Monday, January 01, 2007

Forget Oprah's Book Club...

Just finished reading a great new novel: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn. It's a mystery set in Victorian England, and I LOVED it. It's exactly what I've been looking for: a well-written novel I couldn't wait to curl up with. I'm only sorry that this is the first novel Raybourn has written and there aren't any others for me to devour.

It's a solid, well-written book and a certifiable page-turner. I read its 500+ pages in three days. Plus, there's a pretty good plot twist and an exciting ending. [Must pause to pat myself on the back: I guessed the murderer about halfway through the book but never even dreamed what the motive was]. Lady Julia Grey is an ideal heroine; smart without being a know-it-all and self-questioning without becoming tedious. The novel begins with the dramatic death of her husband and the appearance of a dark and mysterious investigator, Nicholas Brisbane. Lady Julia dismisses his assertion that her husband's death was murder, but later engages Brisbane's services after she finds proof that her husband was receiving death threats.

Lady Julia's interaction with her eccentric family and love/hate relationship with Brisbane makes for fascinating reading. The historical element is deftly done and entirely without tedious, irrelevant descriptions. Throw in some gypsies, a stolen talking raven, suspicious servants and a few of London's seedier inhabitants, and you've got a great novel.

Would love to tell you more but I don't want to give anything away. Raybourn's web site said the book was due on the shelves today, but I actually bought it at Sam's Club on Friday. See her web site for more info and tour dates. It sounds like she's planning future books featuring Lady Julia and I absolutely can't wait.


jLow said...

I just finished the book this morning at 5:49 a.m. I am butt-dragging and bleary-eyed but VERY satisfied. It was wonderful!

And I am like you - brokenhearted that Ms. Raybourn has no others (yet!) for me to go into seclusion with. ;o)

UncleChuck said...

Oprah, Oprah, Oprah...a blight on humanity.

Elysia said...

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