These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. 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, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.
Prepared to accept that Edward's death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth.
Determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.
©2007 Deanna Raybourn; (P)2007 Audible, Inc.
All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. This edition is published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. All characters in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
"Fans of British historical thrillers will welcome Raybourn's perfectly executed debut." (Publishers Weekly)
I liked the book quite a bit - but I find Archer's reading off-putting. Her accent wanders all over the place and her pacing is uneven. Still, I do like Lady Julia Grey, and Nicolas Brisbane is an intriguing character. Lady Julia reminds me of Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody, who is one of my favorite fictional females. I'll try another title, but I might have to read these in print if Archer doesn't get better.
Interesting characters but the plot moved so slowly it got tiresome. To guess "whodunnit" in mystery novels, I always ask myself "who is the least likely culprit"... and I could tell very early in the novel that the author had chosen that old cliche to structure her plot. There are other pretensions in the novel that I found irritating as well, including the author's inexplicable need to break out of the first-person "real time" narrative at the end of many chapters to give omninous warnings ("Little did I realize...."). Also agree with other commentators that the lead character, as a married woman, would never have been addressed as "Lady Julia," which is the primary form of address used for her. I applaud the author's attempt to develop a realistic look at living conditions in Victorian England, but not the execution. Pick up a hard copy and skim through it on a cold rainy day, but avoid this audiobook. The narrator is awful. Her English accent for the main character is tolerable, but her other accents--Cockney, Scottish, French, gypsy--are horrible... what you might hear at a bad high school play. Haven't verified this, but I suspect she is American in part because I've never heard a British actress who was so bad at accents, and in part because she gives words like "clerk" and "privacy" their American pronunciations.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
I bought this title with high hopes for a witty mystery following the many good reviews. It was just okay nothing compelling. The story was fair, the narration okay once I put it at 1.25 speed, overall an okay listen.
entertaining, gripping, fun
the fact that it is set in other time is very interesting and educational.
My first time and I loved her!
Lady Grey, of course, who goes through a journey to discover herself and be free of her time.
Can't wait for the sequel...
I read the first book of the series the last, so all the characters were familiar to me. I am glad to have finally read the dramatic meeting scene between Brisbane and Lady Julia. The mystery and the romance between the main characters are buried in the background of introduction of the characters, the period, the ambiance of the story, so pure mystery and romance lovers might not enjoy this story as much as the other regency romance/mysteries. I liked the slow pace and the intelligent and funny dialogues. What I did not like is Brisbane. He must have some redeeming quality that Julia sees but I haven't quite figure that out yet.
Obviously, in an audible book, quality of narration is vital. We were taught, as children, to pronounce our "t"s, but this narrator seems to actually trip over them. Furthermore there are many laughable mispronunciations, and by the time you have stopped laughing the story has moved on, so that you have to rewind. If you are a Brit I don't recommend this audible, which is a shame because the books are enjoyably entertaining and quite well written. I'll be taking the rest of the series off my wish list. Pity.
I really enjoyed this story and have now listened to all that audible has to offer in the series. But more than that, I could listen to this narrator read the manual on my dishwasher.
I hate romance novels. I downloaded one awhile back before I realized that "romance" is just a euphemism for soft porn. Regardless of its category, this was a fun book to listen to. The characters are original, the story is suspenseful and has subtle humor. Call it light self mockery. Anyway, I am hooked on this writer and will buy her next book either in audio form or conventional form. I wanted to download the second in the series but they switched narrators and according to the reviews it was a mistake. I hope the next book will return to the original narrator.
Although intelligent and well-written, the plot unfolds far too slowly. There are entire chapters of chit-chat where nothing of consequence happens.
I also found the obviously fake British accent of the narrator extremely distracting and irritating.
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