Monday, February 22, 2010
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Title: Silent in the Grave
Author: Deanna Raybourn
ISBN: 9780778325246, Mira, 2007
Genre: Historical mystery, #1 Lady Julia Grey mystery
First Line: To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate.
London, 1886. Unbeknownest to his wife, Julia, Sir Edward Grey has received death threats and hired private enquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane to protect him. It was action undertaken too late.
Lady Julia believes that her husband's death is due to a longstanding illness, and she's outraged when Brisbane calls with the information that her husband was probably poisoned. However, after reflection, Julia sees the truth behind Brisbane's assertions, and she's determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice.
When Silent in the Grave was first published, I heard raves about it. As usual when a book receives so much praise, I decided to wait a while before reading it. Three years have passed, and I've read it with mixed reactions.
I enjoyed Raybourn's depiction of Victorian England and her characterizations-- particularly of Julia and Brisbane. I enjoyed watching Julia decide to use her widowhood to spread her wings a bit and find out who she really was. I applauded her choice to use her background of belonging to an eccentric family to go against the status quo.
What I didn't enjoy was the plot and the book's length. From certain characters' behavior, it was all too easy to deduce the identity of the killer. I came within an eyelash of skipping to the end to see if I was right, but I didn't. It took over 500 pages to tell this story when no more than 300 would have done a proper job of it.
I would like to see how Julia and Brisbane get along in the other books in the series, but I have to admit that I'm not in any real hurry to do so. I don't care how long a book is if it holds my interest. Julia and Brisbane just weren't enough to make Silent in the Grave a completely satisfying cup of tea.
[Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.]
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.