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)
In the 12 years I have been an Audible member I have only purchased two or three romance novels. I can't recall what prompted me to use a credit for SILENT IN THE GRAVE, but I am glad I did. The great period detail shows Raybourne did her research. Be sure to listen closely because the author sprinkles quite a few clues throught this clever story. The narration by Ellen Archer is spot on, not sure why some reviewers disliked her.
If you want to listen to a riveting mystery laced with humor, romance and cleverness then SILENT IN THE GRAVE is a great choice.
Deanna Raybourn has created memorable characters here in Lady Julia Grey, and Nicholas Brisbane. The former is an aristocratic lady with a charmingly eccentric family, and the latter is handsome, dark, exotic -- but Raybourn avoids the traps that could turn him into a Sherlock Holmes clone. Grand fun.
I gave only 4 stars because the reader is only moderately adequate to the task. At times she sounds a bit strangled, which I put down to RP being not her native English accent; and many of the characters sound rather alike, the men particularly. This definitely reduces the listening pleasure, but not so badly that I don't recommend the book.
If you buy this book looking for a romance you will be disappointed, as the *intimation* of a romance is there, but in the end, the actual romance is holding out for the sequel. (So don't be mislead of the Harlequin title -- this isn't sugary-sweet over-the-top romance book, which in my case was a concern, although ever since Poison Study, I stopped judging a Harlequin book by its publisher :-)
The mystery/plot is fine, although there is a little too much deus ex machina towards the end, but not enough to ruin the book for me. The characters don't always play to societal norms, but it isn't as if this book is trying to pass as accurate historical fiction, so it is forgivable. There are a number of interesting side characters, including pets. Overall fairly well-written gothic/Victorian mystery mix -- good, but not perfect.
As for the narrator, I don't think she is British. It wasn't that the accents were off completely, just occasionally, which to my ear was slightly grating, and at times the "class" of the accent didn't match the "class" of the character. I expect most North American listeners won't be bothered, but British listeners might cringe at times.
From me, the romance gets a 2/5 (although the potential for a really steamy 5/5 exists for the next book). The narrator ranges from 2.5/5 to 5/5. The story gets a 3.5/5.
This book was excellent. I have ecclectic taste in romance novels and this fit right in with my taste. I like romance novels from Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, Elizabeth Peters, J.D. Robb, and Lisa Kleypas; very different writing and genre styles. This book was a cross between Elizabeth Peters (historical, suspense) and Amanda Quick (Historical Romance). The romance is just starting in this book though and I cannot wait until her next book to see what happens...
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!!
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.
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.
I read this book before I listened to and the audio version gave the book a new demention of how truly uptight the English peerage was during the 19th century. The book is a light mystery with romantic tension that will appeal to most people who like this combination. This the author's first book and you can see that the series will continue to grow over time. I look forward to her 3rd book (already read the sequel and am listening to it.)
The reader did a very nice job - her accent was just what I expected and she did a nice job with the other character voices - especially the men. My favorite character voice with the sister, Portia!
Give this book a try,it is a fun, light-hearted listen and you will find yourself smiling.
This is a well written book. The author hides the true murderer well. However, about 20 per through the book you want her to get on with the plot rather than the setting.
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