Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Return of Lady Julia and Brisbane

The Dark Enquiry                    
Lady Julia Grey Mystery
Mira Books
June 2011

Product Description- Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business. Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation. It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust. Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont's they'll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets, the kind men kill to keep….

I was delighted to get the galley for The Dark Enquiry and meet Deanna Raybourn at the same time as I have been a fan of the series since the first book, Silent in the Grave. Silent in the Grave has one of the best "grabber" openings ever---"To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor". If that doesn't catch your attention, nothing will! One of the thing I enjoy most about the series is the way Ms. Raybourn plays with classic forms in her books, from whodunit to country house murder to gothic thriller.

The Dark Enquiry carries on the quality seen in the previous four books with a solid mystery and a good foundation for a long running series-I hope! The enigmatic half gypsy, half Scots Brisbane is becoming less inscrutable and more willing to show his feelings. Julia is becoming his investigative partner in truth, yet coming to understand why Brisbane is often overbearingly protective of her. So often a series with a romantic partnership comes to a halt after marriage, but I think Ms. Raybourn has jumped that hurdle. Both Julia and Brisbane are so complex that I can foresee enough complications to keep me interested.

Some, but not all of Julia's huge and eccentric family make an appearance and "The Mad Marches" are as entertaining and exasperating as ever. However, I do miss Monk, Brisbane's former mentor and majordomo. Hopefully, we will see more of him in the future.

By the way, if you are an audio book fan, the audible download editions are excellent and highly recommended.

Rating- 5 Gypsy Violins

1 comment:

  1. hi linda, its sarah! this one sounds pretty good. these are all mysteries?