Lady Julia is at it again. This time she is accompanying her sister Portia uninvited on a visit to Grimsgrave, the property that is now owned by Brisbane. When Julia and Portia arrive, they are greeted not by Brisbane but by the impoverished ladies of the family that formally owned Grimsgrave. At first, Julia does not know what to make of Lady Allenby or her daughters Ailith and Hilda, but soon warms to them determined to make the best out of an unexpected situation. In befriending the Allenbys, Julia offers to catalogue the late Lord Allenby’s Egyptology collection and, in doing so, she begins to uncover some puzzling and even sinister secrets about the Allenby family. Julia also learns that Brisbane’s past and many of his own secrets are tied to Grimsgrave and the moors surrounding it. Julia is once again determined to get to the bottom of all the mysteries, even as it puts her and the ones she loves in peril.
Reaction: <Contented Sigh> So satisfying. Not perfect but satisfying. I liked Julia more in this one. I’m not sure if she’s growing or becoming flat, but she wasn’t as haughty and seemed more comfortable in her own skin, being who she wanted to be despite social mores. Also, she wasn’t as dumb as she was in the second one. There were certainly mysteries that I figured out before her, but I attribute the major one to the fact that I just read The Thirteenth Tale and it had a similar subplot line. And Julia did not have all the information because Brisbane, very annoyingly, kept a lot of things from her. In this one, I really could have strangled him sometimes. I think he kept information from her just so they could have a fight about it. The end is definitely squee worthy but leaves me concerned for future installments. While I’m all for resolution, I could have done with a bit slower buildup. It seemed a bit abrupt to me. Though, again, I was very happy so maybe I shouldn’t complain!
What’s next: A fourth, yet to be named Lady Julia Grey in October 2010. Also, Deanna Raybourn has another book, not in the series, called The Dead Travel Fast that will be out in March 2010. All this from her new blog.
Cover: I am thoroughly annoyed with this cover. It makes it seem like a romance novel which would not be a bad thing if it was a romance novel but it’s not. It is a historical mystery with an awesome romantic plot. And I actually really liked the other covers. Why did they have to change? I know that it won a RITA for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, so are they trying to attract romance readers with a more romancy cover? I don’t know but I just don’t like it. And I really don’t like that dress.