Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book Review: Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn

Dark Road to Darjeeling
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Lady Julia Grey Mysteries (Book 4)
Publication: MIRA (September 14, 2015)

Description: After eight idyllic months in the Mediterranean, Lady Julia Grey and her detective husband are ready to put their investigative talents to work once more. At the urging of Julia's eccentric family, they hurry to India to aid an old friend, the newly widowed Jane Cavendish. Living on the Cavendish tea plantation with the remnants of her husband's family, Jane is consumed with the impending birth of her child—and with discovering the truth about her husband's death. Was he murdered for his estate? And if he was, could Jane and her unborn child be next?

Amid the lush foothills of the Himalayas, dark deeds are buried and malicious thoughts flourish. The Brisbanes uncover secrets and scandal, illicit affairs and twisted legacies. In this remote and exotic place, exploration is perilous and discovery, deadly. The danger is palpable and, if they are not careful, Julia and Nicholas will not live to celebrate their first anniversary.

My Thoughts: Julia and Brisbane have been enjoying their extended honeymoon on the continent when her sister Portia and brother Plum catch up with them Egypt bringing with them a mystery. Portia's beloved who married and moved to India with her husband has been widowed, is pregnant, and believes her husband was murdered asks for help.

The four of them take off for India to solve Jane's problem. They find an isolated tea plantation and an assortment of intriguing characters. Jane's aunt-in-law and cousin-in-law each have reasons why they could have wanted her husband, the heir to the plantation dead, and who could want Jane or at least Jane's baby dead too. But they are not the only suspicious characters. Julia's cousins Emma and Lucy have also found themselves in the same valley. Emma, who may or may not have committed a series of murders, is dying and widowed Lucy has a secret suitor. The valley also contains an orchid-growing minister and his free-thinking American wife. They have two children - a daughter on the verge of adulthood and a young son obsessed with his scientific experiments. There is also the widowed doctor who is falling apart from grief and using alcohol and drugs to bury his pain. Last but not least is the White Rajah who is living in an abandoned monastery.

Both Julia and Brisbane investigate these interesting characters to try to find out, first, if Jane's husband was actually murdered, and, second, to protect Jane. The story is told by Julia who is very observant but sometimes draws incorrect conclusions from her observations. The characters are all well-drawn and fascinating people. The setting is lovely. The relationship between Julia and Brisbane is a work in progress as they try to define the boundaries of their relationship and balance her need for adventure and validation with his need to keep her safe and protected.

The story had a bunch of secrets that were gradually exposed leading to a shattering and life-changing conclusion.

Favorite Quote:
"His hermit. He had engaged a hermit. He thought it might be an interesting addition to the garden."

"Has he gone stark staring mad? Who ever heard of a hermit in Sussex?" I demanded,although I was not entirely surprised. Father loved nothing better than tinkering with his country estate, although his devotion to the place was such that he rused to modernise the Abbey with anything approaching suitable plumbing or electricity.

Portia sipped placidly at her soup. "Oh, no. The hermit isn't in Sussex. Father has put him in the garden of March house."

"In London? In the back garden of a townhouse" I pounced on Plum. "Did no one try to talk him out of it? He'll be a laughingstock."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I like the series and liked this one very much.

  2. I think this is a series I would really enjoy.


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!