Lady Julia finally ran Nicholas Brisbane to ground and has joined with him in holy matrimony followed by a blissful prolonged honeymoon. After so many months abroad, they are joined by Lady Julia’s sister Portia and her brother Plum. The siblings have come to ask for help. Jane, Portia’s love, left her to marry a gentleman and traveled to India to help him run the tea plantation that he inherited. Not long into their marriage, she became with child. Then her husband suddenly died under mysterious circumstances. All alone and vulnerable, Jane wrote to Portia. Portia, naturally, dropped everything and set out to round up Nicholas and Julia to help find out if Jane’s husband had been murdered and if Jane and her child are in danger as well. Eager for an investigation, the foursome set out for exotic India and the remote plantation. The small community they find is rife with secrets, scandals, and danger. Will the newlyweds get to the bottom of things or will they find themselves at the bottom of a grave?
I find myself reduced to one word exclamations to describe my experience reading Dark Road to Darjeeling. Phenomenal! Decadent! Magnificent! I wondered how Lady Julia and Nicholas would acclimate to married life. Would there still be that lovely tension between them? Would they become predictable and staid? Would he expect her to stay out of his investigations and darn socks instead? I can honestly say that Ms. Raybourn handled it just right. The characters stayed true to themselves, flaws and all as they learn that love is easy but marriage; living and growing together is bloody hard. I absolutely adore Portia, even when she is being brutally honest with Julia in that wonderful way that sisters have. In fact, every single character is so detailed, so vivid that you can picture them in your mind. The land itself was quite the character in this book as well. The descriptions of flowers, food, the very foreignness of it all makes you smell tropical flowers in the air and hear peacocks screaming in the distance. When it comes to mystery, Ms. Raybourn can do no wrong. I am always surprised when the culprit is revealed but this time, my jaw was on the floor. I was brought to tears by several scenes so here is your warning that tissues should be standing by. This author is at the top of my recommend to everyone list. Her books are automatic buy, sit and read until every last wonderful word has been consumed. Ms. Raybourn continues to astound me; when I think that there is no way she could top the last book, she does! Mark October 1, 2010 on your calendar and get this book!
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.