I thought Silent in the Grave a very well crafted, well paced story. I would describe it as snapshots of plot accompanied by descriptive labels (meaning each chapter’s matching quote by bard), rather than a running stream, teasing you a little bit here, a little there, before twisting again. The writing is very detailed and at times blunt, drawing you in, never letting you leave. The setting, Grey House, was intriguingly atmospheric…Edward preferring a much different style than Julia’s own muddled, quirky study…multiple varying occupants each with a secret.
I appreciated that Raybourn rounded out the setting and the characters, especially the March family. This is the first book in a series after all and I thought it important that Raybourn took the time to fully develop each character you are introduced to, making you feel intimately invested of the course each took in the plot. Lady Julia’s character being sparkling and adventuresome but both innocent and blind. Brisbane being hardened, secretive and complex. The banter between Lady Julia and Brisbane was often intense and at times witty or biting, making for an exciting story. I look forward to meeting them all again in Silent in the Sanctuary, the second in the series and Silent on the Moor, the third book in the series (to be released in trade format March 1).
Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Grave is an amazing debut novel, filled with puzzles, seething emotions and gothic romantic overtones. It has been one of my favourite reads in months and I put it equally on par with Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily Ashton series, And Only to Deceive and A Poisoned Season (and A Fatal Waltz which I have not yet read), and Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale.
My Rating: 4.5