Adored bestselling author Diana Gabaldon brings us the first book in a new trilogy featuring many of the characters from her wildly popular Outlander series. And in a special bonus for eBook readers, this volume of LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER contains a second Lord John adventure--a novella entitled LORD JOHN AND THE HELLFIRE CLUB--purely for your e-reading enjoyment!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.
Trouble befalls Lord John Grey (fresh from minor roles in Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander novels) when he accidentally discovers that the Hon. Joseph Trevelyan, his cousin's betrothed, may have what those in 1757 termed "the pox" or "the French disease" syphilis. Before he can figure out an appropriate way to handle this delicate matter, he becomes involved in the investigation of the mysterious and grisly murder of a military colleague suspected of being a spy. Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross; Drums of Autumn; etc.) stitches these two plots together into a compelling narrative that also offers a wealth of juicy details about 18th-century London, especially its homosexual underbelly. Lord John, who reminisces about his dead lover, Hector,and the "lean, hard body" of an old flame, learns that Trevelyan may be traveling from one house of ill repute to another of a different sort:at the Lavender House, both buyers and sellers are men. Among his various trials and tribulations, Lord John must discern the identity of a mysterious figure in a green velvet dress spotted in both of these establishments and investigate the mysterious death of a similarly attired man, found with his face bashed in. Grey is a competent and likable sleuth, and Gabaldon's prose is crisply elegant. Her many fans will be happy to learn that this is the first in a series about the travails of Lord John Grey. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Boring
Posted July 31, 2011 by DrFan , MiamiI am a HUGE Diana Gabaldon fan and have read the entire Outlander series 3 times.However, this book was a very great disappointment. In anticipation of another good read by Gabaldon I purchased other Lord John books which I don't think I can read now. I still haven't finished this one and cannot make myself care about the characters.The plot is vague and uninteresting. In contrast, I will read the Outlander books again while waiting for the next book in the series!
December 31, 2002
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Excerpt from Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
When First We Practice to Deceive
London, June 1757
The Society for the Appreciation of the English Beefsteak, a Gentlemen's Club
It was the sort of thing one hopes momentarily that one has not really seen-because life would be so much more convenient if one hadn't.
The thing was scarcely shocking in itself; Lord John Grey had seen worse, could see worse now, merely by stepping out of the Beefsteak into the street. The flower girl who'd sold him a bunch of violets on his way into the club had had a half-healed gash on the back of her hand, crusted and oozing. The doorman, a veteran of the Americas, had a livid tomahawk scar that ran from hairline to jaw, bisecting the socket of a blinded eye. By contrast, the sore on the Honorable Joseph Trevelyan's privy member was quite small. Almost discreet.
"Not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a door," Grey muttered to himself. "But it will suffice. Damn it."
He emerged from behind the Chinese screen, lifting the violets to his nose. Their sweetness was no match for the pungent scent that followed him from the piss-pots. It was early June, and the Beefsteak, like every other establishment in London, reeked of beer and asparagus-pee.
Trevelyan had left the privacy of the Chinese screen before Lord John, unaware of the latter's discovery. The Honorable Joseph stood across the dining room now, deep in conversation with Lord Hanley and Mr. Pitt, the very picture of taste and sober elegance. Shallow in the chest, Grey thought uncharitably-though the suit of puce superfine was beautifully tailored to flatter the man's slenderness. Spindle-shanked, too; Trevelyan shifted weight, and a shadow winked on his left leg, where the pad of the downy-calf he wore had shifted under a clocked silk stocking.
Lord John turned the posy critically in his hand, as though inspecting it for wilt, watching the man from beneath lowered lashes. He knew well enough how to look without appearing to do so. He wished he were not in the habit of such surreptitious inspection-if not, he wouldn't now be facing this dilemma.
The discovery that an acquaintance suffered from the French disease would normally be grounds for nothing more than distaste at worst, disinterested sympathy at best-along with a heartfelt gratitude that one was not oneself so afflicted. Unfortunately, the Honorable Joseph Trevelyan was not merely a club acquaintance; he was betrothed to Grey's cousin.
The steward murmured something at his elbow; by reflex, he handed the posy to the man and flicked a hand in dismissal.