If you are interested in historical fiction as well as mysteries, you really ought to be reading my daughter Sarah Johnson’s blog readingthepast.blogspot.com.

And as I’m sure you’re well aware, once in a while, or even oftener than that, the two fields cross over. In today’s post she interviews Deanna Raybourn, whose first novel, Silent in the Grave, takes place in 1866 and is a PI novel as well, assuming that PI stands for “private enquiry agent” as much as it does the mean street variety of private eye that came along later.

Silent in the Grave

Here’s Sarah’s description of the book:

Silent in the Grave begins a trilogy starring Lady Julia Grey, an unwitting and unlikely amateur detective. Her adventure begins in 1866. Her inattentive husband, Sir Edward Grey, has just collapsed and died during a dinner party at his London townhouse. The family doctor blames Edward’s longstanding heart condition, and Julia believes him, despite suggestions by Edward’s private inquiry agent, Nicholas Brisbane, that it was murder. It’s over a year later when Julia comes across compelling evidence that proves Brisbane was right. She engages Brisbane’s services, and during their investigation, she uncovers unpleasant and frequently sordid facts about her late husband’s behavior, as well as surprising truths about herself.

The interview that follows goes into both the historical aspects of the book and the writing of historical fiction in general. It’s well worth your time in reading.