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Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
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Silent in the Grave (edition 2007)

by Deanna Raybourn

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1,5911074,582 (4)214
Member:veracity
Title:Silent in the Grave
Authors:Deanna Raybourn
Info:Chatswood, N.S.W. : Mira Books, 2007.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, fantasy, gothic, mystery, victorian, steampunk, heroine, strong women, strong woman, widow

Work details

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Recently added bylnolff, pennsylady, scottsdalebookgirl, private library, misura, avocapl, melbook7, Jean_Sexton
  1. 30
    Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters (faither)
    faither: Although not set in nearly the same time period (1970s-ish and mid-1800s), Vicky Bliss and Lady Julia Gray are similar heroes. Witty, stubborn and intelligent if they were contemporaries, I'd like to think they would be partners.
  2. 20
    Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (aseaver)
    aseaver: If you liked the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, give Amelia Peabody a try. The quaint Victorian time frame, the interesting plot lines, even the slightly zany and varied secondary cast, all combine for a consistently great read.
  3. 22
    The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry (readr)
    readr: Same kind of headstrong female character set in 19th century England, a creepy mystery, and some romance.
  4. 00
    Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas (lindymc)
    lindymc: Another well-developed mystery set in London, England in the late 1880's.
  5. 00
    A Famine of Horses by P.F. Chisholm (lindymc)
    lindymc: The first of a delightful historical mystery series featuring Sir Robert Carey (nephew of Queen Elizabeth I), set along the English/Scottish border.
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» See also 214 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Two years and several hundred books into my epub exploration project, little takes me by surprise. [b:Silent in the Grave|267869|Silent in the Grave|Deanna Raybourn|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1284530530s/267869.jpg|259684] was an exception.

The literary quotations at the beginning of each chapter, from a wide variety of sources and all completely appropriate, hinted at a well-read, articulate author. Reading the story confirmed this supposition.

What at first appeared to be a Holmes-homage Victorian mystery began to shift shape in mid-narrative and I quickly gave up any attempt to categorise this book by genre.

The characters (of whom there are many) are distinctive and memorable. This in sharp contrast to most of the ebooks I've read, where even my own Goodreads reviews cannot reverse instant amnesia.

Lady Julia Grey, the eponymous heroine of the series, teams up with a mysterious and eccentric 'private inquirer' to solve the mystery of her husband's sudden death. The first-person narrative reflects the intelligence and tenacity of the heroine, and the more we learn about Brisbane, the Holmesian inquirer, the more the mystery thickens.

My only quibble about this near-perfect mystery is the similarity in the names of two of the female servants. I found it difficult to keep them separate in my mind, even though their personalities and backgrounds were strikingly different.

Awarding this book five stars in not only a no-brainer, but also makes me wonder if I should downgrade some of the other five-star ratings I've given in the past. [b:Silent in the Grave|267869|Silent in the Grave|Deanna Raybourn|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1284530530s/267869.jpg|259684] is in a league of its own.

Highly recommended and a joy to read. ( )
  skirret | Jan 2, 2015 |
Raybourn's writing reminds me of C S Harris, the time and manner of the mystery of very similar, so far, I have not decided which I like better. The characters and setting are vivid, but Raybourn does not bring as much actual English history into the story as does Harris. This is a lengthy novel, but interesting throughout. I had decided on two possible characters as the murderer, and I guessed correctly. I would recommend this novel or series to any reader of historic fiction. ( )
  delphimo | Jan 1, 2015 |
I'm about 100 pages into this, and I just can't bring myself to go any further. This isn't something that happens often, and I was actually very much looking forward to this one. I just don't care what happens next.

The characters are coming across as flat to me, and I don't particularly like any of them. But mostly, it's the historical incorrectness that bothers me - sure, the setting and the clothes are right, but the way the characters behave is definitely not. It just keeps pulling me out of the story to roll my eyes and say "Yeah, right." I don't mind a woman in a historical novel with somewhat modern sensibilities, but the characters in this one act and think like it could be 2011. I'm just not that impressed, and there are far too many books to read and enjoy - I even gave it longer than the "50 page test," so I feel okay about putting this one down. ( )
  ashleyk44 | Jul 8, 2014 |
Silent in the Grave
4 Stars

Lady Julia Grey is not surprised when her ailing husband dies until private inquiry agent, Nicholas Brisbane, approaches her with the claim that her husband was murdered. Disbelieving at first, Julia soon comes to realize that there is more to Edward Grey’s death than meets the eye and something sinister is afoot right under her very nose.

A well written historical mystery with an intriguing if rather unoriginal plot, compelling characters and detailed historical background focusing on the social mores and customs of Victorian England.

The whodunit develops slowly, but there are sufficient red-herrings to keep you guessing, and the villain and motivation are quite interesting especially considering the time period.

Like the mystery, Julia and Brisbane's romance is slow to build. Their love/hate relationship has definite potential and their chemistry simmers just beneath the surface, but nothing actually comes of it and this is disappointing.

Julia and Nicolas fare better as individuals. She is sensible and pragmatic albeit a little snooty at times, and he very enigmatic with his dark and brooding mien and secretive nature. A comparison with Sherlock Holmes is inevitable (expert violinist, absinth addiction, chemical experiments and mood swings), but this is not a drawback for me. The one thing that does grate is the inclusion of his psychic ability, which adds nothing to his characterization.

Julia’s quirky family is not consistent with the Victorian setting although they are very endearing and add an entertaining comic relief to the story.

Ellen Archer’s narration is good with the appropriate accents and inflection. If there were one thing I would change it would be the first person perspective, which is limiting for a mystery and prevents the reader from accessing Brisbane’s POV.

Overall, an enjoyable story and I'm looking forward to the next installment. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Jun 21, 2014 |
I'm hesitant giving this book three stars. While it was an interesting read,(and I liked the main characters), it drrrrrrrraaaaaagggggggeeeddd on and on, at various points. What was worst, it wouls happen, just as something relevant to the mystery was discovered.
Hopefully, now that A LOT of ground work was laid in the first book, the series will get better. ( )
  ComicGirl178 | Mar 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Book to be savored, yet devoured in one sitting.
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
This book is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Patricia Nile Russell, and my grandfather, John Lucas Jones, Jr.
First words
To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate.
Quotations
Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0778325245, Mass Market Paperback)

"Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave."

These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

Prepared to accept that Edward's death was due to a longstanding physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth.

Determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:19 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests. Prepared to accept that Edward's death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth"--Book description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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