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review 2020-03-10 23:06
A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn
A Murderous Relation - Deanna Raybourn

This review can also be found atCarole's Random Life in Books.

This was a fantastic installment in a much-loved series! This is the fifth book in the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries series which is a series that is best read in order. I have been with Veronica since the beginning and am finding that I like this series more and more with each installment. I read this book in just a couple of days and found it to be incredibly entertaining. I really had a great time with this book.

I have grown to love Veronica, Stoker, and some of the other recurring characters in this series. Veronica and Stoker work very well together and obviously are quite good at solving mysteries. They also have a lot of chemistry. We have been gradually watching the heat grow between these two since the beginning of the series and while I do sometimes wish things would move a bit faster, it is obvious how much they care about each other.

The mystery in this book was a bit unexpected. Veronica's heritage is a well-kept secret. Because of her connections, she is asked to look into some of the dealings of the prince. He has given a piece of jewelry that can be traced back to him to a woman who runs a scandalous club and his family wants it back before anyone can find out about it. Of course, things are never easy and Veronica and Stoker must navigate a pretty dangerous situation before everything is settled. Throw in the famous Jack the Ripper murders which are happening and you have quite an exciting story on your hands. 

This book had everything that I hoped it would have. There were some rather light-hearted moments and some pretty intense scenes. I loved the chemistry between the characters and am loving the way Veronica and Stoker are slowly working their way towards each other. There were a few surprises in this book and I really enjoyed the fact that the Jack the Ripper murders were a part of this story. I thought that the pacing of the story was very well done and I found the book hard to put down.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This is a smartly written mystery series with incredibly wonderful characters. I cannot wait to read more of Veronica and Stoker's adventures!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! I think that this series just keeps getting better and better. The characters are so well done and I love the chemistry between Veronica and Stoker. I thought the mystery in this book was quite good and I liked that the story touched on the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

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review 2019-12-22 14:47
Silent Night by Deanna Raybourn
Silent Night - Deanna Raybourn
I loved this cover, that is solely why I grabbed it.
Then I decided to read it cause it is the holiday season and it's a holiday mystery. Oh, how I love a mystery.
I had no idea it's considered #5.5 or #6 in the series though. I didn't feel lost though. In the moments where a scene from another book was mentioned, a highlight appeared to let me know which book in the series was being referenced. I quickly came to realize that I actually have the first book on my Kindle. I look forward to reading it.
This era is not one I generally read from, however, the snark had me looking past it all. Chapter 6 literally had me laughing outbloud. This scene with the animals was so good and descriptive that you could literally picture it. Too funny. 
Definitely great writing and more I want of it.
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2019/12/silent-night-by-deanna-raybourn-49.html
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review 2019-10-20 21:40
Dark Road to Darjeeling / Deanna Raybourn
Dark Road to Darjeeling - Deanna Raybourn

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.


Maybe 3.7 stars? I didn’t like this book quite as much as the first 3 volumes. Part of this, I’m sure is because Julia and Nicholas are a married couple now, so the romantic suspense dimension of the narrative is much more limited. We know that they are unlikely to part, that they care about each other a great deal, so the author must re-create that tension with differences of opinion regarding their matrimonial roles. Slightly less effective for me than the courtship question.

The mystery plot reminded me rather of M.M. Kaye’s mysteries, like Death in Kashmir. I can see why the author chose the place--it’s exotic to those of us in North America and Europe, plus it was part of the British Empire during the time period. She had sent Jane there in the previous book, so it made sense to have Portia and Julia follow her in this volume. However, I find I prefer Victorian plots set in England, so this may be another reason that I prefer the previous books.

However, the setting stirred up memories of the days I spent in Assam and Bhutan in 2010, seeing the dark green tea plantations, laden elephants on the edges of the roads, and the many prayer flags and prayer wheels along our route. Good memories of a beautiful place and encounters with many friendly people.


A herd of wild elephants drinks at a river in Assam

Prayer flags across a river in Bhutan

Many prayer flags on the high pass of Chele La, in Bhutan

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review 2019-10-06 13:53
The Dark Enquiry - Deanna Raybourn
The Dark Enquiry - Deanna Raybourn

Vastly entertaining. I enjoy the relationships between Lady Julia and everyone else enormously. Plus there are her pets and I am really enjoying her development, both in her pursuits and her marriage.


Library copy

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review 2019-08-06 20:36
Silent on the Moor / Deanna Raybourn
Silent on the Moor - Deanna Raybourn

In Grimsgrave Hall, enigmatic Nicholas Brisbane has inherited a ruined estate, replete with uncanny tenants and one unwanted houseguest: Lady Julia Grey. Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family: the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes.... A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider, and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil. Deanna Raybourn spins a gripping tale of loyalty and lust, set against the wild beauty of the Yorkshire moors.

I had to order this book through interlibrary loan, but I am glad that I did. I read all 465 pages in one day--I really didn’t want to set the book down. Raybourn writes a really good Gothic murder mystery/romance. 

Lady Julia Grey is part of that movement that I sense in fiction right now to feminize the story of Victorian times. The role of women was definitely undergoing change during this time period, what with Margaret Sanger’s championing of women’s rights and birth control, plus the Rational Dress and the women’s suffrage movements. Upper class women’s desires to be able to move, to not be subject to restrictive social mores, and to control their own bodies. What must it have been like to have all your choices subject to parents or brothers? 

Julia is a very sympathetic character to the modern female reader. We identify with her desire to pursue what she wants (Brisbane) without having to answer to her stuffy eldest brother. She is fortunate to have a father who is willing to aid and abet. I was also glad to see that Raybourn spreads the restrictions around, writing Julia’s brother Valerius as a frustrated medical doctor. Gentlemen aren’t allowed to “practice trade,” preventing Valerius from becoming what he is meant to be and showing that even men were hemmed in by the social contract of the time.

I’m disappointed that I will once again have to specially request the next volume of this series through interlibrary loan. Plus, I am unsure where Raybourn will be able to take it after the conclusion of this installment, but I am willing to give it a try.

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