Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Can it get any better than this first line (or two):
To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.
I absolutely adored this Lady Julia Grey mystery. Newly widowed, Lady Julia is confronted by the dark and mysterious Brisbane with news that her husband's death was a murder. It takes many months for Lady Julia to accept this fact and return to Brisbane for help in finding the murdering scoundrel. What follows is a tangle of passion and deception as the two not only look for the murderer but try to contain the emotions that they feel for each other.
Written in my favorite time period, this novel takes place in upper-class Victorian England. The prose and details are delicious and I love the voice of Lady Julia Grey. Nicholas Brisbane is a Darcy-esque figure, complex and hard to figure out, but he shows his compassion in unexpected ways - like to the impoverished widow Birch. I also like watching lady Julia go from a mousy and sheltered widow to a woman who realizes that being useful is quite wonderful. The ending is a perfect setup for the next installment which I am enjoying immensely right now!
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