A Spear of Summer Grass
By Deanna Raybourn
(Mira Books, Paperback, 9780778314394, 370pp.)
Publication Date: April 2013
List Price: $15.95*
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The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even among Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savanna manor house until gossip subsides.
Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a world where dissolute expats are bolstered by gin and jazz records, cigarettes and safaris. As mistress of this wasted estate, Delilah falls into the decadent pleasures of society.
Against the frivolity of her peers, Ryder White stands in sharp contrast. As foreign to Delilah as Africa, Ryder becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Giraffes, buffalo, lions and elephants roam the shores of Lake Wanyama amid swirls of red dust. Here, life is lush and teemingyet fleeting and often cheap.
Amidst the wondersand dangersof Africa, Delilah awakes to a land out of all proportion: extremes of heat, darkness, beauty and joy that cut to her very heart. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting forand what she can no longer live without.
- Delilah Drummond is a unique and not always likable heroine. How do the different characters in the book view her—as a friend or adversary? What was your reaction to her? How does Delilah change over the course of the book?
"With a strong and unique voice, Deanna Raybourn creates unforgettable characters in a richly detailed world. This is storytelling at its most compelling."
-Nora Roberts, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"[A] perfectly executed debut...Deft historical detailing [and] sparkling first-person narration."
-Publishers Weekly starred review on Silent in the Grave
"A riveting drama that makes page turning obligatory. A very fine debut effort from Deanna Raybourn."
-Bookreporter.com on Silent in the Grave
"A sassy heroine and a masterful, secretive hero. Fans of romantic mystery could ask no more-except the promised sequel."
-Kirkus Reviews on Silent in the Grave
"This debut novel has one of the most clever endings I've seen."
-Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author on Silent in the Grave
"Deceptively civilized and proper, Silent in the Grave has undercurrents of nefarious deeds, secrets and, my favorite, poisons. An excellent debut novel."
-Maria V. Snyder, author of Poison Study on Silent in the Grave
"There are some lovely twists in the plot and a most satisfactory surprise ending. I hope to read more from Deanna Raybourn in time to come."
-Valerie Anand, author of The Siren Queen, written under the name of Fiona Buckley, on Silent in the Grave
"Fans and new readers alike will welcome this sparkling sequel to Raybourn's debut Victorian mystery, Silent in the Grave...the complex mystery, a delightfully odd collection of characters and deft period details produce a rich and funny read."
-Publishers Weekly on Silent in the Sanctuary
"Raybourn skillfully balances humor and earnest, deadly drama, creating well-drawn characters and a rich setting."
-Publishers Weekly on Dark Road to Darjeeling
"Beyond the development of Julia's detailed world, her boisterous family and dashing husband, this book provides a clever mystery and unique perspective on the Victorian era through the eyes of an unconventional lady."
-Library Journal on The Dark Enquiry