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Beneath a Silent Moon

(Rannoch Fraser Mysteries #7)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  612 ratings  ·  53 reviews
June-July 1817
The task had taken shape thanks to the inconvenient way secrets had of bubbling to the surface. It went without saying that it was going to be difficult. But then, murder always was…

The London docks.

Beneath a silent moon, a mysterious exile slips back into the city to complete a nefarious mission that began decades before.

On that same night, London's titl
Hardcover, 430 pages
Published 2003 by William Morrow
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Jack Vasen There are books about Charles and Melanie Fraser and there are books about Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch. As Tracy Grant says (paraphrased) - they are…moreThere are books about Charles and Melanie Fraser and there are books about Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch. As Tracy Grant says (paraphrased) - they are like alternate realities or parallel universes. They are the same people but there are slight differences in the progression of events in their lives and even some details that take place in one couple's life and not the other. Some secondary characters are the same and some are different. The most significant event in their histories takes place at completely different points for the Frazers vs the Rannochs.
In my opinion, it is confusing to try to read both at all, much less to read them in chronological order shifting from one to the other. See for chronological order as she sees it and hers is probably the most accurate..
Near as I can tell this is the earliest Fraser book chronologically but the second one published. There are a few Rannoch books before this chronologically which were published much later. (There are also novellas which appear to be mostly Rannoch stories as far as the ones I've read.)(less)

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Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of intelligent regencies and mysteries and books of manners
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
I'm not sure who linked me to the author's website, I know I had read about her on Dear Author sometime before.
It might have been Li reading another in the series or DearAuthor talking about the current release in the series...
I was totally impressed with her essays about her research and the excerpts I read of the books. Once I had finished this book, I went online right away to buy the follow-up.

In any case - if you are a fan of Georgette Heyer's The Spanish Bride - based on the true life di
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who like historical romance/mysteries
Recommended to Jans by:
Beneath a Silent Moon by Tracy Grant - Book Review

I’ve always been a fan of Regency romance novels, so this book intrigued me. It is far from the standard Regency tale, however. Regency romances tend to be very predictable. Although the story is laid in England and Scotland in 1817, this novel is much more than a romantic adventure or bodice-ripper. This story grabs the reader on page one and holds on through the conclusion.

Thickly packed with mystery, intrigue, espionage, murder, and a secret s
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Despite some very anachronistic language (did people really say "setup" and "breast-feeding" in England in 1817? I highly doubt this!) and some oddities of setting (did they play cricket in the Highlands of Scotland? Also doubt this!) as well as some far-too-modern attitudes from her characters (though they do remark on their odd behavior themselves, so kudos for that), Tracy Grant's Beneath a Silent Moon is a cut above most of the Regency romances I've read (not least because there's an actual ...more
Nov 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
I picked up this book by accident and after reading the first sappy paragraph " The night air was like a lover's touch. Cloaked in mystery, beckoning with promise, sweet at times but quickly cloying and underneath, rotten to the core." I almost returned it. Alas, I gave it a chance and it failed miserably. The over-usage of adjectives was annoying and unnecessary. I had to re-read several lines as I couldn't pick up the point through all the fluff.
Also, this was the most boring 'murder mystery'
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it
While the writing itself was nearly as good in this as in the first book of the series, I was highly disappointed to find it nothing more than a cozy whodunit. I loved the first book SO much, but the sequel was very different.
None of the characters (both new and otherwise) were as developed as those in the first book, either. And while I was planning on reading the rest of the series, I don't know that I will now, for fear of more pointless murder mystery.
To be fair, though, the only murder mys
Jack Vasen
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Chronologically, this is the first Fraser book. It appears to be the second book published of all the Rannoch Fraser books. The Rannoch's and the Frasers are almost the same people, but not quite. As TG says there is "a parallel universe aspect". The problem is that there is a lot of repetition of backstories that are sometimes the same and sometimes different. There are a few major events that are either completely different or take place at entirely different times. As a result of all this, it ...more
Linda Smatzny
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is set in 1817 and begins in London but travels to Scotland. Melanie and Charles Fraser are present when Charles's father announces his engagement to a young woman who is a long time family friend. Melanie and Charles meet an old friend who is killed but manages to set the couple on a trail that leads to numerous family secrets and deaths. The book was a quick easy read.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
After reading and enjoying “Daughter of the Game” by Tracy Grant, I was anxious to begin her second novel “Beneath A Silent Moon”. At first I was rather disconcerted by the fact that this story precedes what happened in the first novel. I thought this book would be a continuation of the exploits of Charles and Melanie Fraser. However, the time line for this novel makes it a prequel for “Daughter of the Game”. Frankly, I wasn’t sure a prequel was going to set well with me since I had myself ready ...more
Suzanne C
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was really a mixed bag for me. The basic elements of the story were good. Charles and Melanie are great characters; I like them and enjoy spending time in their company. But this sequel did not live up to the standards of the first in the series. It was just too much.

The shift in time was too abrupt, switching to events that happened a few years before the first book with no warning. It was not handled well and it took me about 30 pages to adjust my mind to the change, a rarity for me.
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book! THere was a wonderful mystery here which slowly built over the course of the whole book. So many secrets were uncovered it was almost dizzying. I love how twisted and convulated the plot is. I ached to see how distant Melanie and Charles felt, and how seperate Charles held himself from Melanie. I really hope that they begin to reconcile in the next book and open up to each other. Hints of a coming rapproachment were given at the end of this book.

I'm a very fast reader, whi
The second book in the series (by publication date) actually occurs prior to the events in the 1st book. Charles and Melanie are in London, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and Melanie is being introduced to the family and society of her husband. She meets the woman that everyone expected Charles to marry, Honoria, and everyone is shocked when Charles' father announces his engagement to her. Further intrigue involves a message from a former war collegue, who is shot and killed at their clan ...more
Paul Burnette
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Never was there a family with quite so much intrigue and quite so many secrets as the Fraser/Rannochs and their cousins! Some of the intrigues are commonplace and some of the secrets are less than earth-shaking, but some of each type are . . . well, D E A D L Y. Miss Grant’s writing is also dead on! Even though we re-visit some of the issues, people, and intrigues we thought settled in The Berkeley Square Affair of this series, I was thoroughly entertained. Not even that Malcolm and Suzanne Rann ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Rereading this. I'm liking it better than I did the first time, when possibly I was just too overwhelmed by why on earth the author would want to write a prequel after the revelations of Daughter of the Game. I think this probably does read better in chronological order than in order of publication, although my opinion may just still be relatively high because I haven't hit the most convoluted of the secrets and family relationships yet.

(And reading the series in chronological order is difficult
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The characters of Melanie and Charles Fraser have some the best "on page" chemistry that I have ever read, not being bogged down in overly maudlin sentiment and drama instead they have this rather intense vibe that simmers slowly throughout. Strangely enough the action in this second installment actually takes place about 3 years before the events in the first book so you actually get to see Melanie and Charles relationship before the big reveal that occurs in the first story. Once I got past th ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy the Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch series by Tracy/Teresa Grant, you'll also like this series about Charles & Mélanie Fraser - the characters are the same.

This book is set between The Paris Affair & The Berkeley Square Affair in the Rannoch series. In this mystery, you will find references to the plot of The Berkeley Square Affair.

While I have enjoyed reading each book by Tracy/Teresa Grant, I think she has developed as a writer and does a better job on the Malcolm and Suzanne
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical mystery fans
Shelves: historical, mystery
Another great book in a fantastic series! Though, I will say that I enjoyed both Secrets of a Lady and The Mask of Night just a tiny more.

I have to admit that I got a little confused at times, there seemed to be a lot going on with the interpersonal relationships between some of the characters...but, with this book you do gain valuable insight into what makes Charles tick through meeting his family.

All in all, a gripping historical mystery chock full of surprises.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great read. I was a little disappointed at first when I realized it was a prequel to Secrets of a Lady because I was dying to read more about what happened with Charles and Melanie after that story ended. Grant does make up for this as Beneath A Silent Moon moves forward. My disappointment melted as she told us an entirely different story but with similar colors as the first. I love her characters and the mystery she shrouds them in, but I must agree with the reviewer that mentioned the monotony ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Almost 4 stars. My iBook did not have the family tree essential to following the story line so I finally, in frustration, drew one myself. Because there are a LOT of characters. Rolled my eyes the first fourth of the book because of the number of times eyes speak and voices echo (bounce) (rebound) off ceilings. Plus points for interesting lead characters. Minus for too many story lines. Plus for well written settings. Minus for too many sudden dramatic character reveals without any foundation.

Maria K.
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was a bit confused from the onset, before I realized I was reading the series out of order. No matter! "Beneath a Silent Moon" still had all the thrill, beautiful language, exquisite detail and purely intellectual enjoyment Tracy Grant is so good at delivering.

What begins as a very private, so to speak, "family" murder investigation gains new dimensions, vastly broader implications and a couple additional bodies, before you can say "Who did it?"

An enemy may turn out to be a friend, a friend co
Aug 05, 2009 rated it liked it
If I had know it was a prequel when I started reading it, it would have much more sense. As it was, I kept getting sort of confused by why some things were chronologically wrong when compared to Daughter of the Game. I got sort of tired of hearing of everyone's exploits, which basically became how the story was moved along as opposed to finding out who actually committed the murder. The ending was underwhelming. At book club, I couldn't even remember who committed the murder, just who was sleepi ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Though this book is second in the series, the events actually take place before the plot in book one. The characters are what makes this series compelling and after reading book one and having the reasons for all the tension and distance in Charles and Melanie's marriage revealed, there was no character development to keep me invested. I already knew where everything was heading... And knowing they are still alive in five years kind of takes the urgency out of the murder and espionage situation.
I liked this but not as much as I enjoyed "Daughter of the Game". At first I was totally confused because it was written after "Daughter of the Game" and so I assumed it was a sequel, but it's actually a prequel. I was a bit disappointed because I already knew everything about Charles and Melanie and it felt strange to be reading about a time before all of the revelations in the second book. Anyway, this was a bit slower to get into and definitely seedier than "Daughter" -- talk about family dir ...more
Fred Rauch
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Story takes place in 1817. Thus, it has elements of the French Revolution running through it. There are characters who are brother and sister but do not it; there are characters who are what we moderns call gay; there are older men and younger women; there are characters who love each other but cannot marry because of the status element. Something for everyone! I enjoyed the book because of all this and the many plot twists. I also enjoyed the two main characters - Charles and Melanie Fraser (hu ...more
Sep 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
It was okay. I didn't understand the point of dragging out who was doing what with whom throughout the whole book, it didn't really seem to make that much impact on the end of the book. (Or perhaps I was glossing over all that too fast to notice a connection.) In the end I couldn't keep them all straight and I just figured they were probably all actually brothers and sisters in some way. I liked Daughter of the Game much better.
Verity W
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast-paced, twisty and intriguing spy drama - that is a little bit squicky in places, but is very, very readable. I really like Charles and Melanie - it's fascinating to see their relationship in this book - which is set before the previous book about them that I have read (I think I'm reading publication order rather than chronological) which has a lot of revelations...

I need to read more, but the prices are somewhat erratic in the UK...
Sep 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
I truly wanted to like this book. It started out so well but then spiraled into a bewildering number of characters, most of whom I didn't much care about. The review that made me pick up this book said that it was as if Jane Austen and Len Deighton collaborated to write this novel. But I think this leaned more towards Deighton and someone else entirely! This book definitely didn't turn out to be the read I expected.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Anachronistic without a doubt (the worst was the "Are we clear?" "Crystal" exchange, which I believe is lifted straight from The Breakfast Club), but an interesting story with an unusual pair of already married, yet always secretive, heroes. I was taken off guard by the series moving backwards in time. I later learned that the writer wrote another trilogy about these same characters with different names (Malcolm and Suzanne) for another publisher, which cleared up some of my confusion.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Whew. I take back my recommendations for the order of reading this series. Apparently the author just published another of the series and chronologically it fits somewhere amongst all the other three. This one is a bit more convoluted and darker than the others, but I like the series and I sticking with it!
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Tracy Grant Book ...: Beneath a Silent Moon 1 3 Oct 07, 2015 11:53AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 11:39AM  
wait, which character is what? 3 12 Apr 24, 2012 01:14PM  
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Tracy Grant studied British history at Stanford University and received the Firestone Award for Excellence in Research for her honors thesis on shifting conceptions of honor in late fifteenth century England. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her young daughter and three cats. In addition to writing, Tracy works for the Merola Opera Program, a professional training program for opera sin ...more

Other books in the series

Rannoch Fraser Mysteries (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • His Spanish Bride
  • London Interlude
  • Vienna Waltz
  • Imperial Scandal
  • The Paris Affair
  • The Paris Plot
  • The Berkeley Square Affair
  • The Mayfair Affair
  • Incident in Berkeley Square
  • London Gambit