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Silent in the Grave Paperback – 1 Jan 2008
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Deanna Raybourn's debut novel is a wickedly clever send-up of the Victorian mystery genre, from the parlors and boudoirs of Julia's aristocratic world to the exotic society of the Gypsies. Grave robbing, prostitution, gambling, absinthe --- even a pet raven --- all contribute to the novel's sensational appeal. Raybourn tempers these dark topics, though, by mixing in plenty of humor. Absurd situations abound (including a truly bizarre murder weapon), and quirky characters verge on caricature. --Bookreporter
'With a strong and unique voice, Deanna Raybourn creates unforgettable characters in a richly detailed world. This is storytelling at its most compelling' --Nora Roberts
'Deceptively civilized and proper, Silent in the Grave has undercurrents of nefarious deeds, secrets and, my favourite, poisons. An excellent debut novel.' --Maria V. Snyder, author of Poison Study
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.
Top customer reviews
Silent in the Grave is refreshing, featuring a strong convincing leading lady, spirited and outspoken, oozing class and sophistication.
This novel undoubtedly has one of the most engaging opening lines, ever;
"To say 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."
setting the tinged unique tone that is consistent throughout the novel.
After this opening line and the death of her husband, Lady Grey's period of mourning is broken by the arrival of Mr Nicholas Brisbane, the dark stranger mentioned within the opening line. As the story unfolds, Brisbane informs Lady Julia that her husband did not die of a heart condition, rather that he suspects murder. This marks the beginning of the duo's quest to solve the crime, taking Lady Julia outside of her snug environment and into darker worlds. The friction, the chemistry, the exchanges between these two characters is wholly convincing. The story, the visuals and the voice all jump from the pages.
Raybourn has created a thoroughly likeable strong female character, oozing intelligence, sharpness of tongue and yet balanced with vulnerability . The characterisation is refreshing, unique and I am finding it difficult to compare her to another writer. Her originality is worthy of comment. The plot has twists and turns that delight the darkest of minds.
This is a thoroughly delightful read, one that I recommend to you without reservation. Dark, sinister, tinged with a familiarity that I can't quite put my finger on.
I am left thoroughly satisfied, anticipating the next in the series and in awe of Deanna's craft. I truly enjoyed this book.
Lady Julia and Brisbane form an unlikely duo as they work to solve the mystery, but if you think that Lady Julia is going to settle down demurely whilst the gentleman takes the lead in the investigation, you are sorely mistaken. Backed by her less than orthodox family, Julia defies danger in order to finally solve the crime.
Raybourne has created a character who is simply delightful. Written in the first person, Julia's witty observations, honesty and dogged determination to find an answer to the mystery makes it impossible to put this book down. The period was captured beautifully and the characters are all drawn with exquisite detail. And Raybourn clearly left things 'hanging' so that we know this is not the end of Lady Julia and Brisbane. I can't wait to read the next book.
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