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Silent In The Grave
Silent In The Grave
by Deanna Raybourn

Death, Mourning and a Victorian Mystery: Murder Shrieks Out

Publisher: Mira (December 2007)
Deanna Raybourne's Silent In The Grave is a hard to put down Victorian mystery, both suspenseful and humorous in its details, that unmasks the consequences of that society's moral, gender and class codes upon individuals within society. As the narrator records the twisting hunt for clues to the identity of the killer, she also discovers her own identity.

Julia Grey's husband Sir Edward collapses, dying in front of her and a house full of guests. Victorian mourning customs come into play as new black clothing must be ordered along with black bordered stationery. The Ghoul, Aunt Hermia comes to visit and partake in the latest society mourning rituals. When Nicholas Brisbane tells Julia of tales of threatening notes to her late husband and his fear of being murdered, Julia discounts his tale at first. When she finds a vicious threatening note herself while sorting through out her husband's things, Julia rethinks her position Now, Julia joins Nicholas in an investigation and search for clues to unmask the details behind her husband's death.

Julia's search for justice brings her head to head against some of the unspoken rules of morality and a woman's place in Victorian society. As she follows the path of clues, Julia steps out of her familiar world, exploring gypsy customs, brothels and even looks into the practices of medicine in her day. The dark enigmatic Nicolas encourages and challenges Julia, becoming an inspiration and even catalyst for her to confront her own ideas and move beyond herself. As Julia uncovers more and more layers of the thickening mystery, she also lays bare some foundations of Victorian society and morality. Before she can unmask the killer, Julia must put aside those notions of what is proper for a woman in her position and look into and unmask the unspoken the class divisions, the repressed sexuality, and a women's role in society. Deanna Raybourne locates the home as the structural and emotional as the center of this historical mystery as indeed it was in Victorian society. As Julia steps across some some of the boundaries prescribed to her as a woman of a certain class and away from the home, her character evolves and becomes more herself through an inner journey that follows her hunt for clues. At the end of this exquisite mystery, the reader cries and laughs and hopes alongside Julia.

Silent in the Grave is a mystery rich in well-researched historical details but also a fast-paced read as each clue unmasks another mysterious layer. Infused with sadness, Silent in the Grave provides humorous relief as the clues lead the reader into an ever increasing dark reality hidden by the masks of Victorian society. The unmasking of the villain leads to ever increasing shocking details. Murder will out, not only the deed but all the dark truths behind the deed. An exceptional emotional and riveting read!

Publisher: Mira (December 2007)
Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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