Recently I discovered another author: Deanna Raybourn and her Lady Julia books. I found this at a second hand bookstore. It was the cover that drew me first.
Isn't it striking?
This is the second lady Julia book, but it's a stand alone. Here's the blurb from the back cover:
Fresh from a six-month sojourn in Italy, Lady Julia returns home to Sussex to find her father's estate crowded with family and friends - but dark deeds are afoot at the deconsecrated abbey, and a murderer roams the ancient cloisters.
This had me hooked from the first page. Her writing is superb. I found myself reading out sentences to my family, just for the sheer enjoyment of hearing them. Here's an example:
I was alone with the slow ticking of the mantel clock and the crisp, rustling taffeta sounds of the fire as it burned down to ash.
Her characters are quirky, yet well defined and the mystery had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. Strangely it took me awhile to read this book. It is hefty at over 400 pages, but I enjoyed every minute of them.
I forgot to mention, it is set in the 1880s - a favourite decade of mine for both reading and writing!
I'll certainly be reading more Lady Julia novels.