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Lady Julia Grey Mystery Collection, Vol. 1

by Deanna Raybourn

Series: Lady Julia Grey (1-3)

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872244,221 (4.16)None
Return to the beginning of Deanna Raybourn's adored Lady Julia Grey's Victorian mystery series, and be carried off by adventure in this first-time digital collection. SILENT IN THE GRAVE: Book 1 The darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives threatening letters from an unknown source. 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. Determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice, the late Sir Edward's wife Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise, following a trail of clues that lead her to ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival. SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY: Book 2 Fresh from a trip to Italy, Lady Julia returns to Sussex to find her father's estate crowded with family and friends. Much to her surprise, the one man she had hoped to forget--the enigmatic and compelling Nicholas Brisbane--is among the houseguests. But the homecoming celebrations quickly take a ghastly turn when one of the guests is found brutally murdered. Lady Julia resumes her unlikely and deliciously intriguing partnership with Nicholas Brisbane, setting out to unravel a tangle of deceit before the killer can strike again. SILENT ON THE MOOR: Book 3 In Grimsgrave Hall, Nicholas Brisbane has inherited a ruined estate, replete with uncanny tenants and one unwanted houseguest: Lady Julia Grey. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes, and a mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave. Lady Julia may have to solve this particular one alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring comes, Lady Julia will have uncovered a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.… (more)
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I've loved mysteries, ever since starting out as a girl with Nancy Drew. I eventually moved on to Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dorothy L. Sayers. I also love to read historical romance, especially Regency and Victorian.

So how could I help loving the Lady Julia Grey books? Simple. I couldn't. The three books in this very nicely priced ebook bundle were much more mystery than romance, but that's okay. They were engaging and well constructed. The underlying romance -- which in these three books take Julia and Brisbane from first meeting to marriage -- is subtle but gripping. Brisbane is such a delicious, deeply layered character. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
The Julia Grey books are hybrid mystery-romances set in the Victorian period, best suited to readers who enjoy both genres. Mystery is the dominant element in each book, but the romance between Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane is the backbone to the trilogy. The slow, methodical development of the mysteries is nicely counterbalanced by the tempestuous relationship that develops between Julia and Brisbane. The writing is elegant and rich, and it was a real pleasure to immerse myself in it.

The omnibus contains all three books in the trilogy:

SILENT IN THE GRAVE - This introduces us to our heroine, Lady Julia Grey, and begins with her husband's murder. As the winning first line of the novel tells us: "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 upon the floor." Julia had been quiet, obedient, and dull all her life - the freedom of widowhood sparks a journey of self-discovery. When Julia realizes her husband was murdered, more than a year after he died, she is determined to find the killer - no matter how cold the trail. To succeed, she needs the help of Nicholas Brisbane, the private investigator her late husband hired before his death to investigate a series of ominous threats.

SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY - This second book takes place at the family seat in Sussex, a converted abbey in the dead of winter. The novel is richly atmospheric - a holiday party is trapped inside the fantastical gothic structure during a terrible snowstorm. One among them is murdered, and another must be the culprit. There are gypsies, ghosts roaming the stone-flagged halls, secret passages, impecunious relatives and a talking raven named Grim. But SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY turns these gothic cliches on their heads as Julia and Brisbane race against time to find the murderer before the snow melts.

SILENT IN THE MOORS - Like the second book, this one picks up - and transforms - a cliche: a dark, ominous, half-ruined estate in the northern moors of Yorkshire, capped by a rotting manor house, where dark family secrets fester. Brisbane has acquired the estate, and his letters back to London indicate that something is very wrong - although he won't say exactly what. Julia makes the journey north to investigate her relationship with Brisbane, and provide what help she can. She's soon caught up in a proper mystery, featuring a family of aristocrats ruined by pride and a pair of mummified corpses hidden in a monk's hole.

I devoured the trilogy. The atmosphere of each book is wonderfully distinct and Raybourn does a wonderful job setting the scene - it's full of rich period detail, and everyone has a story to tell. The whole cast of characters is magnificent, including every single member of Julia Grey's rather large family - she's one of ten children. Although I sometimes solved the whodunit a little early in the story, Raybourn usually isn't content with just one crime: there's usually a tangle of them, and always had to wait for the end to see every detail unraveled.

Brisbane is a dark, dangerous, mysterious sort of hero - easy to fall for, but terribly frustrating. Sexy as he is, at times I really wondered if he was worth the trouble. The romance is stretched out over all three volumes, and Julia and Brisbane's relationship is at least nominally professional - readers will be panting after the cracks in their professional facade. At the end of the day, I still wished Brisbane had been a little warmer - and I am usually a big fan of brusque, brooding heroes.

I started the trilogy expecting something along the lines of Dorothy Sayers, but the homage was really towards the Bronte sisters, Gothic mysteries, and maybe a dash of Sherlock Holmes. All in all, highly recommended. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Sep 20, 2013 |
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To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate.
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Return to the beginning of Deanna Raybourn's adored Lady Julia Grey's Victorian mystery series, and be carried off by adventure in this first-time digital collection. SILENT IN THE GRAVE: Book 1 The darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives threatening letters from an unknown source. 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. Determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice, the late Sir Edward's wife Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise, following a trail of clues that lead her to ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival. SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY: Book 2 Fresh from a trip to Italy, Lady Julia returns to Sussex to find her father's estate crowded with family and friends. Much to her surprise, the one man she had hoped to forget--the enigmatic and compelling Nicholas Brisbane--is among the houseguests. But the homecoming celebrations quickly take a ghastly turn when one of the guests is found brutally murdered. Lady Julia resumes her unlikely and deliciously intriguing partnership with Nicholas Brisbane, setting out to unravel a tangle of deceit before the killer can strike again. SILENT ON THE MOOR: Book 3 In Grimsgrave Hall, Nicholas Brisbane has inherited a ruined estate, replete with uncanny tenants and one unwanted houseguest: Lady Julia Grey. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes, and a mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave. Lady Julia may have to solve this particular one alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring comes, Lady Julia will have uncovered a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.

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