Raybourn, Deanna

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Raybourn, Deanna


Born in TX. Education: University of Texas at San Antonio, B.A.


Home— VA. E-mail— [email protected].


Writer. High school English teacher in San Antonio, TX, for three years.



Silent in the Grave, MIRA (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

Silent in the Sanctuary, MIRA (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2008.


Deanna Raybourn's novels,Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary, are mysteries set in Victorian England, featuring the character of Lady Julia Gray. Julia is from an eccentric, aristocratic family. She is married to Edward, a man of similar social standing, whom she has known and liked since childhood, but whom she does not truly love. When Edward drops dead at a party, Julia is not surprised, for she knew her husband's family was prone to heart problems. Then, a private investigator named Nicholas Brisbane contacts Julia with the startling news that Edward had been the target of threatening notes for some time, and there is a real possibility that his death was not from natural causes, but was in fact a murder. Julia becomes involved in Nicholas's investigation, and also finds herself attracted to the detective. She becomes increasingly independent and less determined to be conventional.

In an interview with Debora Hosey for Romance Readers Connection, Raybourn recalled that she had originally set Silent in the Grave during the Regency period: "I actually wrote about fifty pages set in the year 1816 before I realized I had to adjust the setting by about seventy years. That one change affected almost everything. I had to start researching all over again because the changes in technology during the Victorian years were staggering. But the change in the voice of the novel was the most significant. The Regency was bright and sparkling and sexuality was very much more public than in later years. The Victorians were so deliciously repressed in ways that worked very well for this novel."

Raybourn's tactic worked well, according to Norah Piehl, a contributor to Bookreporter.com. She called Silent in the Grave "a wickedly clever send-up of the Victorian mystery genre. Silent in the Grave explores the darker regions of the Victorian landscape, from the parlors and boudoirs of Julia's aristocratic world to the exotic society of the Gypsies." Raybourn provides entertaining comic relief, as well, as "absurd situations abound … and quirky characters verge on caricature." Another positive review came from Luan Gaines in Curled Up with a Good Book. She commented: " Silent in the Grave begins as a simple Victorian parlor mystery, but by the end, the author has seduced the reader into a world of menace that exposes the ill intentions of jealousy and thwarted loved in 1886 London."

Raybourn continued Julia's story in a sequel,Silent in the Sanctuary. This mystery finds Julia in Italy with her two brothers, recovering after the events of the first novel. She unexpectedly finds herself thrown into the company of Nicholas Brisbane once more—and his fiancée. Several crimes are committed, and Julia and Nicholas are once more investigating together, though not without disagreements. A writer for Kirkus Reviews recommended the book, saying: "A sassy heroine and a masterful, secretive hero. Fans of romantic mystery could ask no more—except the promised sequel."



Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2006, review of Silent in the Grave, p. 1195; October 15, 2007, review of Silent in the Sanctuary.

Publishers Weekly, September 4, 2006, review of Silent in the Grave, p. 35.


Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (January 19, 2007), Norah Piehl, interview with Deanna Raybourn, and review of Silent in the Grave.

Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (October 27, 2007), Luan Gaines, review of Silent in the Grave.

Deanna Raybourn Web log,http://deannaraybourn.typepad.com (October 26, 2007).

Romance Reader at Heart,http://romancereaderatheart.com/ (October 26, 2007), interview with Deanna Raybourn.

Romance Readers Connection,http://www.theromancereadersconnection.com/ (October 26, 2007), Debora Hosey, interview with Deanna Raybourn; review of Silent in the Grave.