Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary,
and Silent on the Moor
by Deanna Raybourn
I am currently halfway through the third book in this series of murder mysteries set in Victorian England, and it looks like there are at least three or four more books already published in the series. They were recommended by my friend Kinsey, and I’m really enjoying them; the books are well-written and the heroine is very likeable, which are pretty much the most important qualities for me.
In fact, for me, the heroine and the romantic hero reminded me of what Gail Carriger was trying to go for with her supernatural heroine and werewolf hero in her very poorly written Parasol Protectorate Series. A strong, independent woman raised solely by her father with unusual freedom in the Victorian Era and a detective with rough edges on the fringe of society. Only, Carriger’s are even less than one-dimensional, if that’s possible, while Raybourn’s are relatable and engaging. (I’m hoping to get a friend who enjoys Carriger’s books to write a review on them later.)
Here’s my one quibble: the heroine is from an eccentric but extremely wealthy artistocratic family. Throughout the three books I’ve read, she’s made some mention of the privelege of her position and wealth, but at the same time often looks down on and even occasionally degrades people in positions below her. So, she has awareness that she has an easier life than most, but it doesn’t alter how she behaves toward her subordinates.
Something in the way the author writes makes me think that she is doing this purposefully, making Lady Julia progressive for her time, but not anachronistically so. Even so, it still kind of bothers me. I think I’ve been particularly sensitive about class issues lately because of the current political climate seems very divisive between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ (curiously, with each side thinking they are ‘have-nots’ and the other side is the ‘haves’). So, take this criticism with a grain of salt.