September 27, 2011

Mini-Review: Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn

The fourth Lady Julia Grey mystery (following Silent on the Moor, 2009) finds Julia happily married to handsome, brooding detective Nicholas Brisbane. Their honeymoon is interrupted by her sister Portia and brother Plum, who want Julia and her new husband to come to India, where Portia’s former lover, Jane Cavendish, is living on the tea plantation her recently deceased husband, Freddie, inherited. Freddie died under mysterious circumstances, and Jane suspects he may have been murdered for his inheritance. Jane is pregnant, and she fears her child will be in danger if it proves to be a boy. Despite her husband’s objections, Julia decides to investigate Freddie’s murder, getting to know the potential suspects, including Freddie’s spinster aunt, his cousin Harry, several neighbors, and a mysterious man known as the White Rajah. As Julia closes in on the killer, she uncovers more than a few family secrets.

In this installment, I don’t feel that Julia or Brisbane advanced much as characters or in their marriage though there is still great chemistry in their exchanges. Many significant events happened with secondary characters, such as Jane, Portia and Plum and many new characters were introduced. There are the usual incidents of Julia’s curiosity getting her into trouble and Brisbane coming to the rescue. The setting of India gives an exotic underpinning and the cultural aspects were interesting. Somehow either because of the setting of India or maybe it was all the new characters, Dark Road to Darjeeling just did not work as well for me as the earlier instalments in the series. Raybourn does excellent character building though...maybe there was just too many extra characters for my personal tastes. The ending is a complete shocker and left me wanting more, so this series is still one of my favourites and I look forward to the next book.

The next instalment in the series, Book 5, is The Dark Enquiry. 

My Rating: 4.0


Related Posts:
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn
Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn

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