Ensconced in marital bliss, Lady Julia Grey and her husband,
Nicholas Brisbane, are enjoying their honeymoon tour immensely.
Unfortunately, as they explore the Mediterranean, their idyll is
interrupted by the arrival of Julia's sister, Portia, and brother
Plum. Never one to turn her back on family, however inconvenient,
Julia cannot ignore Portia's plea for help. A dear friend's husband
has died, and there is a suspicion of murder.
The group immediately sets off for India where they will stay at
the Peacocks with the eccentric Cavendish family as they set about
discovering the truth of Freddie Cavendish's passing. An inveterate
playboy and gambler, Freddie's death from an infected snake bite
seems highly suspicious, and his pregnant widow, Jane, whom they
have known for years, and her unborn child may be in grave
The Peacocks is a flourishing tea plantation now run by
Freddie's cousin, Harry Cavendish. Harry loves the plantation,
situated at the foot of the imposing Himalayas, and runs it well.
Unfortunately, if Jane gives birth to a boy, Harry will see all to
which he has devoted his life slip through his fingers. Itching to
solve another mystery and prove to her detective husband that she,
indeed, knows what she’s doing, Julia dives into the case
headfirst. But where to start? The list of suspects grows daily,
and no one is above suspicion.
While Harry makes a perfect suspect, his maiden aunt, the stiff
and proper Miss Cavendish, also has no desire to see her life
change. The Peacocks is the center of her universe, and she runs
the household meticulously. To see it fall into Jane's hands is
simply unacceptable. Add to the cast of characters the Reverend
Featherstone and his extraordinary wife, Cassandra; a beautiful
half-caste governess, Miss Thorne; her equally gorgeous sister,
Lalita; a mysterious man known as the White Rajah, who lives in an
old monastery; Julia's distant cousins, Emma and Lucy, who have
been suspected of murder before; and the drunken widower Dr.
Llewellyn, and there are plenty of people with motive for Julia to
In this magical, mystical land, murder takes on an even more
sinister twist. A murderer is not the only thing the group needs to
beware of, though. An unusual black tiger is hungry for blood as
well and lurks in the undergrowth of the small town. It's enough to
make even the most composed investigator's hair stand on end.
DARK ROAD TO DARJEELING is the fourth book in the Lady Julia
Grey series. We get to know Julia and Nicholas even better as
they touchily settle into married life, reacquaint with Plum and
Portia, and watch them all grow as characters. The secondary
players are nothing short of fascinating, and the India setting
adds atmosphere galore. When I picked up Deanna Raybourn’s
first novel, SILENT IN THE GRAVE, I knew after reading a few pages
that I was a fan --- and that hasn't changed. Like fine wine, her
books just get better over time. There is a depth to the stories
and the characters that enchants and entertains like no other.
These titles transport me to another time and place, a place I will
visit time and time again.
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on December 29, 2010