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Lord John and the Private Matter PDF, ePub eBook In her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, Diana Gabaldon introduced millions of readers to a dazzling world of history and adventure — a world of vibrant settings and utterly unforgettable characters. Now one of these characters, Major Lord John Grey, opens the door to his own part of this world — eighteenth-century London, a seething anthill of nobility and rabb In her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, Diana Gabaldon introduced millions of readers to a dazzling world of history and adventure — a world of vibrant settings and utterly unforgettable characters. Now one of these characters, Major Lord John Grey, opens the door to his own part of this world — eighteenth-century London, a seething anthill of nobility and rabble peopled by soldiers and spies, whores and dukes. Great Britain is battling France for supremacy on three continents — and life is good for a soldier. The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s Army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: the Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade in arms, who may have been a traitor. Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society — and threatens all he holds dear. From the bawdy houses of London’s night-world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility, and from the blood of a murdered corpse to the thundering seas ruled by the majestic fleet of the East India Company, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything — or nothing. The early days of the Seven Years War come brilliantly to life in this historical mystery by an author whose unique and compelling storytelling has engrossed millions of readers worldwide.

30 review for Lord John and the Private Matter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Like many other "Outlander" fans, I've been reluctant to even attempt to read this second Gabaldon series which centers on a secondary gay character first introduced in "Dragonfly in Amber." I was discouraged not only by the average Goodreads rating of 3.35, but by the sheer memory of THE homosexual encounter in "Outlander." I simply didn't feel like going through the same pain and suffering again. But then the 7th book came out ("An Echo in the Bone") and everybody was saying that you had to ha Like many other "Outlander" fans, I've been reluctant to even attempt to read this second Gabaldon series which centers on a secondary gay character first introduced in "Dragonfly in Amber." I was discouraged not only by the average Goodreads rating of 3.35, but by the sheer memory of THE homosexual encounter in "Outlander." I simply didn't feel like going through the same pain and suffering again. But then the 7th book came out ("An Echo in the Bone") and everybody was saying that you had to have read Lord John books to really get into the story. Of course, in this case, I simply had to at least try to read these books to be sufficiently prepared for future series installments. Well, I am pleased to say that I enjoyed "Lord John and the Private Matter" very much. I understand however where the low ratings came from. This book is nothing like Outlander books. They are different in genre, in size, even in vocabulary. This Lord John book is a historical mystery with a lot of old-fashioned sleuthing, unlike smutty romance/adventure type Outlander books are. What remains the same in both series however is the high quality of writing, fantastic characterization and smartly presented historical details. There is no passionate love story (not even a gay one) in "Lord John and the Private Matter," but it is filled with political intrigues and discussions of military affairs, and I enjoyed every bit of it. The subject of homosexuality is presented throughout the story: not only is it always in the back of Lord John' mind, but we also have to follow our protagonist sleuthing through brothels, male secret rendezvous houses and chasing transvestites. Needless to say, it all was new to me, because honestly I know very little about gay life style and especially that in 18th century London. As for Lord John himself and his personal life, Gabaldon managed to make me appreciate this man of honor and feel a lot of compassion for his plight, because if nothing else he is a lonely man who among other things is forced to keep an important part of self hidden at all times, because his "preference" can simply have him executed. What else is there to say? Only that I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written mystery which started as a quest to find out if Lord John's future cousin-in-law had syphilis and ended with him solving two murders and uncovering a spy against England. I am definitely reading the rest of the books in this series. P.S. Just a heads-up, there was one man/man sex scene involving Lord John, but it wasn't at all graphic, although you do know what's going on.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marcie

    I resisted reading any Lord John stories for a very long time, despite being a huge Gabaldon fan. I just couldn't get behind a gay lead, didn't understand the appeal or potential of this character. I didn't get it, without even trying it. Recently I saw Gabaldon at a sci-fi convention, and to get in the mood for it, I dug out this book, which I had snagged at a library discard sale for a buck or so. I get it now. He's delightful. Imagine a slight, blonde, aristocratic, rich, devastatingly smart a I resisted reading any Lord John stories for a very long time, despite being a huge Gabaldon fan. I just couldn't get behind a gay lead, didn't understand the appeal or potential of this character. I didn't get it, without even trying it. Recently I saw Gabaldon at a sci-fi convention, and to get in the mood for it, I dug out this book, which I had snagged at a library discard sale for a buck or so. I get it now. He's delightful. Imagine a slight, blonde, aristocratic, rich, devastatingly smart and witty professional soldier, a Major in Her Majesty's service in 1757, who finds himself up to his impeccable chin in murder, mayhem, and mystery. It's like both William Powell and Myrna Loy (of the old Thin Man movies) rolled into one character, with a touch of television's Monk thrown in. Fun! He is so particular about his clothes and appearance and there's this running subconscious dialogue interspersed with the bigger external picture unfolding in his head that goes something like this: "Ah, ha, so the Scanlons have flown the coop which must be a big clue!...and I seem to have lost a button on my waistcoat." He is always picking at a loose thread, flicking lint on his shoulder, noticing every detail around him. You can just picture his futzing. He is also very adept at the dry one-word reply – indubiously, quite, likely, mayhaps. I really enjoyed it, and should have had more trust in her unbelievable writing talent. Interestingly, the one "sex scene" involving Lord John was very well-done, compelling, and poignant and definitely germane to the story. He simply loses himself, tastefully fades to black, and whispers "Pretend…I am not here." And I truly believe he wishes it were so. Contrast his fastidious personal quirks with his loathsome outward duty, and you've got a very entertaining setup. He is the only one in the room who will sink his fingers into the mushy scalp of a corpse for a clue or carry around the reeking blood-soaked remnant of a garment with which to confront the bad guy. Then there's his fiercely protective little side kick, a ragamuffin English boy who follows him around and insists that he be his valet. The little boy is just as comical, giving "me lord" the steely eye as he makes him drink MANY egg whites as a poison antidote and tries to mend his endlessly destroyed clothes. I can't wait to read more Lord John. Undoubtedly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Gabaldon reacquaints readers with Lord John Grey. In Grey's first full-length novel set in 18th century London, nobility and the rabble cross paths, while whores and dukes solicit one another. Grey is an active soldier, living the good life, as Great Britain fends off France on three continents. Emerging from his club one June morning in 1757, Grey possesses a secret that may permanently damage his family, should the wrong person learn of its nature. As this plagues him, the Crown sends him to i Gabaldon reacquaints readers with Lord John Grey. In Grey's first full-length novel set in 18th century London, nobility and the rabble cross paths, while whores and dukes solicit one another. Grey is an active soldier, living the good life, as Great Britain fends off France on three continents. Emerging from his club one June morning in 1757, Grey possesses a secret that may permanently damage his family, should the wrong person learn of its nature. As this plagues him, the Crown sends him to investigate the murder of a fellow soldier, who may have had treasonous intentions, opening up the suspect pool exponentially. Working on two investigations simultaneously, Grey and his newly hired valet, Tom Byrd, seek to bring matters to a head without alerting too many individuals. The more they investigate, on both counts, the more sordid things become. Grey must follow a poxed person's proclivities (try saying that five times!) in order to help his own family, but ends up solving both cases utilising his sharp logic while traversing the seas in search of a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything, or prove yet another wasted journey away from Mother England. This novel set in the early days of the Seven Years War and post-Jamie Fraser first encounters offers the reader much historical insight while also setting the scene to further the story told briefly in Gabaldon's VOYAGER. In his role as military Sherlock Holmes, Grey seeks to close all doors and solve the cases put before him without rocking the proverbial boat. This can prove highly difficult, when 18th century London is the setting, as anything goes and usually ends up happening. Grey uses his sleuthing abilities to show his multi-dimensional character seen already in VOYAGER and a novella, which is likely expanded in the rest of the LJG collection. Gabaldon has such a firm handle on all her characters that the attentive reader may look for more crossovers or crumbs mentioned in one series and resolved in the other. Just when I wanted to listen and enjoy, I have to be on my toes! Kudos, Madam Gabaldon for this wonderful tale, full of intrigue and sleuthing. I look forward to learning more and seeing how one Jamie Fraser plays a keener role in the larger story. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    Lord John Grey Lord John Grey is a major in His Majesty's army . He is entrusted with searching for the answers to two murders and to a spy selling secrets. Lord John discovers a man by the name of O'Connell may have sold military secrets to an enemy spy. There are plenty of clues to all three crimes, but they're not coming together in a cohesive answer. Perhaps they are all separate crimes and not tied together. Will Lord John Grey discover the answers before it's too late? Diana Gabaldon has wri Lord John Grey Lord John Grey is a major in His Majesty's army . He is entrusted with searching for the answers to two murders and to a spy selling secrets. Lord John discovers a man by the name of O'Connell may have sold military secrets to an enemy spy. There are plenty of clues to all three crimes, but they're not coming together in a cohesive answer. Perhaps they are all separate crimes and not tied together. Will Lord John Grey discover the answers before it's too late? Diana Gabaldon has written another winner. Lord John Grey is a character from the Outlander series. He, along with the secondary characters, are a delight to make the acquaintance of. We come to fully understand Lord John's character through dialogue and descriptions. The plot and subplots are tightly drawn and feel feasible. The setting and description places the reader directly in the story. There is a m/m sexual scene tastefully written. I highly recommend this novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    4.5★s Lord John and the Private Matter is the first novel in the Lord John Grey series by popular American author, Diana Gabaldon. As he waits for his next posting, Lord John Grey, a Major in His Majesty’s 47th Regiment, learns of the death of a Sergeant well known to him. Something is off when he pays the widow a condolence visit, and his friend, Colonel Harry Quarry reveals that Sergeant O’Connell was suspected of being a spy. The man they had shadowing him has disappeared and Grey is set the t 4.5★s Lord John and the Private Matter is the first novel in the Lord John Grey series by popular American author, Diana Gabaldon. As he waits for his next posting, Lord John Grey, a Major in His Majesty’s 47th Regiment, learns of the death of a Sergeant well known to him. Something is off when he pays the widow a condolence visit, and his friend, Colonel Harry Quarry reveals that Sergeant O’Connell was suspected of being a spy. The man they had shadowing him has disappeared and Grey is set the task of investigating. At the same time, quite by chance, Grey comes across a disturbing fact about the Hon. Joseph Trevelyan, the prospective husband of his niece, Olivia Pearsall. As Grey makes enquiries to confirm or dismiss his concerns, he discovers more alarming details, and the boundaries between his two fields of investigation begin to blur. Before Grey finally learns what has transpired, he will visit a brothel and a molly house, examine two dead bodies, acquire a new valet, suffer mercury poisoning, encounter cross-dressers, drink quite a bit of German wine, adjudicate in a fight over a corpse, and board a ship headed for India. There are plenty of twists and turns before the exciting climax of this rather enjoyable piece of historical fiction.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    Very quickly: this was a good book (kind of?), but booooring. I like the writing and the research is incredibly well done, with no historical info dumping, but there was one issue that I just could not get past. I read books for the plot, obviously, but just as much, if not more, for the characters. Here, we don't get to know anything about Lord John. Anything. The focus is on the plot, with a generous helping of colorful side characters, but basically all I feel now that I'm done with the book is Very quickly: this was a good book (kind of?), but booooring. I like the writing and the research is incredibly well done, with no historical info dumping, but there was one issue that I just could not get past. I read books for the plot, obviously, but just as much, if not more, for the characters. Here, we don't get to know anything about Lord John. Anything. The focus is on the plot, with a generous helping of colorful side characters, but basically all I feel now that I'm done with the book is a grudging curiosity towards John Grey. Of which, I repeat, I know nothing. Hector? The fuck is Hector? Where did John grow up? What about his brothers? What's his relationship with them?... and so on. I suppose I will read the novellas collected in Lord John and the Hand of Devils, sometime in the future. So. Frustrated.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I really didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, even harboring affection for Gabaldon’s Outlander books, and especially the character of Lord John Grey, whom I find to be adorable and heartbreaking. The Lord John Grey series is a spin-off of Outlander, following Lord John Grey, a character first introduced in Dragonfly in Amber as a sixteen year old boy who encounters Jamie and Claire the night before the battle at Prestonpans, but he’s most prominent (at least as far as I’ve read in b I really didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, even harboring affection for Gabaldon’s Outlander books, and especially the character of Lord John Grey, whom I find to be adorable and heartbreaking. The Lord John Grey series is a spin-off of Outlander, following Lord John Grey, a character first introduced in Dragonfly in Amber as a sixteen year old boy who encounters Jamie and Claire the night before the battle at Prestonpans, but he’s most prominent (at least as far as I’ve read in books 1-5) in Voyager, which is a book that spans twenty years. In those twenty years, Jamie and LJG meet again, and eventually become friends, although we only see select scenes of their friendship, including one in which Grey’s unrequited love for Jamie threatens to ruin said friendship. The LJG series takes place during the years covered in Voyager. It’s not necessary to read the Outlander series before reading this series, but the context does help, especially when LJG references his relationship with Jamie (and obvious aforementioned unrequited love). Mostly, this is a well-written murder mystery set in London in 1557, in which the protagonist is a gay man in a world where that is completely taboo. LJG is asked to investigate the murder of a British soldier believed to be a spy (it’s the beginning of the Seven Years’ War, so that’s important). His investigation begins to coincide with his personal life in unexpected ways. Gabaldon does that thing that Agatha Christie used to do where she has her ‘detective’ have long conversations with people, and the people are very well developed. Like Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, LJG is an outsider, although he masquerades as a functional, normal member of society, hiding his ‘deviation’ from public view. But he feels it, and because he feels it, it colors all his interactions in this book, particularly those involving the seedier element of London life (including a trip to a whorehouse, and an all male gentleman’s club). It also makes him perfectly suited to rooting out the secrets other people keep. My favorite mystery series are ones where they’re also secretly stealth character pieces, and this one certainly qualifies. It also has a wealth of side characters I enjoyed very much; even when they were unlikable, they were interesting. All in all, I’m really glad I picked this up. It was a nice palate cleanser after suffering through The Fiery Cross a couple of weeks ago, and it renewed my faith in Gabaldon as a writer. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series. (Get the audiobook if you can–narrator Jeff Woodman is always a good time.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Audible deal of the day for $3.95! http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-T...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    The Lord John books are a spin-off from the Outlander series and, based purely on this one, I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy them more than I'm enjoying the parent series. Lord John, a major in the British armed forces, is called upon to play detective in this novel and the result is a witty romp that's lots of fun with plenty of twists and turns. There are a couple of references to the Outlander books in this one, but I don't think you'd be missing much if you haven't read them as this story is The Lord John books are a spin-off from the Outlander series and, based purely on this one, I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy them more than I'm enjoying the parent series. Lord John, a major in the British armed forces, is called upon to play detective in this novel and the result is a witty romp that's lots of fun with plenty of twists and turns. There are a couple of references to the Outlander books in this one, but I don't think you'd be missing much if you haven't read them as this story is mostly self-contained.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa **Just Really Loves Musicals**

    *Sigh* I can't. I got about 60 pages in, but I just don't want to read any more. I'm bored of this story and it's nothing to do with the book. Gabaldon is one of my favourite authors, I love her Outlander series, but Lord John as a character isn't my favourite, and this sort of mystery genre just isn't for me. I am going to keep all the books in this series though, so that in a couple of years when I reread the Outlander Books, I will hopefully decide to try again, so maybe I'll enjoy them. But a *Sigh* I can't. I got about 60 pages in, but I just don't want to read any more. I'm bored of this story and it's nothing to do with the book. Gabaldon is one of my favourite authors, I love her Outlander series, but Lord John as a character isn't my favourite, and this sort of mystery genre just isn't for me. I am going to keep all the books in this series though, so that in a couple of years when I reread the Outlander Books, I will hopefully decide to try again, so maybe I'll enjoy them. But at the minute, I don't want to continue.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Arya *Bibliomaniac!* Fraser Stark

    Ok, why why WHY does Gabaldon insist on ANOTHER plot of gay men? Ok, yes, that sort of thought and leanings were around back then. But here's the thing. Even covert, they weren't so open about it! I mean, back then, that sort of stance really wasn't all that common. And if it was, men (or woman) took the upmost care to conceal it, or be very careful about to whom they revealed it on. I just think there is so much potential in this story, specifically to Grey, if it wasn't clouded by the sexual st Ok, why why WHY does Gabaldon insist on ANOTHER plot of gay men? Ok, yes, that sort of thought and leanings were around back then. But here's the thing. Even covert, they weren't so open about it! I mean, back then, that sort of stance really wasn't all that common. And if it was, men (or woman) took the upmost care to conceal it, or be very careful about to whom they revealed it on. I just think there is so much potential in this story, specifically to Grey, if it wasn't clouded by the sexual stances that became a small plot line of its own. I mean, Randall was acceptable and enough for me. But TWO men who are in love with Jamie? Like, that's a pretty big cast of characters right there, for the time period. It was rather disappointing, actually. It took the intrigue of the character away, really. He became just another one, so to speak. I mean, Randall (god rest his soul, I loved him!!), was a character WITH the angle of having love for Jamie. But it wasn't because he was necessarily gay - it was because he was a malicious sadist who eventually fell in love with his victim after having a personal vendetta against Jamie. It is similar to Stockholm syndrome, if you will; captors can easily fall in love with their captive. And yeah, sure, Grey owed Jamie for sparing his life. But even as we learn the background of how he met up with Jamie again, and even in the fourth instillment, Drums of Autumn, we get more info of the interactions that had occurred betwixt the two. But its not the same, it just isn't!! It makes me wonder if Gabaldon was desperate to recreate what Jamie and Randall had. Whatever she was thinking, it didn't have the desired effect, I think. I feel like she wanted readers to feel pity or something for Grey because of what side of the tracks he stands on, and what it was for Jamie. But I really felt nothing. To be understood; I don't hate gay men or woman. I just hated GREY. So, one star for sort of ruining the whole thing for me because of that. But, two for the per usual, excellent descriptions and narrations. My favorite quote of the entire book had to be; "His lips were so pursed and white it reminded Grey of a dog's anus."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jojo

    I never would have picked this book up except that I am starved - starved, I say! - for English-language books here in Japan, and because I am so desperate for reading material, I will now read pretty much anything I can find that looks vaguely interesting, especially if it's cheap. This was on the ¥500 yen table at Tower Records, and looked like it was maybe not as crap as everything else offered for the same price. So I picked it up even though I have, like, negative interest in reading the Ou I never would have picked this book up except that I am starved - starved, I say! - for English-language books here in Japan, and because I am so desperate for reading material, I will now read pretty much anything I can find that looks vaguely interesting, especially if it's cheap. This was on the ¥500 yen table at Tower Records, and looked like it was maybe not as crap as everything else offered for the same price. So I picked it up even though I have, like, negative interest in reading the Outlander series that this is connected to (it's really long! and I kind of hate time travel!). Ended up really enjoying it! There were a few things not as fully explained as I would have liked (probably because I was expected to know them from reading the Outlander series), but for the most part the characters and writing and story worked for me. Still don't really want to read the Outlander books, but I do want to read more about Lord John.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bárbara

    Diana Gabaldon is fantastic. This novel is so cleverly written, dealing with the murder mystery /intrigue aspect... Plus, it's always interesting to see Gabaldon's take on social dynamics in historical context. And if that wasn't enough, there's also Lord John Grey at the center of it all, engaging in some pretty interesting adventures. I admit, I hadn't ready paid much attention to him in the Outlander books, but I'm enjoying his solo stories a great deal! So much so that I'm already willing to Diana Gabaldon is fantastic. This novel is so cleverly written, dealing with the murder mystery /intrigue aspect... Plus, it's always interesting to see Gabaldon's take on social dynamics in historical context. And if that wasn't enough, there's also Lord John Grey at the center of it all, engaging in some pretty interesting adventures. I admit, I hadn't ready paid much attention to him in the Outlander books, but I'm enjoying his solo stories a great deal! So much so that I'm already willing to admit, so early into this, that he's become another of my favorite characters! I'm beyond ready for more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    I read this book a couple years back and enjoyed stepping into the world of Lord John and his Georgian London. A cunning mystery and an opportunity to know John and those around him better made it a delightful read. However, for this, my second encounter, I chose to experience the story on audio with new to me narrator, Jeff Woodman. I'm happy to report that this story was better than ever as a result. His storytelling was amazing and matched well with the characters, tone of the book, and sitat I read this book a couple years back and enjoyed stepping into the world of Lord John and his Georgian London. A cunning mystery and an opportunity to know John and those around him better made it a delightful read. However, for this, my second encounter, I chose to experience the story on audio with new to me narrator, Jeff Woodman. I'm happy to report that this story was better than ever as a result. His storytelling was amazing and matched well with the characters, tone of the book, and sitatuion. John's brother, Hal, the head of the household is gone and of course John stumbles across a situation that is a delicate family matter that he has no idea how to handle. Before he gets far with figuring this out, he is commissioned by the Army to investigate missing papers, a soldier's death, and the trail to the spymaster for whom the stolen papers were destined. John's investigation takes him to the seedier side of town, but also involves some powerful people. He carefully follows each lead and senses there is much more going on and people know a whole lot more than they are telling him. Slow, but sure he gets there and then he is confronted by yet another situation. It reads like a cozy mystery blended with historical fiction and has a gentle pacing. The story is parts character study and development and parts suspense. Loved getting to know Lord John better after encountering him in the Outlander series' Voyager. In fact, this is a spin-off and would fall after that in sequence. Definite recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erica Anderson

    I know this borders on the heretical, but I've been enjoying the Lord John series more than Outlander proper. In contrast to the larger-than-life Jamie Fraser, Lord John Grey is relatively diffident and self-effacing. His homosexuality adds a profound dimension to his character. Because the books are short (at least in Gabaldonian terms), there are few tangents and minimal plot clutter, allowing John's character to shine without the overwhelming presence of Claire or Fraser. Lord John is so very I know this borders on the heretical, but I've been enjoying the Lord John series more than Outlander proper. In contrast to the larger-than-life Jamie Fraser, Lord John Grey is relatively diffident and self-effacing. His homosexuality adds a profound dimension to his character. Because the books are short (at least in Gabaldonian terms), there are few tangents and minimal plot clutter, allowing John's character to shine without the overwhelming presence of Claire or Fraser. Lord John is so very decent that I find some sections of the book almost painful to read, a tribute to Gabaldon's ability to create sympathetic characters. The Lord John books should appeal not only to Outlander fans, but also to readers who like well-crafted historical mysteries. If you like C.S. Harris and Ashley Gardner, the Lord John books are an excellent bet.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I havent read anything else by Diana Gabaldon and I probably never will. When I read it, I didnt know much of the character's backstory - only that he had been a minor character in some other epic adventure. But it sounded intresting and as it turned out, it didnt dissapoint. I picked it up because I wanted to read about a lead that was gay - it was part of the pride festival theme and one of my favourite bookstores had gathered a bunch of their books with homosexual lead characters as a tribute I havent read anything else by Diana Gabaldon and I probably never will. When I read it, I didnt know much of the character's backstory - only that he had been a minor character in some other epic adventure. But it sounded intresting and as it turned out, it didnt dissapoint. I picked it up because I wanted to read about a lead that was gay - it was part of the pride festival theme and one of my favourite bookstores had gathered a bunch of their books with homosexual lead characters as a tribute to the subject. As it was, I was rather careful because I didnt want something like a leads sexual orientation to take over the actual story of the book. The clerks assured me that yes, this would probably be the book for me and I have to agree with them, it is. For the actual story... well. Its not particulary complex but its witty and fast paced in a realistic sort of way. Its not a mindblowing super classic but its a good read and it works fine as a stand alone novel. The summary of the next book in this series didnt sound too intresting and neither did the "main" series but we'll see. Maybe in the future Ill pick up them too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ♥︎♥︎Sofia♥︎♥︎

    Nearing the end of my Outlander journey I realised, as I started An Echo in The Bone (#7) that there where things (and characters) alluded to within the first chapter that I was completely in the dark about. With trepidation I remembered warnings and a general consensus by other Outlander readers/fans that I should read The Lord John books before I reached this point but, honestly? I thought I'd be able to 'wing' it; I was wrong. With a screeching halt I had to temporarily abandon my love affair Nearing the end of my Outlander journey I realised, as I started An Echo in The Bone (#7) that there where things (and characters) alluded to within the first chapter that I was completely in the dark about. With trepidation I remembered warnings and a general consensus by other Outlander readers/fans that I should read The Lord John books before I reached this point but, honestly? I thought I'd be able to 'wing' it; I was wrong. With a screeching halt I had to temporarily abandon my love affair with Jamie Fraser to revert back to Lord John (a relatively important secondary character within the Outlander series) and the series of books written with him as the central focus; to say I was very, very unhappy about it is an understatement. Lord John Grey is not a character that I particularly care for within the series, in fact I'd go so far as to say I barely tolerate him, barely. He is, for all intend and purpose, the "other woman' in this tale, and though his romantic feelings are not reciprocated by our hero (who has only ever loved our heroine, aaahhhhh) every-time Lord John expresses his unrequited love, I kinda want to punch him in the face; you see how reading Lord John and The Private Matter might be a problem? And it was. The book is well written, Gabaldon's amazing literary talent shine through as always. Her characters were well rounded and the plot thoroughly thought out and perfectly developed and maybe if I had read them before Lord John became a feature in the Outlander story I might have been more sympatico but as it stood? I sat and 'gritted my teeth' throughout and growled any time he mentioned Fraser and it was a hard uphill battle to continue to the end (it's at time like this that my anti-flounce gene comes in handy) Finally I asked for help (thank you OBC!) and was advised that I didn't need to read all three novels and God knows how many novellas, I should read just the novels and at a push just the Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade in order to move on to Outlander book 7 and then come back to the rest later. I can say now, categorically, that that's never going to happen.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marleen

    Ten years ago I devoured the first 4 books of the Outlander series, and then as sudden as the Outlander fever had taken me, it had also left me. I couldn’t get into the fifth book. I think I sort of got satiated with Jamie and Clare’s saga. Well they are hefty books, and I had to take a break from them. I haven’t started up since, but I will, soon, because I just adore Diana Gabaldon’s storytelling and I think that Jamie and Clare’s adventures are amazing and I’ve enjoyed them immensely. Lord Joh Ten years ago I devoured the first 4 books of the Outlander series, and then as sudden as the Outlander fever had taken me, it had also left me. I couldn’t get into the fifth book. I think I sort of got satiated with Jamie and Clare’s saga. Well they are hefty books, and I had to take a break from them. I haven’t started up since, but I will, soon, because I just adore Diana Gabaldon’s storytelling and I think that Jamie and Clare’s adventures are amazing and I’ve enjoyed them immensely. Lord John and the Private Matter is the first spin-off featuring Lord John Grey, an English officer whom the readers are introduced to in the Outlanders books. I honestly don’t remember much of John Grey’s personality, except that he was a closeted gay character, who was decent to Jamie. Here we discover a little bit more about Lord John and I’ve come to like him quite a bit. Overall the story-line of “the Private Matter” isn’t especially intricate or intriguing as I would’ve hoped, but it was interesting enough. What I enjoyed particularly was that the author absolutely succeeded into creating the atmosphere of 18th Century London, describing the life on the city streets in a captivating and authentic manner. I thought it was fascinating how she researched the gay subculture of time, e.g. Molly houses, the transvestites, the habits and customs of English society of the the time, without ever making it sound too vulgar or obnoxious. I’ve also discovered that Lord Grey is a sensitive soul all wrapped up in a strong-willed and honourable man. I’m actually looking forward to reading the next books featuring this compelling (and decent) character.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    Not entirely a success - this book is neither meaty, complex and id-pleasing (like Gabaldon's Outlander series) nor witty and smart (like a successful mystery novel), and ends up mediocre. I think part of the problem here is that Gabaldon's strength is in the epic full of anguish, love, and sex, and this book has none of the first two, and the third is entirely off-stage. She's stuck in part due to the fact that Lord John Grey, the protagonist here, is a secondary character in the Outlander book Not entirely a success - this book is neither meaty, complex and id-pleasing (like Gabaldon's Outlander series) nor witty and smart (like a successful mystery novel), and ends up mediocre. I think part of the problem here is that Gabaldon's strength is in the epic full of anguish, love, and sex, and this book has none of the first two, and the third is entirely off-stage. She's stuck in part due to the fact that Lord John Grey, the protagonist here, is a secondary character in the Outlander books, and thus has much of his story pre-determined. Nothing too exciting can happen to him here, because it would undermine or undo those books. Another issue is that Gabaldon stumbles in her dealings with the queer subcultures of 18th century London. She raises interesting issues and introduces potentially interesting characters - and then drops them, with their stories unsettled. Lord John Grey himself, a highlight of the Outlander books, seems pale and cold here, close to boring. The best scene was his interaction with a Scottish whore halfway through the book. I think without the English-Scottish culture clash, Gabaldon can't manage to write compelling character interplay. It's not an awful book, but it was a disappointment. I guess if I want to see really interesting (and sexy) things happen to Lord John Grey, I'll have to rely on fanfiction.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chy

    Aw, I should probably give it three, but I love Lord John. I was severely dissappointed, however, with the pages upon pages where the "bad guys" just...told us what-all had been going on the whole time. It was done as well as such an info-dumping monstrosity could be done, with a bit of tension in the background and explanations for why they'd do this, and how it was all going down. But still. I expect more from Gabaldon. But if four stars is "really liked it" over "liked it," then it's true. But Aw, I should probably give it three, but I love Lord John. I was severely dissappointed, however, with the pages upon pages where the "bad guys" just...told us what-all had been going on the whole time. It was done as well as such an info-dumping monstrosity could be done, with a bit of tension in the background and explanations for why they'd do this, and how it was all going down. But still. I expect more from Gabaldon. But if four stars is "really liked it" over "liked it," then it's true. But I admit to it being that way because I wanted to follow Lord John around and this book let me do that. I also admit to gaping at homosexuality in the eighteenth century, as I know Gabaldon is a research-a-holic---so I felt I could reasonably trust her fictional depiction. I was surprised (pleasantly so) to find that I could have done without any mentions of Jamie or Claire Fraser (the main characters of the series of which this is a bit of a spinoff.) I think John could have completely stood on his own. Though there was one line of thought about Jamie---something about how he certainly wasn't a man who would steal another man's wife---that made me have to put the book down for a bit and chuckle.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janelle Harris

    After reading the first 3 books in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager), this first book in the Lord John Grey series really did not meet my expectations. I'd actually give this closer to 2.5 stars if I could. It really didn't have the action and drama that I was expecting...very anticlimactic. The plot of the story is interesting - Lord John Grey, by order of the Crown, is investigating the murder of a member of his regiment thought to be a traitor - a After reading the first 3 books in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager), this first book in the Lord John Grey series really did not meet my expectations. I'd actually give this closer to 2.5 stars if I could. It really didn't have the action and drama that I was expecting...very anticlimactic. The plot of the story is interesting - Lord John Grey, by order of the Crown, is investigating the murder of a member of his regiment thought to be a traitor - a spy for the French. During his investigation, other murders occur, a man goes missing, and new elements arise creating new obstacles in the investigation. It just didn't feel that these events were fully utilized to create the drama needed to capture the reader's attention the whole way through. More often than not I was really having to force myself to stay focused. It was just okay - if it's any indication as to what is to be expected of the other books in the series, I won't be running to the library for the next book. I think I'll just stick with the Outlander series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anna Kļaviņa

    Lord Grey first appears in Dragonfly in Amber the third book in Outlander series as an important minor character. I haven't read Outlander and I doubt I will. The book was OK but not so good as I expected. Story is interesting but it isn't page turner, main character is likeable enough but other characters are flat. Of course the mystery is revealed by "baddy" in the end. And I have no idea why so many readers shelved this story as "romance". All that said, I do plan to read Lord John And The H Lord Grey first appears in Dragonfly in Amber the third book in Outlander series as an important minor character. I haven't read Outlander and I doubt I will. The book was OK but not so good as I expected. Story is interesting but it isn't page turner, main character is likeable enough but other characters are flat. Of course the mystery is revealed by "baddy" in the end. And I have no idea why so many readers shelved this story as "romance". All that said, I do plan to read Lord John And The Hand Of Devils.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linds

    I love Lord John. I love Diana Gabaldon. But I didn't love this book because (lately) I'm not into mysteries, and this book is above all else a historical mystery novel. The Outlander series has romance, epicness (is that a word?), wars, and a huge cast of characters. The Lord John universe is much more contained and focused. It is probably fun for DG to switch gears. The mystery itself is pretty convoluted. Lord John is one of the best secondary characters of the Outlander universe and it was ni I love Lord John. I love Diana Gabaldon. But I didn't love this book because (lately) I'm not into mysteries, and this book is above all else a historical mystery novel. The Outlander series has romance, epicness (is that a word?), wars, and a huge cast of characters. The Lord John universe is much more contained and focused. It is probably fun for DG to switch gears. The mystery itself is pretty convoluted. Lord John is one of the best secondary characters of the Outlander universe and it was nice to be in his head, though because I didn't care about the outcome of the mystery, the book dragged. It was interesting that he didn't go on and on about his unrequited love of Jamie Fraser for the whole book. John's busy, after all. **If anyone has read the other books in the series, do they deal with his raising of William, which is what I would be interested in reading, or are they more mysteries?

  24. 4 out of 5

    D.G.

    I've always liked Lord John so I don't know why I waited so long to read this book. Lord John and the Private Matter was chock full of intrigue and the trademark Diana Gabaldon's wit and vivid portrayal of a time past. You almost feel like you're living there because Ms. Gabaldon doesn't shy away from showing the smelly and the nasty. I can't say I loved the mystery - some of the stuff got really complicated - but I liked Lord John's turn of phrase and his complicated life as a gay man during thi I've always liked Lord John so I don't know why I waited so long to read this book. Lord John and the Private Matter was chock full of intrigue and the trademark Diana Gabaldon's wit and vivid portrayal of a time past. You almost feel like you're living there because Ms. Gabaldon doesn't shy away from showing the smelly and the nasty. I can't say I loved the mystery - some of the stuff got really complicated - but I liked Lord John's turn of phrase and his complicated life as a gay man during this time in history. I felt terrible for him - with very little hope for love, specially from what I know about his future - but I liked learning more about him and his life as a soldier. I guess I didn't see him as a man of action but I liked that I was wrong. Really looking forward to the next few books! Audiobook narrated by Jeff Woodman.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chocolategoddess

    This book was enjoyable, but ... odd. It's part murder mystery, part spy novel, part exploration of gay 18th century London, and part indulgently playing with a wonderful character. It kind of doesn't pull any of those off as well as it could, and yet there's just so much to it that it's still a good read. I honestly don't know how Gabaldon manages it to break so many conventions of novel writing and yet make such incredibly compelling books. Her wonderful prose helps, of course, because every se This book was enjoyable, but ... odd. It's part murder mystery, part spy novel, part exploration of gay 18th century London, and part indulgently playing with a wonderful character. It kind of doesn't pull any of those off as well as it could, and yet there's just so much to it that it's still a good read. I honestly don't know how Gabaldon manages it to break so many conventions of novel writing and yet make such incredibly compelling books. Her wonderful prose helps, of course, because every sentence is a joy to read. Anyway, I was bored by Lord John initially in the Outlander books and then I came to love him, and then I thought his portrayal in the tv show was excellent. So I gave this book a try, and now I love Lord John even more. He's such a sweetheart, but he does get himself into some unfortunate circumstances. I will definitely be reading more of them soon.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    As in her other well-known series, this author takes the time to set the stage for the time period. Her attention to detail is outstanding and rich with descriptions. I've always liked the character of Lord John and this story was interesting in that we got to see him solve a mystery, often taking the wrong steps and making those 'if I had known' statements, shows him being all too human. Though the story moved slowly, I didn't find anything lacking and looked forward to finishing the tale. All i As in her other well-known series, this author takes the time to set the stage for the time period. Her attention to detail is outstanding and rich with descriptions. I've always liked the character of Lord John and this story was interesting in that we got to see him solve a mystery, often taking the wrong steps and making those 'if I had known' statements, shows him being all too human. Though the story moved slowly, I didn't find anything lacking and looked forward to finishing the tale. All in all, I found the story very atmospheric, the characters true and would recommend.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    Still not sure that I buy that people like Lord Grey could exist the 18th century -- even if he knew a man influenced by a 20th century woman -- but it's a fun read nonetheless.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marla

    It was nice to get acquainted with John Grey. It will bring more to the story as I continue the Claire and Jamie story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julianna

    Reviewed for THC Reviews Lord John and the Private Matter is the second story and first full-length novel in the Lord John Grey series. Diana Gabaldon has taken Lord John, one of her beloved characters from the Outlander series, and given him his own set of adventures, separate, but somewhat entwined with, the Outlander time-line. In each story, he must solve a mystery in his capacity as a military officer. Actually, in this book, there are two mysteries, which end up intertwining. In the first, Reviewed for THC Reviews Lord John and the Private Matter is the second story and first full-length novel in the Lord John Grey series. Diana Gabaldon has taken Lord John, one of her beloved characters from the Outlander series, and given him his own set of adventures, separate, but somewhat entwined with, the Outlander time-line. In each story, he must solve a mystery in his capacity as a military officer. Actually, in this book, there are two mysteries, which end up intertwining. In the first, John accidentally sees a sore on the “privy member” of Joseph Trevelyan, the man who is betrothed to his cousin. Certain that Trevelyan is poxed, and with his older brother away, it falls to John to investigate the matter further to figure out if what he saw was accurate, and if it is, to somehow find a way to put an end to the betrothal without harming his cousin’s reputation. Then there’s the matter of another officer who’s been found murdered and is suspected of being a spy. When the two puzzles intersect with one another, it leads to all sorts of adventure and intrigue for John. I’ve always appreciated Ms. Gabaldon’s attention to historical detail. Her talent for research definitely shines through in her work and is part of why I find her books so fascinating. They feed my geeky obsession with all things historical. Probably first and foremost in this book is her exploration of the gay sub-culture in Georgian England. I suppose I found this interesting, because as difficult as things can still be for LGBT people in our modern society, I’ve wondered how gay people managed in an era in which those sorts of proclivities had to be kept secret at all costs. As those who’ve read Outlander know, Lord John is gay, and in the course of his investigation, we get to see him navigating this underground part of society. As a result, I learned quite a bit about the historical sexual practices of gay men that I didn’t know. There are plenty of other intriguing bits of history as well, including “The Malaria Cure,” which I can’t say too much about without giving away spoilers, but suffice it to say, I never would have thought there would be medical evidence to suggest that one disease could potentially cure another. Lord John has always been one of my favorite secondary characters in Outlander, in part because he’s an honorable man much like Jamie. I enjoyed seeing the different aspects to his personality and the kind of man he is in this book. We also get to learn more about his personal history, including his family ties and perhaps, most interesting, his lost love. I can’t help feeling for John who hasn’t exactly been lucky in love. His first love died at Culloden, while his second love, Jamie Fraser, is destined to be an unrequited one. I have no idea if there are any other love interests in the cards for him, but I felt like this book left that possibility open. Out of all of Diana Gabaldon’s books, I’ve noticed that Lord John and the Private Matter seems to have the lowest ratings. I haven’t yet read any reviews of it to find out exactly why this is. All I know is that I liked it extremely well, and IMHO, the quality of the writing is equal to that of the Outlander novels. The story kept me eagerly coming back for more when I had to put it down. While I definitely wouldn’t classify this as a romance at all, there is a certain romanticism to the story that only added to my enjoyment of it. There are a few unexpected twists and turns, and I certainly didn’t figure out all the connections and motivations until they were revealed, which is another thing that kept me reading. So for me, overall, Lord John and the Private Matter was a great read, and I’m very much looking forward to more Lord John Grey stories. Note: There are no detailed sex scenes in this book, only one implied scene between two men that is fade to black, but there is a fair bit of detail regarding the sexual practices of gay men in Georgian England that may bother some readers. Lord John and the Hellfire Club - My edition of this book (which I believe is a first edition) contains a bonus copy of Lord John and the Hellfire Club at the end, so here’s my review of that as well: Lord John and the Hellfire Club is the first novella in Diana Gabaldon's Lord John Grey series. I'm not sure if it's the shortest story she's ever written, but it's by far the shortest one by her I've read to date. In this novella, she's taken Lord John Grey, a popular secondary character from the Outlander series, and given him a mystery to solve, thereby turning him into an amateur sleuth, which is what I understand he'll be doing throughout the series. It takes place in London sometime after Lord John's return from his time as warden at Ardsmuir Prison where Jamie was held. Harry Quarry, the warden who preceded Lord John, is also a part of the story. He and John share a loose friendship and he's related to the murdered man. The plot is a fairly simple and straightforward one. John is approached by a man he's barely met, asking for a clandestine meeting to discuss something of import that he can trust to no one else, but before the meeting can take place, the man is stabbed almost before John's eyes and dies in his arms. John vows to find the killer, which leads him to a surprising meeting of a secret society know at the Hellfire Club. As usual Diana Gabaldon has done an exceptional job with her research. Hellfire Clubs actually did exist during that time period, and Sir Francis Dashwood's, the one which John attends, appears to have been the most famous. I also found it interesting to learn more about the perceptions of gay men in that era. Of course, John, out of necessity for his own safety, keeps his sexuality a closely guarded secret, but we do get hints of how he gets around the social mores of the day to engage in intimacies and how he views society's attitudes toward men like him. I felt rather bad for John, because he still pines for Jamie even though he's trying to set aside that unrequited love. The main reason this was a four-star read for me instead of higher is that parts of the story didn't seem to flow as well as the Outlander books I've read. The details of the first chapter weren't quite gelling in my mind's eye the way this author's work usually does. I had to concentrate pretty intently to fully grasp the situation. Also, Ms. Gabaldon is a highly intelligent person, and it definitely shows in her writing. That's great, except that in this story, she uses more historically accurate language in both her dialogue and prose. This made it a bit more challenging to read, because the dialogue is unfamiliar to my modern ear, and while normally I can pick up on the meaning of unfamiliar words in context, some of the words in the prose still remained a mystery to me. Otherwise I enjoyed Lord John and the Hellfire Club. The mystery was handled well, especially for such a short format. It was a good start to the series, and I look forward to reading more about Lord John's adventures. Star Rating: ****

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jujubee

    I enjoyed this insight into a complex, man of honor and duty, Lord John Grey. And what a tangled tale this was to be sure. Luckily for me I enjoy a slow, almost languorous, plot layout in my historicals...so I was glad to give me reading brain a respite whilst taking things in at the same "hmmmming" pace as our stalwart Major Grey. Lust, dishonor, pride, social conventions, murder, famiky duty, scandal, love, classic greed, wraps a fine mystery around society norms, treason, and a man's true nat I enjoyed this insight into a complex, man of honor and duty, Lord John Grey. And what a tangled tale this was to be sure. Luckily for me I enjoy a slow, almost languorous, plot layout in my historicals...so I was glad to give me reading brain a respite whilst taking things in at the same "hmmmming" pace as our stalwart Major Grey. Lust, dishonor, pride, social conventions, murder, famiky duty, scandal, love, classic greed, wraps a fine mystery around society norms, treason, and a man's true nature. And then at the halfway point of the chapters, the game's afoot! I am delighting in the new pace of chase for answers and the reveal of truths and loyalties. All that, with snippets into LJG's deepest desires, with a touch of ginger curls. Satisfying, quite.

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