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Silent on the Moor (Lady Julia Grey Series #3)
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Silent on the Moor (Lady Julia Grey Series #3)

4.2 82
by Deanna Raybourn
 

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Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family—the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon

Overview

Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family—the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes….

A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Following Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary, the newest book in the Lady Julia Grey series has a lot to measure up to-and it does. Freed from many of Victorian society's strictures following her husband's death, Julia feels she's found purpose assisting private inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane, but their mutual attraction and his self-determined unsuitability keep them at a crossroads. As Julia descends on Grimsgrave, Brisbane's newly purchased estate on the Yorkshire moors, it becomes clear that it's not just the house that's rapidly falling apart-the inhabitants aren't doing well either. As the characters unravel, the mystery begins. The complex story mixes the dangerous undertones of family secrets, local lore, and the current desires of the living. After Brisbane is nearly murdered, the suspense builds to a wonderfully shocking end. Learning about Brisbane's past, a satisfying conclusion, and the promise of another book will thrill longtime fans. A great choice for mystery, historical fiction, and/or romance readers, with a strong appeal for Anne Perry buffs.
—Stacey Hayman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780778326144
Publisher:
Mira
Publication date:
03/01/2009
Series:
Lady Julia Grey Series , #3
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Julia Grey, I would rather see you hanged than watch any sister of mine go haring off after a man who will not have her," my brother Bellmont raged. "And Portia, I am thoroughly appalled that you would not only condone such behaviour, but abet it by accompanying Julia. You are her elder sister. You ought to set an example." I sighed and stared longingly at the whisky decanter. Portia and I had known that the summons to our father's London townhouse was a thinly-veiled ambush, but I do not think either of us had expected the attack to be so quick, nor so brutal. We had scarcely taken our seats in Father's comfortable library before our eldest brother launched into a tirade against our proposed visit to Yorkshire. Father, ensconced behind his vast mahogany desk, said nothing. His expression was inscrutable behind his half-moon spectacles.

Catching my wistful glance, Portia rose and poured us both glasses of whisky. "Take this, dearest," she urged. "Bellmont is in rare form. He will surely rail at us until supper unless he has an apoplexy first," she finished cheerfully.

Bellmont's already high colour deepened alarmingly. "You may well jest about this, but it is unacceptable for Julia to accept an invitation to stay with Brisbane at his country house. He is an unmarried man, and she is a widow of thirty. Even if you are there to chaperone, Portia, you must admit, it would be a complete violation of propriety."

"Oh, Julia hasn't been invited," Portia responded helpfully. "I was. Julia rather invited herself."

Bellmont clicked his teeth together and drew in a deep breath, his nostrils going white at the edges. "If that is supposed to offer me comfort, it is a cold one, I assure you."

Portia shrugged and sipped at her whisky. Bellmont turned to me, deliberately softening his tone. At more than forty years of age and heir to our father's earldom, he had long since grown accustomed to having his own way. It was only with his eccentric family that his success was mixed. With a cunning blend of sternness, cajolery, and logic, he was sometimes able to bend us to his will, but just as often he found himself not speaking to more than one of his nine siblings. Now he attempted an appeal to my reason.

"Julia, I understand you were quite bereft when Edward died. You were very young to be a widow, and I am sympathetic to the fact that you felt compelled to search out your husband's murderer." I raised my brows. He had not been so sympathetic at the time. When I had unmasked my husband's killer in a dramatic scene during which my town-house was burned down and I nearly lost my life, Bellmont had actually stopped speaking to me for two months. Apparently, murder is a failing of the middle classes only. Aristocrats are supposed to be above such unpleasantness.

He went on. "I realise your connection with Mr. Brisbane was a necessary evil at the time. He has proved himself a thoroughly capable inquiry agent and, mercifully, a discreet one. But your association with this man cannot continue. I do not know what Father was thinking to invite him to Bellmont Abbey at Christmas, but it was badly done, and it has given you ideas."

"And God knows women mustn't have ideas," Portia murmured into her glass. Bellmont did not even bother to look at her. We were well-accustomed to Portia's pointed asides.

I looked helplessly at Father, who merely shrugged and poured himself a glass of whisky. If Bellmont continued on we should become a family of inebriates.

"Monty," I began, deliberately sweetening my tone, "I do appreciate your concern. But Father has already explained to you Brisbane was there to pursue an investigation. He left before the family arrived for Christmas. You did not even see him. I have never invited him to accompany me to your home, nor have I ever foisted him upon you in any social situation, although he would not be entirely out of place. His great-uncle is the Duke of Aberdour, you know."

Bellmont rubbed a hand over his face, smoothing the furrows that marked his handsome brow. "My dear, his antecedents are quite immaterial. He is in trade. He is a half-Gypsy vagabond who makes his living by dealing in the sordid miseries of others. His exploits are fodder for the newspapers, and we have been dragged through those rather enough at present," he finished, shooting Father a look that was ripe with bitterness.

Father waved an indolent hand. "Do not blame me, boy. I did my best to sweep the entire matter under the carpet, as did Brisbane." That much was true. The newspapers, through Father's influence and Brisbane's connections, had taken little enough notice of the events at Bellmont Abbey, although a few rather distasteful morsels had found their way into print.

Bellmont swung round to face Father while Portia and I huddled closer to one another on the sofa and drank our whisky.

"I am not unaware of your efforts, Father. But the press have always been interested in our little peccadilloes, and you have simply not done enough to keep them at bay, particularly when you were so indiscreet as to entertain your mistress at the same Christmas party as your children and grandchildren."

"A hit, a palpable hit," Portia whispered. I stifled a giggle. Bellmont was being rather unfair to Father. He had exercised as much authority over the press in the matter as he could. Considering what had actually transpired at the Abbey, we were lucky it had not become the scandal of the century.

"Madame de Bellefleur is not my mistress," Father said, puffing his cheeks indignantly. "She is my friend, and I shall thank you to speak of her respectfully."

"It does not matter what she is," Bellmont pointed out acidly. "It only matters what they say she is. Do you have any notion how damaging such stories could be to me, to my children? Orlando is considering a run for Parliament when he is established, and Virgilia is to be presented this season. Her chances for a good match could be completely overthrown by your conduct, and it will not improve matters for her aunts to be seen chasing off to Yorkshire to stay with a bachelor of questionable reputation."

Portia stirred. "I should think the fact that I live openly with a woman would be far more damaging to her chances for a society marriage," she remarked coolly.

Bellmont flinched. "Your relationship with Jane is something to which I have become reconciled over these past ten years. It is a credit to Jane that she lives quietly and does not care to move in society."

Portia's eyes glinted ominously, and I laid a warning hand on her wrist. "Jane is the love of my life, Bellmont, not a pet to be trained."

Father held up a hand. "Enough. I will not have you quarrelling like dogs over an old bone. I thought we buried that particular issue long ago. Bellmont, you forget yourself. I have permitted you to abuse your sisters and me quite long enough."

Bellmont opened his mouth to protest, but Father waved him off. "You have a care for your sisters' reputations, and that does you credit, but I must observe for a man so often hailed as one of the greatest brains of his generation, you are remarkably obtuse about women. You've been married going on twenty years, boy. Have you not yet learned that it is easier to pull a star down from the heavens than to bend a woman to your will? The most tractable of women will kick over the traces if you insist upon obedience and, in case it has escaped your notice, your sisters are not the most tractable of women. No, if they are intent upon going to Yorkshire, go they will."

Portia flicked a triumphant gaze at Bellmont who had gone quite pale under the angry wash of red over his fair complexion. I took another sip of my whisky and wondered not for the first time why my parents had found it necessary to have so many children.

"Father," Bellmont began, but Father rose, straightening his poppy-coloured waistcoat and raising a hand.

"I know. You are worried for your children, as you should be, and I will see that their chances are not damaged by the actions of their aunts." He paused, for dramatic effect no doubt, then pronounced in ringing tones, "Your sisters will travel under the protection of their brother, Valerius."

Portia and I gaped at him, stunned to silence. Bellmont was quicker off the mark. Mollified, he nodded at Father. "Very well. Valerius is thoroughly incapable of controlling them, but at least his presence will lend the appearance of respectability. Thank you, Father." He turned to leave, giving us a piercing look. "I suppose it would be too much to ask that you conduct yourselves like ladies, but do try," he offered as a parting shot.

Portia was still sputtering when the footman shut the door behind him. "Honestly, Father, I do not see why you didn't have him drowned as a child. You've four other sons, what's one at the bottom of the pond?"

Father shrugged. "I would have drowned him myself had I known he would turn out Tory. I know you want to remonstrate with me over the suggestion of travelling with Valerius, but I want to talk to your sister. Leave us to chat a moment, will you, my dear?" he said to Portia.

She rose gracefully and turned, pulling a face at me as she went. I tried not to fidget, but I felt suddenly shy and uncertain. I smiled up at Father winsomely and attempted to divert the conversation.

"Valerius will be simply furious with you, Father. You know he hates to leave London, and he is devoted to his work with Dr. Bent. He's just bought a new microscope."

It might have been a good diversion under other circumstances. Father could rant easily for an hour on the subject of Valerius and his unsuitable interest in medicine. But he had other game afoot.

He turned to me, folding his arms across his chest. "Do not look to distract me," he said sternly. "What the devil do you mean by hunting Brisbane like a fox? Monty is right, though I would not give him the satisfaction of saying so in front of him. It is damned unseemly and shows a distinct lack of pride. I reared you for better."

I smoothed my skirts under nervous fingers. "I am not hunting Brisbane. He asked Portia to come and help him sort out the estate. Apparently the former owner left it in a frightful state and Brisbane hasn't any lady to act as chatelaine and put things in order." I opened my eyes very wide to show I was telling the truth.

"Nicholas Brisbane is entirely capable of ordering his own bedsheets and hiring his own cook," he commented, narrowing his gaze.

"There is nothing sinister afoot," I assured him. "Brisbane wrote in January to accept Portia's offer to help arrange his household. He told her to wait until April when the weather would be more hospitable. That is the whole of it."

"And how did you become involved?" Father demanded.

"I saw the letter and thought springtime on the moors sounded very pleasant."

Father shook his head slowly. "Not likely. You mean to settle this thing between you, whatever it is."

I twisted a bit of silken cushion fringe in my fingers and looked away. "It is complicated," I began.

"Then let us have it simply," he cut in brutally. "Has he offered you marriage?"

"No." My voice was nearly inaudible, even to my own ears.

"Has he given you a betrothal ring?"

"No."

"Has he ever spoken of marrying you?"

"No."

"Has he written to you since he left for Yorkshire?"

"No."

My replies dropped like stones, heavy with importance. He waited a long moment and the only sounds were the soft rustling of the fire on the hearth and the quiet ticking of the mantel clock.

"He has offered you nothing, made no plans for the future, has not even written. And still you mean to go to him?" His voice was soft now, free of judgment or recrimination, and yet it stung like salt on a wound.

I raised my gaze to his. "I must. I will know when I see him again. If there is nothing there, I will return to London by the first train and never speak of him again, never wonder what might have been. But if there is a chance that he feels for me—" I broke off. The rest of it need not be spoken aloud.

"And you are quite determined?"

"Quite," I said, biting off the word sharply. He said nothing for a moment, but searched my face, doubtless looking for any sign that I was less than resolute and might be persuaded to abandon my plans.

At length he sighed, then drained the last of his whisky. "Go then. Go under Valerius' protection, however feeble that may be, and find out if Brisbane loves you. But I tell you this," he said, folding me into his embrace and pressing a kiss into my hair, "I may be above seventy years of age, but I still fence every day and if the blackguard hurts you I will hunt him down and leave a stiletto in his heart."

"Thank you, Father. That is very comforting."

Dinner that evening was a peculiarly quiet affair. Portia was a charming hostess and kept an admirable table. She was renowned for the quality of her food and wines as well as the excellence of the company. She knew the most interesting people and often invited them to little suppers arranged to show them to perfection, like gems in a thoughtful setting. But that night there were only ourselves—Portia, her belovedJane, and me. We were all of us occupied with our own thoughts and said little, our silences punctuated with phlegmy snorts from Portia's vile pet, Mr. Pugglesworth, asleep under the table.

After one particularly nasty interlude, I laid down my knife. "Portia, must you have that dog in the dining room? He is putting me quite off my food."

She waved a fork at me. "Do not be peevish just because Bellmont took you to task today."

"Puggy is rather foul," Jane put in quietly. "I will remove him to the pantry."

She rose and collected the animal, coaxing him out with a bit of stewed prune. Portia watched her, saying nothing. They were a study in contrasts, each lovely in her own way, but different as chalk and cheese. Portia had a fine-boned elegance, coupled with the classic March family colouring of dark hair faintly touched with red and wide green eyes. She dressed flamboyantly, in colours suited to the pale alabaster of her skin, always in a single hue from head to toe.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a double major in English and history and an emphasis on Shakespearean studies. She taught high school English for three years in San Antonio before leaving education to pursue a career as a novelist. Deanna makes her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband and daughter and is hard at work on her next novel.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Williamsburg, Virginia
Date of Birth:
June 17, 1968
Place of Birth:
Ft. Worth, Texas
Education:
B.A. in English and History, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1990
Website:
http://www.deannaraybourn.com

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Silent on the Moor (Lady Julia Grey Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
debbook More than 1 year ago
Silent on the Moor is third in the Lady Julia Grey Victorian mystery series by Deanna Raybourn. In this third installment, we have Julia following the handsome private investigator, Nicholas Brisbane, to the moors of Yorkshire. Julia first met Brisbane after her husband was murdered in the first book, Silent in the Grave. Julia comes from wealth, a large eccentric family. Brisbane is half Gypsy, half English. But Julia does not care about propriety and has followed Brisbane on the pretense of keeping her sister Portia company, while Portia sets up household for Brisbane at Grimsgrave Hall, the manor that he has recently purchased. Brisbane does not think he is good enough for the young widow, Lady Julia, and tries to drive her away. But she is determined to settle things between them once and for all. But first she has to solve the mystery of the hidden mummy babies, and the attempted murder by poison of Nicholas. The Allenby's are the former owners of Grimsgrave Hall and the mother and her two daughters are still living there while a cottage is being prepared for them. They had to sell the manor after the son squandered the family money before his death from malaria. Julia discovers Brisbane's ties to the family and the reason he has bought this rundown manor and the plans they have for him. I love the Lady Julia series. The more recent book covers portray these books as bodice ripper romances. But they are not, they are well-written mysteries with complex plots and fascinating characters. Of course, the chemistry between Julia and Brisbane doesn't hurt either. Julia is very stubborn and headstrong and ignores Brisbane's warnings of danger and is often involved in scandalous behavior. And though he is loathe to admit it, he needs her help. This is a perfect read to snuggle up with on a cold night. Though these books could be read as stand alone, I really recommend starting at the beginning to really get the history and flavor of the series. You don't want to miss any of these books. They only downside is that this is the last book until Raybourn writes another, which I hope will be soon. I look forward to more adventures of Nicholas and Lady Julia! http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/
magggs More than 1 year ago
I had great anticipation for this Raybourn sequel and it did not disappoint. Her main characters continue to be original and well-constructed, and her plots involving and satisfying. This book owes a lot to the Brontes, and even to Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles, but while it revisits the familiar Victorian themes of class disparity,loneliness and human contradiction, and paints a very gothic portrait of the moors, it's also fast paced and very modern in it's appeal, and in the character of the heroine and her sister.The hero is a bit stereotypically brooding and inscrutable at times, but he never seems to be acting out of character, and the final resolution of conflict and tension between the two main characters is entirely believable. I hope Raybourn continues to give us many more of these intelligent and entertaining ventures into reviving the Gothic romance.
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
Lady Julia Grey has had enough. Despite Brisbane's best efforts to keep her safely out of his path, she has decided to follow her sister Portia to his remote Yorkshire estate, Grimsgrave, on the pretext of helping him to outfit the place. Despite his strong feelings for her (and she for him) Brisbane decidedly does not want Julia to come to his new home but Julia convinces her reluctant family to let her go and force Brisbane to decide once and for all what is to become of their relationship. Upon arriving at the mysterious Grimsgrave, Julia finds things are not as calm as they appeared and she slowly unravel mystery after mystery surrounding the the previous owners of Grimsgrave and their connection to Brisbane. All my favorite elements from previous books are once again out in force - gypsies, the quirky Grim, servants who will happily spill gossip for a chance to chat with the lovely Lady Julia, and of course, bodies that keep popping up. Not to mention Julia's frequent interactions with her hilarious family - Julia and Portia's exhangces frequently had me in stitches. This third installment of Raybourn's fantastic series is a real standout. I felt the mystery itself was much more unexpected yet entirely believable and for that reason more horrifying. Julia really comes into her own as well. Always outspoken, she finds herself for the first time on equal footing with Brisbane and adeptly holds her own. I loved it. Lady Julia Grey is my hero. Not only is smart and an extremely good dresser but she just so happens to expertly solve the most puzzling mysteries that normal people would run screaming away from. Her curiosity is one of her most intriguing characteristics - she is logical, methodical and can give one cutting remark. I love her. I want to be her. And I also want Brisbane. And Ms. Raybourne, just so you know, I sleep much better at night just thinking that a Brisbane could possibly be wandering around this earth. Thank you. seemichelleread.blogspot.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(First I should state that I would LOVE to see this series put on film by only the best producers/directors.) I was introduced to this author by a local bookstore employee and have been hooked since the first, "Silent in the Grave". I agree with the other posts on three points...I prefered the more mysterious covers of the previous two books, waiting for this to become available was a KILLER and one needs to pace oneself so as to savor the book as long as you can. I preordered with B&N and it arrived just in time to make winter temporarily disappear. Deanna Raybourn has a writing style that appeals to me as a reader. She draws you into a lovely scene and the story unfolds with a mesmerizing effect that the reader forgets they are turning pages. Then you realize, the chapter breaks and you see the beautiful quotes and scroll work to indicate that you have been entranced. Some plots I presumed to have had figured out but was grateful that I had not. Descriptions were wonderful. You can feel the emotions, smell the odors, hear the sounds. A delightful way to treat your eyes. I look forward to many more novels written by Ms. Raybourn.
Michelle_Palmer More than 1 year ago
Another fantastic book by Deanna Raybourn. This is the first book that I have read in this series, it will definitely not be the last. I loved the characters, setting, and plot. A great mystery set in the moors of Yorkshire. A creepy old family and a Gothic, crumbling house. A house and town full of fantastic characters. I loved Julia and Brisbane. They are a fantastic duo.
van65 More than 1 year ago
Nicholas may be a tad to tortured, but overall plot and writing very good. Characters are really starting to come alive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I can't wait to start the next one!
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Raybourn needs to be more csreful w/ her clues. I figured out the plot almost right away -- even specific details. At one point it was so obvious I just rolled my eyes. Hope the next one is better at the plot twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of the entire series (thus far) this book is my favorite!
firesidereader2 More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites in the Lady Julia saga....love the setting, love meeting the gypsy aunt, and part of mysteries past are revealed.
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