It's difficult for me to describe exactly how excited I was for this bookto come out. Silent on the Moor was easily at the top of my most anxiously awaited books of 2009. I discovered Deanna Raybourn last year and, after blowing through the firsttwo Julia Grey novels, have spent the last six months in that special agony reserved for the lovers of sequels. Fortunately a copy popped up at a local (ish) bookstore and I was saved from suffering through the last two weeks til its March 1st publication date.
The third installment opens with Julia's big brother Bellmont trying to talk her out of haring off to Yorkshire after Brisbane when he has made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he does not want her anywhere near the place. Julia, of course, doesn't care a fig for Monty's scandalized pride and makes her way with all haste (and several good intentions) to the moors. Unfortunately, Brisbane's new home, Grimsgrave, is even creepier and more decrepit than he led Portia to believe in his letter. The whole place reeks of Miss Havisham's manor and, after meeting the current occupants, Julia soon realizes something is seriously amiss in this house where madness and murder walk hand in hand. Not only does she face the task of convincing Brisbane of a few increasingly important things, but Julia also finds herself uncovering hidden corpses, accepting charms from Gypsy witches, and thwarting a particularly vicious murder attempt.
Reading Silent on the Moorwas an exercise in conflicting emotions. I wanted to blow right through it to the end in one sitting and I simultaneously wanted each page to last longer than it possibly could so that I could savor being back with these two characters I have come to love. I had some pretty high hopes for this one. The third book in a series such as this comes with a rather hefty share of promise resting squarely on its shoulders and can really make or a break the series as a whole, in my opinion. This one truly made it. Every hope I had was fulfilled and I found myself turning back to reread favorite passages before I was even a third of the way through the book. This practice was repeated at regular intervals for the duration--truly the mark of an excellent read around these parts. If you like literary mysteries and haven't come across this series before, for the love of all that is holy, go get them now. I am immoderately fond of them.