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Review: Silent in the Grave, Deanna Raybourn

Lady Julia Grey and her husband Edward are giving a dinner party when he is suddenly struck with convulsions.  One of the guests, Nicholas Brisbane, immediately rushes to help, but Edward dies later that night.  Julia is unsure what to think or feel, especially when Nicholas comes to her door claiming that Edward feared for his life and that he may have been murdered.  Julia has heard the coroner’s reports and dismisses Nicholas immediately.  One year later, however, she finds an incriminating piece of evidence suggesting that Brisbane was actually telling the truth.  The trail has gone cold, but she enlists his help to determine whether her husband was murdered and if so, who did it.

I loved this book, from the first word to the last, and usually that only happens with my favorite authors.  I picked it up and simply did not want to put it down, ever again.  I think it’s the way that Raybourn writes, very elegantly, carefully, but with a little twist of humor, exactly how I’d envision a Victorian lady thinking.  Or perhaps it just suits me.  Whatever the combination, I was immediately swept into the book and Julia came to feel like a close friend.

I’m not a huge fan of mysteries, but I definitely felt that this one was well within my comfort range.  I always understood what was happening and why characters reached certain conclusions, but I could never have guessed the ending.  In fact, it’s very cleverly done so that the culprit’s name isn’t said in the scene and I actually thought it was the wrong guy!  I was ready to throw the book across the room until I realized who it was, and then I realized that Deanna Raybourn deserves serious accolades for making it so tricky yet so obvious once you “get it”, because then it all makes perfect sense.  I guess I could just be slow (and indeed I am according to Amazon reviews), but I was genuinely surprised.  I enjoyed all the little side plots and the quirky characters, even the sleazy ones, because they really created an atmosphere for the whole story.

In conclusion, fantastic book.  I adored it.  I want to read it again.  It’s so much fun and so enthralling and it has an edge of cleverness which makes it all come together really well.

Buy Silent In The Grave on Amazon.

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