SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY by Deanna Raybourn
Set in Victorian England, this historical mystery is written in the tradition of Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Peters. Widowed Lady Julia Grey is attending a holiday house party in an isolated manor, snowed in with her eccentric family, when a guest turns up murdered. Then Julia’s spectacular Grey Pearls disappear, along with her spinster aunt. To solve the mystery, Julia must join forces with her old flame, cynical but seductive detective Nicholas Brisbane—before someone else turns up dead.
This story is a delight that any lover of historical mystery or historical fiction is certain to satisfy. Constant twists and turns continually surprise the reader (and Julia, although Nicholas always seems one step ahead of the game), and the story unfolds with the intricacy of a peeled onion, layer by layer. Multiple villains—all of them colorful, and some definitely more malignant than others—keep the story lively. The chemistry between Julia and a fiercely-resistant Nicholas provides an enjoyable romantic subplot, while quirky characters and a vivid sense of place contribute further fascination. The book is #2 in the Lady Julia Grey mystery series, which debuted with the RITA-winning SILENT IN THE GRAVE.
If you enjoy historical mysteries and the authors I mentioned above, you’re going to enjoy this one. It’s beautifully written, and you’ll savor every sentence. Has anyone out there had a chance to read the first book in the series?