Monday, February 18, 2008

Can't Keep 'Silent'

I just received a comment about my blog-on-the-go green shoes post from "Deanna". I don't know a Deanna other than...dare I hope, the amazing author Deanna Raybourn! ::squeal of excitement!::

She's the author of historical novel Silent in the Grave, and the new sequel Silent in the Sanctuary, both featuring the fabulous Lady Julia Gray. I reviewed Silent in the Grave about a year ago, just after it came out. I LOVED it. It was the mystery novel I'd been waiting for: well-written, endlessly entertaining, main character I actually cared about, interesting historical context, complete lack of cheese or obviousness. Deanna Raybourn even mentioned my review in her blog!

I've been meaning to review Silent in the Sanctuary. I knew, from checking Raybourn's blog, that it would be out sometime early 2008 but I just happened to pass the Sam's book section in January (deja vu from last time) and there it was! I grabbed JB's hand, snatched a copy off the shelf and promptly read it in jew a few days.

I was completely thrilled to find that it was 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 still winter outside for full effect.

And one more reason to read Raybourn's books? She knows a fabulous pair of shoes when she sees them. My lovely green pointy-toed shoes are from DSW--my new favorite place for shoes since it opened in my hometown a few months ago.

Um, and my own novel? Well, let's just say outside forces have prevented me from, uh, getting any work done whatsoever. I'll try to be better, I promise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just checking back to see if you answered my question about the shoes and found a Valentine to my books instead! Thanks so much--been trying to e-mail you for ages but either you don't have an e-mail link on here or I'm too daft to find it, which is entirely possible. Love the blog, BTW! --Deanna