Silent in the Sanctuary

Silent in the Sanctuary

by Deanna Raybourn

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460393468
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 08/17/2015
Series: A Lady Julia Grey Mystery , #2
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 57,978
File size: 828 KB

About 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.

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

Read an Excerpt



"Well, I suppose that settles it. Either we all go home to England for Christmas or we hurl ourselves into Lake Como to atone for our sins."

I threw my elder brother a repressive look. "Do not be so morose, Plum. Fathers only really angry with Lysander," I pointed out, brandishing the letter from England with my fingertips. The paper fairly scorched my skin. Fathers temper was a force of nature. Unable to rant at Lysander directly, he had applied himself to written chastisement with great vigour.

"The rest of us can go home easily enough," I said. "Just think of it—Christmas in England! Plum pudding and snapdragon, mistletoe and wassail—"

"Chilblains and damp beds, fogs so thick you cannot set foot out of doors," Plum put in, his expression sour. "Someone sobbing in the linen cupboard, Father locking himself in the study after threatening to drown the lot of us in the moat."

"I know," I said, my excitement rising. "Won't it be wonderful?"

Plum's face cracked into a thin, wistful smile. "It will, actually. I have rather missed the old pile—and the family, as well. But I shall be sorry to leave Italy. It has been an adventure I shall not soon forget."

On that point we were in complete agreement. Italy had been a balm to me, soothing and stimulating at once. I had joined two of my brothers, Lysander and Eglamour—Plum to the family—after suffering the loss of my husband and later my home, and very nearly my own life. I had arrived in Italy with my health almost broken and my spirit in a sorrier state. Four months in a warm, sunny clime with the company of my brothers had restored me. And though the weather had lately grown chill and the seasons were turning inward, I had no wish to leave Italy yet. Still, the lure of family and home, particularly at Christmas, was strong.

"Well, who is to say we must return permanently? Italy shall always be here. We can go to England for Christmas and still be back in Venice in time for Carnevale."

Plum's smile deepened. "That is terribly cunning of you, Julia. I think living among Italians has developed a latent talent in you for intrigue."

It was a jest, but the barb struck too close to home, and I lowered my head over my needlework. I had engaged in an intrigue in England although I had never discussed it with my brothers. There had been an investigation into my husbands death, a private investigation conducted by an inquiry agent. I had assisted him and unmasked the killer myself. It had been dangerous, nasty work, and I told myself I was happy to be done with it.

But even as I plunged my needle into the canvas, trailing a train of luscious scarlet silk behind it, I felt a pang of regret—regret that my days were occupied with nothing more purposeful than those of any other lady of society. I had had a glimpse of what it meant to be useful, and it stung now to be merely decorative. I longed for something more important than the embroidering of cushions or the pouring of tea to sustain me.

Of my other regrets, I would not let myself think. I yanked at the needle, snarling the thread.

"Blast," I muttered, rummaging in my work basket for my scissors.

"We are a deceptively domestic pair," Plum said suddenly.

I snapped the threads loose and peered at him. "Whatever do you mean?"

He waved a hand. "This lovely villa, the fireside, both of us in slippers. I, reading my paper from England whilst you ply your needle. We might be any couple, by any fireside, placidly whiling away the darkening hours of an autumn eve."

I glanced about. The rented villa was comfortably, even luxuriously appointed. The long windows of the drawing room overlooked Lake Como, although the heavy velvet draperies had long since been drawn against the gathering dark. "I suppose, but—"

What I had been about to say next was lost. Morag, my maid, entered the drawing room to announce a visitor.

"The Count of Four-not-cheese."

I gave her an evil look and tossed my needlework aside. Plum dashed his newspaper to the floor and jumped to his feet.

"Alessandro!" he cried. "You are a welcome sight! We did not expect you until Saturday."

Morag did not move, and our visitor stepped neatly around her, doffing his hat and cape. They were speckled with raindrops that glittered in the firelight. He held them out to Morag who looked at him as though he had just offered her a dead animal. I rushed to take them.

"Alessandro, how lovely to see you." I thrust the cape and hat at Morag. "Take these and brush them well," I instructed. "And his name is Fornacci," I hissed at her.

She gave me a shrug and a curl of the lip and departed, dragging the tail of Alessandro's beautiful coat on the marble floor as she went.

I turned to him, smiling brightly. "Do come in and get warm by the fire. It has turned beastly out there and you must be chilled to the bone."

He gave me a look rich with gratitude, and something rather more as well. Plum and I bustled about, plumping cushions and making him comfortable with a chair by the fire and a glass of good Irish whiskey. Alessandro had never tasted whiskey until making the acquaintance of my brothers, but had become something of a connoisseur in the months he had known them. To begin with, he no longer made the mistake of tossing his head back and drinking the entire glass at one gulp.

After a few minutes by the fire he had thawed sufficiently to speak. "It is so good to see you again," he said, careful to look at Plum as well as myself when he spoke. "I am very much looking forward to spending Christmas with you here." His English was terribly fluent, very much better than my Italian, but there was a formality that lingered in his speech. I found it charming.

Plum, who had poured himself a steady glass of spirits, took a deep draught. "I am afraid there has been a change in plans, old man."

"Old man" was his favourite nickname for Alessandro, no doubt for its incongruity. Alessandro was younger than either of us by some years.

The young man's face clouded a little and he looked from Plum to me, his silky dark brows knitting in concern. "I am not invited for Christmas? Shall I return to Firenze then?"

I slapped Plum lightly on the knee. "Don't be vile. You have made Alessandro feel unwelcome." It had been arranged that Alessandro would come to us in November, and we would all spend the holiday together before making a leisurely journey to Venice in time for Carnevale. There was no hope of such a scheme now. I turned to Alessandro, admiring for a moment the way the firelight licked at his hair. I had thought it black, but his curls shone amber and copper in their depths. I wondered how difficult it would be to persuade Plum to paint him.

"You see, Alessandro," I explained, "we have received a letter from our father, the Earl March. He is displeased with our brother Lysander and wishes us all to return to England at once. We shall spend Christmas there."

"Ah. How can one argue with the call of family? If you must return, my friends, you must return. But know that you will always carry with you the highest regard of Alessandro Fornacci."

This handsome speech was accompanied by a courtly little bow from the neck and a noble, if pained, expression that would have done a Caesar proud.

"I have a better idea, and a very good notion it is," Plum said slowly. "What if we bring Alessandro with us?"

I had just taken a sip of my own whiskey and I choked lightly. "I beg your pardon, Plum?"

Alessandro raised his hands in a gesture I had seen many Italians employ, as if warding something off. "No, my friend, I must not. If your father is truly angry, he will not welcome an intruder at this time."

"Are you mad? This is precisely the time to bring someone outside the family into the fold. It will keep him from killing Lysander outright. He will behave himself if we cart you back to England with us. The old man has peculiar ideas, but he is appallingly hospitable."

"Plum, kindly do not refer to Father as 'the old man'. It is disrespectful," I admonished.

Alessandro was shaking his head. "But I have not been invited. It would be a great discourtesy."

"It would be a far greater discourtesy for Father to kill his own son," Plum pointed out tartly. "And you have been invited. By us. Now I must warn you, the family seat is rather old-fashioned. Father doesn't hold with new ideas, at least not for country houses. You'll find no steam heat or even gaslights. I'm afraid it's all coal fires and candles, but it really is a rather special old place. You always said you wanted to see England, and Bellmont Abbey is as English as it gets, dear boy."

Alessandro hesitated. "If I may be so bold, why is his lordship so angry with Lysander? Surely it is not—"

"It is," Plum and I chorused.

Just at that moment, sounds of a quarrel began to echo from upstairs. There was a shout and the unmistakable crash of breaking crockery.

"But the earl, he cannot object to Lysander's marriage to so noble and lovely a lady as Violante," Alessandro put in, quite diplomatically I thought.

Something landed with a great thud on the floor, shivering the ceiling and causing the chandelier above our heads to sway gently.

"Do you suppose that was one of them?" Plum inquired lightly.

"Don't jest. If it was, we shall have to deal with the body," I reminded him. Violante began to shriek, punctuating her words with tiny stamps of her heel from the sound of it.

"I wonder what she is calling him. It cannot be very nice," I mused.

Alessandro gave an elegant shrug. "I regret, my understanding of Napolitana, it is imperfect." He dropped his eyes, and I wondered if he understood more than politeness would allow him to admit.

"Probably for the best," Plum remarked, draining the last of his whiskey.

"Do not finish off the decanter," I warned him. "Lysander will want a glass or two when they have finished for the evening."

"Or seven," Plum countered with a twitch of his lip. I gave him a disapproving look. Lysander's marital woes were not a source of amusement to me. I had endured enough of my own connubial difficulties to be sympathetic. Plum, however, wore a bachelors indifference. He had never said so, but I suspected his favourite brothers defection to the married state had rankled him. They had travelled the Continent together for years, roaming wherever their interests and their acquaintance had directed them, exploring museums and opera houses and ruined castles. They wrote poetry and concertos and painted murals on the walls of ancient abbeys. They had been the staunchest companions until Lysander, having left his thirtieth birthday some years past, had spotted Violante sitting serenely in her uncles box at La Fenice. It was, as the Tuscans say, un colpo difulmine, a bolt of lightning.

It was also a bit misleading. Upon further investigation, Lysander discovered Violante was Neapolitan, not Venetian, and there was quite simply nothing about her that was serene. She carried in her blood all the warmth and passion and raw-boned energy of her native city Violante was Naples, and for a cool-blooded, cool-headed Englishman like Lysander the effect was intoxicating. He married her within a month, and presented Plum and me with a fait accompli, a sister-in-law who smothered us in kisses and heady jasmine perfumes. For my part, I found her charming, wholly unaffected if somewhat exhausting. Plum, on the other hand, was perfectly cordial and cordially perfect. Whenever Violante stepped from a carriage or shivered from the cold, Plum would offer her a hand or his greatcoat, bowing and murmuring a graciously phrased response to her effusive thanks. And yet always he watched her with the cool detachment one usually reserves for specimens at the zoological garden. I often thought there might be real fondness there if he could unbend a little and forgive her for coming so precipitously into our lives.

But Plum was nothing if not stubborn, and I knew a straightforward approach would only cause him to dig his heels into the ground like a recalcitrant pony. So I endeavoured to distract him with little whims and treats, cajoling him into good temper in spite of himself.

And then we met Alessandro, or to be accurate, I met Alessandro, for he was a friend of my brothers of some years' duration. Rome had been too hot, too noisy, altogether too much for my delicate state when I first arrived in Italy. My brothers immediately decided to quit the city and embark on a leisurely tour to the north, lingering for a few days or even weeks in any particularly engaging spot, but always pushing on toward Florence. We settled comfortably in a tiny palazzo there, and I began to recover. My fire-roughened voice smoothed again, never quite as it had been, but not noticeably damaged. My lungs were strengthened and my spirits raised. Lysander felt comfortable enough to leave us to accept an invitation for a brief trip to Venice to celebrate the private debut of a friends opera. Plum pledged to watch over me, and Lysander departed, to return a month later after endless delays and a secret wedding, his voluble bride in tow.

Alessandro had kept us company while Lysander was away, guiding us to hidden piazze, revealing secret gardens and galleries no tourists ever crowded. He drove us to Fiesole in a beribboned pony cart, stopping to point out the most breathtaking views in that enchanted hilltop town, and introduced us to inns in whose flower-drenched courtyards we were served food so delicious it must have been bewitched. Plum always seemed to wander off, sketchbook in hand to capture a row of cypresses, stalwart and straight as a regiment, or the elegant curve of a si-gnorina's cheek, distinctive as a goddess out of myth. Alessandro did not seem to mind. He talked to me of history and culture and we practiced our languages with each other, learning to speak of everything and nothing at all.

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Silent in the Sanctuary (Lady Julia Grey Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Amysmithers More than 1 year ago
amazing mystery with underlying romance. This book was as good as book 1. every character is intriguing-even the villains! Lady Jane is a strong (and a bit eccentric) heroine that you can't help but adore. Brisbane is dark and moody. Good chemistry.
Belinda_Kroll More than 1 year ago
Contrary to many of the reviews that I read on Amazon.com, I really liked this book precisely because the continued love-hate relationship from the previous book, Silent in the Grave, was in no way resolved, and in a way that was true to the characters. That's genius, if you ask me, because it keeps the true fans of the series panting for more. This book is funny, charming, and portrays High Victorian Society oh so well. The setting is well-written without overtaking the plot, the characters are snappy, and my favorite device is used: giving tertiary characters their own subplots that affect the whole. Read this book for a sophomore attempt that was as good (if not better) than the first, for a lesson in creating characters that don't fit in their own society and yet seem genuine to the reader, a true puzzle of a crime, a charming and funny narrator, a passionate romance with no real sense of a happy ending (must continue to read the series!), and the only series in a long time that has an alpha romance lead that doesn't make me want to shoot him. * Review originally posted at my blog, Worderella Writes: http://worderella.com/2008/03/book-silent-in-the-sanctuary/ *
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely better than the last. To a point I did enjoy [book:Silent in the Grave], but the solving point I felt ruined what could have been a perfectly great mystery. But that's enough about that. I really enjoyed this one. This was not just one mystery, but several wrapped up in one. There was some romance and extreme feelings between various persons and trying to see them was a task. I enjoyed this story, and it makes me anxious to read [book: Silent on the Moor], because I believe it will be even better. The first book I would not recommend to certain audiences, but I believe that most people could read this one without much affect in a negative sense. It is much more tasteful and enjoyable. I felt as if I could see clues and piece them together, when with the first novel it was more of a jolt of information here and there. In my opinion, this author is getting better and better.
les121 on LibraryThing 18 days ago
What a wonderful follow-up to Silent in the Grave! Once again, the mystery is engaging and complex, with exciting twists and intriguing secondary characters. I especially love the relationship development between Julia and Brisbane. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series, and I can¿t wait to dive into the March family¿s next adventure.
runaway84 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Oh, yes, I was right. So far, the series is getting better as it goes along. The mystery, I found, was more gripping than the previous installment; I didn't guess the guilty party this time around. Even so, I found myself more engrossed with Nicholas Brisbane and his relationship with Lady Julia.This installment had something the previous one lacked: more goings on. More things were happening. And there was more than one mystery, however small. Also, a most intriguing group of characters.Looking forward to the third installment. I have no doubt I will do the same as I did with this one: Gobbling it up in two days time.
annekiwi on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I think I liked this one even more than Silent in the Grave. Julia really seemed to come into her own in this book, really get a sense of herself and what she wants in her life. The mystery was a bit convoluted and it was difficult to determine who was the bad guy, even at the end. Still, I liked it very much and look forward to reading the third (and I believe, final) installment of the Lady Julia Grey series.
ddelmoni on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Just love this series. So happy that there are at least 2 more installments of Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane. Raybourns characters are fascinating!
harperhaven on LibraryThing 21 days ago
This was an enjoyable read. The mystery wasn't the most complicated but she developed her characters well, captured the time period nuances and threw in a little romance. Unfortunately this was book 2 in the series. I would have preferred to read book 1 first but I didn't realize it until 2 late. I will read book one.
philae_02 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I thoughly enjoyed this work. Can't wait to read the others.
chmessing on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Not quite as spot on as the first one, but still a great book that I would recommend highly.
victorianrose869 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
9-24-2008A fitting sequel to Raybourn¿s Victorian mystery series featuring Lady Julia Grey (see my previous post / review on Silent in the Grave for more info about the first book).After the events ¿ primarily, the murder of Julia¿s husband Edward - of Silent in the Grave which introduced us to Julia, Nicholas Brisbane and the March family, this installment is an even more enjoyable read. Julia has done her best to try and recover from the discovery that her husband was murdered, not to mention surviving her own near-demise, and a sojourn in the soothing warmth of Italy with two of her brothers has helped her gather her thoughts and decide what to do next. First, though, there¿s a weekend Christmas party to attend at her family¿s ancestral estate back in England. After arriving back home at the March manor, things go awry pretty quickly when the first thing Julia learns is that Nicholas Brisbane, whom she hasn¿t seen or heard from in months since their co-investigation into her husband¿s murder, is in attendance, along with a ridiculous fiancée Julia can¿t believe he actually intends to marry. On top of that, the weekend party that had once promised fun and frolic for all turns to utter chaos and malice as the guests are snowed in by a storm and one of them is murdered. Once again, Julia and Nicholas are forced to work together to unravel the mystery. This could have been incredibly trite and formulaic, but it actually wasn¿t. Not too much, anyway! As stated in my review of Grave, I usually loathe and despise romance in just about any form and avoid it like the plague. Again though, this series is not in the romance genre, per se, but rather a `romantic mystery¿. I usually avoid those too, but for some reason this author has managed to hold my attention, AND I don¿t even roll my eyes very often! I think it¿s the characterization of Julia that has impressed me most. At first I didn¿t care for her too much, annoyed with her relative innocence, but I realize now it was purposeful so that we can watch her grow and evolve as the series progresses. She¿s already changed a great deal from the naïve young widow she was at the start of Grave, and in the course of Sanctuary continues to come into her own as a woman, gaining confidence and bucking traditions and social mannerisms she sees as silly and counter-productive to her happiness. I like the way she handles Nicholas here, especially towards the resolution. I think I cheered aloud, actually. The atmosphere is wonderful here, too. Bellmont Abbey is the seat of the March family, built almost a century before as a monastery. Raybourn¿s descriptions offer up a perfect visual of it, from the vast, lush grounds to the chandeliers and exotic rugs. I would love to roam its old stone halls! The cast is entertaining, as well, in a hysterically Dickensian fashion, from Julia¿s doting old dad to her nutty brothers, the wild Italian sister-in-law, the scandalously lesbian sister, and various other memorable characters. All are well-drawn and left me wanting to spend more time with them. Looking forward to the next installment now, Silent on the Moor, which is due out in March 2009 (taps foot).
TadAD on LibraryThing 21 days ago
For anyone who enjoyed the first book in this mystery series, Silent in the Grave, I would definitely recommend that they continue on with this second volume. That said, this book suffers a bit overall when compared to the first. On the positive side, I think the culprit in the mystery is a little less obvious to the reader. Raybourn does a better job of keeping several contenders for the title plausible and, though the reader will probably discount several considered by Julia and Nicholas, that still leaves a few to keep you guessing. Additionally, the writing seemed smoother to me this second time around. Perhaps Ms. Raybourn is simply becoming more familiar with her characters or, perhaps, this particular tale is just easier to write, but things flowed along more evenly. On the romantic side, the relationship between Julia and Nicholas was handled well¿instead of falling into each other's arms, we can see that these two individualistic and prickly people will be spending some amusing time (for us) trying to get past the thorns. On the negative side, the resolution of the mysteries possessed a little less excitement than I would have liked and expected from Silent in Grave. We've got murders and grand thefts but the final resolutions of all of them occur off-camera. I felt that the social tension of Julia vs. Victorian Social Convention that was present in the first volume (proper women just don't investigate murders) was lacking in this offering. This mystery is one of the "everyone snowbound in the house" genre and, since the inhabitants of the house were largely the convention-defying Marches, it felt a bit like a 21st century environment than 19th century in the equality granted to the women. Even the disapproval of the few outsiders at the house party seemed tepid and easily ignored. I also missed Ms. Raybourn's mocking of the prejudices of the times that was so present in the first book. However, it's still a mystery worth reading, full of the author's dry humor and very interesting characters...a well-done sequel.
SpyGirl116 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I was completely thrilled to find Silent in the Sanctuary is an "And Then There Were None"-esque mystery. The lots-of-people-trapped-in-a-house-and-one-of-them-is-a-murderer mystery is my absolute favorite kind of mystery. Lady Julia is snowed in at the family's sprawling, creepy estate home with a cast of characters both shady and innocent-seeming. There is a murder, of course, and attacks on innocent (?) relatives, and nobody can escape! Fabulous. Lady Julia's cousin is accused of the murder, but it seems less and less likely the cousin did it as Lady Julia tries to find the real murderer, catch a thief, investigate the nighttime wanderings of a castle ghost and locate a missing relative. Oh and did I mention she's being courted by a dashing Italian nobleman? While stealing passionate moments with darkly handsome Nicholas Brisbane--who has a secret of his own?? I know. You are probably itching to get to a bookstore right now. Oh, and there's an actual sword fight. The talking raven has returned. And there are gypsies.I didn't guess the murderer until said murderer was revealed, and there's another plot twist I never saw coming. The Final Confrontation could have been a tad more dangerous, but that's my only beef. And it's a small beef.I lent the book to my sister (who became a Raybourn fan after devouring my copy of Silent in the Grave in one day during a trip to Charleston) and to my mom. They both loved it, of course.So there it is. Highly recommended. It's an old-fashioned whodunit in a wintry gothic setting with a surprisingly modern heroine and a good dose of romance. Couldn't ask for much more. Read it while it's winter outside for full effect.
Kasthu on LibraryThing 21 days ago
In Silent in the Sanctuary, Deanna Raybourn continues where Silent in the Grave left off. Lady Julia Grey has just spent six months in Italy with her two brothers, Plum and Lysander, Lysander¿s wife Violente, and a friend named Alessandro Fornacci. The March children are summoned home by their father to the family¿s ancestral estate Bellmont Abbey, a converted monastery. Once she arrives home, Lady Julia finds, to her surprise, that Nicholas Brisbane is one of the Christmas guests¿along with his new fiancée, Mrs. Charlotte King.Very soon, however, Lady Julia finds herself engrossed in the middle of a murder mystery, as a local curate turns up dead. Complicating the mystery is the fact that Julia¿s cousin is found standing over the still-warm corpse, holding a candlestick. Then Julia¿s family pearls go missing, and she finds that she may have more than one mystery on her hands. And where on earth has Julia¿s great aunt Dorcas gone? Soon, everyone is snowbound in the abbey, with both a murderer and a jewel thief on the loose.While it takes a while¿220 pages or so¿for the murder to actually occur, the mystery is well plotted and kept me turning the pages rapidly. Like its predecessor, Silent in the Grave, this mystery had me guessing all the way through¿though it was a little easy for me to figure out who the ¿ghost¿ was. In all, although I would have liked to see a little more romantic interplay between Julia and Brisbane, this was a thoroughly entertaining and amusing story. I anticipate reading the third book in the series, Silent on the Moor, when it¿s published.
lindymc on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I adore books written in a series. The reader gets to really know the characters and the author gets to fully develop storylines. And, a good author rarely disappoints with his/her subsequent books even when the initial book in the series is outstanding.This can be said of the 2nd Lady Julia book by Deanna Raybourn - "Silent in the Sanctuary." All the wonderful attributes of the 1st book (Silent in the Grave) are present in Sanctuary. There is wonderful character development and an excellent opportunity for the reader to get to know Julia's family a little better. The primary and secondary plots are all tightly developed without ever feeling contrived or forced. And, as with Grave, there is a smattering of clever twists - both in plot development and in the characters that keep the book interesting and unpredictable.Ms. Raybourn delivers dialogue, descriptions and settings with an easy, natural style that makes her books sheer delights to read. Ms. Raybourn has given her main character a witty, clever sense of humor that makes her someone you wish you could spend an afternoon with. In particular, I love the relationship between Lady Julia and her sister Portia, between Lady Julia and her Scottish maid and between Lady Julia and her butler.And then, the coup de grace - Nicholas Brisbane !!! He is, in a word, wonderful and the tensions between Lady Julia and Nicholas keep the book clicking along at a quick pace. In one section of "Sanctuary," Brisbane is gone ... and I felt like a little life, a little umph, had gone out of the book, because I knew there were not going to be any interactions or conversations between the two. As an "is he or isn't he" love interest, Ms. Raybourn couldn't have done any better for Lady Julia.In summary, Ms. Raybourn built on the solid foundation she had laid with "Silent in the Grave," and "Silent in the Sanctuary" more than carries its own weight. I now eagerly await publication of the 3rd entry into the series - "Silent on the Moor," due out in March, 2009.One more note: I suggest reading the books in order. I'm a "read in order" kind of gal, but I believe it is particularly important with this series.(Review by LoisAnn, Lindymc's daughter.)
Mendoza on LibraryThing 21 days ago
This is the second book in the author's series about Lady Julia Gray - - A very well rounded mystery series so far.They are set in the late 1880s, if my memory isn't failing me. Lady Julia is a daughter of the Earl of March, the family for whom "mad as a march hare" was coined (at least in the books). The first book opens with the murder of Lady Julia's husband.In the first book she meets the investigator of her husbands death, Nicholas Brisbane - - there is an attraction there but not explored.In this second novel, we open with Lady Julia sojourning in Italy with her 2 brothers when they are called back to the family estate in Essex. There, she finds Brisbane with his fiance and other houseguests. Their comecoming is quickly marred by murder especially when one of Lady Julia's relatives confessses. Her intriguing partnership with Brisbane is ressureccted from the first novel and they set out to unravel the crime before the murderer strikes again. I love the Raybourn books; I love the narrative voice of Lady Julia. She's down-to-earth , and there's a wry sense of humor that informs the books. Lady Julia has a large, and eccentric, family, and they play roles in the books. I'm particularly fond of her sister, Portia. I recommend them highly.
AdonisGuilfoyle on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Although not as captivating as the first book, this is still an intriguing mystery with strong characters. A year after the events of 'Silent in the Grave' and Lady Julia has matured - perhaps too fast. Although she was growing in confidence and developing as a desirable and desiring woman in the first novel, she also held a measure of vulnerability which has completely vanished in the sequel, turning her into an atypical 'woman of independent means' and amateur detective. All the women are lauded as being spirited and self-governing, and although this celebration of gender equality is expected today, I rather preferred the compromise of Julia's social sphere in 'Silent in the Grave'. Still, for all that, Julia is a wonderful narrator with a dry sense of humour, and the chemistry between her and Nicholas Brisbane still sparks - he is protective and she is possessive, and there is a palpable tension between the two. I hope it isn't 'resolved' too quickly! The mystery itself is suitably involved, although I did hope for more of a 'personal' connection with one of the intertwining threads, and the atmosphere in the Abbey appropriately claustrophobic. A good sequel, though falling short in comparison with the excellent debut.
hlsabnani on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I was eagerly awaiting this book and I was not disappointed. Ms. Raybourn is a gifted storyteller and this book definitely lives up to the first. I love the March family and all of their weirdness. The pace of the book was great and the ending was quite a surprise. I can't wait for the next book!
dknippling on LibraryThing 21 days ago
More of the same - the mystery was better. Seeing more of the family was nice. Things got more involved between the hero and heroine. The book pulled me through more solidly than the first.
wiremonkey on LibraryThing 21 days ago
The Lady Julia Grey Mysteries by Deanna RaybournI will do this all in one shot, mainly because they are part of a series of mysteries that follow the same formula and, to be honest, I am a little ashamed of myself at how much I ate them up. The first title in the series , Silent in the Grave won the Rita award for novel with storng romantic elements in it.I had never heard of the Rita awards before.And I had never read anything emerging from that great clichéd romance factory, Harlequin.In my defense, they are mysteries. However there is a steamy love affair that begins slowly, climaxes (excuse the pun. Or don't. I don't care.) at about the third and then steam rolls ahead in the last couple books.As you can see by the fashions so prominent on the cover, it takes place in mostly Victoria London although they do travel.Here is a list of why I liked them so much: Pretty decent mysteries with nice twists at the end. Sufficient red herrings to keep you off the scent, but a conclusion that makes sense once you think back on it. I hate it when the solution to the mystery feels like it cam out of the blue. This is not the case with Raybourn' conclusions, though she does like to trick the reader into assuming she is talking about one character when she is really talking about another. Smart and crafty Raybourn, smart and crafty! 19th century Victoria London. That is all I want to read right now for some reason. Why? I honestly have no idea. I suspect it is why I love Jane Austen's novels. There is a certain enviable simplicity in everyone knowing their place, even if their place in society is grossly unfair and based on random and uncontrollable events such as who your parents were. I realise that that kind of simplicity comes at too great a price and I would have hated living in that time, but still. Sometimes it is nice to read about the upper crusts fixation on the right hat. Eccentric family: Lady Julia Grey has a beautiful lesbian sister and a brother who wants to be a doctor (which apparently was the height of bad taste for a gentleman). She comes from an illustrious line of eccentrics and was raised by a father who has given his children way more freedom than was thought cautious at the time. I also like it that the most eccentric and hardest for the family to accepts is her older brother who turned Torry. Ha. The romance part involves a dark, handsome gypsy with muscular forearms (as Raybourn likes to tell us over and over).The things I don't like: She tends to use the same phrases over and over. I expect she does this on purpose as the phrases are so singular. Building castles in Spain. Gathering wool. They appear at least once in each book. The romance bits, especially when they are quarrelling get to be a tad tedious and the reasons for quarreling never seem good enough. Lady Julia Grey temporizes a lot.Still. For what they are, the writing is not so noticeable. There are many humorous parts and the character of Lady Julia Grey is strong, eccentric but not totally out of sync with her era. I listened to them during the dread month of November when motivation for running was at its low and the ever low motivation to clean was even lower. They helped me escape and for that I am very appreciative.But on a total other note- so far as purchasing them from audible which I did, they are quite short- about 12 hours each novel, which was a bit of a waste of a credit.
TheFlamingoReads on LibraryThing 21 days ago
The Lady Julia Grey mystery series are a wonderful read. The characters are well-defined (especially her quirky family members who make no apologies for their inability to follow what society deems 'upper class behavior'), the period details are spot on, the mysteries are well developed, and throughout it all the author writes with a sense of humor that keeps the awful circumstances that Lady Julia and Brisbane find themselves solving. Highly recommended for historical mystery lovers!
wagner.sarah35 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
The adventures of Lady Julia and Nicholas Brishane are fun and diverting, as always. I must admit, I like this series more for the amusing central characters - and Julia's eccentric family - than the actual mysteries. Silent in the Sanctuary is both a fun and entertaining tale and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first in the series, Silent in the Grave.
lexxa83 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Loved this book. Excellent writing and fun characters. Great pacing and plenty of surprises before discovering "who done it" and "why?" Lady Julia is a bit petulant at times, but is generally likable in an opinionated headstrong sort of way. Brisbane is a tall, dark and mysterious man, and while to moody, morose and distant for my personal taste, is an excellent protagonist and love interest for Lady Julia. Looking forward to the next book :-)
mmillet on LibraryThing 21 days ago
After loving the first Lady Julia Gray and Nicholas Brisbane mystery, I happily enjoyed its sequel wherein our heroes are invited to a house party and foul deeds arise. After not hearing anything from Brisbane for the past 6 months or so, Julia unexpectedly encounters him at her family home...with his fiancee. Of course, a body happens to turn up and murderers must be found and mysteries solved. It's all very British and very delicious. What I like about this series is just when I think I have 'the mystery' all figured out something happens to turn all my expectations upside down -- which I think is great. Julia continues to assert herself as an independent lady and Brisbane is mysterious as ever. The only thing that didn't really make sense to me was that they never even suspected that one the servants might be the culprit. Seems a bit sloppy to me -- but that's immaterial.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing 21 days ago
While recuperating in Italy after the events of Silent in the Grave, Lady Julia Grey and two of her brothers are summoned by their father to spend Christmas at the family estate in England. Upon their arrival at the family home, a converted monastery, Lady Julia is surprised to find Nicholas Brisbane among the guests. Some creature is stirring in the wee hours of the night, and it definitely isn't a mouse. Ghostly specters roam the halls, valuable jewels disappear, and one of the guests is murdered. When a snowstorm strands the family and their guests with a thief and murderer in their midst, Brisbane reluctantly accepts Lady Julia's help investigating the crimes. This well-paced novel seamlessly blends historical mystery, romantic suspense, and country house mystery. It's a light read that's perfect for a chilly December evening.