Silent in the Sanctuary
Review: Lady Julia Grey returns home to Sussex during the winter of 1887 from an extended stay in Florence only to find mystery and intrigue in Deanna Raybourn's second book in this series, Silent in the Sanctuary.
Following the unexpected marriage of Lady Julia's brother, Lysander, to a young, beautiful, and hot-tempered Italian woman, Lord March, Lady Julia's father, summons the family together at his home, an abbey in Sussex. The abbey is a very large, luxurious, and ancient structure, with acres of grounds. There are an abundance of rooms, including kitchens, dining halls, massive suites and not so massive bedrooms (none of which have electricity). There are dark and hidden hallways, and secret passageways to the outside. Some who have stayed there tell of seeing ghosts roaming the hallways at night. But Lysander's wedding was not the cause of the order from Lord March for Lady Julia and her brother to return to the abbey. It seems Lord March has invited the entire clan to stay there: other relatives, aunts and cousins and more, greeted them on their arrival. Also staying at the abbey, at the request of Lord March, is Nicholas Brisbane, a private investigator who worked with Lady Julia in solving her own husband's murder six months earlier. And Brisbane is accompanied by his fiancée. With this many people together, it was inevitable that conversations would turn from pleasantries to those including love, hate, jealousy, and even more sinister topics, such as deceit, theft, and murder. When a local member of the clergy is found murdered in the abbey's sanctuary, Lady Julia's cousin confesses to the crime. But she doesn't believe it to be true, and joins Brisbane in an investigation to discover the truth.
Mesmerizing and atmospheric, Silent in the Sanctuary is a beautifully written period piece mystery with an intricate plot and populated with richly drawn characters and settings in which the author provides an interesting and detailed window into the privileged life of the aristocracy of 19th century England. It is also a poignant love story with a mystery of its own. The interplay between Lady Julia and Brisbane is delightful making this series one that promises to be most enjoyable.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Silent in the Sanctuary.
Acknowledgment: Nancy Berland Public Relations provided an ARC of Silent in the Sanctuary for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Dark Road to Darjeeling
Mira Books (Trade Paperback), October 2010
ISBN-13: 9780778328209; ISBN-10: 0778328201
Location(s) referenced in Silent in the Sanctuary: England
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Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn — A Lady Julia Grey Mystery
Publisher: Mira Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 2008
List Price: $13.95