Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Silent in the Sanctuary

Author: Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Format: ebook (Kindle)
First Published: January 1, 2008
Series: 2nd book in the Lady Julia Grey series
Series Order:
  1. Silent in the Grave (2007)
  2. Silent in the Sanctuary (2008)
  3. Silent on the Moor (2009)
First Line: "Well, I suppose that settles it."

Synopsis: Julia has spent the last 5 months touring around Italy with her two brothers Lysander and Plum trying to relax after her ordeal in "Silent in the Grave". When their father learns of Lysander's marriage to Italian born Violante he orders his children home for Christmas. For the past 5 months Julia has been trying to forget about Nicholas Brisbane. She is shocked when she returns to her family home and discovers that Brisbane is a guest in her father's home for the holidays ... along with Brisbane's fiancee.

When someone is murdered during the festivities and one of Julia's relatives takes the blame Julia is determined to figure out who committed the murder and finds herself working side by side with Brisbane to figure out who the culprit is.

My Thoughts: I want to start off by saying that the first book in the series "Silent in the Grave" was an amazing book (4.5/5 stars) but unforunately this book didn't meet my expectaions. There were a few decent plot twists but the overall feel was one of confusion and expecting more from this book but never really getting it.

The first book in the series was very funny and witty. I adored everything about the first book - from the author's 'voice' and her very funny choice of words to the quirky characters and a good mystery. This book had a couple cute remarks but that was it. The characters weren't portrayed nearly as eccentric as they were in the first book. Mr March, Julia's father, was earlier portrayed as a 'hard as nails' demanding father but when we meet him he's more of a pussy cat. There was also the added confusion because there were too many characters. Several times I had to go back and figure out which male character the author was referring to.

The mystery aspect of the book was ok but not very hard to figure out. It honestly felt like I was reading about a "Clue" game because all of these people are stuck in one place due to a storm and a murder occurs. Who dunnit? Miss Scarlett in the observatory with a wrench? There also seemed to be a lot of extra stuff packed around the mystery which dulled tthe anticipation for me. The murder didn't happen until almost half way through the book and there was this odd addition to the story of two cats having kittens in various odd places in the estate ... why? It just seemed like filler and I expected more substance from this author.

I'm glad this was not the first book in the series. I probably would not have continued on to the next book. That being said, I do plan to read the next book in the series to see where Julia and Brisbane's relationship (or lack thereof) goes. I do have to say that I was impressed that the author continued to use wonderful vocabulary in this sequel. Like the first book I learned a lot of new words (thanks to the dictionary on my Kindle!). I love that she doesn't 'dumb down' her books for her readers!

I do have every confidence that this author can bring her 'A game' for the next book. I'll chalk this book up as a means to an end. I'm only using it as a way to further the relationship between Julia and Brisbane. I was so looking forward to this book but, sadly, it was left disappointed.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

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