"A darkly atmospheric Victorian-era mystery filled with lots of red herrings and many suspects."
Reviewed by Suan Wilson
Posted December 15, 2007
Mystery Historical | Historical
Lady Julia fled to Italy to recover her health after the
investigation into her late husband's murder nearly cost
Julia her life. Tired of the mundane needlepoint and
endless sightseeing, Julia readily accedes to her father's
demand that she and her brothers return home. They arrive
to discover an odd assortment of guests her father has
invited to a house party and a small wedding ceremony for
her cousin. Among the guests is the enigmatic Brisbane, who
investigated and solved Julia's husband's death with her.
Their relationship is ill-defined with both reluctant to
explore their feelings, yet powerless to let it end.
The house party takes a chilling turn when the murder of a
guest occurs. Julia's young cousin confesses to the crime,
but there are too many inconsistencies. Julia and a
reluctant Brisbane once again join forces to find a killer.
Their probing uncovers the dark side of the unconventional
household and its members. Other hidden crimes are revealed
with confusing and conflicting clues. No one is above
suspicion. The arrival of a sudden snowstorm heightens the
tension as no one can leave -- including the killer.
Ms. Raybourn's darkly atmospheric novel unfolds slowly as
she defines her multifaceted characters. The pace picks up
halfway through and she delivers an excellently plotted
mystery filled with red herrings and suspects galore. The
second book in the Lady Julia Grey mystery leaves readers
wanting to watch Julia and Brisbane solve the next murder.
Now thou art come unto a feast of death, A terrible and
unavoided danger. I Henry VI
Fresh from a six-month sojourn in Italy, Lady Julia returns
home to Sussex to find her father's estate crowded with
family and friends--but dark deeds are afoot at the
deconsecrated abbey, and a murderer roams the ancient
Much to her surprise, the one man she had hoped to forget--
the enigmatic and compelling Nicholas Brisbane--is among
her father's house guests...and he is not alone. Not to be
outdone, Julia shows him that two can play at flirtation
and promptly introduces him to her devoted, younger, titled
But the homecoming celebrations quickly take a ghastly turn
when one of the guests is found brutally murdered in the
chapel, and a member of Lady Julia's own family confesses
to the crime. Certain of her cousin's innocence, Lady Julia
resumes her unlikely and deliciously intriguing partnership
with Nicholas Brisbane, setting out to unravel a tangle of
deceit before the killer can strike again. When a sudden
snowstorm blankets the abbey like a shroud, it falls to
Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane to answer the shriek of
murder most foul.
With a captivating cast of characters in a remarkably
imaginative setting, Silent in the Sanctuary is a marvelous
sequel to the evocative Silent in the Grave
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