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

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  21,465 ratings  ·  866 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...more
ebook, 241 pages
Published September 30th 2003 by Delacorte Press (first published 2003)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Sheena
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...more
Anna  Matsuyama
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...more
Nori
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...more
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
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...more
♥ Sarah ♥
I've been reading the Outlander series for a few years now, getting in a book here and there when I can since they're so long. But I, quite honestly, never really planned on reading the Lord John series. And no, it's not because Lord John is gay, I really couldn't care less about that and actually I think it makes him a more interesting character given the time period that these take place. My reasons were simply because they didn't have Jamie and Claire in them and I wasn't sure I wanted to rea...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
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...more
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...more
Suz
3.5 Stars

I listened to the audio book. I have to admit that my attention waxed and waned. Sometimes it was quite good and had me laughing out loud, enjoying the character development and getting a better glimpse at a character it took me a while to warm up to from the Outlander series. I did, eventually, warm up to him, though. It's nice to see a less uptight and more human John here. The characters, the historical settings, the dialog, and the narrator were the things that engaged me. The myste...more
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
Joana

**3.5 "I really like John Grey" kind of stars **

Who would ever thought that John can solve mysteries like no one else?
This time, Lord John gets involved in 2 situations, one is on personal grounds, regarding his cousin Olivia fiance, when he by accident see that fiance with pox ( aka the distinct mark of syphilis), so it's understanding that he would try to figure it out if said fiance really have it.
The other matter, goes along with spies and treason, where he is in charge to investigate a mur...more
JenJenBoBin
"4 Stars!"

“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.” ~LJG

What a fun light read... I had heard many mixed reviews about these books and I reall...more
Sonia
L'incontro con Lord John e una questione personale era per me necessario.
Sì, perché in passato sono stata una lettrice della Gabaldon, una di quelle lettrici che è rimasta completamente stregata, incantata da La straniera e che si è fiondata immediatamente nell'acquisto dei seguiti, anche se non tutti, fortunatamente...
Perché per me quell'incanto non ha avuto una lunga durata. Già al terzo volume ne avevo abbastanza di tutte quelle storie, ripetitive, melense, spesso inutili e esagerate. Non ce...more
Jessika Powell
Loved the whole series all 7 plus the Scottish prisoner 3 and the lord john series 3 out of 13 books i loved every one of them the plot is wonderful the love story amazing the history and drama fantastic the characters inthralling to the very end..... Well not end yet thank goodness FUN read yes the author recaps in her books they are 900 pages she prob just wants to make sure you remember! some read slower then others while some blow through them like a kid in a candy store i know some people p...more
Stephanie Hall
I've been reluctant to start the Lord John series, because like many other "Outlander" fans, I want my fill of Jamie and Claire. However, after the end of "An Echo in the Bone", I was in desparate need of some Gabaldon.

I was suprised I enjoyed the book as much as I did. It is not nearly as complex as Outlander, rather it focuses on one character for the whole book. I like the revival of briefly mentioned characters in "Outlander". I actually feel I understand Outlander better now because the min...more
Antonia
liked it. one of those "guilty pleasure" books. trivial in a way but enjoyable.

lord john is a likeable character and the author can tell her story. a little more structure would have been nice, it felt a bit like Outlander, a long rambling journey along a path were things happen. just not as long and without strong female lead, which is nice once in a while. especially as the 18th century is not that well known for its strong and independent women.
some elements of the story reminded me strongly...more
Sophia
This was the first full novel featuring the Outlander series' Lord John Grey as the hero. It follows a short story, Lord John Grey & the Hellfire Club that I would recommend be read first due to this story referencing back to people and events in it. Lord John was a favorite character so I was pleased to enjoy a story with him in the forefront. I enjoyed him as a detective and to gain more insight into his character.

In this story, Lord John runs into two separate dilemmas that require him to...more
Erastes
I actually read this in one sitting, which surprised me, it’s quite rare that I do that. It was, as you can guess by it’s unputdownableness a good read and an intriguing and interesting “mystery.”I quantify that word because it was about as much as a mystery as an episode of “Columbo” as in it was fairly obvious what was going on from the first chapter but I enjoyed the rather circuitous path that DG sent her protagonist.

Lord John is an officer in the Jacobite period, and he’s a bit of a detecti...more
Djrmel
I enjoyed the first two or three books in Gabaldon's Outlander series, but lost interest as the dramatic plot became second to the romance and domestic issues of the characters. When I discovered that she'd written a book about perhaps the most interesting side character from the whole series, British soldier Lord John Gray, I had to give her another try. This is an author who knows how to research a time period and how to make that research come alive. The plot of this book, Lord John investiga...more
LJ
LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER – Good+
Diana Gabaldon - Standalone
Major Lord John Grey accidentally comes to suspect that his cousin’s fiancée is infected with the pox. As he searches for a discreet way to confirm his suspicions, Grey is dragged into an investigation of British Army requisition papers that have vanished in Calais. Grey must learn if there is a connection between their disappearance and the murder of a possible spy Sergeant Timothy O'Connell. Grey begins an investigation into O'...more
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...more
Katherine
I don't get why this book gets such low ratings (and if it is because the protagonist is gay, then that is just disgustingly shallow). Maybe I just love Diana Gabaldon's style and would love her books regardless of settings or characters, but my bias aside, this book sucked me in and I found myself looking forward to going to bed just so I could get back to reading! I'm kicking myself for putting off reading this series because of the poor ratings and I'm glad that I finally picked up this book!...more
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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...
Outlander (Outlander, #1) Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2) Voyager (Outlander, #3) Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4) The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)

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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.” 3 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.” 1 likes
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