Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn isn't a book I would normally pick up. I was influenced by the ladies at Vaginal Fantasy who picked it as their February read.
I've mentioned before that I am not a "romance" fan. Lucky for me romance is only a small element of Raybourn's book. There's a fairly good mystery to be had so I'll give the book a thumbs up. Way up. I'm now on the third book in the series. Just what I didn't need - another series to keep up with.
I'm also not a fan Victorian novels. For some reason I find the Victorian period annoying. Raybourn gets points for creating an interesting story that could, with a few minor alterations, take place today. The book is filled with colorful characters who don't always do what's expected of them.
The story starts with Lady Julia and Sir Edward Grey throwing a party. Suddenly Edward falls to the ground in some kind of a fit. When he dies a few hours later no one is surprised. The men of Edward's family are cursed with bad hearts. No one wonders about the sudden death until a private inquiry agent named Nicholas Brisbane shows up and tells Julia that Edward had been threatened and was in fear for his life.
Lady Julia ends up working with Brisbane to find the truth about her husband's death. Along the way there are many twists and turns and odd characters with secrets. While I did guess who the murderer was I was surprised by the reason. There was no groundwork for the final revelations. It was as if Raybourn was looking for the most shocking solution.
My one character quibble with this book is that Brisbane is too much. He could come with the subtitle of Sherlock Holmes' broodier cousin. He's tall, dark and mysterious with a less than stellar pedigree. He's even got a drug habit like Holmes. I guess that Cumberbatch guy could play him in the movie.