Title: Dark Road to Darjeeling
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Mystery
How I Read It: Paperback purchased by me
My Rating: 5/5 – A Royal Read!
Synopsis: For Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane, the honeymoon has ended…but the adventure is just beginning…
After eight idyllic months in the Mediterranean, Lady Julia Grey and her detective husband are ready to put their investigative talents to work once more. At the urging of Julia’s eccentric family, they hurry to India to aid an old friend, the newly widowed Jane Cavendish. Living on the Cavendish tea plantation with the remnants of her husband’s family, Jane is consumed with the impending birth of her child – and with discovering the truth about her husband’s death. Was he murdered for his estate? And if he was, could Jane and her unborn child be next?
Amid the lush foothills of the Himalayas, dark deeds are buried and malicious thoughts flourish. The Brisbanes uncover secrets and scandal, illicit affairs and twisted legacies. In this remote and exotic place, exploration is perilous and discovery, deadly. The danger is palpable and, if they are not careful, Julia and Nicholas will not live to celebrate their first anniversary.
My Review: Oh my, what a story! I was expecting this one to be great, and I think my expectations were exceeded by a long shot.
We pick up with Julia and Brisbane en route to India, along with two of Julia’s siblings, Portia and Plum – Portia being the only one who really wants to make the journey. This, of course, sets the stage for much tension and arguing between Julia and her new husband, because these books would be nothing without the banter between the two of them.
Julia soon learns that the little valley, fondly known as The Peacocks, is full of secrets and mysteries of a whole different kind. Between inquisitive children, ailing relatives, and hidden romances, there is plenty to enjoy all around and keeps one wondering for quite awhile. Oh, and not to mention a killer tiger and a potential murderer lurking about.
No one is who they seem, despite the relatively small population of The Peacocks, and we encounter quite a bit of tragedy along the way. There were numerous times during this book that I wept openly, so many touching scenes that I doubt will leave many with dry eyes. By the end, I don’t think anyone was left unscathed by all the events that took place.
I can’t review a book in this series without more comment on the relationship between Julia and Brisbane – how frustrating! There were times when I wanted to slap both of them silly, to make them see reason and tell them to just talk to one another! Of course, it wouldn’t be them without all of that, which absolutely keeps me coming back, but I do wonder sometimes how either of them can put up with the other.
On the whole, a very satisfying continuation of this overwhelmingly lovely series. I highly encourage you all to pick it up!
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