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Lord John and the Private Matter

(Lord John Grey #1)

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  37,289 ratings  ·  1,694 reviews

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
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Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Seal (first published 2003)
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Popular Answered Questions
Lamis Akkad this is the order as indicated by the author:

•Lord John and the Hellfire Club, a short story.
•LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER, a novel.
•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 PRIVATE MATTER, a novel.
•Lord John and the Succubus a novella,
•LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE, a novel.
•Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, a novella.
•Lord John and the Custom of the Army, a novella.
•THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, a novel.
•Lord John and the Plague of Zombies.

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

I hope you find this useful(less)
Sandy Yes. I read on Diana Gabaldon's web page that the Lord John series may be read in any order and separate from the Outlander books. I've read all of…moreYes. I read on Diana Gabaldon's web page that the Lord John series may be read in any order and separate from the Outlander books. I've read all of the Outlander series and I'm now reading all of these. Just finished Lord John and the Private Matter which was very good. Enjoy!(less)

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3.69  · 
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 ·  37,289 ratings  ·  1,694 reviews


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Tatiana
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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Matt
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Candace
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Marianne
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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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
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Paul E. Morph
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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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
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Jojo
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bárbara
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Erica Anderson
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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Jenny
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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♥︎♥︎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 ...more
Marleen
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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Elena
Sep 10, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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Chy
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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Janelle Harris
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
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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
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D.G.
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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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
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Brad
Apr 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
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.
Marla
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
It was nice to get acquainted with John Grey. It will bring more to the story as I continue the Claire and Jamie story.
Julianna
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Mysteries; The Outlander Series
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,
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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
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136,599 followers
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 .

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)
“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.” 10 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.” 6 likes
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