Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Chaos on the streets of Victorian London (from English Heritage)

Silent in the Grave tells the story of Lady Julia Grey, who is widowed when her husband Sir Edward Grey collapses suddenly at a party. Nicholas Brisbane, a private investigator employed by her husband, believes the death was not due to natural causes, and the two team up to discover the true nature of Edward's demise. Along the way they travel the highs and lows of Victorian London interacting with prostitutes, lords and every type of person in between.

The story moved slowly for me until the last 100 pages, when it careened to an unexpected conclusion and I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish. Nicholas Brisbane is an appealing counterpoint to Lady Julia and I enjoyed watching them match wits as they attempt to ignore their obvious sexual chemistry.
Raybourn's writing is atmospheric and really transported me into the backdrop of Victorian London, and certain passages are rich with detail, like this one:

My heart began to drum so loudly that I thought he certainly must hear it. I was grateful then for the high collar that hid the pulse at my throat.
"It must have been. Perhaps you took some medicine while you were ill. They can often provoke strange dreams."
His eyes fell briefly to my mouth, his fingers twitched, and I wondered if he was smelling ripe cherries, remembering the feel of a supple glove against his finger.
"Yes they can," he said finally. (pg. 243)

Currently ReadingI hope to see more of the entertaining secondary characters (like Lady Julia's siblings, the Grey House staff and Dr. Bent) in future books, and I'm really anxious to see how the relationship between Lady Julia and Brisbane progresses. In fact, I've already purchased the second book in the series, Silent in the Sanctuary, and am looking forward to starting that when I finish my current read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Atmospheric and slightly romantic with an intriguing mystery, this book held my attention and made me care about the main characters. I'm looking forward to the next installment and reading more of their story.

Source: library book


  1. Yay! So happy you loved this book too! I just adore the characters of Julia and Nicholas. You inspired me to go back and re-read my review of Silent in the Grave ( - I "cast" Brisbane - whaddya think? :)

  2. This sounds like a great read. Will have to keep an eye out for this one. Found you through the What Are You Reading Monday feature. Nice to meet you. A lovely blog! I am now a follower.