Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn is the first book of one of the best series I have ever read. I’ve reviewed other books of the series and talked about the characters on the blog before, but I recently started at the beginning for a reread and couldn’t resist writing a review! So…now I take on the challenge of reviewing one of my favorite books of all time…I owned Silent in the Grave for a long time before I finally got around to picking it up. I don’t remember why I finally did start reading it, but I still remember how I felt when I finished. I was so amazed that I’d had this book for so long without knowing how fantastic it was. I looked around at my shelves and thought “how many of these others could be another favorite that I just haven’t got around to reading yet?” Have you guys ever had that moment? (Maybe its just me because I’m such an intense book freak.)Anyway. Where to start talking about all the pieces that make this book what it is? Check out the opening lines, which is easily my favorite beginning of all time (and which I’ve already talked about on the blog more than once):To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.Can you beat that? No. You can’t.So, we are introduced to Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane, who, after the death of Julia’s husband, must work together to discover whether or not his death was really health-related or if it could have been something more sinister. Speaking of sinister – of all the historical mystery series I read and love, this one is easily the darkest and most gothic. These themes add such richness and depth to the stories and the characters; it is remarkably easy to get lost within the pages of Silent in the Grave.Lady Julia and Brisbane are easily two of my favorite characters in all the land. The sparks they ignite when they are together are so strong, I can almost get goosebumps just by thinking about it. Deanna Raybourn has created characters that I can easily believe are real – and I have never been able to get enough of them, no matter how many times I have read the books. I basically fell in love with Brisbane very early on when he said the following to Julia:If you were a man, your ladyship, I would cordially horsewhip you for that remark.Who could resist that, right?And, not only are the plots dark and twisty-turny enough to please any mystery lover – but there are so many laugh-out-loud moments as well! Seriously, there is nothing that you could want that Deanna Raybourn and Silent in the Grave won’t provide you with. Most of the funny comes from the fact that Julia’s family, the Marches, are mostly insane (or barking mad, as she likes to put it).If you have read this book, I’m betting you loved it. If you haven’t – hopefully I’ve convinced you to do so. It highlights all the reasons I love to read: amazing plot and overall tone, and characters I enjoy so much that I reread the books over and over again for a chance to revisit them. This is a world you need to get lost in, y’all!