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Dark Road to Darjeeling    by Deanna Raybourn order for
Dark Road to Darjeeling
by Deanna Raybourn
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

In this fourth in the series, it's 1889. Julia Grey has been on a eight month honeymoon with her detective husband, Nicholas Brisbane. Their trip is interrupted by Julia's siblings, her brother Plum and sister Portia. Portia insists they all travel to India where her former lover, Jane Cavendish, lives. They have received news that Jane is pregnant and has just been widowed. Portia suspects Freddie Cavendish has been murdered, as he is the owner of Peacocks, the family tea plantation. If her instincts are correct, this could put Jane and her baby at risk if she delivers a son who would inherit the estate.

The tea plantation is now run by Freddie's cousin Harry. Harry's work is his life, and he runs the plantation very efficiently. If Jane has a son, Harry will lose his position and authority. Julia is anxious to solve the mystery and prove to Brisbane that she would be a good partner with him in his business. No one is above suspicion as Julia and Brisbane find an odd gathering at the plantation, including people from their past.

While Harry might be their main suspect, his maiden aunt, the stiff and proper Miss Cavendish, also has no desire to lose her position as keeper of the house. Other characters on Julia's list are the Reverend Featherstone and his elusive wife Cassandra. Featherstone's beautiful governess, Miss Thorne, has ties to the Cavendish family that go back years. There's a mysterious man known as the White Rajah, who lives in a monastery high on the mountain top. And Julia has distant cousins who have been suspected of murder before, now living in a servant's cottage on the estate.

Dark Road to Darjeeling is set in the beautiful, lush, back drop of the Himalaya Mountains. Julia and Brisbane uncover family secrets, illicit affairs, and encounter many surprises along the way as they search out the killer. This book is a great standalone read, and I look forward to digging out the previous novels in the series.

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