Monday, January 19, 2009

Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn

I finally managed to sit down and read Silent in the Sanctuary. I have been gazing longingly at this book for days. I started it last night around 8 p.m. and powered on through until 2:30 a.m. I'm a little tired today but it was worth it. Sanctuary picks up six months after Silent in the Grave ends; Lady Julia is on vacay in Italy with her brothers Plum and Lysander (who named the children in this family?) when they receive a summons to return home. It appears that Lysander up and married an italian woman and Father isn't pleased. So, they go back to England with Alessandro, a friend of the brothers and hopeful suitor for Lady Julia, only to discover that Nicholas Brisbane is staying with the family for a house party and he has brought his fiance with him. Shortly afterward, Lady Julia's cousin Lucy is found standing over the dead body of the local church's curate, holding a bloody candlestick. Brisbane and Lady Julia are charged with launching an investigation of the murder. Obviously, these two don't work well together - he gives orders and makes demands and she ignores them.  Their romance is still at an impasse even though they are both mightily aware of the other (Brisbane is as disturbed as she is to find the other at the March family estate). By the end, the mystery is solved and the framework for the next book, Silent on the Moor, is laid.

As much as I'm looking forward to Moor I may have to put off reading it for a while. It will probably be another year before the next one and that will be too long to wait. We'll see. As for Sanctuary, I loved it. It didn't have the humor of the first book, but that's ok. Murder isn't very funny. Julia and Brisbane grow closer but not too close. We learn more about his backstory (namely the Mariah Young secret). He is still obstinate and close-mouthed and Julia is astonished by his choice in his future wife. Raybourn keeps some of the characters from the first book (but not too many) and expands the family. Given that Moor is set in Yorkshire, I'm not sure how she will manage to flesh out even more of the family, but maybe that is for the fourth book and so on. There are still several March siblings out there for us to meet. 

Raybourn has an interesting side plot going on involving Brisbane and Julia's sister, Portia. I'd be pretty pissed if I were Julia but as Portia is a lesbian, I guess there's not much to worry about. :) Julia keeps evolving in this book (as she should - it would be dreadfully boring is she didn't, wouldn't it?). She is becoming one of my favorite characters to read. And I love Brisbane; he reminds me of Jericho Barrons from KMM's Fever series. Dark, violent, and mysterious. Acting untouchable and above everything but with a jealous streak and a strong protective nature. Yum. Write faster, Mrs. Raybourn!

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