Book Reviews of Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1)

Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1)
Silent in the Grave - Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1
Author: Deanna Raybourn
ISBN-13: 9780778324102
ISBN-10: 0778324109
Publication Date: 1/1/2007
Pages: 512
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 48

4.1 stars, based on 48 ratings
Publisher: Mira
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

26 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
"Silent in the Grave" begins as a Victorian domestic drama seasoned with a few mystery elements and a dash of social comedy. It gradually builds into a Gothic thriller complete with a brooding, Byronic hero and a heroine whose innocence is slowly stripped away.

Lady Julia Grey, born into a family famous for its adventurers and eccentrics, has convinced herself she wants nothing more than a life of placid domesticity. Her relief at her husband's death forces her to face facts: Her marriage was unhappy, and she has lost her sense of who she is. The revelation that her husband may have been murdered awakens her latent sense of adventure and launches her on a journey of self discovery.

Julia's investigative partner, Nicholas Brisbane, who has dark secrets of his own, guides Julia in her search for a killer. Julia soon discovers unsettling truths about her own servants, her younger brother and, finally, the man she married.

The plot built slowly but steadily and became more and more absorbing with each page turned. I read the final two-thirds of the book in two days. With Julia, I explored shadowy worlds far removed from proper Victorian society as she visited a notorious courtesan, searched a gypsy camp and questioned a prostitute.

I figured out the murderer's identity about halfway through the book, but I got the motive completely wrong and was surprised by many of the book's twists.

Author Deanna Raybourn skillfully contrasted Victorian respectability with dark desires lurking beneath the surface. I was impressed by her controlled, atmospheric writing and deft handling of the plot, as well as her skill at creating engaging, fully realized characters. Lady Julia Grey already feels like an old friend, and I plan to accompany her on her next adventure, in "Silent in the Sanctuary," soon.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
It was an excellent mystery and I was tempted to give it 4 stars, but the ending did not resolve Julia's personal issues that were brought out during the investigation - hence only 3 stars. The murder is solved, so it was not all open-ended. I suppose that was because Raybourn already has a sequel out (Silent in the Sanctuary) which continues Julia's story. I enjoyed the fact that Raybourn wrote the book as if it were Julia's memoirs of the events - you never get inside any one else's head, it is all seen through Julia's perspective - her thoughts and observations. I did guess the killer (correctly) early on, which is unusual for me, but the motive eluded me till the end. I look forward to reading the next one.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
debut novel- i did enjoy this author. I look forward to her next one as it is a continuation of the relationship that is developing between the main character and the "enigmatic" detective that she hires to solve the mystery of her husband's death.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A good historical mystery novel about a Victorian-era woman in London investigating her husband's death. Starts off light with witty dialogue. I very much enjoyed the heroine. Book was LONG (over 500 pages)...perhaps 100 pages too long. Ends rather darkly. I believe there is supposed to be a sequel, which I would definitely read.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
~ AN ABSOLUTE *DELIGHT* - AND UNBELIEVABLY LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY (5+ stars) ~

I absolutely loved this book and thank you to my Goodreads friend for recommending it! I was a little worried when I first started it, because my expectations had grown so high after reading her reviews for this book and the following three ones. Thankfully, it completely lived up to - and actually surpassed - my expectations :-). I checked this book out from the library, but will definitely be buying my own copy.

MAIN CHARACTERS:
It's told in first-person narration and I found our heroine, Lady Julia Grey, absolutely hysterical and very, very engaging. She at first struck me as a little weak and self-indulgent, but she really grows into her own throughout the story and while she is by no means perfect, this only makes her seem that more real and makes the book that much better. I also liked that she was a little unsure of herself at times and not supremely confident, which made her (to me) endearing and the occasions where she stands her ground and won't back down that much more noticeable and cheer-worthy.

Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent who plays her male counterpart throughout the series, is haunted (and haunting), mysterious, intelligent, and utterly seductive. I loved his irreverence and one quickly and easily sees why he would be popular with the ladies and why Julia feels so drawn to him. There is a lot about his past that we don't know and since the story is told from Julia's POV, we're sometimes blind to his motivations or feelings. Despite these two "obstacles," Raybour does an excellent job of still making the reader feel very connected to him.

The encounters between the two of them were so, so enjoyable that my only complaint was I wanted *MORE*! Their dialog is so well-written, with the tension and chemistry between them leaping off of the pages - some sections or exchanges I would reread several times before being able to move on.

EVERYTHING ELSE:
Julia's family (esp. Father and Portia) and servants (esp. Aquinas and Morag) are equally well-written and provide a great deal of added humor and depth to the story. I really cannot tell you how many times I *literally* laughed out loud while reading this book, despite the obvious horror it centers around - a murder. Julia, Brisbane, and the secondary cast of characters are so funny - most times unintentionally - that they really made the whole reading experience an absolutely fabulous one.

The mystery was very well-done, and while I had my suspicions relatively early on and they ended up being right, it was by no means obvious, the motive I had ascribed the murderer was completely and utterly wrong, and there were still several aspects of the mystery that were surprising and caught me off guard.

The ending was good if you're planning on reading the next book in the series - if not, or if I were stranded on a deserted island without the sequels, I might just tear my hair out! The mystery is completely resolved, but the relationship between Julia and Brisbane is not by any means. I am so looking forward to reading more about their adventures - and seeing how their romance plays out!!

TWO OF MY (MANY) FAVORITE JULIA-BRISBANE INTERACTIONS:
"If you were a man, your ladyship, I would cordially horsewhip you for that remark. As you are not, I will simply bid you farewell and leave you to your fresh and obviously debilitating grief." He said this last with a contemptuous glance at the Italian books piled on my desk and strode from the room.
(p66)

"Did you mean what you said? You will pursue this?" Brisbane sipped at his tea. "I suppose. I have a few other matters that I must bring to conclusion, but nothing that cannot wait. And I have no other clients questioning either my integrity or my courage at present."
(p107)

LADY JULIA GREY MYSTERY SERIES:
Book 1 - SILENT IN THE GRAVE (5+ stars)
Book 2 - Silent in the Sanctuary (4 stars)
Book 3 - Silent On The Moor (4 stars)
Book 4 - Dark Road to Darjeeling
Book 5 - The Dark Enquiry
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 212 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I dont wish to sound like every other person who has read this book, but I positively adored it! I found it to be beautifully written and I really couldnt put it down. I would have finished it much more quickly if I simply had more free time, I really loved it so much. Sometimes you just cant help but fall in love with something, despite its popularity.

To read the rest of my review, please visit:
http://dorolerium.com/?p=159
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 98 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book was awesome and it had a GREAT first two sentences. ("To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor."

The book centers around Lady Julia Grey, who seeks to find out what happened to her husband after it is suggested to her that he died of unnatural causes.

This book is a mystery with a very subtle twist of romance (nothing over the top). It has many twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing.

Best of all, if you love a series that follows the same characters for a while, there are two more books in the series with Lady Julia and the enigmatic Nicholas Brisbane. I cannot wait to read them.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 1467 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
First Line: To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate.


London, 1886. Unbeknownest to his wife, Julia, Sir Edward Grey has received death threats and hired private enquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane to protect him. It was action undertaken too late.

Lady Julia believes that her husband's death is due to a longstanding illness, and she's outraged when Brisbane calls with the information that her husband was probably poisoned. However, after reflection, Julia sees the truth behind Brisbane's assertions, and she's determined to bring her husband's murderer to justice.

When Silent in the Grave was first published, I heard raves about it. As usual when a book receives so much praise, I decided to wait a while before reading it. Three years have passed, and I've read it with mixed reactions.

I enjoyed Raybourn's depiction of Victorian England and her characterizations-- particularly of Julia and Brisbane. I enjoyed watching Julia decide to use her widowhood to spread her wings a bit and find out who she really was. I applauded her choice to use her background of belonging to an eccentric family to go against the status quo.

What I didn't enjoy was the plot and the book's length. From certain characters' behavior, it was all too easy to deduce the identity of the killer. I came within an eyelash of skipping to the end to see if I was right, but I didn't. It took over 500 pages to tell this story when no more than 300 would have done a proper job of it.

I would like to see how Julia and Brisbane get along in the other books in the series, but I have to admit that I'm not in any real hurry to do so. I don't care how long a book is if it holds my interest. Julia and Brisbane just weren't enough to make Silent in the Grave a completely satisfying cup of tea.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Delightfully well written mystery. The characters very well drawn and intriguing. Can wait to read more in this series.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Like I usually do, I came into this series in the middle. I read "Silent in the Sanctuary" first, then wanted to know how Lady Grey became a widow. The book filled in all the questions from the second, and made me want to continue with the series. Lady Grey is a lady who evolves over the books, even though she can come across as a bit overbearing.
I will be reading the entire series because I enjoy Lady Grey and want to know how she evolves.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 213 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very enjoyable period mystery and very believable. I love the offbeat Marshs, the family she is from and how they support her. Her servants too are a part of her life. She is very arrogant in the beginning, but recognizes that in herself and begins to open up. I'm looking forward to reading more about the fabulously mysterious Mr. Brisbane.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book for it's plot and characters. I was totally engrossed and neglected my chores to satisfy my need to find out what happened next. For me, it's a keeper. I can't wait to read the next books in the series.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love opening sentences that grab you from the start and make you long to curl up and just read away. Silent in the Grave has such a sentence: "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor."

Silent in the Grave is a Victorian mystery set in London. Lady Julia Grey's husband has died of the heart disease that has killed many of the males in his family. About a year after Edward's death Lady Grey finds out that Nicholas Brisbane was hired by her husband to discover who had been sending him very threatening letters and that Mr. Brisbane suspects the death was murder. Together Julia and Brisbane set out to discover the truth behind Edward's demise.

Although this is a mystery, it is also the story of Julia Grey's growth as a person of independent spirit and mind. A proper Victorian Lady she faces some unpleasant truths about her husband and her life that change her into a person with her own personality and not the one she is âsupposed' to have. The budding relationship between her and Nicholas Brisbane does not proceed in the usual and rather clichéd way either. Although I suspected some of the parts of the mystery, many of them were a complete surprise. The story was well plotted and all the characters were nicely fleshed out and believable. The last line of the book is the perfect set-up to the next book Silent in the Sanctuary. I can't wait to read of the further adventures of Lady Julia Grey and the brooding and mysterious Nicholas Brisbane.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 713 more book reviews
A delightful Victorian mystery with all the delicious scandalous details and characters you can imagine - an innocent yet sexy heroine, a mysterious hero, servants with secrets, gypsies, mourning customs, and murder.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 100 more book reviews
Have never read this author so thought I would start with the first book of her series. I gave it 2-1/2
stars. It's not terrific nor awful. I liked it enough
to order the second of the series.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on
A great debut to a fabulous series. Raybourn has a fantastic voice and gives her mysteries enough humor and drama that even non-mystery fans (myself included) will find themselves happily entertained. If you enjoy this one, you'll definitely enjoy the rest as they only get better and better!
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book as the solution to the mystery was not obvious to the reader for most of the book. It is worth it to read the whole series as they build on each other.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 57 more book reviews
This is probably the best book in the series. If you like books with strong father-daughter relationships, this is a good series (I also recommend Charles Dodd's Bess Crawford books for a great father-daughter tale). The family is quirky, and definitely put the 'fun' in 'dysfunctional.' The romance that develops is lovely, and gives satisfaction over the remaining books. Personally, I think Julia's love interest is a Heathcliff-type, too brooding to be fully vested in her, but she seems to bring him around okay. Very enjoyable read.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 893 more book reviews
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn was my first read by this author. I have read many mysteries in the past and I did figure out who the murderer was before it was revealed by the author. However, Lady Julia Gray is a wonderful heroine and I like her very much. I look forward to reading the next two in the series. Raybourn is an excellent author and her character development is just as well done. I recommend this author to anyone who enjoys good mysteries without blood and gore.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
A great first book in a series of historical mysteries. The characters are well drawn and the story is a twister.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 113 more book reviews
It took me a little bit to get into this book but I am glad that I persisted. It is a great mystery and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. Lady Grey has a great transformation throughout the book and I was very interested in her change and maturing. I loved her family. Their ecentricities were charming and I loved how they were very wealthy but lacking in all pretention and prejudices. Nicholas Brisbane is a very intriguing character and the book leaves you wanting to know more about him. It was a fun read.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 129 more book reviews
I was so pleased with Deanna Raybourn's story that I have already ordered the next two in the series. Nikolas Brisbane is my kind of hero; tall, handsome, dark of looks and personality, mysterious. The story is written with Julia narrating, so we are able to see her grow into a determined, assertive woman taking her life into her own hands, as well as the investigation into her husband's murder. I could not put it down until it was finished. Don't be daunted by the number of pages, you won't even notice.
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
I thought this book (and the two following it) was fabulous! There's a bit of romance, a lot of suspense and action thrown in! Definitely five stars!
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 52 more book reviews
First book that I've read by this author and I really enjoyed the book, it was hard to put down. The plot moved along at a good pace for me, not too slow or too fact, but where you yourself could try and figure out the mystery at hand with the characters. Lady Julia grows into herself throughout the book and is a nice mix of who she wants to be, with sprinkles of her families illustrious history mixed in (you'll have to read the book to understand).
Nicholas Brisbane is definately an interesting character, he isn't at all what you think he is and the author does a good job at dropping pieces of his past in interesting ways as the story progresses, which only serves to make one want to learn more.
The interaction between Lady Julia and Nicholas is at times funny & frustrating, but it is always interesting.
The surrounding characters, Lady Julia's family, the servants and other characters that you get to meet along the way, are all interesting and well written and add to the story in delightful ways ~ where it's to add a funny moment to break the seriousness of the mystery at hand or to help with the mystery.
Looking forward to reading this series to see what other mysteries Lady Julia will happen upon and to see what will happen between her and Nicholas.

With all the information given in this book, as it is the 1st in a series, I would have to recommend that this one be read first before the others.

1) Silent in the Grave
2) Silent in the Sanctuary
3) Silent on the Moor
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 136 more book reviews
~ AN ABSOLUTE *DELIGHT* - AND UNBELIEVABLY LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY (5+ stars) ~

I absolutely loved this book and thank you to my Goodreads friend for recommending it! I was a little worried when I first started it, because my expectations had grown so high after reading her reviews for this book and the following three ones. Thankfully, it completely lived up to - and actually surpassed - my expectations :-). I checked this book out from the library, but will definitely be buying my own copy.

MAIN CHARACTERS:
It's told in first-person narration and I found our heroine, Lady Julia Grey, absolutely hysterical and very, very engaging. She at first struck me as a little weak and self-indulgent, but she really grows into her own throughout the story and while she is by no means perfect, this only makes her seem that more real and makes the book that much better. I also liked that she was a little unsure of herself at times and not supremely confident, which made her (to me) endearing and the occasions where she stands her ground and won't back down that much more noticeable and cheer-worthy.

Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent who plays her male counterpart throughout the series, is haunted (and haunting), mysterious, intelligent, and utterly seductive. I loved his irreverence and one quickly and easily sees why he would be popular with the ladies and why Julia feels so drawn to him. There is a lot about his past that we don't know and since the story is told from Julia's POV, we're sometimes blind to his motivations or feelings. Despite these two "obstacles," Raybour does an excellent job of still making the reader feel very connected to him.

The encounters between the two of them were so, so enjoyable that my only complaint was I wanted *MORE*! Their dialog is so well-written, with the tension and chemistry between them leaping off of the pages - some sections or exchanges I would reread several times before being able to move on.

EVERYTHING ELSE:
Julia's family (esp. Father and Portia) and servants (esp. Aquinas and Morag) are equally well-written and provide a great deal of added humor and depth to the story. I really cannot tell you how many times I *literally* laughed out loud while reading this book, despite the obvious horror it centers around - a murder. Julia, Brisbane, and the secondary cast of characters are so funny - most times unintentionally - that they really made the whole reading experience an absolutely fabulous one.

The mystery was very well-done, and while I had my suspicions relatively early on and they ended up being right, it was by no means obvious, the motive I had ascribed the murderer was completely and utterly wrong, and there were still several aspects of the mystery that were surprising and caught me off guard.

The ending was good if you're planning on reading the next book in the series - if not, or if I were stranded on a deserted island without the sequels, I might just tear my hair out! The mystery is completely resolved, but the relationship between Julia and Brisbane is not by any means. I am so looking forward to reading more about their adventures - and seeing how their romance plays out!!

TWO OF MY (MANY) FAVORITE JULIA-BRISBANE INTERACTIONS:
"If you were a man, your ladyship, I would cordially horsewhip you for that remark. As you are not, I will simply bid you farewell and leave you to your fresh and obviously debilitating grief." He said this last with a contemptuous glance at the Italian books piled on my desk and strode from the room.
(p66)

"Did you mean what you said? You will pursue this?" Brisbane sipped at his tea. "I suppose. I have a few other matters that I must bring to conclusion, but nothing that cannot wait. And I have no other clients questioning either my integrity or my courage at present."
(p107)

LADY JULIA GREY MYSTERY SERIES:
Book 1 - SILENT IN THE GRAVE (5+ stars)
Book 2 - Silent in the Sanctuary (4 stars)
Book 3 - Silent On The Moor (4 stars)
Book 4 - Dark Road to Darjeeling
Book 5 - The Dark Enquiry
reviewed Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, Bk 1) on + 136 more book reviews
~ AN ABSOLUTE *DELIGHT* - AND UNBELIEVABLY LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY (5+ stars) ~

I absolutely loved this book and thank you to my Goodreads friend for recommending it! I was a little worried when I first started it, because my expectations had grown so high after reading her reviews for this book and the following three ones. Thankfully, it completely lived up to - and actually surpassed - my expectations :-). I checked this book out from the library, but will definitely be buying my own copy.

MAIN CHARACTERS:
It's told in first-person narration and I found our heroine, Lady Julia Grey, absolutely hysterical and very, very engaging. She at first struck me as a little weak and self-indulgent, but she really grows into her own throughout the story and while she is by no means perfect, this only makes her seem that more real and makes the book that much better. I also liked that she was a little unsure of herself at times and not supremely confident, which made her (to me) endearing and the occasions where she stands her ground and won't back down that much more noticeable and cheer-worthy.

Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent who plays her male counterpart throughout the series, is haunted (and haunting), mysterious, intelligent, and utterly seductive. I loved his irreverence and one quickly and easily sees why he would be popular with the ladies and why Julia feels so drawn to him. There is a lot about his past that we don't know and since the story is told from Julia's POV, we're sometimes blind to his motivations or feelings. Despite these two "obstacles," Raybour does an excellent job of still making the reader feel very connected to him.

The encounters between the two of them were so, so enjoyable that my only complaint was I wanted *MORE*! Their dialog is so well-written, with the tension and chemistry between them leaping off of the pages - some sections or exchanges I would reread several times before being able to move on.

EVERYTHING ELSE:
Julia's family (esp. Father and Portia) and servants (esp. Aquinas and Morag) are equally well-written and provide a great deal of added humor and depth to the story. I really cannot tell you how many times I *literally* laughed out loud while reading this book, despite the obvious horror it centers around - a murder. Julia, Brisbane, and the secondary cast of characters are so funny - most times unintentionally - that they really made the whole reading experience an absolutely fabulous one.

The mystery was very well-done, and while I had my suspicions relatively early on and they ended up being right, it was by no means obvious, the motive I had ascribed the murderer was completely and utterly wrong, and there were still several aspects of the mystery that were surprising and caught me off guard.

The ending was good if you're planning on reading the next book in the series - if not, or if I were stranded on a deserted island without the sequels, I might just tear my hair out! The mystery is completely resolved, but the relationship between Julia and Brisbane is not by any means. I am so looking forward to reading more about their adventures - and seeing how their romance plays out!!

TWO OF MY (MANY) FAVORITE JULIA-BRISBANE INTERACTIONS:
"If you were a man, your ladyship, I would cordially horsewhip you for that remark. As you are not, I will simply bid you farewell and leave you to your fresh and obviously debilitating grief." He said this last with a contemptuous glance at the Italian books piled on my desk and strode from the room.
(p66)

"Did you mean what you said? You will pursue this?" Brisbane sipped at his tea. "I suppose. I have a few other matters that I must bring to conclusion, but nothing that cannot wait. And I have no other clients questioning either my integrity or my courage at present."
(p107)

LADY JULIA GREY MYSTERY SERIES:
Book 1 - SILENT IN THE GRAVE (5+ stars)
Book 2 - Silent in the Sanctuary (4 stars)
Book 3 - Silent On The Moor (4 stars)
Book 4 - Dark Road to Darjeeling
Book 5 - The Dark Enquiry