Silent in the Sanctuary is Book Two in the Lady Julia Chronicles and finds Lady Julia enjoying Italy with her brothers, Plum & Lysander as well as their handsome Italian friend Alessandro. Lady Julia’s recuperation is short lived as their father calls them home to Bellmont Abbey, a former monastery for Christmas. Bumping into her beloved sister Portia upon disembarking she discovers that her father has not only invited all the family home for the festive season, but also a few friends, including Nicholas Brisbane whom introduces Julia to his fiancé.
The book includes a mixed party of characters who are all as charming & unique as one another including a jewel thief, an eccentric aunt (who has the time of her life with the Gypsies), her poor cousins, and a few resident ghosts and we mustn’t forget Grim the talking Raven (who I have quite a fondness for), who rather enjoys his sweeties. Full of secret passages, poisoning, stolen family jewels and a rather large, costly Royal diamond, this sequel has it all including a gruesome murder taking place in the inner sanctuary with none other than a candlestick!
I enjoyed the first book in this series immensely so felt quite anxious diving into the sequel as one often wonders whether it can live up to the same greatness as the first, but it did. For me, this series invokes an air of Victorian glamour with a splash of Sherlock Holmes, but in this case, our Sherlock Holmes is the Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane is the side kick Watson (although a darker, rasher version). Albeit reluctant partners in crime, the Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane make an excellent team and I enjoy their constant sparring. This series has it all, an unconventional heroine; a dark handsome hero battling with his own demons, humour, a compelling storyline combined with Victorian creepiness, mystery & madness…I simply can not wait to begin reading Book Three and can not believe that I have left this series sitting in my mountain of to be read for so long.