Friday, August 24, 2012

Lady Julia Grey #1: Silent in the Grave Review

Title: Lady Julia Grey #1: Silent in the Grave

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Date of Publication: January 1, 2007

Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, Mass Market Paperback, E-Book

Synopsis: After the expected death of her husband, Sir Edward Grey, Lady Julia Grey refuses to believe that he could have been murdered even when Brisbane, a private detective Edward hired, tells her of the death threats Edward had been receiving. A year later when sorting through her husband's things Julia finds one of the death threats, no longer able to live with her husband's killer on the loose Julia visits Brisbane and implores him to help her find the killer. With his help Julia embarks on a dangerous and shocking mission. As Julia learns scandalous secrets about her former husband she begins to realize the killer knew him better than she did, giving the murderer the upper hand.

My Review:

Silent in the Grave started off slow, many of Julia's thoughts taking up as much as a page sometimes. Full of events that weren't relevant to the story, I was desperate for the mystery the dust cover promised. Slowly as the mystery started to take shape I became more and more interested in the novel and blew through the middle section in an afternoon as many seemingly random events started to come together.

One of my favorite aspects of the mystery was the originality of it, the motive definitely surprised me. For the time period the novel was set in the motive was shocking, but the surprising events kept me on my toes and turning pages. While the middle was fast paced and held my interest the novel started to slow down toward the end. I did enjoy the mystery but the ending was a little anti-climactic and ended a little too perfectly to hold my attention.

I loved the chemistry between Julia and Brisbane; while there was little romance in the novel as a whole their interactions with each other left me excited for the sequel just to see where their relationship goes. I enjoyed Julia's eccentric family; from Aunt Ursula, or "the Ghoul", who travels from house to house taking notes about every funeral in her notebook, to Portia, her lesbian sister. The characters were wonderful, each of them having a unique and fleshed out personality.

While Silent in the Grave was an interesting novel those not willing to make the 509 page commitment and wade through a bit of dull writing may want to skip this novel. However, fans of mystery will undoubtedly enjoy the adventures of Julia and her interactions with the other characters. A good start to the series I'll definitely be picking up the sequel.


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