Tell us about the last book you read (Why did you choose it? Would you recommend it?). To go further, write a post based on its subject matter.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us WORDS.
This prompt contains a spoiler alert. In order to write about the last book I read and to tell you a bit about it, I have to preempt my Book Challenge Update, my book review that I write when I finish a book that I have read for my book challenge.
As most of you know (or maybe you don’t know but I’ll refresh your memories), I have set myself a book challenge. I have challenged myself to read 150 books this year. As I finish a book, I write a review of the book and post it under the heading Book Challenge Update. I keep several reviews in stock to use when I don’t have a daily prompt to post so the review I post is not always the very last book I’ve read.
The last book I read, the review of which has not yet been posted, was Silent In The Grave: A Lady Julia Grey Novel by Deanna Raybourne. I had read this book several years ago but decided to reread it because I’m into Victorian period mysteries at the moment. Lady Julia is a widow who discovers that her husband may have been murdered. A private inquiry agent named Nicholas Brisbane who was an acquaintance of her husband comes to her and tells her that her husband had come to him with threatening letters that he had received. Lady Julia and Brisbane embark on a quest to discover who sent the threatening letters and who would have wanted to murder her husband. They later find evidence that her husband, Sir Edward, was in fact murdered. But in the process of investigating his death, Lady Julia and Brisbane are drawn to one another. So there is an element of romance, albeit with much tension.
There are many characters involved in the novel. Lady Julia comes from a family of ten children and an eccentric father, Earl March. Her brother Valerius who stays with her in Grey House has won a raven in a card game. The problem is that the raven is the property of the Queen and was stolen from her by one of his friends. The raven is now ensconced in Grey House and no one knows how to return it to the Queen. Lady Julia’s sister Portia, also a widow, causes scandal to the family when she takes a lover, who happens to be another woman. An elderly aunt, affectionately nicknamed The Ghoul, moves into Grey House to “help” Lady Julia during her mourning period. Even the servants are interesting. There is Magda, the Gypsy laundress. Lady Julia’s maid, Morag, is surly and does only what she wants to do. The butler Aquinas speaks fluent Italian and was an acrobat. He also has an uncanny ability to anticipate Lady Julia’s wishes. Sir Edward’s cousin, Sir Simon, also lives at Grey House. He is ill with a failing heart and is not expected to live much longer. Lady Julia and her staff are nursing him. And then there is the lovely courtesan Hortense Bellefleur, a friend of Brisbane, who becomes a confidant of Lady Julia and a special friend of Earl March.
This cast of characters contribute to a lively plot as Lady Julia and Brisbane investigate the murder of Sir Edward. Things become complicated as Brisbane becomes ill with migraine headaches. Then the two discover hidden secrets about Sir Edward’s life and the investigation becomes dangerous. In the end, Lady Julia’s very life is threatened.
So I’ve given you a taste of my review of the book in this post. You will probably read the Book Challenge Update for this book in a week or so. It was a fun book. I’ve gone on to the next book in the series this weekend. I had trouble putting it down. Lady Julia has become a special friend to me. She’s been away too long.