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03 November 2013

Deanna Raybourn: Midsummer Night (A Lady Julia Mystery)

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Amusing introduction to the Lady Julia series
Earlier this year I really enjoyed and highly recommended Deanna Raybourn's latest and very memorable adventure romance book "A Spear of Summer Grass" set in 1920's Africa. Some reviewers had difficulty in adjusting to her change of style from the Victorian sleuth adventures of Lady Julia Grey so I was intrigued to read this novella which introduces all of  Julia Gray's adventures by way of an amusing tale of her wedding to her partner, Nicholas Brisbane.

Lady Julia is not your normal Victorian lady. She is a widow of a loveless marriage and has found in Brisbane "someone who always preferred a more direct and physical demonstration of his affections than the written word". Brisbane is not your normal Victorian man. He is part gypsie from his mother and part "giorgo" from his father and he has inherited his mother's Romany "sight" that has helped him to solve many mysteries (increasingly with Julia's help). Some of his Romany family are not happy with his life in the giorgio world.

Julia's family and friends are a mixture of larger than life and very amusing characters.  Her family plans for a huge wedding are disrupted at the last moment by an unwelcome visitor from one of her investigations. How this disaster is overcome makes amusing and entertaining reading.

I recommend this 56 page novella as a quick and amusing introduction to the main characters and their romantic adventures.

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