I enjoyed the historical notes, the very good characterization and the fun of the book. It walks the edge of historical 'wish fulfillment' and 'truth', but for a relaxing listen while finishing up dishes, it was great. One that I'll listen to again. I like it. A lot.
I first listened to this story on XM Radio's Sonic Theater (Ch. 163) and was so impatient to wait until the next to hear just another chapter that I came to Audible to download the entire book. I am so glad I did. The author is a great storytelller. She was able to develop the characters so quickly that I felt I knew them. I especially liked the twists and turns (no more hints given here!) and where you thought you were being led. I hope my intuition is correct and she has another book coming soon. I can't wait!!
This is a pretty good historical suspese/romance with apparently fairly accurate depiction of life in the Victorian age. Unfortunately, the brightness of the story is dimmed by the narrator. Clearly not British, it's hard not to notice the lapses into American and/or the stilted supposed British accent - sometimes, it works, sometimes, it definitely doesn't. Also, the narrator has a tendency to read. In a very. Staccato. Way. which is infuriating and just about murdered my enjoyment of the book.
Good enough that I'll keep an eye out for the sequeal, but only if it's read by someone else.
I have read all the Diana Gabaldon " Outlander" series and I can see I am going to be hooked on what I hope to be just as excellant a series. I fell in love with the characters in Julia and Mr. Brisbane. The Chemistry between them is charged with electricity and I cannot wait until the next book. Well Done Deanna! P.S. Please hurry
Great presentation of life in the 1800s in England. Earls, Ladies, servants, and gypsies.
The story of a woman who is a part of the aristocracy and accepts the expected behaviors of widowhood and social standing of the times. Yet, she questions the norms and wonders at the chance of her birth into privilege. The mystery of her husband's death takes her into secret worlds beneath the outward appearances of Victorian England. I enjoyed reading about her discoveries. Good narration voices. A totally enjoyable book.
Alas, I should have checked the publisher before downloading this from audible. If I’d seen the Harlequin name there I would have saved myself some trouble. This is not my thing. Too much romance and breathy innuendo and too little mystery. Too many modern ideas. Really, Lady Julia, enough with your cross-class do-gooder motif. I know there had to be some women who thought a bit like she did, but it didn’t ring true and that axe just kept getting ground. I don’t think there’s any left. I figured who had to have done it pretty early and so the culprit wasn’t a surprise. Overall disappointing. Lady Julia’s bosom will just have to go on heaving without me. And the fangirls will downvote because they're so mature.
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
Yes, at some point, I may go back over the entire series again. They are all wonderful, light, easy cozy mysteries with a little romance. No graphic violence or boring sex scenes. They go down so smoothly -- like a whole box of chocolates.
Other reviewers have said it all, so I will mention:
Historical mystery with a hint of romance (might develop in the next few books in the series). I prefer this approach, rather than an emphasis on the romance aspect (other readers feel the opposite). Some good (and sometimes funny) observations of later Victorian customs, which made it so difficult for widowed women to emerge from mourning and claim a place in society.
I suspected that the reader was not English, but she did -- for the most part, I thought -- a pretty good job with accents and differentiating characters. I just had difficulty understanding how the publisher (or whoever is suposed to be in charge of quality) could allow a narrator to mispronounce things horribly, like saying VISS-count for viscount. There were a few other dandies, too. Other than those missteps, which were jarring during the listening process, I was engaged by the story.
I have the second book in the series, so I am going to try reading it instead of having it read to me.
Deanna Raybourn is a new author for me and if her other titles are like this I'm on a roll. Silent in the Grave kept me slowing down my tasks so that I could continue with the story. The plot kept me guessing until near the end which happens rarely. Plot, characters, and social history - it's all there. This should have been a 5 star rating but...
It's a real pity that the narrator is so awful. These are the most appalling English accents I've heard for a while. The mispronunciations of common words were a real turn-off also. It's to the credit of the author that I kept listening but not again. I'm restricting my Deanna Raybourns to books in print unless there's a better reader out there.