Customer Reviews for

Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 121 )
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5 Star

(67)

4 Star

(33)

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(13)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful style of writing

I am an avid fan of historical mysteries. I just loved this one. Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey is a character that reminded me of Dianne Day's Fremont Jones. She became a real person to me as the pages flew by. I frquently found myself smiling at the turn of events ...
I am an avid fan of historical mysteries. I just loved this one. Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey is a character that reminded me of Dianne Day's Fremont Jones. She became a real person to me as the pages flew by. I frquently found myself smiling at the turn of events Lady Grey encounters. I was hooked from the first paragraph. Ms. Raybourn has a wonderful tongue-in-cheek style that kept me interested over 511 pages. That is saying a lot as I frequently find many books today entirely too long. I look forward to many pleasurable hours reading the rest of the series. If you like historical mysteries, give this one a try. I really think you will be delighted.

posted by Debbie-J-1970 on September 12, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Don't waste your time

I bought this book expecting a romantic period novel. What I got was a book with a ridiculous plot and unrealistic chracters. It's a shame, because Raybourn has a fine writing style, but she wasted her talents on a poor story.

posted by 142823 on March 14, 2009

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful style of writing

    I am an avid fan of historical mysteries. I just loved this one. Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey is a character that reminded me of Dianne Day's Fremont Jones. She became a real person to me as the pages flew by. I frquently found myself smiling at the turn of events Lady Grey encounters. I was hooked from the first paragraph. Ms. Raybourn has a wonderful tongue-in-cheek style that kept me interested over 511 pages. That is saying a lot as I frequently find many books today entirely too long. I look forward to many pleasurable hours reading the rest of the series. If you like historical mysteries, give this one a try. I really think you will be delighted.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, INTELLIGENT MASTERPIECE!!!!

    I second all the 5 star reviews!! I enjoyed every scrumptious word! I bought her next two books and can't wait to get started!!! She is one of my new favorite authors!! Another favorite I've recently become attached to is LINDA MASEMORE PIRRUNG, EXPLOSION IN PARIS...I can't tell you what this book did for me and continues to do for me!!! It's a contemporary romantic suspense but has wonderful, inspiring messages throughout the "sit on the edge of your seat" storyline and leaves you wanting more, more, more when you close that last BEAUTIFUL PAGE!! I am so hooked!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A beautiful start to a series

    It's really hard to not get hooked by a novel that begins with these two sentences:

    "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor."

    Wow! A really strong way to begin a story. Fortunately, the rest of the story remains just as strong. Silent in the Grave is the debut novel of Deanna Raybourn. Set in late 19th century London, it is also the first of a series that now numbers three centering on Lady Julia Grey, a lady of high status in Victorian England. Lady Julie's life changes when her husband dies, leaving here a young widow. But when someone brings to light the possibility that his death was, in fact, a murder, her life suddenly veers into the unknown. Julia must weigh her desire to simply move on with her feeling of duty to her late husband to solve the crime.

    While the murder mystery makes for an enjoyable story, what really takes this novel to the next level is the writing of Deanna Raybourn. Her style paints the period beautifully, but she refrains from making the scenery the focus of the story. Instead, it provides the perfect backdrop - bringing the reader into the London that existed more than a century ago. However, Raybourn never loses sight of the plot being the driver of the story - a problem that many authors who write period pieces often get sucked into. (You can check out my review of The Historian for an example of a period story gone wrong). The mark of a great period story is that by the end of the book, your focus should be on the story and the atmosphere should be but a comfortable shawl that the story is wrapped in. Raybourn succeeds at this.

    Whether you like reading about the Victorian-era, enjoy a good mystery, or a simply looking for a well written novel to read, I think you will be very satisfied with this book. I, for one, am already looking forward to reading the sequel.

    4.0 stars: Great book, you should not be disappointed

    Oh, one final comment. The cover artwork of the hardcover version is one of the finest I've seen in a very long time. It captures the essence of the book and looks wonderful on the shelf.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Intrigue & mystery

    The is a beautifully written book. I love historical novels. This one is no exception, you get lost in the location & time, the language & characters. The mystery of the death of Lady Julia Grey's husband keeps you on your toes through the entire story & leads to a suprising ending. The relationship between Julia & Nicholas one is definately an interesting one & the author does a good job of not serving it up on a silver platter. Julia is a wonderful character as well, stronger then most women of her time & willing to take chances & stand up for what she believes in. I look forward to reading the 2nd in the series!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Death, Mourning and a Victorian Mystery: Murder Shrieks Out

    Deanna Raybourne's SILENT IN THE GRAVE, is a hard to put down Victorian mystery, both suspenseful and humorous in its details, that unmasks the consequences of that society's moral, gender and class codes upon individuals within society. As the narrator records the twisting hunt for clues to the identity of the killer, she also discovers her own identity. Julia Grey's husband Sir Edward collapses, dying in front of her and a house full of guests. Victorian mourning customs come into play as new black clothing must be ordered along with black bordered stationery. The Ghoul, Aunt Hermia, comes to visit and partake in the latest society mourning rituals. When Nicholas Brisbane tells Julia of tales of threatening notes to her late husband and his fear of being murdered, Julia discounts his tale at first. When she finds a vicious threatening note herself while sorting through out her husband's things, Julia rethinks her position Now, Julia joins Nicholas in an investigation and search for clues to unmask the details behind her husband's death. Julia's search for justice brings her head to head against some of the unspoken rules of morality and a woman's place in Victorian society. As she follows the path of clues, Julia steps out of her familiar world, exploring gypsy customs, brothels and even looks into the practices of medicine in her day. The dark enigmatic Nicolas encourages and challenges Julia, becoming an inspiration and even catalyst for her to confront her own ideas and move beyond herself. As Julia uncovers more and more layers of the thickening mystery, she also lays bare some foundations of Victorian society and morality. Before she can unmask the killer, Julia must put aside those notions of what is proper for a woman in her position and look into and unmask the unspoken the class divisions, the repressed sexuality, and a women's role in society. Deanna Raybourne locates the home as the structural and emotional as the center of this historical mystery as indeed it was in Victorian society. As Julia steps across some some of the boundaries prescribed to her as a woman of a certain class and away from the home, her character evolves and becomes more herself through an inner journey that follows her hunt for clues. At the end of this exquisite mystery, the reader cries and laughs and hopes alongside Julia. SILENT IN THE GRAVE is a mystery rich in well-researched historical details but also a fast-paced read as each clue unmasks another mysterious layer. Infused with sadness, SILENT IN THE GRAVE provides humorous relief as the clues lead the reader into an ever increasing dark reality hidden by the masks of Victorian society. The unmasking of the villain leads to ever increasing shocking details. Murder will out, not only the deed but all the dark truths behind the deed. An exceptional emotional and riveting read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    terrific Victorian whodunit

    In 1886 London, Lord Edward Grey dies suddenly while hosting a party at his home from the chronic heart disease that has killed several members of his family. He leaves behind a grieving but wealthy widow Julia. --- While she still mourns her loss, private inquiry Nicholas Brisbane insists that Edward hired him to investigate who was sending him threatening letters. He further insists he believes her late spouse was murdered though the killing was disguised to look like his heart gave out. When he proves his theory, Julia reluctantly asks him to continue his inquiries, but to his dissatisfaction with her help. As they dig into Edward¿s last days, they uncover a secret sexual life her deceased husband led as a killer calmly waits for Julia to figure out the truth, --- This terrific Victorian whodunit starts off displaying the polite manners of the Ton during a period of mourning, but quickly turns into an exciting historical mystery once Nicholas proves to Lady Julia that her late husband was murdered by a clever diabolical adversary. Stunned and needing justice and revenge, the intrepid Lady Julia teams up with the inquiry agent by making inquiries among the servants uncovering along side of Nicholas the fact that her spouse had some secret sexual appetites. Though the era serves as the base for many mystery tales, Deanna Raybourn provides one of the deeper because fans will believe they are accompanying the amateur and professional sleuths around late nineteenth century London. --- Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Well Written Wonderful Read

    I meet Mrs. Raybourn at a local book signing event. I must say I am thoroughly pleased to have made her acquaintance and been given the opportunity to find out about her books.

    From the first line, "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor." To the last line of the book you are whisked away to another time and place. Raybourn's ability to capture the essence of Lady Julia Grey in the wonderful Victorian age is mind boggling. Her attention to details is what brings this wonderfully suspenseful story to life. Raybourn writes in such a way that you can visually see every detail of the story. The characters, homes, rooms, clothes, and even the food, this book was written to be on the silver screen.

    Silent in the Grave is the first of Raybourn's books and the introduction to the timid yet destined to be impetuous, Lady Julia Grey. We find ourselves joining Lady Grey just as her husband is collapsing. As he lies on the floor convulsing, the debonair and mysterious, Nicholas Brisbane, a stranger to Julia rushes to Edwards's side. After Edwards's death Lady Grey begins her first year of mourning as propriety requires. Just as she is making plans to move on Mr. Brisbane pays her a visit to let her know he believes her husband was murdered. This visit from Mr. Brisbane begins a tale so intriguing you cannot quit reading.

    Is Mr. Brisbane correct? Is Lady Grey in danger? Why is Mr. Brisbane so mysterious? Can Lady Grey move on from her husband's death without finding out the answers to these questions? NO! Follow Lady Grey as she discovers not only things about her husband and the hand at which he died. But she discovers who she is and the things that shape her into the best female character in a book for quite some time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Worth being a well-read, well-educated reader

    I usually prefer to familiarize myself with new authors the old-fashioned way, I have heard so much about Deanna Raybourn's "Silent" series I simply couldn't wait. Even having heard (an thoroughly enjoyed) the first book in the series Silent in the Grave, I will definitely get a hard copy and read it again.

    As I told Deanna in an e-mail, her writing makes it worth being a well-read, well-educated reader. Clever, witty and full of references to and influences by other works of literature, it acquires a new dimension in the hands of someone, who can actually recognize and appreciate those literary connections. The author is definitely one of the (unfortunately) small army of writers, who refuse to use one- and two-syllable words and no-more-than five-word sentences, just to dumb the writing down to accommodate a wider audience.

    Call me a snob, but I follow the same principles in my writing as well, hoping that those who truly wish to read clever books will take time to educate themselves and figure out what the words mean. And those who don't wish so? Well, why should I worry about them? Back to Silent in the Grave, all of the perks described above come with a thrilling story, delightfully told. One advantage of the audio version of the book is that you get to hear it narrated by the amazing Ellen Archer, who is definitely the only Lady Julia Gray for me going forward.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book!

    Deanna Raybourn's wonderful historical romance not only introduced us to a delightful cast of intriguing characters, but her suspenseful story line kept the pages turning until the wee hours of the night. The romantic tension that develops between the willfully headstrong Lady Julia and and the intoxicatingly handsome and resolute Bisbane is one for the big screen. As soon as I finished the book I immediately sought out the next two volumes and can not wait until the fourth book is in print! My friends and family are now enjoying the series too and find ourselves debating over who should be cast in the various lead characters. Bravo Ms. Raybourn!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    An Excellent, Entertaining Read

    This may be Raybourn's first novel but you would probably not guess it upon reading her book. From the opening pages, in which Lady Julia's husband dies, to the last plot twist, you'll experience an expertly crafted mystery filled with details and historical facts designed to make you feel like part of the action. This opening to what I can only hope will be a long series of Lady Julia novels will give you all the information you need to enjoy the story but still leave you wanting to know more about these interesting characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2008

    Had me hooked

    In order for me to read books that take place a long time ago, the book has to be extremely good- this was one of them! Had me from page one and I couldn't wait to see the mystery solved. Enjoyed the characters and there was humor sprinkled throughout. Highly recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    Mystery Novel for Romance Readers

    As a semi-single mother of 3, I really don't have the time to sit down and read a complicated book, but I like something that can 'take me away' for a while. I really enjoyed this book. I could read it in the couple minute spurts I had during naps or after the kids went to bed and not have to re-read parts to make sure I picked up all the details like most mystery novels. I'm a Romance junky and this was just up my alley. Also wasn't obvious about the solution, which was nice. Hate when I've figured out the book by chapter 3.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2007

    WONDERFUL Victorian mystery

    This genre is completely new to me, I'm a sci-fi freak, mostly. But this book just grabbed me with both hands & never let go until the last page. Her descriptions are crisp, her dialogue sounds true to the ear, and the tiny details she includes make it all very real. Her characters are wonderfully done, and the story has enough twists & turns & surprises to keep you on the edge of your seat. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves excellent writing, no matter what sort of books one normally reads.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2006

    This a fabulous fresh new Victorian murder mystery!

    The gypsies, the rustle of bombazine and taffeta, the coal dust hanging in the London air, dark nights, private lives opened like a tin of caviar and the upstairs/ downstairs of it all....I couldn't put it down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't waste your time

    I bought this book expecting a romantic period novel. What I got was a book with a ridiculous plot and unrealistic chracters. It's a shame, because Raybourn has a fine writing style, but she wasted her talents on a poor story.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    An exceptional talent. The lady is from Texas. Unbelievable wr

    An exceptional talent. The lady is from Texas. Unbelievable writer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    A very good book

    This book captured my attention from the opening lines. For anyone who likes a good historical mystery this is a must read.

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  • Posted March 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    If you like historic novels and mystery, borrow this book!

    while I never would have picked up this book if not for a book club, I am not thoroughly disapointed either. generally, I do not enjoy historical romance, which is what I assumed this would be. it was far more mystery and sadness then ridiculous sensuality. it isn't written in a typical historical fashion which helped, but was written in a rather bland style no-less. I had troubles getting into this book. I didn't find it interesting enough to sit and read for any length until I was nearly finished. the story itself isn't bad. I enjoyed finding out what happened next, but I'm not sure how this became a series. I enjoyed the characters and the twists and turns of the plot. the end was nothing I could have conceived in the beginning. I do think this book is worth the read, but definitely borrow it. if you enjoy a strong female lead set in an unraveling murder mystery with some surprise twists, that is.

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  • Posted March 10, 2012

    Not up to others' recommendations!

    I couldn't agree with most others' recommendations of this book. Most other reviews were high. I thought that the book was mediocre. The storyline dragged, the characters were more caricatures than characters and the writing seemed amateurish to me. I don't see what others see in this series.

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  • Posted November 9, 2011

    Very Enjoyable Read!

    The Lady Julia Grey Series is so much fun. The characters are rich and Ms. Raybourn writes with lovely detail so you are drawn into the lives of Lady Julia and her friends and family. I am hoping that there will be many more books in this series.

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