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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Saturday, June 7, 2014

...delightful eccentricity lives on!

Twelfth Night (A Lady Julia Mystery #6.5) by Deanna Raybourn

It's Christmas time and a baby has been left in the stables at Bellmont Abbey. Lady Julia is determined to solve the mystery. Julia's family is together for the annual Twelfth Night Revels performance and annual event for the villagers of Blessingstoke Hamlet. Julia's siblings and spouses are all there. Some glowering, some frenetic, others resigned. As always everything is in an uproar. We are treated to the usual eccentricity from her family, and hints of dark evilness from Brisbane's. Benedick's children play a part in solving the mystery of the abandoned baby and a further mystery of the poisoned oysters.  Oh those children! So knowing! I loved it when they talked about Aunt Hermia's home for reformed prostitutes. Perdita is a quaint, intelligently serious child. As Brisbane said, she is a perfectly exceptional child, probably like Julia when Julia was of that age. We meet Quentin Harkness, from A Spear of Summer Grass, as a child. And of course there is our's and Julia's love, the dark and mysterious Brisbane, whose gorgeousness is humourlessly dwelt upon at the beginning of this story. Brisbane is off doing his own sleuthing.
This novella, as ever captures our attention through Raeburn's whimsically and witty writing. 
A lively short story that also serves as an introduction to times to come. Julia hints to this at the very end. Hurrah! New events and happenings are waiting in the wings. 

A NetGalley ARC

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