For the letter G I thought I would introduce you all to someone else called Grey – Lady Julia Grey.
Lady Julia is a feisty outspoken woman in Victorian times who falls into company with Nicholas Brisbane when Lady Julia’s husband dies, in fact just as her husband seems to be in the last throes of death does Nicholas appear. But was his death murder or was it simply natural causes? In fact the opening line of the first book Silent in the Grave sums up the wit of the characters and gives a taste of what is to come.
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.
I stared at him, not quite taking in the fact that he had just collapsed at my feet. He lay, curled like a question mark, his evening suit ink-black against the white marble of the floor. He was writhing; his fingers knotted.
I leaned as close to him as my corset would permit.
“Edward, we have guests. Do get up. If this is some sort of silly prank—”
And so begins a murder mystery story where Lady Julia going against the normal mourning practices expected of her seeks to find the truth amongst some very low parts of Victorian society.
Lady Julia needs time now to recover from events in the first book so she is in Italy with her brothers but they must all return to England for Christmas, at their father’s insistence. So it is back to the family pile and Silent in the Sanctuary. Murder seems to have followed Lady Julia and a familiar face by a different name is hiding in the shadows.
And now with strong characters which have their place, Lady Julia Grey actually finds herself at the house of the man she first met over her husbands twitching but not yet dead body. We all decamp to Silent on the Moor. With resonances of Jane Eyre and the life of Victorian Society detailed so well you cannot but help like Lady Julia Grey and the wonderfully rude and rather eccentric Nicholas Brisbane.
Who is the author and creator of Lady Julia Grey? – Deanna Raybourn.
A sixth-generation native Texan, Deanna Raybourn graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a double major in English and history and an emphasis on Shakespearean studies. She taught high school English for three years in San Antonio before leaving education to pursue a career as a novelist. Deanna makes her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
For some reason I have stopped there in reading about Lady Julia Grey. The main reason that the subsequent books Dark Road to Darjeeling and The Dark Enquiry seem to have missed off being published in the UK or only with a very limited run? I have no idea why?
My interest is piqued again, (from thinking about what to choose as letter G) and I want to read these last two. I am going to have to spend a bit more money though to be able to get my hands on them. Although I know the last two books do not have the wonderful covers shown above. These three look great on the shelf!
Remember the literary world has room for more than one character called Grey!
This post is part of The Crime Fiction Alphabet Challenge hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise.