Title: Silent In The Grave
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Release Date: January 1, 2007
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
“Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.”
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 longstanding 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.
I’ve been wanting to read Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey series for awhile, but I was convinced I had to start it as soon as possible by Meghan over at Medieval Bookworm. Between her Twitter messages (tweets!) and her glowing review, I knew I was in for a treat with Silent In The Grave.
I have to say, I really loved Silent In The Grave. It’s got a bit of everything – romance, mystery, action – whatever you want in a book. The historical details were great and really set up each of the scenes nicely. Julia herself was a fun character who was extremely likeable. However, even more important, she was smart. I hate it in books where the female lead gets herself into horrible and completely avoidable situations just because she is (a) trying to prove herself or (b) she is irritated that some man is trying to tell her what to do. Julia is definitely headstrong, but she knows wisdom when she hears it. She is determined to solve the mystery, but understands when it is not safe for her to undertake certain tasks.
The ending was what convinced me how great of a writer Deanna Raybourn is. Too often in mysteries the answer is either completely obvious or so out of left field you didn’t even really know who the character was before they were revealed to be the murderer. Silent In The Grave, Raybourn manages to give the reader a completely satisfying ending without making it too obvious. She walks that fine line and does it incredibly well.
I thoroughly enjoyed every second of Silent In The Grave. It was never over done or overly complicated. I always understood what was going on, but it wasn’t so simple that I knew what to expect from the book. It’s incredibly well-written, and Raybourn deserves immense credit for that. I’m thrilled that this book has two sequels; I will be picking them up very soon!