The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn is the fifth book in the truly spectacular Lady Julia series. Y’all, I can’t even explain to you how much I love these books. Julia and Brisbane are definitely among my most beloved characters of all time. Both Gothic and mystical flairs give this series an atmosphere unlike any other. If you haven’t checked these books out yet, what are you waiting for?
“To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.”
Now, if you can read that line and resist from plunging straight into the book – you’re stronger than I am. I read that opener…fell hook, line and sinker for these books and haven’t looked back.
Anyway….as to this book specifically (I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but if you aren’t familiar with the other books you might want to steer clear). Another truly awesome addition. Once again, none of the tension and spark is missing from the interactions within the Brisbane household. They are still constantly working to try and find a balance between Julia’s safety and her happiness (by that, I mean her wanting to be Brisbane’s work partner and him wanting to lock her up to keep her out of danger).
This case actually falls a little too close to home for Julia – her stuffy brother Bellmont, who has in the past had no use for Brisbane, enlists him for help. They then end up in the middle of a mystery involving a dead medium. I couldn’t think of a better plot for these characters if I tried – like I mentioned above, the series is already Gothic and mystical in tone due to the mysterious (and delicious) Brisbane…so adding in an actual mystic is just icing on the cake.
So, when Julia ferrets out that Bellmont actually stooped to asking Brisbane for help – she remains hard on his heels, determined to help him whether he wants it or not. Turns out that the case ends up more personal than any of them realized – involving not only more of Julia’s family history…but Brisbane’s as well. Learning more about his murky background was ridiculously exciting, y’all.
I just cannot get enough of this series. All the books are so dark and sophisticated – the dialogue and characterization very deep and masterfully written. I couldn’t dig up a complaint if I tried. I seriously can’t recommend reading this series enough. (Oh yeah – plus: can you beat the gorgeous covers? Love them.)