As several of you know, I have way too many fictional boyfriends and today I’m going to share with you someone I met over the summer. See, I’d seen him mentioned a few times, but I didn’t have the courage to meet him until I was called for jury duty. I complained and when I found out you could spend your free time in the waiting room doing what you wanted, I knew what I was going to do: I was going to finally crack open the first book in the Lady Julia Grey series. I was memorized from the moment Nicholas Brisbane made an appearance:
Name: Nicholas Brisbane
Profession: Private Enquiry Agent
Introduced by: Deanna Raybourn
While I adored Silent in the Grave, the mystery portion of who murdered Julia’s husband wasn’t an interest to me, but rather the Enquiry agent Julia’s husband had hired. Julia doesn’t want Brisbane’s business and dismisses him the moment she’s had a chance to talk to him. When she changes her mind, Brisbane isn’t interested since the trail has gone cold, but Julia is determined. They have an interesting relationship and I just adore it. I’m not a big fan of first person narrative, but in this series it’s been an amazing journey getting to know Brisbane at the same time Julia does.
Now of course any fictional boyfriend has to have doubts especially when it comes to a certain lady. For Brisbane it has to do with his condition. By that, he has the sight and something he considers a curse and tries to suppress it using various methods which all work for a bit then fail. Enter Julia who helps him and slowly he begins to accept his fate. Then there’s the fact he’s half Gypsy (his mother is one and that’s where he gets the sight). Raybourn said Brisbane was originally conceived as a Jewish character instead of half Roma.
The series consists of 5 books and 2 novellas (with 2 more novellas in the works though I need a full length novel!) and my favorites are Silent in the Moor and The Dark Enquiry (so much so that when Raybourn was in town last month I asked for a Nicholas inscription).
I don’t ever picture anyone famous when I read and for Brisbane it’s no exception. Though if I have to assign an actor based on looks, I’d have to say Rupert Penry Jones though he has the wrong hair color since Brisbane is dark haired. Also please note: Rupert Penry Jones isn’t wearing Victorian gentlemen’s clothing, but rather clothed for the Regency period. I still picked this image because he’s turned out quite well and Brisbane is meticulous in his dressing (which is another plus for me because we all know I drool over men in suits).
These are some of my favorite quotes:
I stepped closer still. He closed his eyes again and covered my hand with his own. ‘You smell of violets. You always smell of violets,’ he said. ‘You’ve no idea how many times I have walked these moors and smelled them and thought you were near. On and on I walked, following the scent of you, and you were never there. When I saw you in the hall tonight, I thought I had finally gone mad.” ― Deanna Raybourn, Silent on the Moor
“I just cannot bear to be kept out of your life ” I said into the dark.
He gave a sigh. “Julia you daft woman. When you will you understand You are my life.” ― Deanna Raybourn, The Dark Enquiry
I wore no jewels save the pendant Brisbane had given me with its secret code—the code that had given me my first inkling that he loved me. It had not been so very long since he had given it to me, a year only; twelve leaves of the calendar torn away, a few dozen weeks from then to now. But how much change that year had wrought! ― Deanna Raybourn, Midsummer Night
As the series progresses so does my envy of Julia. Brisbane is always careful with his emotions, but with Julia he pretty much loses all context and I love the banter between these two. I most especially adore the little secret Brisbane shares with Julia regarding the first time he met her. With Julia we learn: “I looked up then to find the stranger’s eyes upon me. They were the darkest eyes I had ever seen, witch-black and watchful. His gaze was not friendly. He was regarding me coldly, as a merchant will appraise a piece of goods to determine its worth. I dropped my eyes at once.” The reason? That’s a tale for another time.
Synopsis: “LET THE WICKED BE ASHAMED, AND LET THEM BE SILENT IN THE GRAVE.”
These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.
Prepared to accept that Edward’s death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth.
Determined to bring her husband’s murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward’s demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.
Mostly YA Book Obsessed is featuring Isaiah from Crash Into You by Katie McGarry tomorrow so be sure to pay Isaiah a visit!