“After eight idyllic months in the Mediterranean, Lady Julia Grey and her detective husband are ready to put their investigative talents to work once more. At the urging of Julia’s eccentric family, they hurry to India to aid an old friend, the newly widowed Jane Cavendish. Living on the Cavendish tea plantation with the remnants of her husband’s family, Jane is consumed with the impending birth of her child—and with discovering the truth about her husband’s death. Was he murdered for his estate? And if he was, could Jane and her unborn child be next?
Amid the lush foothills of the Himalayas, dark deeds are buried and malicious thoughts flourish. The Brisbanes uncover secrets and scandal, illicit affairs and twisted legacies. In this remote and exotic place, exploration is perilous and discovery, deadly. The danger is palpable and, if they are not careful, Julia and Nicholas will not live to celebrate their first anniversary.”
Let me preface this review of the fourth Lady Julia Grey novel by saying: If you have not read Deanna Raybourn’s books, you may want to seek out the first one, Silent in the Grave, and settle in to remedy that. They are delightful, smart historical mysteries narrated by a refreshing heroine and peppered with a host of wonderful secondary characters. And that’s not even taking into account one Nicholas Brisbane. Since that first book, Ms. Raybourn has never failed to deliver compelling, transportive stories that leave me yearning for the next installment.
It should come as no surprise then that I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Road to Darjeeling. From the location – India – to the amazing and often unexpected twists the story took, I was completely captivated and glued to my sofa for the duration of the novel.
For me, the heart of this series is the relationship between Julia and Brisbane. They challenge each other – both emotionally and professionally (in regards to the business of detection) – and in this installment found their relationship tested like never before. Their scenes together were so well done, I found myself no sooner finishing one that I’d turn back the page and begin again.
That said, the mystery was also well-developed, and there were plenty of plausible suspects and motives for Julia to work with.
I don’t want to say too much and potentially risk spoiling the story, so I’ll just repeat: These books are so very good and I hope, if you haven’t already, that you’ll give them a chance.
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