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Lord John and the Private Matter (Lord John Grey #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  31,737 Ratings  ·  1,352 Reviews
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.

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
ebook, 241 pages
Published September 30th 2003 by Delacorte Press (first published 2003)
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Lamiss Akkad this is the order as indicated by the author:

•Lord John and the Hellfire Club, a short story.
•Lord John and…more
this is the order as indicated by the author:

•Lord John and the Hellfire Club, a short story.
•Lord John and the Succubus a novella,
•Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, a novella.
•Lord John and the Custom of the Army, a novella.
•Lord John and the Plague of Zombies.

Lord John was mentioned in previous novels of outlanders as well but only as a minor character.

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 ...more
Jul 27, 2008 Marcie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2012 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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 ...more
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
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
May 23, 2009 Jojo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2009
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 ...more

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
Nov 12, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Outlander, Historical Fiction
"...and at the end of the room the musicians still played Handel, like the music of his life, beauty and serenity interrupted always by the thunder of distant fire."

ETA, Reread Jan 2015: Just as good, if not better, the second time around. LJG is a most excellent protagonist.

Outlander fans might skip the Lord John Grey series because, well, no Jamie Fraser. And while I admit I only gave the series a try because Jamie does share pov in The Scottish Prisoner (wonderful book, btw), I've continued
Apr 08, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Aug 07, 2015 Calpurnia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lord John ese gran picaruelo. Me gusta
♥︎♥︎ Demaris♥︎♥︎
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 ...more
Nov 09, 2008 Marleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diana-gabaldon
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
Sep 10, 2012 Elena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, lgbtq
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
Jul 29, 2010 Chy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Romance - 0, Mystery/1750's London - 100 (Just because it's spawned from the Outlander series, there's not a shred of romance in it.)

Story, narration - Solid 4, if you've read Outlander. I think if you haven't it's closer to 3.5 because character development is stunted for Lord John Grey particularly because it assumed you know him. What I "learned" of his character in this book was quite good noble, honorable, intelligent and at times a bit impulsive which was good and added something to the st
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
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
Jun 01, 2010 Nori rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay so the author writes very well, the book is clever, engaging, there's a lot of suspense and adventure and it all sounds awesome until she gets into the sexual preferences of the main character. Disgusting. Don't read it.
This one is actually a side story which the author expanded after writing her "Outlander" series. So now I wonder if I should try those at all because if you read the synopsis only - it all sounds great, like the Lord John series did. And the surprize was nasty, let me tell
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
Oct 02, 2014 Pia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 4 and a half stars, really.

Very enjoyable read, even if the resolution of the murder mystery and "private matter" proved to be a bit problematic at the edges, and best not too deeply thought about.

But I absolutely loved the whole atmosphere of the book, which strangely enough reminded me of the pleasure I found when reading Wodehouse's Jeeves books. I know, I know, completely the wrong era and book genre, but still, this Lord John book has that English upper class feel to it, with al
I love Diana's writing and Outlander and I've loved John Grey in the Outlander series. So I'll happily read the John Grey series and like them enough to keep reading.

That in mind, this one got just 3 stars because it felt a little more along the lines of a mystery, which didn't thrill me. There are plenty of mystery sub-plots in Outlander, which add some intrigue and seem like they are situations that fit in the historical period and places easily, and Claire and Jamie just happen to be a part
Mar 04, 2015 Toni FGMAMTC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really am liking LJG. I liked him in the Outlander books, and I wanted to know more. He's a great guy, and he's always figuring out leads on mysteries and things like a detective of some sort. I love when he thinks of JAMMF. It endears him more because I too love Jamie and can't have him. I'm looking forward to more LJG. :)
BTW these books have a totally different feel than the Outlander series. I love Outlander, but these are great also, less magic more history.

Heather in FL
Another interesting Diana Gabaldon story. While there's not really any way to compare this to Outlander (it's much shorter and there's no romance to speak of), it was still full of rich historical details. And I always fell smarter after having listened to a Gabaldon story. She uses the $20 words instead of the nickel ones. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths people would go to in order to protect theirs or their family's reputations. Enter a loveless marriage? Fine, as long as it benefits t ...more
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 ...more
Apr 24, 2008 Sheena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diana-gabaldon
Lord John was introduced (with detail) in the third "Outlander" novel, "Voyager". During "Voyager", he is assigned as the overseer of Ardsmuir Prison, where Jamie Fraser is captive. When the men of Ardsmuir are sent to work in America, Lord John arranges for Jamie to work as a groom for the Dunasays, a family close to his own.

"The Private Matter" begins soon after Jamie begins his employ at the Dunasay manor. Lord John is spending time at home, helping his cousin Olivia to plan her wedding to J
Nov 29, 2014 Cateline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lord John and The Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon meh

In order to milk the Outlander series for all it's worth, Ms. Gabaldon has penned a series featuring Lord John of aforementioned series. It takes place within the time frame of the Outlander series, without any of the other characters that we love to read of. Jamie is referred to a few times, as is Claire. She is nameless however in this book.

Lord John is taken up in a spy scandal, with some rather improbable side stories and characters alon
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Diana Jean Gabaldon Watkins grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is of Mexican-American and English descent. She has earned three degrees: a B.S. in Zoology, a M.S. in Marine Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology.

She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona .
More about Diana Gabaldon...

Other Books in the Series

Lord John Grey (3 books)
  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade  (Lord John Grey, #2)
  • The Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3)

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“He had crossed the room with no notion what he might say or do - he had no knowledge of the language of condolence, no skill at social small talk; his metier was business and politics. And yet, when his hostess had introduced them and left, he found himself still holding the hand he had kissed, looking into soft brown eyes that drowned his soul. And without further thought or hesitation had said, 'God help me, I am in love with you.” 8 likes
“In defense of King, country, and family, he would unhesitatingly have sacrificed his virtue to Nessie, had that been required. If it was a question of Olivia marrying a man with syphilis and half the British army being exterminated in battle, versus himself experiencing a "personal interview" with Richard Caswell, though, he rather thought Olivia and the King had best look to their own devices.” 4 likes
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