Skip to main content

The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn

Oh, how I love this series. I'm sure you all know very well just how much I love this series. I look forward to the new installment in Lady Julia's and Mr. Nicholas Brisbane's adventures all the year long. And by the time I get my hands on the latest book, I feel justified engaging in a little happy dancing as I have exhibited uncommon patience going so long without their inimitable company. And that's essentially what I did when I saw The Dark Enquiry pop up on NetGalley. They came through for me last year with Dark Road to Darjeeling and they came through once again this year. Speaking of titles, I'm liking the new page the series has turned with the inclusion of "dark" in the titles. I liked how the first three "silent" titles reflected what the reader would find in those installments, and I'm enjoying the darker turn the tone of books four and five have taken. Also--the covers. I got a particular kick when I ran across the passage where Julia wears this exact dress in the book. Peacock feathers and all. It gives me a little thrill whenever the cover gods get little things like that right.

A Warning: If you have not read the previous four books, please proceed with the utmost caution. Beyond this point, there be unavoidable spoilers. I highly recommend doing yourself a favor you won't regret and procuring a copy of the first book and applying yourself assiduously to plumbing its marvelous depths. Go on, now. Quick like a bunny!

Lady Julia and Brisbane are finally returned home to London from their harrowing adventure abroad. For awhile their attentions and faculties are occupied setting up house in their new home and puttering about Brisbane's private enquiry office. Julia has taken up a number of new interests and hobbies, including explosives and photography, in the manner only she can. That is to say, with both striking verve and incendiary results. But it isn't long before real life comes back to haunt them both in the form of Julia's oldest (and stuffiest) brother Bellmont. It is only by the merest chance that Julia discovers the scintillating fact that Bellmont has become Brisbane's latest client. And when both Brisbane and Bellmont warn her off in no uncertain terms, she becomes even more determined to ferret out which of Brisbane's various and sundry skills Monty could possibly be in such desperate need of. And so, quite literally following in her husband's footsteps, she goes undercover herself and follows him to the popular (if somewhat questionable) Spirit Club. It is there that she finds a little more than she bargained for in the form of a disturbing séance, a number of powerful and colorful patrons, and--of course--a dead body. Forced to combine their powers of deduction in order to survive, Julia and Brisbane are thrown into an investigation so serpentine it may prove their undoing.

The Dark Enquiry was exactly the book I was hoping it would be. I found myself instantly involved at its inception, wildly satisfied at its conclusion, and utterly absorbed with everything in between. It was surprisingly soothing to be back in London once more, back where it all began, yet with two such changed, yet familiar protagonists. I was fascinated to see how Julia and Brisbane handled their still evolving relationship in the midst of their old turf, their old friends, and especially their old ghosts. The results were both beautiful and painful. My heart felt squeezed on both ends of the spectrum. You see, the nature of this particular mystery was very personal. And not just in that it involved Julia's brother. The reach of its twisty tentacles stretched across several Marches as well as back quite a ways into Brisbane's murky past. More private details come out into the light of day than anyone is comfortable with, and the whole array is so deftly handled that I simply sat back and applauded such consummate storytelling at work. It's an emotional experience following your favorite characters as they are put through such subtle and refining paces. I find myself holding my breath, never quite certain whether or not they will emerge intact. I thoroughly enjoyed Plum's involvement in this case and continue to get enormous enjoyment from his fledgling working relationship with Brisbane in general. It was, as always, a delight to spend any time at all with Lord March. And I can never see too much of Aquinas or Fleur or Portia. But, in the end, it's always about Julia and Brisbane. It was from that first arresting sentence of Silent in the Grave, and it will be for as long as this superb and sophisticated series continues. I ached for them and was proud of them in this book and I will read about them for as long as the talented Deanna Raybourn cares to write about them. Finest kind and an instant entry on my Best of 2011 list.

The Dark Enquiry is due out June 21st.


Reading Order: 
Silent in the Grave (my review)
Silent in the Sanctuary (my review)
Silent on the Moor (my review)
Dark Road to Darjeeling (my review)
The Dark Enquiry


Linkage
Book Harbinger Review
Diary of a Book Addict Review

Comments

  1. I'm positively trembling in anticipation after that glorious review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am about to read this myself and I have really high expectations! It says a lot about Raybourn as an author that her books just continue to get better and better!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am trying so hard to read this on netgalley and the type is so tiny! I can't figure out how to make it bigger (doesn't help that I read ebooks on my smartphone). Think I'll just wait to buy it instead. This is def. a series that I always buy since it's always so good! Love her.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Meep! I'm skipping the review because I don't want any preconceived notions, but... MEEP!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm starting to love her books She really is improving and yet one of the most creative writers I truly admired..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous10:11 AM

    I can't wait to read this! I've always wanted to read more about Bellmont and I'm looking forward to more Plum. I hope to pick it up next week so I won't have to wait until end of June.

    KarenS

    ReplyDelete
  7. Because of your blog, I requested and received the first book for my birthday! I'm enjoying it. I love having a new series in which to get involved.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Looks like it will be a great summer trip read - so glad you reviewed it b/c I had not even realized it was coming out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. JoLee, it's out today! Hooray!

    Marg, that's one of the things I admire most about this series. You can just count on Deanna Raybourn, that's all there is to it.

    Faith, yes. I love buying the actual copy when it comes out. They're absolute keepers.

    Leila, hee.

    Karen, did you get it? What did you think??

    Lin, oh, wonderful!! That tickles me. Definitely let me know what you think of the first one.

    Ariadne, oh, it would be perfect for that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have read the book and yes looks like she would have a great career on this. It is absolutely perfect although I have hesitations when it was first launch last year, and proud to say it was worth the buy

    LowkeyMedia Marketing Team

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Angie's Best Books of 2019

It is the last day of the year. How are you doing at this point? You good to go on? I'm going to. For a number of important reasons, which are too varied (or possibly too private) to enumerate here. So how about we say we shall go on because: "Gansey. That's all there is." I find that "Because Gansey" is highly motivating when motivation is thin on the ground.

Also thin on the ground have been my posts this year. And yet, I'm still not stopping. And I still greatly enjoy arriving at this final post of the year. And so here I leave my best books of the year. It wound up being a respectable nineteen titles this year. Nineteen for 2019. That's down a fair bit from last year's whopping twenty-eight, but rather on par with previous years' lists and more than 2016 and 2017, respectively. I'm pleased. I'm pleased with every book on this list, with every one of the books you shared with me and the ones I've been able to share with you. …

Triple Prize Pack Giveaway!

Not long ago I discovered a few of you tweeting to get me to the 300 follower mark. As little things I read on Twitter often do, that one sort of made my day. You're all really too sweet for words and I joked that perhaps it was time for a giveaway. The truth is I've been in the mood to have one for awhile now and this is as good a time as any. So here's the deal. This will be a triple prize pack giveaway, meaning there are three packs and you can indicate which one you'd like to be entered to win in the comments. I will choose three random winners and contact them. This giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships! Here's the list of countries, FYI. Since I tend to read a lot of urban fantasy, straight fantasy, and young adult, I've chosen a set of each including all books currently in print in that series.
The Urban Fantasy Pack The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (My reviews here, here, & here) The Fantasy Pack The Queen's Thief series by M…

Angie’s Best Books of the Decade

I am winded, you guys. Winded from laboring over this list. This is the first time I've attempted to cobble together a Best Books of the Decade list, and I can't say I'll be up to it for another ten years or so. But my, I couldn't resist the challenge (or profound pleasure, if we're being honest). I kept trying to winnow it down, kept forcing myself to be ruthless. Like somehow I could (or should) keep it to a top ten (flat impossible) or at least a top twenty-five (who are we kidding?). But after bidding those constraints good riddance, I really did press myself to take a hard, clear look at what hurts (to mangle my favorite Hemingway quote). Because these novels hurt in the best way. Each entry on this list is a five-star book in my books. Which means I wouldn't change a single thing about a single one of them. They are the ones I call perfect when I recommend them to friends and strangers. They are the ones I have read and reread over the past ten years and…