This review contains minor spoilers for previous books in the series.
Dark Road To Darjeeling is Deanna Raybourn’s fourth book in her Lady Julia Grey series after Silent On the Moor. Set in 1989 the novel begins with Lady Julia and her husband Inquiry Agent Nicholas Brisbane on their honeymoon in the Himalayas, attempting to adjust to married life. They are tracked down by Julia’s siblings Portia and Plum because Portia wants to request their assistance in a problem involving her ex-partner Jane. Jane has just lost her husband under mysterious circumstances and is living on his family’s tea plantation in India and expecting a child. Portia is deeply concerned about her safety as well as her state of mind. The group travels to India, and as so often in this series, as the mystery unfolds nothing is what it seems and the villain is not one who you would expect.
I was a little nervous about starting this book because I wasn’t sure how the two characters of Lady Julia and Nicholas, who have such strong and diverse personalities, were going to adjust to married life, but I should have known that Deanna would handle it with her usual finesse. Actually, half the fun in the book was watching Julia and Nicholas navigate their way around some rocky situations and realize that they will both have to compromise in order to make their relationship work. By the end of the book it’s obvious that they will still probably be working out various issues in upcoming books, which basically mirrors relationships in the real world. As far as the rest of the book goes, there are a couple of hysterically funny scenes in the first part of the book, particularly between Portia, Plum, and Julia, but then it quickly turns very serious.
The setting of India is beautiful and Deanna does her usual stellar job of bringing it to life and making you feel like you’re actually there. Likewise does she bring her characters to life not only adding to the storylines of her main recurring characters, but adding a cast of fascinating quirky secondary ones also. There are many twists and turns during this mystery and it will keep you reading well into the wee hours. One word of warning: readers already familiar with Deanna’s other work will already know this, but she is definitely not a believer in the traditional “happily ever after” ending. That said I think this was definitely one of my favorites in the series thus far and I highly recommend it. I believe readers who like historical fiction, adventure, mystery, suspense, and romance, would love Deanna’s books.
Reviewed by kimb8
Deanna Raybourn is a favorite of several staff members. Inkonvellum and ta also read – and loved – this latest installment in the Lady Julia Grey series.