SILENT ON THE MOOR
Raybourn takes her time setting things up in her latest Lady Julia Grey mystery, but once the story gains momentum, it's relentlessly absorbing.
Determined to confront inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane and define their relationship once and for all, Lady Julia accompanies her sister Portia into the wilds of Yorkshire. Brisbane has acquired Grimsgrave Hall, a crumbling estate, and asked Portia to set it to rights.
Although the hall is still occupied by the surviving female members of the family that's owned it for centuries -- Ailith and Hilda Allenby and their mother -- the situation is congenial on the surface. But someone tries to poison Brisbane, and Julia discovers two mummified infants. Since a dead family member was an Egyptologist, they could be ancient remains -- or they could suggest the possibility of further murderous activities on the desolate moors. (MIRA, Mar., 544 pp., $13.95)