with a feeling of unmet anticipation. Luckily, the sense of anticipation prevailed upon my return. More fortunately, the story held up and didn’t disappoint.
Lady Julia, after recovering from events in the first book by spending 6 months in Italy with her brothers, is summoned home for Christmas by her father; ostensibly because one of those brothers married without permission. Of course that had nothing to do with why they were all summoned home, but it does get the story moving.
I loved Julia’s eccentric, dry-witted family from the moment I met them in Silent in the Grave, so I was thrilled this one took place in the bosom of the family asylum, so to speak. Almost all the key players from book 1 are here, including Brisbane of course, dragging behind him his own contribution to the story’s drama. The humor in these books is never central to the writing, but it’s subtly woven through the dialogue and often sneaks up on me. Lady Julia feels (to me, so take this with a grain of salt) appropriate to the time period while being just a little bit shocking, too. Brisbane is often an ass, but Julia get’s his goat often enough that I don’t hate him.
More than a couple of plots in this one, most of which don’t get sorted out until 2/3 of the way through and I think each was rather competently done – the murder itself included quite a twist that delightfully surprised me.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one and immediately started reading the 3rd book, Silent on the Moor.