Title: The Dark Enquiry
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Lady Julia, book 5
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher
“The spirits speak of secrets....
Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane’s private enquiry business.
Among the more unlikely clients: Julia’s very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.
It leads to the exclusive Spirit Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances...and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of murder, espionage and blackmail, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.
Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont’s sake—and more—they’ll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets: the kind men kill to keep...the kind that can destroy a fledgling marriage.”
The Dark Enquiry is book five in the Lady Julia series by Deanna Raybourn.
Julia and her husband Brisbane are back in London after their long honeymoon. Now they are trying to settle a house together with all the compromises that it requires. Julia is also is trying to help Brisbane with his investigation business, she wants a complete partnership for them, the problem is he wants to keep Julia safe and his line of work is anything but safe, if he let’s her be part of it, being safe is not an option. Julia also has got some interest in experimenting with explosives with some unfortunate incidents.
Julia’s brother Bellmont comes to Brisbane to ask for his assistance with a problem he is having and makes Brisbane promise he won’t say anything to Julia. But Julia being the cunning woman she is learns her husband is hiding something from her that involves her brother Bellmont, Knowing how Bellmont displeases and doesn’t accept her husband Julia knows whatever these two men are hiding from her has to be something very important. Julia is “forced” to do whatever is necessary to learn what all this is about, to see how she can “help” Brisbane with this personal investigation.
Things get complicated when a person of interest in the investigation gets assassinated.
Julia is a very stubborn woman; many times she was trying to help just to complicate things even more. Her love and devotion for Brisbane and her family is notorious. She knows sometimes she is too much and worries Brisbane is going to regret marrying her
Brisbane is (tries to be) a protective husband but with a wife like Julia is a duty almost impossible to achieve. He has a Gypsy background full of secrets and possesses an ability he tries to conceal.
Julia and Brisbane make a very funny and highly amusing couple, they reminded me a lot of Alexia Tarabotti and Lord Maccon from The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.
From the secondary characters Julia’s brother Plum and Sir Morgan Fielding are the ones that stand out the most. Plum is the tortured soul while Morgan is the smart-ass manipulator.
My final though: I was a little bit worried about reading The Dark Enquiry, being the book five in this series and my first book by Deanna Raybourn, but after questioning some fans of this series if this book could be read as a stand alone, so I decided to give a chance and read it. It was the first time I read a book of a series not in order, I don’t regret doing it because I really enjoy this book, with its funny and entertaining characters and interesting world. But sadly I felt there was some story behind the characters that I was missing out. I liked The Dark Enquiry and Mrs. Raybourn style so much that I’m planning to read soon the previous books of this series and this time I will read them in order.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
Silent in the Grave
Silent in the Sanctuary
Silent on the Moor
Dark Road to Darjeeling
The Dark Enquiry
Other reviews Goodreads