Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

I was completely misled in thinking this novel by Deanna Raybourn was a typical historical romance offering simply because I knew that the publisher, Mira, is an imprint of Harlequin. But I was completely enthralled in this mystery debut. At their own dinner party, Lady Julia Grey’s husband, Edward, dies a sudden and not so unexpected death. A weakening heart condition had Lady Grey prepared for the eventuality of his death but not for the doubts of a private inquiry agent, Nicholas Brisbane. It is only after a year’s worth of accumulating suspicion that Lady Grey engages the services of Mr. Brisbane into the possible murder of her husband. The year has given Julia time to emerge from her repressive marriage and slowly grow stronger in self sense of self and she is determined to assist Nicholas. They are at constant odds with each other leading to a tremendous amount of romantic tension. But, instead of romance being the focus of the story, the search for Edward’s killer takes center stage leading Julia into a sordid and dark world. The historical detail, strong characters and at times, the almost gothic overtones proved to make for a strong storyline. I shall definitely put Deanna Raybourn on my author watch list!

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