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Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Staff Review by Ann Kling:

This fourth book in the Lady Julia Grey series does not disappoint.  After an idyllic eight month honeymoon in the Mediterranean, Julia and Nicholas Brisbane are called by the eccentric March family to India to help solve the mystery of Freddie Cavendish’s death.  Freddie was married to Jane, the former lover of Julia’s sister, Portia.  Jane is pregnant and believes Freddie was murdered .  But why? For his brother Harry to inherit the tea plantation?  If so, are Jane and her unborn child in danger of becoming the next victims?  Or did someone else have another reason to do away with Freddie?

The cast of characters is unusual: the Reverend Pennyfeather and his wife, Cassandra, who was raised in a free love commune in the United States; their two unusual children, teenaged Primrose, who dresses like a much younger child and twelve-year-old Robin, a budding naturalist; the Indian governess, Miss Thorne and her sister Lalita, the cook.  Throw in some March family cousins who have been suspected of murder in a previous volume, and the very mysterious White Rajah who inhabits an abandoned monastery and you have quite a few possible suspects and several twists and turns to the plot.

This whodunit is easy summer reading, reminiscent of Elizabeth Peters’ Peabody and Emerson series.

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Buffalo Rising

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