Dark Road to Darjeeling: Lady Julia Grey, #4 -- Deanna Raybourn
Ah, the troubles of marrying a heroine off: It messes with the series name. I stuck with her first husband's name to avoid confusion. And to avoid spoilers right in the title, which I do occasionally try to avoid.
Speaking of the title, I approve of dropping the "Silent" and going with a new format -- it gives the first three books (which chronicle the beginnings of the Lady Julia/Brisbane romance) a Mini-Arc Within The Series feel. Which is nice.
So. Where was Lady Julia at the end of Book Three? Ah, YES: Engaged to Brisbane. So all was well in THAT department. BUT! Jane had LEFT Portia, and gone off to India with SOME GUY!
If you're feeling confused, you really shouldn't be reading this. You should be running off to find the first book in the series. Assuming that you like swoony historical mysteries, that is.
Anyway, Dark Road to Darjeeling. After an eight month honeymoon, Lady Julia and Brisbane are both Feeling the Itch*. The adventurous detecting itch. But Brisbane doesn't want Lady Julia endangering herself, and Our Headstrong Lady Julia wants to prove that she's Up To Any Challenge, so you can probably predict where the conflicts will arise. When Plum and Portia arrive in Cairo and demand that the Brisbanes accompany them to British colonial India to investigate the sudden death of Jane's new husband on a tea plantation (got that?), Lady Julia is overjoyed.
Murder, small town intrigue, a leprous soothsayer, a man-eating (well, lady-face-eating) tiger, secret romances and illegitimate children, a nudist, lots of griping from Morag (even Portia is scared of her), some real working-through-the-issues between Brisbane and Lady Julia and a surprising conclusion to the mystery EVEN WITH the Titus Andronicus hints = Good Fun**, a strong installment in the series, and a good start to what I hope will be another three-book arc in Lady Julia's story.
*No, not THAT itch. They've been scratching THAT itch plenty. And I DO mean PLENTY. So much so that hotel managers have complained.
**Assuming that stories about Brits swanning around colonial India don't immediately put your back up.
Book source: My local library.
Read for the 2011 Historical Fiction Challenge.