Monday, February 2, 2009

Silent on the Moor-Deanna Raybourn

Silent on the Moor
Deanna Raybourn
Mira, Mar 2009, $13.95
ISBN: 9780778326144

In 1888 London Lady Julia Grey’s brother Bellmont admonishes her for chasing after a fool who rejects her; he also lectures her older sister Portia for abetting her in this doltish escapade. Widow Julia agrees with everything Bellmont says, but leaves with Portia for Yorkshire anyway where the inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane, whom she met when her spouse was murdered (see SILENT IN THE GRAVE) bought Grimsgrave Hall on the moors.

Upon arrival Julia is taken aback as to the dilapidated condition of Brisbane’s new home and even more so by the arrogance yet defeated auras of the aristocratic former owners Lady Allenby and her daughters. Julia receives a mixed welcome from her host; he obviously wants her, but also wants her far away from him as he refuses to bridge the gap in social classes between them and fears his work will harm her. When poison enters the mix, social class no longer matters as Julia investigates the past to determine who wants to send the tenants especially the new owner of Grimsgrave to their graves.

The third Lady Grey “Silent” late Victorian mystery (see SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY) is a suburb whodunit that provides readers with a deep sense of time and place when the aristocracy is in free fall. The story line is action-packed, but driven by the strong cast. Lady Julia is at the top of her game as she has some experience in inquiry and with Brisbane as a target, she and readers learn of his past. Fans will relish this exciting historical whodunit.

Harriet Klausner