29 Nov 2018



England, 1887

"There is a dead man stinking in the game larder. I hardly think a few missing pearls will be the ruin of this house party."

Lady Julia Grey's eccentric family and friends have gathered to keep Christmas in Bellmont Abbey. But when Lady Julia notices the enigmatic detective Nicholas Brisbane in the party, she is less than delighted - trouble is sure to follow.

Her prediction is proved correct when festivities are brought to an abrupt halt by a murder in the chapel. Blood dripping from her hands, Lady Julia's cousin claims the ancient right of sanctuary.

Forced to resume her deliciously intriguing partnership with Brisbane, Lady Julia is intent on proving her cousin's innocence. Still, the truth is rarely pure and never simple ...
- Back Cover Blurb

"Well I suppose that settles it.
- First Sentence: The First Chapter; Italy, 1887

From what Father had told me, it was apparent her food allowance did not extend to the luxuries one might find in the larders at Bellmont Abbey. No doubt when she left the house her trunks would be stuffed with vintage champagne and tins of caviar and lobster, but it would be rude to search them.
- Memorable Moment: Page 156

SOURCE ... A charity shop buy.


MY THOUGHTS ... The second instalment in the series. Yes, there are references to events that happened in the first book (Silent In The Grave) but, a whole new mystery, I think my not having read it played such a minor part in how much I did/did not enjoy Silent In The Sanctuary as to be negligible. 

The kind of characters you are going to love (or not) ..... OTT, cliched, their liberal attitudes; the degree of freedom accorded Julia to say nothing of the fact that Portia (her sister) is an 'out and proud' lesbian unexpectedly (I could go as far as to say unrealistically) 21st century ... I can't say I liked them BUT I kind of enjoyed them ... way more than I did the 'mystery' anyway.

Talk about drawn out! 200 pages (or thereabouts) of exposition before, the less than pious curate's bloodied body found, a wild goose-chase ensues and things actually get going ... Hurrrah! ...

... Only to reach a conclusion worthy of something that is a cross between a Sunday afternoon game of Cludeo (was it really the poor relative in the chapel with a candelabras that 'dun it?) and, with ghosts, fortune-telling Gypsies, secret passages, stolen jewels), an episode of Scooby Doo ... Agghhh! 

All very well if you like that kind of thing.


Karen Alderman said...

I read a few of her books years ago but nothing recently. This probably isn't where I'd pick back up. I have very little patience for exposition.

Karen @ For What It's Worth

Melliane said...

I haven't read this series. Too bad it had legnths

Sophia Rose said...

LOL! Sorry you were less than impressed, Tracy. I had a good time with this series when I read it a while back, but yes, they are slow burn on getting to the point and have a modern feel in the outlandish characters. You might prefer her standalone light suspenses that she wrote later.

Brian Joseph said...

I think that characters that do not fit thier time period can really mar a book. Some other aspects of this sound appealing. I live your Scoby Doo reference :)

Kelly said...

A shame this one didn't deliver for you, Tracy. I loved the first line of the synopsis and thought it might be quite good. I don't mind a bit of a stretch with characterization, especially in a cozy mystery, but from your review I'm not sure this would work for me, either.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Well darn, I love the premise and quirky characters but the sad mystery means I won't be picking this one up.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I don't like to be taken out of a book with words or phrases that would never have been uttered or thought in a particular era.

nightwingsraven said...

I am sorry that this book did not
work out for you. But thank you
for your honest, heartfelt and
excellent review.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. Sorry this one didn't meet your expectations. Blessings. Love love, Andrew.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I haven't read anything by this author. Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy it more. Thanks for sharing. :)

Sherry Fundin said...

Well, it sounds like it didn't do much for you, but I did get a chuckle out of the blurb.
sherry @ fundinmental