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The Dark Enquiry Paperback – Jun 21 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (June 21 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778312372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778312376
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Amazon.com: 109 reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Lady Julia and Brisbane are on the case again! June 18 2011
By M&M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Deanna Raybourn's newest addition to her Lady Julia Grey series is a delight on every level. First, it has many elements of a great mystery - a seance, blackmail, gypsies, spies, and murder. It also has the delightful Lady Julia who's at it again, trying to insert herself into one of her husband's investigations. We all know she's not one to take "no" for an answer. This time Brisbane, a very successful enquiry agent, is helping her stodgy brother, Lord Bellmont, who's gotten himself into a bit of jam. Not only has Bellmont committed an indiscretion, he was foolish enough to write love letters to the lady. Now someone is blackmailing him and the implications could be much more far-reaching than just upsetting his wife. It turns out the lady in question might be working for a foreign government! If it becomes known that the mistress of an important member of Parliament was a spy, it could have major impact on the stability of the British government.
Various members of Lady Julia's family make appearances. Portia, Valerius, and her father, Lord March, have small roles, while Bellmont and Plum (who's still working for Brisbane) have larger ones. Raybourn also introduces a new character, Morgan Fielding, who promises to be an interesting addition to the cast.
I think the best thing about this series is Lady Julia and Brisbane's relationship. Getting married hasn't ruined their romance one bit. If anything, it's made it more interesting. You can definitely still feel the sparks shooting between them.
While Brisbane remains enigmatic, he is beginning to share more of his complex past with Julia even though he confesses his fear that eventually his revelations will cause her to leave him. He should know by now that his wife is not someone who scares easily. After all, she's faced down murderers, raced straight into danger, and stood up to his thunderous disapproval on more than one occasion.
Although Lady Julia continues to make inroads into convincing Brisbane of the value she brings to his investigations, he is still having difficulty getting past his fears for her safety. He knows he can't protect her all the time, and she's always been a bit of a magnet for danger. Let's just say that while their personal relationship is very fulfilling, their professional one remains a work in progress.
Unlike some series that have lost my interest after just a few books, this one just keeps getting better and better. Please keep writing, Deanna!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
What happened to Julia? July 17 2011
By Bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Good:
1. Deanna Raybourn's prose is a dream come true. Dialogue between certain characters is so beautiful it's almost lyrical. And she describes places like no other. These two things make her one of the best writers of Victorian fiction.

2. Brisbane and the Marches. We find out more about Brisbane's origins and anything involving Brisbane himself is aces in my book. The various members of the March family had me laughing out loud as usual.

3. The plot. I loved the twists and turns it took. I figured out the culprit well before the end but only by process of elimination, not because Raybourn gave anything away.

The Bad:
1. Julia. In the first part of the book, she was a cross between Lucille Ball and Veruca Salt from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There was a reference to her crossing her arms across her chest and glowering at people, fake crying into her hankerchief to get sympathy, physically pushing her maid and making faces at her, and launching herself into Brisbane's lap and covering his face with kisses when he expressed confidence in her. This is not the Julia we were introduced to. She's become a silly, snobbish, ditz. She is dangerously close to surpassing Bellmont as the most annoying March. She was much better in the second part of the book, though.

2. The repetitive scenes in which both Julia and Brisbane reassure each other that they love each other and are just trying to keep each other safe. I hope in the next installment we don't have to waste a lot of pages with those repetitive conversations again. I also hope that Julia and Brisbane's marriage evolves in a more mature direction rather than continues with the tiresome pattern of Julia stupidly blowing things up and Brisbane being annoyed with her and threatening to lock her up in the house.

In sum, I loved the book and highly recommend this series to anyone who loves not only Victorian mysteries but mysteries in general. I had to give it four stars because of Julia.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Lots of Fun July 27 2011
By Litocracy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although sometimes I can't help but laugh a little Deanna Raybourn's over-the-top Gothic stylings, I freely admit that I snapped up her latest, The Dark Inquiry, the day it was released and finished the thing in about a day and a half.

The mystery portion of the plot is not quite so dark as in previous installments--no elicit sex, no incest or mummy babies--no tigers even. The solution is, however, a bit more difficult to predict, largely because the investigation remains unfocused for much of the book, leaving readers uncertain of what to watch for, and because the author withholds a key piece of information about one of the characters until the heroine's own moment of realization.

Raybourn has a gift for continuing the romantic storyline even after her hero and heroine have moved past the tortuous and drawn out will-they-won't-they phase of the relationship--a very rare trait among writers of any genre. Her characters are married and ostensibly living happily ever after--but they still fight. And they fight about real things. Then they make up again, without necessarily resolving the underlying issues--almost like a real relationship. This underlying honest streak counterbalances the more ridiculous aspects of her work to some extent, making for surprisingly touching and serious moments in the midst of what is at heart escapist fiction for English majors.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Another Lovely Lady Julia Novel... June 20 2011
By Amanda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Dark Enquiry continues the adventures of sleuth Lady Julie Grey (now Brisbane). For fans of the lady's witty adventures (a la comfy/historical mystery style), The Dark Enquiry delivers everything they have come to expect and love from author Deanna Raybourn and her intelligent, spunky heroine. This time, Julia takes on more espionage, blackmail and an interesting new supernatural element that may surprise (and delight) some fans of the series.

In Dark Enquiry, Lady Julia and her husband Nicolas Brisbane have returned to London from their honeymoon (not mystery-free, of course) and are working on settling into a new life. As part of their new partnership, Julia begins to explore Brisbane's enquity business. It's not long until Julia finds herself sucked into yet another mystery. This time, she finds herself in the middle of strange supernatural phenomenon (well, so it seems) where séances are fashionable, but tend to weave a web of murder, espionage and blackmail.

Sounds like just another day in the life of Lady Julia Grey, doesn't it? Dark Enquiry is delivered in the witty, fun and history-laden hand of Raybourn, who still manages to keep the charm of Julia's life and somewhat unorthodox pastime of the period in this late installment -even now that the lady is married. While I've always been a "casual" fan of the Julia Grey novels, I though that Dark Enquiry was incredibly satisfying for anyone who dares pick it up -from hard core fans to newcomers. Though new readers may be a little confused due to the lack of much exposition. Still, newcomers can quickly adjust.

Now, while I did find it interesting that Dark Enquiry has more supernatural-ish elements than previous novels in the series (not to mention the popularity of paranormal romance novels these days), it seemed to work. Raybourn presenting it in a way that made sense for the period, the plot and world -though I'll admit I wasn't expecting such a thing in a Lady Julia Grey novel, but at least it keeps things interesting.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
silly lady July 17 2011
By Annie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I could not get past the beginning of the book. The leading lady has become a silly, stupid whiny ninny who blows up things because she is trying to prove she can investigate with her husband. If she can't be careful with a match and care if someone gets hurt then she should not be trusted to do real sleuthing work.


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