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REVIEW: Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn

Dear Mrs. Raybourn,

raybourn-ssanctuary-drm.jpgI remember when historical mysteries first started to become really popular. Then after that it seems that every possible time period and social class of historical sleuth got turned into some author’s hero or heroine. And I got a little bored with the genre and annoyed at thinking about Queen Elizabeth, Jane Austen or Beau Brummel being turned into crime scene investigators. Cut to me getting the arc of your second Lady Julia Gray novel, “Silent in the Sanctuary,” a few months ago – yes, I did read it a month ago and took notes and never got the review written, mea culpa – and the lovely cover with its gothic overtones plus the intriguing back blurb made me decide to come out of my self-imposed historical mystery celibacy.

Lady Julia is delightful. She’s obviously growing as a character. From the information you subtly include about the events of the first book – the details of which, thank God, are left unknown – we can see that she’s survived whatever was thrown at her, picked herself back up and begun to assert a little independence. After five months with two of her brothers in beautiful Italy, she’s growing bored and hoping that this isn’t all she has to look forward to in life. Her aristocratic father’s preemptory summons home for the Christmas house party being given in the family’s vast country estate shakes her back into alertness. After all, she is a Victorian lady, that breed of women known world round for their expert managing skills – something her two brothers, who are more than a little intimidated by her, can attest to.

Back home Julia discovers the motley crew who’ve been invited to share the season with the eccentric March family includes Nicholas Brisbane. He’s sort of a fixer and solver of problems for those who wish for discretion and have the money to pay for it. He did something in book one, which lead to him working with Julia, which lead to hot feelings, which lead to – Julia thought – romantic intentions, which in the past five months have resulted in zip. Yeah, Julia’s mad and gets even madder when her father introduces Nicholas’s fiancee.

One thing I like about this book is that it’s mainly character driven. The murder doesn’t take place for nearly half the book but I was enjoying the trip there so much that I didn’t care that the ‘main event,’ so to speak, still hadn’t happened. You also do a great job of showing the characters’ social class and working that into the story. The Earl is aware of his power and influence and what he can do with it yet also knows that populist press will have a field day with any mucking around due to fact that his shirt-tail relation stands accused of the crime.
The March family can be eccentric – and they are – yet they couldn’t get away with having a murderer in the family. As Julia’s elderly Aunt Dorcas reminds her, the world has changed from the past when the aristocracy could get away with almost anything. Now scandal must be avoided and family secrets must remain just that.

The setting is also well done with a sort of gothic/”Ten Little Indians” feel to it. You do give clues about ultimate id of the killer but cloak them nicely. As to the fate of the last person who dies – yeah he was bad but did he deserve this? Julia discovers to her unease that some killers will never be brought to justice but I like how she helps catch one of them. She’s fairly smart about how she gets involved. She does make a mistake at the end but gets called on it and accepts her fault. At book’s end she states that she’s ready and eager to stand on her own and be any man’s equal. In fact, she demands to be treated as an equal. She doesn’t eschew love or marriage based on her first experience but she won’t go back to being treated as an infant who needs to be swaddled and fussed over. If Brisbane can’t accept it, then it’s over between them. Brisbane and Julia’s exchanges are great – snappy and intelligent dialogue, a little competition to solve the mystery without the other, yet underneath are all the feelings for each other just bursting to get out.

I was disappointed in Julia’s maid, Morag. Must we always have a blunt speaking lower class servant? Though my miffness was slightly mollified by Aquinas, the perfect butler. I want one like him! The fate of Julia’s first husband’s relatives in trying to deal with their decrepit family estate makes me think of the “Importance of Being Ernest” comment from Lady Bracknell: “What between the duties expected of one during one’s lifetime, and the duties exacted from one after one’s death, land has ceased to be either a profit or a pleasure. It gives one position, and prevents one from keeping it up. That’s all that can be said about land.”

Janine, who adores fine writing, has glanced at book one and said it looks like the type she will like. I have to agree with her as the prose is smooth with a period feel. And an English feel – at least for this American. I’m glad that I have book one to tide me over until book three is released next year. I look forward to watching Julia and Nicholas Brisbane cross swords again and, hopefully, resolve their romantic feelings for each other. B+

~Jayne

available in ebook or trade paperback or audio download (currently on sale)

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

31 Comments

  1. jmc
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 15:54:16

    I haven’t read this book yet — it’s on my Amazon TBB list — but I read and enjoyed Raybourn’s first book. Aquinas the butler was an excellent character, wasn’t he? I’m interested in seeing the Julia-Nicholas interaction in this book, because it was all very supressed and unspoken in the first book. Plus, I think there was a class issue and a health problem implied.

  2. Jia
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 16:48:50

    I keep forgetting to pick this one up! I read the first book, Silent in the Grave, and enjoyed it quite a bit, which surprised me because historical mysteries aren’t normally in my preferred reading genres. (Though I suppose it’s arguable that there’s a minor speculative element attached to Nicholas Brisbane.)

    I’m definitely bumping this up my book shopping list. (Because I don’t have enough books in my TBR mountain already?)

  3. Laura Vivanco
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 17:19:52

    I have to agree with her as the prose is smooth with a period feel. And an English feel – at least for this American.

    I found an excerpt online, and it seemed very bumpy to me.
    I’ll give some examples.

    She’s got “the seasons were turning inward.” Seasons turn, but they surely can’t turn inwards like an ingrowing toenail.

    “I plunged my needle into the canvas, trailing a train of luscious scarlet silk behind it” sounds strange to me, because I don’t think a thread can be a “train.” A train sounds to me like something quite wide, so this makes me think she’s sewing with a ribbon threaded through the needle.

    The meaning here is unclear: “I longed for something more important than the embroidering of cushions or the pouring of tea to sustain me.” I assume that what Julia is saying is that she needs something more important than either x or y “to sustain her”. But you could also read that as meaning that the tea sustains her.

    A later phrase, “She gave me a shrug and a curl of the lip” is equally open to misinterpretation since it could be read as a “shrug [...] of the lip.”

    And there’s this: “Lysander, having left his thirtieth birthday some years past, had spotted Violante”? Where, I wonder, did he leave his thirtieth birthday?

    There were many more instances of “bumpy” language in the extract.

  4. Kathryn S
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 17:57:36

    I loved the first book in this series and have this one in my TBR. I’m making myself wait for it so I don’t have to wait as long for the third book.

    I also like Tasha Alexander’s Victorian series. Both are very entertaining and make me feel as though they’ve done their research into the world. I feel like I’m reading about real Victorian women, and not modern women in another world.

  5. Peggy P
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 18:00:49

    I listened to the first book…the narrator (Ellen Archer) was wonderful and really added to the story, she sounded just right as Julia March. The second book (which I anxiously awaited) is narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck and she’s not bad but not as great as Ellen Archer. I enjoyed the first book and thought it was a great debut, the second book was good but I hoped to see the relationship of Julia and Nicholas progress, isn’t that sorta the point of a romance? I rate Book One as an A and Book Two as a solid B and will certainly “listen” to Book Three next year with high hopes.

  6. Aoife
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 18:16:49

    I enjoyed Silent in the Grave much more than this second book in the series. Some of the writing seemed clunky to me, and I didn’t enjoy the “eccentric English noble family” aspects as much as I expected. I also didn’t think the Julia-Nicholas relationship progressed at all, and I’ve reached the point where I am on overload with series where the relationship between the leads drags on and on and on without any resolution in sight. I’ll probably try the third book if and when it comes out, but overall I’m disappointed.

  7. Meriam
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 18:39:45

    I’ve got a Tasha Alexander in my Amazon basket at the moment. She’s had some pretty good reviews here and I do love the Victorian era (particularly late Victorian). So, has anyone read both Alexander and Raybourn and willing to offer an opinion as to who is better?

    Laura, I don’t suppose you want to offer a quick analysis of TA’s language for a comparison? :-)

  8. Laura Vivanco
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 19:14:45

    Laura, I don't suppose you want to offer a quick analysis of TA's language for a comparison? :-)

    OK, Dr. Meanie takes up the challenge.

    There’s an excerpt of And Only to Deceive on Harper Collins’s website:

    Chatper One

    Few people would look kindly on my reasons for marrying Philip; neither love nor money nor his title induced me to accept his proposal. Yet, as I look across the spans of Aegean Sea filling the view from my villas balcony

    Since the typo in “Chatper One” isn’t likely to be Alexander’s fault, I’m not sure if the lack of an apostrophe in “my villas balcony” is also due to someone at Harper Collins making a mistake. I’d stick some commas in “neither love nor money nor his title” but my real quibble would be with “spans of Aegean Sea.” I’d think of it as having one span (unless the sea is divided into separate bits, which is possible, I suppose).

    Here are a couple more examples:

    “The dignified (although I would not choose to describe it as so)” – surely this should read “describe it so” or describe it as such”?

    “That I had refused several good offers continued to vex her, and I will not bore the reader with the details of these trivial events” – a good offer isn’t an “event.” Possibly we’re supposed to assume that the many occasions on which the mother expressed her vexation at her daughter were “events,” but it’s really not clear which “events” are being referred to, because no events are described in the sentence.

    There were more phrases I found a bit clumsy, but not as many as in the Raybourn.

  9. Meriam
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 19:25:30

    Very instructive! Thanks, Laura. I secretly preferred the Alexander excerpt, so I’m pleased it was less clumsy. It stays in the basket.

  10. Janine
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 20:59:25

    I found an excerpt online, and it seemed very bumpy to me.

    Is this from Silent in the Grave, or Silent in the Sanctuary? The Raybourn book I glanced at and made my comments to Jayne about was Silent in the Grave. Here’s the opening few paragraphs of the book:

    To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.

    I stared at him, not quite taking in the fact that he had just collapsed at my feet. He lay, curled like a question mark, his evening suit ink-black against the white marble of the floor. He was writhing, his fingers knotted.

    I leaned as close to him as my corset would permit.

    “Edward, we have guests. Do get up. If this is some sort of silly prank-’”

    “He is not jesting, my lady. He is convulsing.”

    An impatient figure in black pushed past me to kneel at Edward's side. He busied himself for a few brisk moments, palpating and pulse-taking, while I bobbed a bit, trying to see over his shoulder. Behind me the guests were murmuring, buzzing, pushing closer to get a look of their own. There was a little thrill of excitement in the air. After all, it was not every evening that a baronet collapsed senseless in his own music room. And Edward was proving rather better entertainment than the soprano we had engaged.

    I loved both the image and symbolism of Edward being “curled like a question mark.” I also love the image of the guests “murmuring, buzzing.” It gets across the fact that the narrator feels overwhelmed at this moment beautifully.

    As for the lines you quoted, Laura, it is hard for me to judge them out of context, but “the seasons were turning inward” might work for me if they are turning from warm to cold, since people tend to be driven inside by cold weather, and sometimes it can seem as if the rain and snow themselves are trying to get into our homes.

    This series has a first person narrator, so the narration is all about that narrator’s perceptions. Of course, people don’t really curl like question marks or buzz, and seasons don’t turn inward, but the use of these metaphors and images can reveal the character’s state of mind and emotions. I don’t see this as clumsy; to me it is actually good writing.

    The train image does not work as well for me, and I also agree that the meaning of “sustain me” in that line could be read in two different ways. However, I think the “She gave me a shrug and a curl of the lip” line is pretty clear, since I can’t think of a way to shrug a lip. The line about Lysander having left his thritieth birthday also seems pretty clear to me — he has left it in the past.

  11. vanessa jaye
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 22:17:42

    I read this book a month (or 2) ago, and loved it. Not sure if I *need* to read the first. I think I did check it out, but it’s now in MMPB and the writing is so teeny-tiny and totally unforgiving to my poor tired eyes. I’d rather cough up the extra dollars to buy the next release in trade.

    I also enjoyed the Tasha Alexander book, and in the same vein, Marion Chesney has a cozy series of historical novels (complete with romance subplot), the titles all contain “An Edwardian Murder Mystery”.

    I actually love the phrasing in this book. “Seasons turning inward” for instance, makes me think about retreat, withdrawal and solitude. It’s a loverly way to describe the summer leaving and oncoming winter–especially when you think of the seasons as a continuous cycle, and on the flipside the usual descriptions of spring as being a re-emergence or rebirth. ::shrug:: just my two cents.

    How and why an author’s voice may or may not work is a highly subjective thing. There are many authors that are raved about that I can’t get past the first paragraph of their work. I can *see* the skill, but the voice just doesn’t connect with me.

  12. Kathryn Smith
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 23:24:40

    Meriam, having read both authors I can tell you that I enjoyed both for different reasons. I enjoyed both books, but the Raybourne was more my favorite. I haven’t read the second one yet, though and I have read both in the Alexander series. I also like Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight mystery series set in Victorian New York.

  13. Laura Vivanco
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 04:43:45

    Janine, the Raybourn excerpt I read was from Silent in the Sanctuary, at eHarlequin.

    “the seasons were turning inward” might work for me if they are turning from warm to cold, since people tend to be driven inside by cold weather, and sometimes it can seem as if the rain and snow themselves are trying to get into our homes.

    That still wouldn’t work for me, because there are four seasons so although one, on it’s own might “turn inward”, the fact that this is in the plural suggests that more than one season (autumn/winter/spring/summer) is turning inwards and that doesn’t seem chronologically possible to me. We may have to agree to differ on this one, as our tastes in imagery seem to differ.

    It's a loverly way to describe the summer leaving and oncoming winter-especially when you think of the seasons as a continuous cycle, and on the flipside the usual descriptions of spring as being a re-emergence or rebirth. ::shrug:: just my two cents.

    But if summer’s leaving, then is it turning outwards while winter turns in? Maybe the image works if you think of autumn/winter as a pair which “turn in” and spring and summer as a pair which turn out, but that’s not how I think of the seasons. I’d think of a cycle being like a wheel, which rotates. So there’s a turning/rotating motion, but not a motion of turning in/curling inwards towards the centre of the circle.

    However, I think the “She gave me a shrug and a curl of the lip” line is pretty clear, since I can't think of a way to shrug a lip. The line about Lysander having left his thritieth birthday also seems pretty clear to me -’ he has left it in the past.

    Oh yes, the meaning’s pretty clear, if you’re willing to help the author out by adding in missing words or punctuation. If there had been a comma after “shrug” I wouldn’t have read that phrase the way I did, nor could I have speculated about the location of Lysander’s birthday if it had been made explicit that it had been left in the past/behind him.

    I didn’t set out to be critical, but unfortunately the writing felt strained to me, as though Raybourn was trying very hard to make her protagonist sound authentic and English, and it just didn’t work for me.

  14. Meriam
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 07:34:19

    I also enjoyed the Tasha Alexander book, and in the same vein, Marion Chesney has a cozy series of historical novels (complete with romance subplot), the titles all contain “An Edwardian Murder Mystery”.

    I love, love, love Marion Chesney. I used to read her regencies and historicals, whatever I could find in the library. I must find this series.

    As for Tasha Alexander vs D Raybourn, I think I need to spend half an hour in a book shop. Although two things might decide me: which one is set later in the Victorian period, and which has a stronger romantic element?

  15. Jayne
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 09:29:49

    Meriam, I would say that the Alexander books have more romance. In book one, she has 2 romantic hero options. Of course by the end of the book, there is only one left and she and he are pretty sure they’re in love but she likes her independence and isn’t sure about marrying again.

    The restrained romance continues in book two and at the end, he convinces her with a wonderful gift. They’re still not married yet but are deeply in love. No sex in either book though.

  16. Jayne
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 09:32:26

    I didn't set out to be critical, but unfortunately the writing felt strained to me, as though Raybourn was trying very hard to make her protagonist sound authentic and English, and it just didn't work for me.

    Laura, I certainly understand writing styles working, or not, for individual readers. It’s not something that bothers me beyond the “See Spot run” variety and in this case, I appreciated the fact that Raybourn at least made the attempt to make Lady Julia seem English as so often an attempt isn’t even made by American authors

  17. vanessa jaye
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 09:33:34

    Funny how imagery/symbolism and wordplay work differently for each of us. This morning while I was getting ready to leave for the office, for some reason the ‘train’ thing popped in my head. For me, what that phrasing evoked was the thought of a bridal train–something long, light and gossamer that was being drawn by something else. The width, heaviness, etc., of a train/locomotive never came to mind. But I can see how that would be disconcerting and not work as a descriptor.

    btw, Laura, didn’t think you were being critical. You just had an opinion that you shared. It’s all about having a dialogue, nothing more. :)

    Meriam, I love Marion Chesney! The Hamish MacBeth series (written as A.C. Beaton) is another favourite of mine (loved the BBC series too with Robert Carlyle), but never really cared for the Agatha Rasin books. And, of course, I love the Regency Trads she wrote.

    I’m not sure what to tell you about the comparative romances in any of these Historical Mysteries. In all cases they’re not as prominent as I’d like — for example, I love the balance of romance vs suspense Karen Rose does — but they’re still relatively satisfying in a ‘teaser' sort of way.

  18. Laura Vivanco
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 10:12:32

    the ‘train' thing popped in my head. For me, what that phrasing evoked was the thought of a bridal train-something long, light and gossamer that was being drawn by something else. The width, heaviness, etc., of a train/locomotive never came to mind. But I can see how that would be disconcerting and not work as a descriptor.

    I wasn’t thinking of a railway train, I was thinking of bridal train. But bridal trains tend to be at least as wide as the wedding dress, if not wider, which was why the description made me feel as though she must be trying to sew with a ribbon instead of thread. I suppose different people might think of different types of wedding train.

  19. vanessa jaye
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 10:56:15

    I wasn't thinking of a railway train, I was thinking of bridal train. But bridal trains tend to be at least as wide as the wedding dress, if not wider, which was why the description made me feel as though she must be trying to sew with a ribbon instead of thread. I suppose different people might think of different types of wedding train.

    So true. Now, based on your comments, I’m envisioning a Princess Di type bridal train. lol. I’ll leave the seasons turning thing alone; we’ll agree to disagree on that–although the use of the pural did give me pause, too.

    It’s always interesting getting a peek into the thought processes and impressions of others. Pity Rayburn didn’t work for you. Was it both books, or just this one that’s been reviewed?

  20. Laura Vivanco
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 12:14:37

    Pity Rayburn didn't work for you. Was it both books, or just this one that's been reviewed?

    I haven’t read either of the books, only the excerpt from this one.

  21. Rebecca
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 16:02:06

    I loved the second Rayburn book. I liked it better than her first, mainly because I enjoyed the quirky family members!

    The book in its entirety is a better read than the excerpt Laura didn’t enjoy.

    I liked T Alexanders books too.

    Also CL Harris’s Mermaid Sings or something like that.

  22. Belinda
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 16:21:26

    I’m with Aoife, I liked the first better. The family seemed a bit self-consciously wacky for me (March hares carved everywhere? please) and Julia herself seemed flightier. I loved the scene in the first book where she’s talking with the woman who washed her husband’s body and realizes she couldn’t last three minutes in that woman’s shoes. With the exception of her affection for the Romany, Julia didn’t have the same sort of grounded self-awareness in the second book. Several points of intrigue involving Brisbane were dropped as well.

    I thought there were several nice tongue in cheek moments, though, not least that the guy who speaks like a romance hero is a horses’ ass and meets a bad end. Having read it, I have to say I enjoyed the plot and I’ll pick up the next one. I just didn’t like it as much as I’d expected to.

  23. JB
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 01:30:56

    I really enjoyed both Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary. I agree that clunky wording does pull the reader out of the story but, honestly, I didn’t experience that in either of these books. If anything, the “Britishness” of some of the phrasing made me smile.

    Just as a small example, do you those of you who have read the novel remember when Lady Julia suggested that one of the house guests take a pup to bed with her to act as a bed warmer? Lady Julia comments about the dogs, “They haven’t fleas.”

    An American speaker would have said, “they don’t have fleas” or “they haven’t got fleas.” But not our Lady Julia. It’s that kind of deft touch with language that gives this novel such an authentic British feel.

    I’m sure there are other examples, but that’s one that has stayed with me.

    As an aside, I like Tasha Alexander, too. I’m eagerly awaiting her next book, A Fatal Waltz, which will be published in May.

  24. Laura Vivanco
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 04:40:50

    Lady Julia comments about the dogs, “They haven't fleas.”

    An American speaker would have said, “they don't have fleas” or “they haven't got fleas.” But not our Lady Julia. It's that kind of deft touch with language that gives this novel such an authentic British feel.

    Well, I’m British and I’ve wouldn’t use the construction that you think has an “authentic British feel.” I did a very quick search, and in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) Jack says “What nonsense! I haven’t got a brother” and Cecily says “But I haven’t got a cough.”

  25. cecilia
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 08:28:17

    All in all, I thought this book was a pleasant read, though I’m not panting for the next book in the series. I wanted to defend some of the style and mechanics points lodged against the author, though. I agree that the “seasons turning inwards” phrasing is not pleasing (I wondered whether it was a typo for “onwards”), and some of the style generally is affected, but I must protest the suggestion that the “a shrug and a curl of the lip” is missing a comma! If it was missing the second indefinite article it would be misleading as you say, but the comma has no place in that phrase, in the same way that “an eye and a nose” does not need a comma to clarify that they are separate things. Also, regarding the train thing (which I don’t really care for, I’ll admit), if we’re going to say that the problem is that we visualize a bridal train, which is much bigger than a thread, why are we not including the needle in our mind’s eye? The thread is trailing out from the needle, like a train from a bride – I don’t see how it’s that inappropriate an image. Overwrought, maybe, but not inappropriate.

  26. Laura Vivanco
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 09:29:50

    “an eye and a nose” does not need a comma to clarify that they are separate things.

    Yes, and it’s clear that the shrug and the curl are separate things, but because of how the phrase is constructed they could both be assumed to relate to the lip.

    if we're going to say that the problem is that we visualize a bridal train, which is much bigger than a thread, why are we not including the needle in our mind's eye?

    I was. If the needle is the (very skinny) bride, and the thread is her train, and if trains on wedding dresses tend to be wider than the bride and often widen as they descend to the floor or as they pool around the bride, then there’s a problem with the metaphor, at least for me, because a thread is always narrower than the needle through which it passes, and the thread’s circumference remains constant.

  27. vanessa jaye
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 10:35:34

    JB, thanks for the heads up on Tasha’s new release. I’m almost sure I first heard of her here at DA, so hopefully there’ll be a review on May book. ::making puppy dog eyes at the Ja(y)nes::

  28. Jayne
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 19:41:40

    We’re working on getting an arc.

  29. RfP
    Apr 20, 2008 @ 15:04:02

    I found an excerpt online, and it seemed very bumpy to me. … the meaning's pretty clear, if you're willing to help the author out by adding in missing words or punctuation.

    I just finished the first book, Silent in the Grave. I see what you call “bumpy” language, but it didn’t bother me. The last book I read was an Anne Bronte, and the unclear sentence structure and missing words weren’t an obstacle there either. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Is it awkward, or is it style? If I find the writing assured in other respects, I can often accept a style in which not every sentence is perfectly clear at the outset. It makes for a slower read, but that’s not a bad thing. Odd metaphors can offer an interesting glimpse of the narrator’s thought process and associations. (Or they can be simply odd, as they struck Laura.)

    The setting and characters remind me strongly of Amanda Quick’s Arcane Society novels. I found the mystery flimsy, but Raybourn’s heroine is more introspective and less ditzy than Quick’s; in the course of the book Julia learns a lot about herself and the world.

    I enjoyed the first book but don’t feel any great urgency to read Sanctuary. Based on Jayne’s review and others, I might wait till book 3.

  30. Virginia Shultz-Charette
    May 24, 2008 @ 09:14:27

    Love both books one and two, write faster dear lady, write faster! I have no problems with the language, as an historian I’ve read many letters, diaries and books of the period and this is precisely how an upper-class woman would sound. As far as the romance, I don’t expect it to move quickly – this is the 19th century, not the 21st.Usually, women -and men-who could marry their choice of partner moved very cautiously and many never married, or had close relations at all.Too many of the historical romances have the hero and heroine bucking and plunging by page 2, this is a refreshing change.

  31. Lina
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 17:54:26

    to Laura: with all due respect, I have just read your comments and they enraged me.
    I actually read all three of the “Silent” books so far and I find the style wonderful: evocative, poetic and subtly ironic. I admit that the first one was the best for me, however, I still enjoyed the rest and I’m looking forward to “Darjeeling” as soon as it appears in the library.
    Everybody’s opinion is valuable, but look, Laura, you haven’t even READ the books! What IS the point of dissecting three sentences into oblivion? Just read them and see if you like them or not. Honestly.

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