This review was supposed to happen last week, but I have been a little derailed as to my reading schedule…work takes over my life. This week I will be back on track :).
Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon is as stated before, a spin-off series from the Outlander Novels. When the book opens Lord John Grey is at his club in England enjoying time away from his army career. They are due to be shipped out somewhere soon, so his is making the most of his time in England. At his club (the appropriately titled BeefSteak) he learns that his cousin Olivia’s fiance has the pox (and by pox I mean syphilis). Obviously this is disturbing and John decides to find a way to end the engagement. He discusses this with an army friend who is his Colonel Harry Quarry (not kidding on the name). Quarry makes a plan for them to take the fiance to a brothel and then see if the whore will tell him if he is poxed. With a plan set, John is a little relieved, but as it happens in novels there is more to come. With John investigating the threat of pox to his cousin, his superiors reveal a plot of treason to John and he now needs to investigate that as well. All of this becomes connected, leading John to be at the heart of the treason. John must decide what is more important, treason to his beloved England or the threat to his cousin Olivia.
This story made me excited to read it because I absolutely love the Outlander series and Lord John Grey is a favorite character from that series. However, this book just did not have the same attraction for me as the other books by Diana. Maybe it was because Jaime and Claire didn’t make an appearance (I knew they wouldn’t but a girl can dream right?). Or I was just expecting to much. This is not to say that it was not an enjoyable book, it was. It kept me guessing until the end on who was behind the treason and you also come to know John’s history. This book was hilarious, as all of Diana’s books are, from brothels, to molly houses (I have added a link for those who don’t know what these are), prison, apothecaries, and transvestites…Oh my! The intriguing part about this novel is it is almost a parallel world to Jamie and Claire. While they were together and living their life, this is what was happening elsewhere. Lots of similarities between the two and definite references to characters that populate Diana’s book world. Foreshadowing plays a major part in this novel for both the rest of this series and the Outlander novels that follow, after this book. There ever was a dull moment and it definitely needs to be read by anyone who has read the Outlander books. John Grey, as always, is an engaging character and he makes me want to read the rest of his adventures from this series. If you are looking for a shorter novel and enjoy historical novels, with a bit of a twist (think of the molly houses) then you need to read this book. I guarantee you disappointed is not an option.
With help from one of my besties (thanks Beck!!!) I have come up with a rating system. I will now rate the books I review on her based on 500 pages. So my scale is 1 page–not worth reading to 500 pages–get your butt out to the store and buy this now! Also I reserve the right to not even make it to one page, if I only make it to the copyright you know it is bad.
With that being said this book rates at 300 pages.
Auf Wiedersehen for now