Thursday, May 17, 2018

Book Review: Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn

Silent in the Sanctuary
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: A Lady Julia Grey Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: MIRA; Reprint edition (August 17, 2015)

Description: Fresh from a six-month sojourn in Italy, Lady Julia returns home to Sussex to find her father's estate crowded with family and friends. Much to her surprise, the one man she had hoped to forget—the enigmatic and compelling Nicholas Brisbane—is among her father's houseguests…and he is not alone. Not to be outdone, Julia shows him that two can play at flirtation and promptly introduces him to her devoted, younger, titled Italian count.

But the homecoming celebrations quickly take a ghastly turn when one of the guests is found brutally murdered in the chapel. Lady Julia resumes her unlikely and deliciously intriguing partnership with Nicholas Brisbane, setting out to unravel a tangle of deceit before the killer can strike again.

My Thoughts: Lady Julia Grey, fresh from Italy, joins her family at the family home for the Christmas season and has a mystery to solve. She comes with her brothers Plum and Lysander and Lysander's new Italian wife Violante. They also brought along young Count Alessandro Fornacci who has a crush on Julia.

When she arrives she finds quite a gathering. Her sister Portia is there as are poor relations Emma and Lucy Phipps along with Lucy's new fiance Sir Cedric Eastley, a self-made man, and his secretary/nephew Henry Ludlow. Also present is the man Julia has spent months trying to forget. Nicholas Brisbane is there along with his fiance Mrs. Charlotte King.

That evening at dinner, they are joined by the Vicar who is an honorary uncle and his new curate Lucian Snow who is charming and rather feckless. He immediately uses his charm to try to endear himself to the wealthy, single ladies.

This house party is filled with tension. Nicholas and Julia have unresolved issues and Snow's political views regarding gypsies immediately puts Julia's back up. There is also some secret about why Nicholas is wearing a sling. When Snow is found dead in the chapel with Lucy holding a bloody candlestick, the investigation begins. Julia's father orders Nicholas and Julia to investigate together which is not what Nicholas wants.

Add in ghostly wanderings, missing jewels, and attempted poisonings and you have a wild ride of a mystery. I love the detailed picture of life in the upper classes in England in the late 1880s. Julia's father is quite a progressive thinker for his daughters but less so for his sons. He encourages Julia to stretch herself which is something Julia wants to do since she has never felt as alive or as useful as when she was involved in her first investigation and wants the same again.

I am intrigued by Julia's relationship with Nicholas Brisbane. He is continually pushing her away and occasionally drawing her close. Julia is fascinated by the mystery of him. 

Favorite Quote:
And I realized, as I sat watching my efforts at deduction smoulder to ash, I wanted a larger life than the one I led. I wanted adventure and passion and romance, and all the other things I had scorned. More than seven hundred years of wild March blood had told at last, I thought with a smile. I had done a mighty job of suppressing it for the first thirty years of my life, but it simply would not do anymore.
I bought this one in paperback on Feb. 17, 2009 and for my Kindle April 16, 2018. You can buy your copy here.


  1. So glad you're enjoying the wonderful Lady Grey series. Check out my latest review here:

  2. Like this series so very much. I recently read a similar series set in Prague! a Countess there.

  3. This series sounds interesting. I am adding them to my long wish list.


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