Monday, January 19, 2015

Silent Night: A Lady Julia Christmas Novella by Deanna Raybourn

First Sentence:  I tore open the letter and scanned it quickly before brandishing it at my husband. 
      
Lady Julia and her husband, Brisbane, hoped for a quiet Christmas.  However, spending the holidays at her father’s estate with her eccentric family, a myriad of pets and, possibly, a ghost end that thought very quickly. 
      
The full-length books in this series are quite enjoyable, although I’ll admit the first three are the best.  This, however, just didn’t come up to par.
      
Yes, the characters are fun. Julia is delightful and matched by her sister, Portia and Portia’s odorous Pug.  And then there’s Brisbane; that man all women would desire. 
      
The dialogue is charming…”Don’t be cryptic, Plum.  You haven’t the cheekbones for it.”  There is a story about Shakespeare that will make fans of the Bard gasp in horror.
      
However, the story tried to be too much, and none of it worked well.  The mystery was treated almost as an aside.  The relationship between Julia and Banbridge lacked any depth and became somewhat twee.  And, most annoying, several references were made to previous cases which were rather offputting, even if one has read other books in the series.
      
Silent Night” was an acceptable bit of fluff which would probably be enjoyed by true fans of the series, but there are much better Christmas novellas available.

SILENT NIGHT:  A LADY JULIA CHRISTMAS NOVELLA (Hist Mys-Lady Julia – London, 1889) – Okay
Raybourn, Deanna – Christmas Short Story
MIRA – November, 2012 (Amazon Digital Services)

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