Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Silent in the Grave

Silent in the Grave
By Deanna Raybourn
Publication date: 2007

My review:

When Sir Edward Grey collapses and dies, his wife Lady Julia Grey is not shocked. Edward had been ill since childhood with a weak heart, a hereditary condition that afflicted his father and other relatives. So when Nicholas Brisbane tells her that Edward suspected his life was in danger, Julia refuses to believe it was murder. After a year has passed, Julia is going through Edward's things when she comes across a threatening note her husband had received and she realizes that Brisbane may have been right after all. As Julia and Brisbane investigate, she is drawn into danger because the killer is likely someone close to home.

Silent in the Grave is more than just a mystery. It features intriguing characters and a dash of romance. Lady Julia Grey is not the typical Victorian society lady. She comes from a very unconventional family and she holds very modern views. At the same time her behavior is not as outlandish as that of her more radical relatives. This makes her a likeable protagonist. She displays great intelligence and bravery as she searches for the truth about her husband. Nicholas Brisbane is a mysterious character and the perfect match for Julia. He can be prickly and secretive but that only adds to his appeal. The other characters are fascinating, especially Julia's eccentric family and household staff.

While the identity of the killer was not a surprise to me, there were plenty of plot twists to keep me happy and I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between Julia and Nicholas. Though Julia and her family are modern for the time period, this did not bother me much. The characters were just too much fun to read about. Silent in the Grave is more of a mystery novel than a romance or historical fiction novel although there are some interesting historical details.  I would suggest this book to fans of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig because of the combination of mystery, witty characters, and the hint of romance between Julia and Brisbane. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. If the first book is any indication, I am sure to love them.

Readalikes: the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, the Ursula Blanchard series by Fiona Buckley, What Happens in London by Julia Quinn, the Lady Serafina Trent mysteries by Gilbert Morris (Christian fiction but set in Victorian times with an intelligent aristocratic heroine)


  1. I'm a huge fan of Lauren Willig's series, so this one is now a must read. I always like historical books that have a bit of romance thrown in.

  2. I haven't read a mystery in so long! I think a series like this or the Pink Carnation would be a good break from the usual paranormals that I read. I like that it's more mystery than romance, but I also enjoy Victorian England and wouldn't mind those details. Thanks for sharing this one with us and great review, Christina!

  3. I'm glad you liked this one. I read a later book in the series, but there's too much mystery for me.


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