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
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.
Deanna Raybourn has that rare gift of sly irony that provokes laughter at the situations people find themselves in rather than at the people themselves. A quote from another book, Margery Allinghams The Estate of the Beckoning Lady comes to mind. "Dignity skating on very thin ice."
There are few writers who can present a book that handles serious subjects and, at the same time, are able to make the reader laugh out loud over and over again.
I like the narrater as well. Yes, the accent slips a triffle from time to time but only slightly. What is wonderful is that the delicate, almost surgical, precision of her speech invokes a different time and place. She is perfect for the Lady Julia books. I've listened to all of them and am happily awaiting the next one.
I liked the reader and her accents quite well. I probably don't have the discerning of some listeners but it was easy to separate the characters during the reading and only once, near the end, did I note that one character's accent somewhat resembled another.
It is not an extremely complex mystery but it was enjoyable as it evolved and better than I expected from a Harlequin, (I feel I can say this as I probably singlehandedly kept them in business back in the 80s!)
If you are looking for a light read this is fine. I liked it well enough to go buy the other two Audible has in the series.