I’ve been curious about this series by Deanna Raybourn* for a while. I enjoy a historical novel once in a while and this proved to be the right book for me at the right time. Light, but with a mystery that took some thinking. My suspicions about who did it were wrong, and I was wholly surprised about the actual perpetrator. Not who I thought it was going to be at all!
I enjoyed the plot – the story moved along at a good pace and kept me turning the pages. At just over 500 pages, it’s not that small of a book but I finished it in less than a week and that’s pretty good for me (I’m a fairly slow reader) and just goes to show my interest didn’t wane.
I liked the main character, Lady Julia Grey. She had the right amount of boldness considering the setting she was in (1860’s London, upper class). I was a bit worried at first about another character, Nicholas Brisbane, who is featured as the possible romantic interest to Julia. Described physically as the opposite of Julia’s husband, Edward, Nicholas is depicted as essentially tall, dark and, well, handsome. I was disappointed at first and thought, ah, a typical romantic formula. But then it turned out that Nicholas has other ‘uncommon for a hero’ attributes and that saves him from the usual run-of-the-mill hero protagonist. Also, it suited me that there wasn’t a huge amount of romance going on in this book – the plot was centered more on the mystery. I’m not sure yet as I haven’t read the next book, but I would guess that the relationship between the two main characters does develop some more.
Another favourite character was Julia’s father, Earl March. He was presented as forward-thinking for his time, especially about women and their roles in society. I really don’t know if there were actually any men who thought that way about women in 1860’s London society and for my current interests, I really don’t care. I just enjoyed reading that they were – if it’s only a fiction, well, so be it.
I will definitely read the next book in this series, Silent in the Sanctuary. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good, but light, historical mystery.
*I admit to being curious about the author's name. For some reason, it sounds to me like it could be a pseudonym for something that might not be as 'romance author-ish'. But maybe that's just me! What do you think?