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The Dark Enquiry

Review

The Dark Enquiry

If there's one thing Lady Julia Grey abhors, it's a secret. Oh, not her own secrets, of course. Her own secrets are necessary and justified. However, those kept by her husband, the dashing and enigmatic Nicholas Brisbane, a private enquiry agent, are completely unacceptable. Right now, Brisbane has several secrets. The most pressing one involves Julia's older brother, the esteemed Lord Bellmont, a government official who is closely connected to England's Prime Minister. What kind of business could her brother have with her husband, a man for whom he has endless contempt? Julia won't rest until she discovers the answers she seeks.

The only problem with THE DARK ENQUIRY is that when readers turn the last page and sigh in satisfaction, they'll know they'll have to wait until the next novel is published to re-enter the world of these beloved friends.

As usual, Julia also fights to be a partner in all of Brisbane's enquiries. From the investigation into Lord Mortlake's missing jewels to an enquiry at the famous Ghost Club, where nightly séances are held, she pokes and prods to know every last detail and assist her husband whenever and wherever possible. When she goes so far as to dress as a gentleman and attend a secret séance lest Brisbane needs her assistance, she gets more adventure than even she bargained for. Madame Seraphine, the medium and star of the spiritualist community that meets at the Ghost Club, dies before her very eyes. Instead of backing off in the interest of her personal safety, she continues to follow her husband's every move, despite his assertions that her help is unnecessary.

Of course, were Julia and Brisbane anything other than the enchanting characters they are, the series would lose much of what makes it so special. Through the scrapes Julia finds herself in and the constant extrications that must be performed by her husband, we see the depth of love between the two. As all the investigations deepen, the danger grows until they take refuge and respite in a nearby gypsy camp. They're granted full access only because Brisbane, part-Gypsy and part-Scot, is one of their own. Julia gains increasing glimpses into a side of her husband she's rarely seen before, and her love for him grows even deeper.

THE DARK ENQUIRY, the fifth installment in the Lady Julia Grey series, continues the enthralling rollercoaster ride that Deanna Raybourn began with SILENT IN THE GRAVE. As usual, her unique writing style and frustrating but loveable characters thrill and delight readers. It's easy to imagine that Julia and Brisbane manage to surprise Raybourn just as much as they do the rest of us with their antics. The book proves that the dangers you find in your own backyard can be just as deadly as those found abroad. A supporting cast of familiar favorites make an appearance as well, including Julia's sister, Portia, and her brother, Plum.

The only problem with THE DARK ENQUIRY is that when readers turn the last page and sigh in satisfaction, they'll know they'll have to wait until the next novel is published to re-enter the world of these beloved friends.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on June 21, 2011

The Dark Enquiry
by Deanna Raybourn

  • Publication Date: June 21, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mira
  • ISBN-10: 0778312372
  • ISBN-13: 9780778312376