Thursday, March 5, 2009

Silent on the Moor, by Deanna Raybourn

51foqdkj2nl_sl500_aa240_3I was literally squeeing when my husband informed me a box was on the front porch from Amazon. I knew it was my copy of Silent on the Moor, and I was not disappointed. So, I found a blanket, made a cup of tea, and settled down on the couch to read a little while before bed.

What a joke! What on earth made me think I would be able to put down Deanna Raybourn's latest tale involving the curious Lady Julie Grey, and the quiet, yet sexy Nicholas Brisbane? Four hours later, I closed the book with a smile and quick swipe of my cheek to catch that lingering tear. Insert contented sigh here.

At the end of Silent in the Sanctuary, we learn that Brisbane has bought an estate, and has written a letter to Portia, Julia's sister, asking for her help. The letter also states her sister is not to be brought along, however that declaration is quickly ignored, and so starts Silent on the Moor. Julia is determined once and for all to settle matters between herself and Brisbane. After a hard journey to the wilds of Yorkshire, Ladies Julia and Portia, their brother Valerius, two maids and two dogs land on the front steps of the crumbling ruin that is Grimsgrave Hall. Of course, Brisbane is not happy to see her, and yet clutches at her hand in desperation. It is clear to Julia he does want her there, but there is something going on that she is not aware of, and cannot possibly imagine that he does not wish for her to be exposed to.

The other inhabitants of Grimsgrave, the Allenby ladies, are intriguing in themselves. Lady Allenby is a pious woman, plagued by rheumatism yet doing her best to welcome Julia and her family. Ailith, the eldest daughter is nice enough, and Hilda is somewhat wild without manners. They have been allowed to stay in the hall on the charity of Brisbane, until a cottage on the estate can be readied for them. Having just lost their brother, they are in mourning, but it is a strange mourning. They are sad to see him gone, but not as one would mourn a brother or a son. Julia decides to befriend Ailith, and what she thinks is a blossoming friendship, is anything but that. She soon learns all is not what it seems. Doing her best to be helpful, Julia offers to catalogue the huge Egyptian collection of the former master, making it ready for sale. Julia hopes to raise some money for the Allenby ladies and make them not so destitute. What she finds in her search leads her to a twisted story of forbidden love.

What happens next was a huge surprise- mummified babies, an attempted murder on Brisbane, the return of a long lost Allenby sister, a shocking secret of brother and sister, and the climax of the book that left me shaking my head. You shall have to read for yourself of course, it's too good to spill it here! The repressed sexual tension between Julia and Brisbane adds to the tone of the book without becoming all about sex, only enhancing the mystery. Needless to say, our hero and heroine have a happy ending (finally!) and all is well. I can safely say this was my favorite of all Lady Grey mysteries, and I would recommend picking this one up as soon as possible. Deanna Raybourn has proven once again she is the master of romantic suspense.

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