Lord John is in a difficult spot. His cousin Olivia is engaged to marry the Honorable Joseph Trevelyan, but he has just observed something of a rather personal nature that, if confirmed, might put an end to any talk of marital bliss. Determined to investigate further, Lord John is distracted when the Crown calls for his services. A comrade in arms has been slain, and to complicate matters, the victim may have been a traitor. Now Lord John has not one, but two puzzling mysteries to solve.
©2003 Diana Gabaldon; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
"Gabaldon takes readers for a walk on the wild side....A compelling and unique period mystery for the author's legion of fans." (Kirkus Review)
I tried to actually read this book when it was first published, but sadly, was unable to finish it due to boredom. I just didn't care about Lord John at the time. I only began to read this series for something to do while waiting for the next book in the "Outlander" series to be released. That said, I guess I care a little more about Lord John now, since he's became more of a major figure in the Outlander series. The audiobook version of "Private Matter" is better than the actual hard copy. Lord John can be funny, but is also rather snarky at times. He is a good amateur sleuth and Diana Gabaldon is a good mystery writer; however, I'm not all that much of a fan of the mystery genre, being more of an admirer of straight-forward historical fiction. If you want to fill out your knowledge of Jamie Fraser's character while he and Claire were separated for twenty years after Culloden, I recommend reading the Lord John series, especially "The Brotherhood of the Blade".
(NOTE: There is a review of "Lord John and the Hand of Devils" on Audible.com by one "D. McCoy" that I found quite helpful. This reviewer lists the proper order in which to read the Lord John novels/short stories since order is particularly important with this series. If you listen/read them out of order, you may find that you have more questions than answers. Also, I do recommend the Outlander series to readers of the Lord John series. It is MUCH longer, has many more interesting characters, and readers will discover Jamie Fraser, the love of Lord John's life and, IMHO, one of modern fiction's most compelling and enigmatic characters. Though he is straight and VERY married, he and Lord John do become quite bosom friends once they reach an "understanding". This says something to me about the likeability of Lord John and his overall sense of honor.)
I should say at once that Lord John Grey is my favorite character from the Outlander books. Here he gets an entire novel to himself. I enjoyed the book when I first read it, and liked it even better with Jeff Woodman's nicely nuanced reading. Granted, it may be a frustrating experience for Clare-and-Jamie fans, as they are barely mentioned here. Likewise, it might be a bit confusing for those who come to this book without having read the Outlander books at all, as they'll be wondering why Lord John keeps thinking about this Jamie character. But I've always liked John Grey best, so this is the perfect book for me - and I thoroughly enjoyed the period detail of some of the seamier parts of London.
I like Lord Grey when reading the Outlander series and this book only increased my liking. This genre is different from Outlander as it in NOT a romance novel. However, it sparkles with interesting information about 18th century sexual behavior that surprised me.
Im a busy Mama, always on the go! Lover of historical fiction and Sci fi horror.
If you're considering this book because you love Outlander you'll be disappointed. I originally dove in with the mindset of Jamie, Jamie where is JAMIE!!!! He is a mere whisper a passing breeze in the Lord John series. If you're considering it because you love Diana Gabaldon's style and rich writing you'll like it. I for one loved the Lord John character and had no problem with this story. I would caution those who find it distasteful that Lord John Grey is a homosexual, and there is romance and sex in the series. I loved it once I got over wanting it to be more Outlander!
I didn't dislike it, but I have to say it was pretty boring. John Gray's character was more multidimensional in the Outlander series, which is interesting, because there he was a more minor character. I was really disappointed that The Fiery Cross isn't available on Audible in its unabridged format. With that in mind, this was a decent enough Gabaldon fix.
After Jamie and Claire, I was sooo hungry for more I decided to listen to this. Nothing much of either one of them in this book. It gives a glimpse of what Lord John is about but ultimately if you want to listen it for the same reasons I did - don't!
Overall, I'd actually give it a 3 but since it is Gabaldon...
Diana Gabaldon does not disappoint. This is a mystery involving one of my favorite characters from the Outlander series. The narrator really gives Lord John his voice. The story is intriguing and lets you see the other side Lord John's character. I can't wait to hear the other books. I will recommend it to my friends.
I love Diana Gabaldon's books. Read them all and can not wait to listen to the unabridged versions. Though not with the usual characters this book is a great story, well read. Combines history with detection, ... I find myself driving around the block, or running an extra mile to listen to this kind of stories.
400 miles went by without a notice. I really enjoyed the fleshing out of this character. I was somewhat relieved that John was not overly obsessesed with jamie, but had memories that were poignant.
It was a bit of a mystery but I'll bet mystery lovers wouldn't rate this one very high. It doesn't have the appeal of the Outlander Series. I won't finish the series.
"Good book strange narration"
Really enjoyed the story but the narrator had a strange way of pronouncing some words!
"A bit of a surprise"
The subject matter of the story was a bit of a surprise and I bought this simply because I like the outlander novels so much. This is no outlander novel though which is, to be fair, made quite clear. It sits quite separately from the outlander sequence although I understand that other novels in the series mention outlander characters or feature them in some small way. I'd say - if you are looking for other outlander stories then this sequence doesn't fit the bill but this first story in The Lord John Grey series was very enjoyable, well read and seemed over so quickly which, for me, is always a sign that I have enjoyed it. I just bought the next in the series as a result of listening to this one and am looking forward to listening to it at bedtime.
As a long time lover of Diana Gabaldons Outlander books I love reading/hearing more of the life of one of my favourite secondary characters Lord John. Great story and very good narrator. If the voices are not right for the characters gender/different stations etc I cannot continue listening to an audiobook. Will definitely buy the rest of the Lord John audiobooks if Jeff Woodman or someone just as accomplished is narrating.
"Dull, Gabaldon trading on her name."
Thoroughly enjoyed Outlander books, apart from the last few. This should have indicated that perhaps author had run through her ideas.
This book is slow, dull & spends an inordinate length of time having anxiety attacks re the state of Lord J's attire!
"very much a man's story"
the cover was misleading and the story was very much of it's time.
entertaining, but not what one would expect from ms Gabaldon.
"Only for Fans"
Easy listening, light
When Lord John went to Lavendar House for the first time
English, Upper Class
No, I listen to it in the car and I was happy to stop and start
I am listening to The Outlander Series whilst swimming, so the Lord John novels are for light relief in the car. I wouldn't recommend reading them as standalones as in themselves, they have little about them. As part of the series though, they are certainly integral
"Enjoyable and undemanding."
Enjoyable listen but probably one for Diana Gabaldon fans, since John Gray is a character from her Outlander series. It?s a well written story with lots of historical interest. The reading is adequate although the narrator does rather overdo the ?Englishness.? Easy on the ear if you want something undemanding.
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