All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Silent In The Sanctuary – Deanna Raybourn

on November 28, 2010

Silent in the Sanctuary, book #2 of the Lady Julia Grey series opens up sometime after the conclusion of the first novel. Lady Julia has fully recovered from the near-catastrophe that occurred and has been spending some time in Italy with two of her brothers, Plum and Lysander. Lysander has just married a Neapolitan and the three siblings have received a summons from their father to scurry back to England for Christmas. It is to be a lavish affair with quite a few guests.

One guest Lady Julia perhaps isn’t prepared to see is Nicholas Brisbane, her partner in the investigation of her husband’s death in Silent in the Grave. She hasn’t heard a word from Brisbane for sometime, and she can see why when he introduces her to his fiancée, a Mrs King. Lady Julia is quite stunned but takes the chance to show Brisbane that she has other options – namely a 25yo Florentine named Alessandro, a friend of Plum and Lysander’s who they insisted accompany them to England and spend Christmas at the March House.

The family celebrations grind to a screaming halt when a guest is found murdered in the chapel, part of the old deconsecrated abbey that is March House. One of Lady Julia’s unfortunately poor cousins who used to spend Easters at  March House confesses to the crime but a blizzard cuts March House off from the town and investigators are unable to arrive right away. Refusing to believe that her cousin could possibly be a killer, Lady Julia teams up with Nicholas Brisbane again to try and find out what really happened and who the real murderer is. There’s also a few other mysteries going on at the same time, such as the theft of the Grey Pearls, left to Lady Julia by her late husband Sir Edward Grey and the intrigue surrounding exactly why Brisbane is engaged if he can’t seem to keep himself away from Lady Julia!

After reading the first novel in this series not so long ago, I requested the second in from my library as soon as I got back from my holidays and I read through it in a day. I think I enjoyed the second novel even more than I did the first because I wasn’t learning about the characters, I was returning to them now and I was so interested in what had gone wrong between Lady Julia and Brisbane. At the conclusion of the first novel, you’re led to believe that they’re heading in one direction and when you begin reading this novel you find out that hasn’t occurred at all and if anything, they seem to have gone in the opposite direction.

Firstly, I really enjoyed Lady Julia’s character development in this novel. In the first, she is still tightly laced into society’s ways, mousy and timid from her disastrous and unhappy marriage to Sir Edward and sort of desperate to escape her eccentric family and have a show of decorum and manners. Slowly throughout that novel, her true self begins to emerge, primarily drawn out by her irate response to Brisbane at times and in this novel, I think she is truly herself. She is no longer conforming to the constraints of the English upper class and seems to find delight in speaking her mind. She baits Brisbane, simply because she knows she can, and because she wants answers from him and she realises that she knows him well enough to deduce when he is lying to her or deceiving her and her irritation and cattiness towards Mrs King was I thought, another very believable action. As much as she tried to be polite, she still let a thin veneer of dislike seep through. I enjoy their attraction between Lady Julia and Brisbane and the pace of it has satisfied me thus far but with the conclusion of this book I’m ready for them to step it up a notch!

Brisbane himself undergoes some decent growth himself and I thought his reason for not contacting Lady Julia was very believable in its simplicity, especially given the type of man we have been shown that he is. He doesn’t like to make mistakes and he believes he made a very grave one during their previous acquaintance. I love their interactions, their verbal sparring and the stolen kisses, Brisbane’s attempt to play the faithful fiance and Lady Julia’s attempt to discredit it. I especially enjoyed the two scenes where it is Lady Julia who is the aggressor – once to prove that Brisbane has deceived her on a matter, and tricked her, and the other simply because it is what she wants to do. Both times Brisbane is sort of powerless to her and all too often we’re given scenes with the heroine weak at the knees while the hero strides off. I like equality, so I like these two.

The mystery itself perhaps wasn’t quite as intriguing as the first one but it was still quite enjoyable and with a couple of extra added twists at the end that I didn’t expect – and the extra bonus of the thief of the pearls is quite easily picked but the conclusion of that was also quite amusing.

The third novel in this series is currently checked out of my local library and I am extremely tempted to go out today and see if I can buy it and the fourth novel together. I tried seeing if they were available for my Kindle (nope) so now I’m going to try a couple of places around town and see if I can get lucky! If not, it’s going to be an annoying wait for book #3!


Book #98 of my 100 Book Challenge

I’m counting this novel as part of my 2010 Global Challenge. Originally I didn’t intend to, as my first European novel was set in Scotland and I was going to read a novel set on mainland Europe for my second choice but I’m kind of running out of time, there’s only a month left to go in the challenge and I still have 3 other books to read to complete it! This one just happened to be conveniently be set in a place I could include!

The Medium Challenge
Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2010:
Africa: #1: A Change In Altitude, by Anita Shreve. Set in Kenya. #2 Tea Time For The Traditionally Built,by Alexander McCall Smith. Set in Botswana.
Asia: #1: The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani. Set in Persia/Iran. #2 February Flowers, by Fan Wu. Set in China.
Australasia: #1: Vodka Doesn’t Freeze, by Leah Giarratano. Set in Sydney, Australia. #2 The Denniston Rose, by Jenny Pattrick. Set in Denniston, New Zealand.
Europe: #1: Cold Granite, by Stuart MacBride. Set in Aberdeen, Scotland. #2 Silent in the Sanctuary, by Deanna Raybourn
North America (incl Central America): #1 Cat’s Eye, by Margaret Atwood. Set in Toronto, Canada.
South America
Try to find novels from twelve different countries or states.

This completes my European leg.

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