Lady Julia Grey has finally spread her wings after her wake-up call during the investigation into her husbands death. She’s spent some time in Italy with two of her brothers, but after her father gets word that her brother Lysander up and married a random Italian woman he calls the three home to Bellmont Abbey, the family’s huge sanctuary-turned-home. Not wanting to upset their father even more so close to Christmas, Lady Julia, her brother Plum, Lysander and his new wife Violante, and their friend, the Count Fornacci all head back to England to deal with father. But what’s supposed to be a simple meet-the-new-member-of-the-family and Christmas holiday becomes something more when Nicholas Brisbane appears with a fiancée and a body turns up in the old sanctuary. It appears Lady Julia will be getting her hands dirty again solving another murder with Brisbane and maybe the mystery of the man himself.
When I reviewed the first Lady Julia Grey novel, I mentioned that it had me hooked. The second was no different. While I didn’t finish it in one sitting like the first – after all I did start this at 4:30 in the morning – I did read the majority of it and finish in a second sitting later that night, I just couldn’t put it down. All of those pluses from book one (characters, writing, plot) were in book two as well.
While a part of the mystery is that a man was found murdered, a part of it is also the situation with Brisbane and his fiancée. And, let me tell you real quick, I was pissed when he announced he was getting married to someone other than Lady Julia. Of course, as the story unfolds you understand more, but I was still a bit angry at the start.
I found that, while I enjoyed the investigative parts of this book, I was much more attached to the characters and what was happening to each of them personally with this one. It’s hard not to love them all. The relationship between Brisbane and Lady Julia continued to be a constant source of frustration and there was a time or two when I considered throwing the book across the room because of them. By the end of the book, which was almost 1,000 pages of Brisbane and Julia they still weren’t together (much to my dismay) but the rest of the story was amazing, and of course I wanted nothing more than to pick up book three to see what would happen next.
All in all, Silent in the Sanctuary was another superb read. I admit that my attachment to all of the characters continues to grow, especially as the characters themselves grow. These books fit into the ‘Once you start, you don’t want to stop’ category. I absolutely recommend this series.