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The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia Grey Novel) by…
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The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia Grey Novel) (edition 2011)

by Deanna Raybourn

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4522834,429 (3.89)19
Member:maggiandersen
Title:The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia Grey Novel)
Authors:Deanna Raybourn
Info:Mira (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 400 pages
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The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn

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The Dark Enquiry
4 Stars

Marriage to a private enquiry agent has become a frustrating enterprise for Lady Julia as her husband still strives to protect her from his professional life just as she longs to become a full partner in his endeavors. Julia gets her wish after following Brisbane to a clandestine meeting and witnessing what appears to be the murder of a psychic medium. As Julia and Brisbane investigate the strange death, they must learn to work together or lose everything, for the foe they face is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything for their ultimate goal.

While not quite my favorite installment in the series (that is reserved for Silent on the Moor), The Dark Enquiry is certainly one of the more intense and exciting additions and I am sad that it is also the final full length novel.

The highlight of the story is the development of Brisbane and Julia’s relationship as they finally begin working together both in and outside of the marriage bed. Brisbane comes to accept that he cannot protect Julia from every danger and that the best he can do is provide her with the necessary tools and information for her to deal with the darker and seedier side of his work. Likewise, Julia comes to realize not only the very real risks involved in being Brisbane’s partner, but also the extent of his love for her and the lengths he will got to in order to keep her safe.

They mystery is interesting with several compelling twists and turns and one particularly enigmatic character who could Raybourn could do well to give his own series if she were so inclined. The villain came as a surprise although, in hindsight, there are plenty of clues to the ultimate explanation.

The secondary characters are well written and add depth and nuance to the story. Julia is introduced to additional members of Brisbane’s gypsy family and there are also developments in the lives of her own siblings. Portia is settling into motherhood; Bellmont finds himself in a sticky situation, and Plum may finally have met his match.

All in all, a solid addition to the series although there are one or two developments that were disappointing such as Julia’s miscarriage and inability to conceive another child as well as Plum’s devastating love life. The next few installments are novellas, which I don’t usually read but I might give a try if only to catch up on the Brisbanes and the Marches. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Back in London, Julia and Brisbane get involved with spiritualists and spies when they try to recover evidence of her older brother Bellmont's affair with a spiritualist. At first, things seem rather simple. All they have to do is confront the spiritualist and convince her to return Bellmont's letters. Before they can confront her, someone kills her with aconite leaving the letters still missing.

Julia visits the other people who were at the seance she attended and eliminates a couple of them and also meets the intriguing Sir Morgan Fielding who turns out to be an illegitimate cousin of hers. She immediately takes a liking to him which is often a clue in this series that he is up to no good. She soon learns some of his secrets and how they connect to her mysterious husband. We also get a chance to meet more of Brisbane's gypsy relatives when they take shelter in a gypsy camp run by his grandmother.

This book is packed with action and danger for both Julia and Brisbane. Through the course of this story the reader can just see the relationship deepen between Julia and Brisbane as he finally lets loose of some of the secrets in his life now that he is confident that nothing is going to change Julia's love for him.

I love the setting of this story and the touches of humor. Julia's eccentric family and her own eccentricities are often quite funny. I love her growing assortment of pets. ( )
  kmartin802 | Apr 20, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this Lady Julia Grey story, with the exception of one small plot point near the end that I objected to fiercely (but which it would be rude and explicitly spoilery to get into a rant about). Delightfully, unlike in the last few books, some of the more annoying tension between Julia and her husband has come to a head, in a good way, and I no longer live in fear that they are going to spend every single book in the series arguing about whether or not she is able and/or allowed to work with him. To be honest, I had grown so tired of that tension that I had decided I wasn't going to read any further into the series: now that I think it may have, please God, let up, I am actually willing to try the next one. On a different note, unlike in the last few books, I didn't actually work out "who dunnit" before Julia did, which is always nice.

Basically a thumbs-up from me, and I'm going to continue on with the series. ( )
  jwryn | Feb 27, 2017 |
Lady Julia and Brisbane have finally returned to London and settled into the patterns of married life. While Julia has won the concession from Brisbane that she can now assist on his cases, the definition of what her help might entail has not been set. When Julia discovers that one of Brisbane's cases involves a member of her family she refuses to keep her nose out and the couple find themselves immersed in a case that involves spiritualists and blackmail with a dash of international intrigue. As Julia comes into her own as an investigator, she discovers that hunting down mysteries is even more dangerous than she knew.

Another thoroughly enjoyable entry in this series. What I enjoy most about these mysteries is that the characters continue to grow and develop over the course of each novel and the mystery plots are never predictable. As noted on previous entries, I highly recommend this series for those who like historical mysteries with a dash of romance. ( )
  MickyFine | Nov 18, 2016 |
I'm still in love with this series and let's be truthful, Brisbane! If only he were real! : ) As I'm reading, I'm thinking where can I find a gypsy camp & why has time travel not been mastered yet??? I was destined to live in this Era - no doubt about it! You must read this series "from the 1st book" if you are a fan of this era too! Raybourn just magically captures the setting, the dictates on society and a woman's place in it during that time. Her characters are also delightful and fun! Anyways, its a Must Read! ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
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Deanna Raybournprimary authorall editionscalculated
Archer, EllenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Pam, agent, friend, and fairy godmother. Thank you.
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"Julia, what is in the name of God is that terrible stench?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business. Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved, if eccentric, family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation. It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Seraphine holds evening seances and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust. Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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