Title: Silent on the Moor
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Mira (March 1, 2009)
Genre: Romantic suspense / historic fiction / Victorian mystery
Edition: ARC - Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!!
Perfect for : Personal reading, book club read (the book does have discussion questions)
In a nutshell: I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down! This is the third book in the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries, and it may just be my favorite of the three! This book finds Lady Julia and her sister Portia (accompanied by Valerius, one of their brothers) travelling to Nicholas Brisbane's newly acquired estate in Yorkshire. Once there, mystery surrounds the Allenby family who still resides at the estate, and Julia feels that she must stay and help Nicholas get to the bottom of things. The book is wonderfully laced with mystery, and the romance between Julia and Nicholas is the perfect offset to everything sinister! We learn new snippets about Julia's family, as well as Nicholas' family and more about his life in general.
Extended Review: I cannot speak highly enough of this book. I was a little worried that I would be disappointed. I loved the first book, which introduced us to all the main characters, and gave us just a hint of Nicholas Brisbane's past. Then the second book came along, and the first half gave us a brief respite from Brisbane (whom I missed terribly, and felt his absence left a sour note in my mind) while we were introduced to new characters and places. He resurfaces in the second half of the book, when the fascinating play between his relationship and Julia's (and more mysteries) returns! The third book finds Lady Julia and Brisbane working together again (to my great relief!).
In this book, Brisbane has obtained an impoverished estate located on the moors of Yorkshire, along with the surviving Allenby family members. When Lady Julia and her sister Portia arrive to help him organize the household (accompanied by their brother Valerius), they find a run-down estate, a collection of Egyptian artifacts, and they come to realize that Brisbane is linked to the family in some mysterious way.
Along the way, Julia meets Mrs. Butters, who runs the kitchens and the Allenby household. She also meets Rosalie, a gypsy woman who lives in a cottage within the Grimsgrave property. Rosalie has healing talents that come in handy more than once throughout the story, as well as compassion and friendship for Julia.
Characters: Very well-written. We learn a lot more about all of the main characters, and the fun is in learning bits and pieces and trying to put them together as you read!
Story-Line: A wonderful story laced with the perfect mixture of mystery, danger and romance!
Readability: A very enjoyable read. I really liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, which gave just a hint of what was to come!
Overall: A great page-turner filled with mystery and romance.
Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family—the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes….
A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.
About the Author: (from the publisher's site)
A sixth-generation native Texan, Deanna Raybourn grew up in San Antonio, where she met her college sweetheart. She married him on her graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation at the age of twenty-three, she wrote her first novel. After three years as a teacher, Deanna left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time.
Fourteen years and many, many rejections after her first novel, she signed a three-book deal with the MIRA line. "Sex, lies and awesome clothing descriptions" is how one reader has described Deanna's debut novel, Silent in the Grave, published in January 2007. The first in the Silent series, the book follows Lady Julia Grey as she investigates the mysterious death of her husband with the help of enigmatic private inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane. From the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to a Gypsy camp on Hampstead Heath, Silent in the Grave deftly captures the lush ambience of Victorian London.
The series continues with the second book, Silent in the Sanctuary (January 2008), a classic English country house murder mystery with a few twists and turns for Brisbane and Lady Julia along the way.
Deanna is currently plotting her next book from her current home in Virginia. After one too many hot Texas summers, Deanna and her husband packed up their daughter and their Labrador and moved to the mid-Atlantic state, where they enjoy the fall leaves, but deeply miss good Tex-Mex cooking.
Deanna would love to hear from you! Drop by her Web site, where you can sign up for e-mail updates, get the latest tour information and peruse the Blog A Go-Go.
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