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Lord John and the Private Matter [Hardcover]

Diana Gabaldon
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 30 2003 Lord John Grey Novels
Adored bestselling author Diana Gabaldon brings us the first book in a new trilogy featuring many of the characters from her wildly popular Outlander series.

In her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, Diana Gabaldon introduced millions of readers to a dazzling world of history and adventure—a world of vibrant settings and utterly unforgettable characters. Now one of these characters, Major Lord John Grey, opens the door to his own part of this world—eighteenth-century London, a seething anthill of nobility and rabble peopled by soldiers and spies, whores and dukes. Great Britain is battling France for supremacy on three continents—and life is good for a soldier.

The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s Army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: the Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade in arms, who may have been a traitor.

Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society—and threatens all he holds dear. From the bawdy houses of London’s night-world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility, and from the blood of a murdered corpse to the thundering seas ruled by the majestic fleet of the East India Company, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything—or nothing.

The early days of the Seven Years War come brilliantly to life in this historical mystery by an author whose unique and compelling storytelling has engrossed millions of readers worldwide.

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From Publishers Weekly

Trouble befalls Lord John Grey (fresh from minor roles in Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander novels) when he accidentally discovers that the Hon. Joseph Trevelyan, his cousin's betrothed, may have what those in 1757 termed "the pox" or "the French disease" syphilis. Before he can figure out an appropriate way to handle this delicate matter, he becomes involved in the investigation of the mysterious and grisly murder of a military colleague suspected of being a spy. Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross; Drums of Autumn; etc.) stitches these two plots together into a compelling narrative that also offers a wealth of juicy details about 18th-century London, especially its homosexual underbelly. Lord John, who reminisces about his dead lover, Hector, and the "lean, hard body" of an old flame, learns that Trevelyan may be traveling from one house of ill repute to another of a different sort: at the Lavender House, both buyers and sellers are men. Among his various trials and tribulations, Lord John must discern the identity of a mysterious figure in a green velvet dress spotted in both of these establishments and investigate the mysterious death of a similarly attired man, found with his face bashed in. Grey is a competent and likable sleuth, and Gabaldon's prose is crisply elegant. Her many fans will be happy to learn that this is the first in a series about the travails of Lord John Grey.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

After accidentally observing a spot on Joseph Trevelyan's "privy member," Major Lord John Grey finds himself in a devilishly difficult position because Trevelyan is about to marry Grey's cousin, who has no idea her fiance is infected with the pox. As he searches for a discreet way to confirm his suspicions, Grey is dragged into a different kind of investigation. British Army requisition papers have vanished in Calais, and Grey must find out if there is some connection between their disappearance and the recent murder of a possible spy Sergeant Timothy O'Connell. Grey, who has a secret of his own to protect, begins an investigation into O'Connell's death, which, interestingly enough, leads to Trevelyan and a mysterious woman in green velvet whose identity may provide answers to all of Grey's questions. New York Times best-seller Gabaldon promotes Grey, a popular secondary character in her Outlander series, to a starring role in this thoroughly entertaining and wonderfully witty historical mystery set in the richly detailed, occasionally bawdy world of Georgian England. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so private after all... May 1 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The year is 1757. It is early June and Lord John finds himself in a rather difficult predicament. Exiting from the rest rooms at the Beefsteak, Grey is doubtful about what he has just seen. It is shocking, to say the least.

Over the chamber pots, he happened to see the Honorable Joseph Trevelyan's penis. On it was a sore. Trevelyan may carry the Pox or Syphilis. While Grey would normally not concern himself with such matters, Trevelyan is scheduled to marry his cousin in short order. He knows he must confirm without a shadow of a doubt whether or not Trevelyan is poxed before the marriage of his cousin. He could not, in good conscience, let his cousin marry a diseased man.

At the same time, Grey is approached by Sergeant Harry Quarry of Her Majesty's Army for assistance with another matter. Timothy O'Connell, a fellow officer, has just been found dead, the victim of a bar fight. Quarry tells Grey there is suspicion that O'Connell didn't die of natural causes; instead, he believes it to be murder. With Grey's brother out of town and Quarry a likely suspect, it is up to Major Grey to find out the circumstances behind O'Connell's death, including who may have had reason to kill him.

Quarry lets Grey know that O'Connell was a suspected spy, trading military information to the opposition in France. Knowing that there is a traitor in their midst, Grey is thrown into the darker side of London. Working his way through a sea of lies in bordellos, Molly Walks and the gay subculture of London, Grey is on the hunt for a killer.

Gabaldon, known for her hugely popular Outlander series, gives us the first of three Lord John Grey mysteries. Those of you who have read the Outlander series know that Grey is a minor character from the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not interested in Lord John Sept. 30 2009
By C. B.
Format:Paperback
I truly enjoyed Lord John in the Outlander series and thought he was a marvelous addition to Jamie's life. However, reading an entire story about him wasn't nearly as interesting as I thought it would be. Personally, I'm just not that interested in reading about a gay person's homosexual activities. It was just too graphic for me. No thanks! Never bought another Lord John book but will continue to buy the Outlander books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lord John Serie Aug. 20 2010
Format:Paperback
Bought the three books of the Lord John serie. Manage to read the first one and never got to the other two. Writing of the first book is, in my opinion, not to the standard of the Outlander serie. The first book of the Lord John is very choppy. It jumps from one scene to another, without really finishing one or starting the next. You're just there, without any preparations whatsoever, not smooth at all. I felt that it was written as one would write one of those cheap romance stories that are mass produce. A real disapointment after reading the Outlander serie. Their certainly wasn't any depth to any of the characters, thus making me feel I got taken by these three books, even though I didn't read the second and third. They are just there in the bookcase. I certainly wouldn't recommend them to anyone that might think that they compare to Mrs Gabaldon's Outlander serie.

Ghislain Desjardins
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2.0 out of 5 stars Lord John Dimished Nov. 11 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
As an avid Gabaldon fan I couldn't wait for the arrival of this novel - a departure from the Outlander series, only to be sorely disappointed. Although I enjoyed Lord John's role in the Outlander series, he did not hold the same kind of interest and fascination for me in Lord John. As a matter of fact, I found that I really didn't care for any of the characters in this novel. They were neither interesting nor well developed. There were occasional gratuitous references to Jamie & Claire that served little purpose other than to appease fans. The "private matter" and the mystery offered little suspense. My ultimate reaction was "who cares." All in all, I'm still a Gabaldon fan and would like to say "Diana, go back to the Outlander series. We want to know what's happening with Jamie and Claire." Forget Lord John.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Its no Jamie and Claire...but... Oct. 19 2003
Format:Hardcover
I am a recent convert to the "Outlander" saga of Jamie and Claire, and was very excited to read more of this authors work. The "Lord John" book was well written, with many twists and interesting characters to keep you involved with the story. The look at life in 18th Century London was fabulous. The author has a great eye for detail, accuracy and honesty in a historical novel. I look forward to reading more of Lord John and the life that leads him to his encounters with the Frasers. But it did not hold me up into the wee hours of the morning the way "Outlander" or "Voyager" did. Still highly recommend reading, but I'm still waiting(like millions of others) for the "Fiery Cross" sequel!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring June 20 2005
By Martine
Format:Paperback
Being used to action and plot from Gabaldon's previous novels, I have been quite disapointed in this book. It almost looks like she cannot write short stories... Too much was missing. She touched many subject on the surface and the private matter was not all that exciting. I love Lord John's character but this novell did nothing good to it. And when you get to the end expecting maybe something good... you are even more disapointed. It's just blahhh! Of course, I will most certainly read the next one of this trilogy, but I will not buy it. I'll borrow it from a friend or the library. It's not worth paying for. Too bad. I really look forward to the next book on Jamie and Claire though...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars lord john and the private matter
Love the story love the book Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author and she as done justice to this book as to all that we writes. Great price, great service. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Annie
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money
What a disappointment.
I am a huge fan of the original series and found this book to be a waste of time and money. Read more
Published on June 14 2005 by pauline
1.0 out of 5 stars The matter should have been left private!
A long-time fan of Gabaldon, I pre-ordered the book before it was available on-line. What I got for my money (and much was spent) was a very different book from what I was... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by "morguene"
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed
Having enjoyed Ms. Gabaldon's other novels I found this one to be lacking in character and plot. Granted, the novel is extremely interesting in the historical sense, but it looses... Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Book Smart
4.0 out of 5 stars Have Your Nose Cauterized First
I was a little leery of this Gabaldon offering, having been so thoroughly bored by The Fiery Cross, but she does know what a plot is, after all. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Gabaldon's gift for distraction
I enjoyed Lord John's character in this novel much more than in the Outlander series. I finally see him growing up from the terrorized teenager found in the woods during Cullodeen. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gabaldon Success
This book, though not a romance, was full of Gabaldon's great tallent with description and wit. The people felt so delightfully real and alive, as if the reader were truly in 18th... Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2003 by laura
3.0 out of 5 stars Merely a good book
I loved Lord John in the Outlander series and I had great hopes for *Lord John and the Private Matter.* Alas, Diana Gabaldon has set the bar too high. *Lord John... Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2003 by Mary Campbell
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