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Transplanted to Miami, FL, from Iowa City, IA. Trying to find a balance between reading, knitting, playing mom taxi, and enjoying the sun and sand in Miami.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn

I read all three of the books in this series back to back in about 2 days. So, I decided to write about them all together. The main character of this series is Lady Julia Grey (formerly March). In the first book, Silent in the Grave, she is married to her childhood sweetheart Edward. As the book opens, Edward, who has always been in poor health due to a congenital heart problem, is dying. Nicholas Brisbane is an acquaintance of Edward’s, who happens to be present at the dinner party when Edward takes ill. After Edward’s death, Brisbane comes to speak with Lady Julia about his belief that her husband may have been murdered. Brisbane is the Victorian equivalent of a private investigator. Julia’s husband had hired him when he began receiving threatening notes. At first Julia cannot even imagine that someone had murdered her husband, and she sends Brisbane away. It isn’t long before Julia finds some evidence of her own that makes her re-think Brisbane’s story. Thus begins the awakening of Lady Julia. 
Julia assists Brisbane in his investigation, and discovers the joy of meaningful work and the chance to use her intelligence. Brisbane is not sure he wants help with the case, but Julia does have information that would be hard for him to get from other sources, and knowledge of all the main suspects. In the course of the investigation, Julia learns one of the downsides of such an investigation, when she learns secrets her husband had kept from her. 
The second book, Silent in the Sanctuary, finds Lady Julia visiting her brothers in Italy. All of these March children are summoned home after their father learns of one of the brother’s elopement to an Italian woman. They arrive home to find a house party in progress for the Christmas holidays. When a murder occurs in the sanctuary of the March’s estate, which was a former monastery, Brisbane happens to be present again, and he and Lady Julia again become a crime solving duo. This book is a classic locked room mystery, due to a snowstorm that occurs about the same time as the murder. 
The third book, Silent on the Moor, takes place at Brisbane’s new country estate. This one has several mysteries going at once, and we learn more about Brisbane’s past.  One of the mysteries involves finding out who has poisoned Brisbane. Another mystery is the source of some disturbing mummies that Lady Julia discovers hidden at the estate.
I really enjoyed these three books in this series. I believe the author is working on another book. The characters are fun, the books differ enough from each other that they  don’t feel like they are the result of filling in the blanks of a template. I hope Deanna Raybourn is writing another book in this series, I will definitely read it!
I give each of the three books in the Lady Julia Grey series 2 bookmarks.