Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey)

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Sharing his thoughts and observations is always a fascinating ride. In the first story, "Lord John and the Hellfire Club", he infiltrates a secret occult society that actually existed at the time, and solves a murder. In the second, "Lord John and the Succubus", he battles a vengeful demon, fends off the advances of a persistent widow, and develops a major crush on a tall, blond German officer.

In the last, "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier", he is drawn into a web of tragic, star-crossed love, political intrigue, and lots of really cool explosions and details on how gunpowder was made in the 18th century. This book is completely different from the Outlander series.

Especially if the ongoing romance of Jamie and Claire isn't your cup of Earl Grey, please give Lord John a try, and give yourself a chance to enjoy Gabaldon's great writing talent.


Lord John and the Hand of Devils

Jan 22, Candice rated it liked it. John Grey is one of my favorite fictional characters ever, so to say I have mixed feelings about the Lord John series is a bit of an understatement. I love reading about Grey's life when he isn't with Jamie and Claire the main characters from the Outlander series where Grey is a secondary character.

But I'm completely thrown by the stories themselves. They're set up as mysteries, which is fine, but the cast seems to number thousands, and by the time we get to the point where the mystery is sol John Grey is one of my favorite fictional characters ever, so to say I have mixed feelings about the Lord John series is a bit of an understatement.

They're set up as mysteries, which is fine, but the cast seems to number thousands, and by the time we get to the point where the mystery is solved, I've forgotten who half the people are and why they're important or not , and sometimes even what exactly Grey is trying to figure out, what with all the subplots and doublebacks and loops.

But John Grey is fascinating, as a gay aristocratic soldier living at a time when gay sex was a crime punishable by death. I really like the characters who show up regularly - Grey's older brother, his valet, and even Jamie Fraser on occasion. I wanted to see more of Jamie since he's the love of Grey's life, but the few times he showed up felt a bit forced. And I must admit I really dislike the person Jamie becomes around Grey, so far in the series. So, for a glimpse into the life of a smart, rich, handsome, politically-connected gay Englishman in the 17th century, I'm guessing these books are unequaled.

As murder mysteries or whatever May 08, Jane rated it really liked it. Where I got the book: Do you have to be a Lord John Grey fan to read this book? Or not even, possibly, a fan of Gabaldon's Outlander series, although if you're not there will be one or two references to red hair that might confuse you. This collection of three stories one short, one long-short-story length and one novella is a decent introduction to Lord John and to Gabaldon's 18th century.

As Lord John and the Hand of Devils is a story collection it obviously lacks the coherence of the novel; there is a vague theme of the supernatural which is almost abandoned in the third and best story, Lord John and the Haunted Soldier. The stories also lack the long, inventive sex scenes that are a Gabaldon hallmark, and don't suffer from the omission. They carry forward the central problem of Lord John's existence as a gay career soldier in a world where "don't ask, don't tell" is most definitely a survival tactic, and I like the fact that two of the stories The Succubus and The Haunted Soldier show Lord John in his day job as an artillery major.

I really liked The Haunted Soldier because it has everything in it that pleases me about Gabaldon complex, subtle plot, a hint of dry humor, a wonderful sense of being in the 18th century without overdoing it and an excellent command of both dialogue and action and it contributes depth and pathos to Lord John's wonderfully conflicted character. He's a man who loves men and thrives in a man's world, written by a woman who obviously loves men and thrives in a man's world, and this balance of hidden urges and a commonsense approach to everyday life is rather irresistible.

Had the book been comprised of just this story I might have given it 5 stars, because it's the nearest Gabaldon's come to blowing me out of the water, but I'm holding back because the other two stories, although good, didn't pack the same wallop. Dec 18, Richard Derus rated it liked it. I fall on the non-hollerin' end of category A.

I like these people, Lord John especially having a claim on me because he's a shirt-lifter or Warmbruder, depending on where we are geographically. One was written for this Rating: One was written for this collection. Does it matter what they're about? Lord John, in peace or at war, will never suffer a wrong he can right to go unrighted; he will never allow personal comfort or convenience to stand in the way of what duty and honor require him to do; and he will never fall out of love with Jamie Fraser, featured in Gabaldon's main time travel romance series as the husband of the time traveler.

So he don't get none. Anyway, in a marketplace crowded with mystery choices, and quite a fair few eighteenth-century historicals at that, why choose these books with their serviceable writing? Bruce Alexander, for one example, is a better writer. His Blind Justice series is very good. Lord John Grey is part of a well-known alternate world. It's obvious that Gabaldon could act as a tour guide to eighteenth-century England and Scotland, and it's obvious that SOMEwhere in a properly ordered Creation, Jamie and Claire and Lord John are plying their different courses through the time streams.

The reason to read this series starts and stops with an individual's familiarity with or receptivity to Gabaldon's world.

If you've read Dragonfly in Amber and did not find it so tedious and plodding as to make you beg a merciful Goddess for death or blindness, you're likely to enjoy these books. Start with these novellas and see if the character appeals; if so, the novels await your pleasure.

Mar 18, Carol Oliveira rated it really liked it. I love lord John. I hope he finds happiness, like he had with Hector when he was young, by the end of the Outlander books. Lord John and the Hellfire Club 0. Some of them a little too eager. He finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery and conspiracy. This one is pretty quick and to the point, with only a couple of chapters, but Gabaldon knows how to pack a lot of detail and info into a Lord John and the Hellfire Club 0.

This one is pretty quick and to the point, with only a couple of chapters, but Gabaldon knows how to pack a lot of detail and info into a tiny space. She never comes right out and says why John was exiled to Ardsmuir, but you get enough nuggets to piece it together here. Lord John and the Succubus 1. John's on campaign in Germany and there are rumors running amok about a succubus. John has to get to the bottom of it, while dodging advances from foreign princesses and trying to figure out just what Capt. Stephan von Namtzen is about. Lord John and the Haunted Soldier 2. As he goes poking around to find out exactly what the military and the war office are trying so desperately to cover up, we meet one of John's half-brothers and find out that John's injuries are far more serious than previously thought.

On one hand, I remembered this as being at the end of Brotherhood of the Blade, so there is pretty good transition from one to the other. On the other hand, maybe some mention of the more long-term effects of John's injuries could've been hinted at in the previous book, because it almost comes out of nowhere here, even though I think this one was written first. This one also has the least paranormal element of them all, as the "Haunted Soldier" is only glimpsed once and then never mentioned again.

It seems the title is more a metaphor for John himself, and the ghost was thrown in only to meet the paranormal element for the anthology it originally appeared in. As a metaphor though, it works extremely well. Jeff Woodman does his usual great job narrating here. Unfortunately, this audiobook had a lot of technical issues.

I even deleted it and re-downloaded it to my Audible app, as well as tried it on iTunes, and had the same issues. Looking at reviews, it's not just my copy either, so this one will be returned to Audible, in the hopes it might eventually be fixed and rereleased. I love it when a team comes together. And as it turns out I utterly love Jeff Woodman's narration.

He has excellent timing, a marvelous gift for character, and, clearly, a sense of humor that suits Grey down to the ground. He reminds me a great deal of Simon Vance, actually, to the point that I double checked to make sure it wasn't he under a pseudonym. The only issue I have I love it when a team comes together. The only issue I have with the narration is a handful of repeated lines, where apparently an editor failed to delete out—takes.

I have to say, it had been a while since I met up with Lord John, and I had forgotten much of it. Honestly, it is a bit thick that bloody well everyone falls in love with Jamie Fraser. Then again, he is Jamie Fraser, so I plan on using the word "absquatulating" as soon as conveniently possible. Why have a reputation for weird without capitalizing on it? It's not a spectacular story — though part of that might have been me thinking "isn't this an awful lot like that other story, and what is going to happen to make this different?

I'm not even going to try to unravel that sentence. Lord John was not in what I've felt to be his natural element here.

The setting and the path of the story are unlike the other stories, but it's fun, and unpredictable. It was entirely natural, no chunks of information floating by, tension maintained throughout. Eerie, with the underlying certainty that there had to be some rational explanation … unless there wasn't… The emotions are honest, and the story leaves a mark. This right here is one of the hazards of becoming addicted to audiobooks. I think I could get the books and stories cheaper in ebook form, or even by trolling used bookstores or what—have—you.

And I'm all about the cheaper. I have no money. But Audible offered this collection in a sale , and I knew that Jeff Woodman was going to be one of those narrators in regards to whom money is almost no object. I want everything he's ever read. Oct 22, Robert marked it as to-read.

This really delves into the characteristics of the 18th century gay community - or rather that of a closeted gay male who is also a British military officer and how he deals with issues of the day.

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In a more subtle way, they are also a series of mystery novels but not being categorized as being such. A lot of interesting information to be found here and the author is outstanding as her previous works have attested. Sep 01, Ish Healy rated it it was amazing. Novella, Historical, Mystery Rating: This issue is remedied in "Lord John and the Succubus". Part of this remedy is because of the increased length, while still being a novella it i Author: Part of this remedy is because of the increased length, while still being a novella it is much longer than "Hellfire Club", but the greater part is because in "Succubus" Gabaldon has learned how to nicely balance the detail and the plot.

Here men begin to die of a mysterious cause, and rumours of a succubus begin to spread. Once again, it is left up to Lord John to investigate the matter and figure out just how these men have died and whether or not the succubus is real. He also must contend with the not-so-subtle advances of the Princess Louisa von Lowenstein, while trying to figure out whether or not Stephan is attracted to him.

The story here is nicely done, Gabaldon weaves the threat of the supernatural with the real deaths together very nicely. Gabaldon conveyed the real fears of the men very well, and showed the mixture of firm belief and strong disbelief, as well as many points in between the two. The language in which much of the story takes place had me a bit confused; it is set in a Germanic part of Europe, thus the majority of the characters should be speaking a dialect of German.

While Gabaldon does make it clear that Grey has some German, and the many upper class characters are all proficient in English, in the first chapter of the book Grey does in fact have some difficulty understanding the language, particularly if spoken rapidly. Throughout the book there are points when the dialogue is written in German, implying that unless otherwise noted the dialogue is in English.

But then, I could really just be reading into this too much and over thinking things. The story deals with the consequences of the explosion of a cannon. An inquiry has been formed as Grey's cannon was not the only one to explode: During the inquiry it is insinuated that Grey is at fault for the explosion of his cannon and that the overall fault lays in faulty gunpowder - gunpowder that is produced by Grey's elder half-brother, Edgar DeVane. Once again, it is up to Grey to take up his own investigations and ensure his family's honour.

The one thing that I really liked about this story was the fact that by this point in the series a group of antagonists are clearly being established. While none of these antagonists are actual villains in any of the books they do appear regularly and their dealings are often antagonistic to that of Grey's. I am looking forward to the point at which Grey actually faces off with these individuals directly, and I wonder if he will do so one-on-one or if it will be a great face off between him and all of them.

The book was also very fast paced, which was nice in comparison to its predecessor.

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Gabaldon doesn't bog herself down with the details a rarity and focuses most on telling the story. That having been said, I really wasn't attracted by the story. I found parts of it interesting, but when it was all said and done I felt like the whole thing was handled a bit too easily. Once again, a lot of it really felt a bit contrived. Overall, not Gabaldon's best work, but also not her worst.

I've already reviewed the three individual novellas that make up this collection, "Lord John and the Hellfire Club," "Lord John and the Succubus," and "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier," but I thought that I might also review the collection as a whole.

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The theme that connects each novella, asides from the overall connection of being a Lord John novella, is an initial apparent connection to the supernatural - although as each novella climaxes it becomes clear that supernatural elements are not entirely at play. My one big problem with this collection was the fact that, while arranged chronologically, if you want to read the story entirely chronologically you cannot sit down with this work and read from cover to cover - there are two novels whose events happen in between the events of these stories.

My smaller problem is the lack of a historical note for these stories - "Succubus" does have a small one, but the others don't. Given as I know that Gabaldon's publishers are willing to let her write lengthy tomes, I think she could have gotten away with adding a bit more to discuss the history that she utilizes in her books.

Despite those problems, however, I really did like this collection. I really liked how these stories were related thematically, and I really enjoyed the fact the way that they each referenced each other. Events in one novella affect the events in the next novel, or even another novella. Secondary characters reappear, and the overall antagonists in the series all make appearances. If you're a fan of Gabaldon's work, then I think this is a good addition to your collection. Feb 21, Lori Cornett rated it it was amazing Shelves: In fact, I was very glad to read it beforehand.

It allowed me to go into each of the stories looking for the ghost, ghost that were certainly as haunting as those that linger in graveyards and one that actually did! Gabaldon introduced Grey in the second Outlander novel Dragonfly in Amber as a sixteen-year-old English soldier who chances upon Jamie and Claire Fraser on the eve of the Battle of Prestonpans. The character returned, as an adult, in Voyager and Drums of Autumn When Gabaldon was invited to write a short story for the British anthology Past Poisons: An Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology of Historical Crime , she was interested in the challenge of writing a shorter work but hesitant to use any of the main characters from the Outlander series for fear of creating "a stumbling block in the growth of the next novel.

Beyond that obvious advantage, Lord John is a fascinating character. Consequently, he lives constantly with conflict, which makes him both deeply entertaining and easy to write about. That first Lord John story became Lord John and the Hellfire Club ; it was well-received and Gabaldon decided that she would write more Grey-centric tales in her spare time.

Lord John Grey himself has been called one of Gabaldon's "most complex and interesting" Outlander characters. Robert Silverberg , in the introduction of Legends II , writes:. A gay man in a time when that particular predilection could get one hanged, Lord John is a man accustomed to keeping secrets. He's also a man of honor and deep affections — whether returned or not.

To date, the Lord John works all take place between and , during the events of Gabaldon's Voyager. Set in London, the novella follows the adventures of Lord John as he stumbles upon the secrets of the Hellfire Club , an underground society concerned with the supernatural.

Gerald asks Grey to meet him in secret that night, hinting at intrigue, but he is later killed in front of Grey and Quarry before he can divulge the reason for the meeting. The two men begin to search for clues to the murder, and Grey is soon invited to a Hellfire Club meeting by George Everett, one of its members and one of Grey's former lovers. When Grey attends the meeting at the club's hideout, Medmenham Abbey , he soon discovers that his life might be in danger as well.

Set in England, the novel follows Lord John's attempt to resolve a delicate situation involving his cousin's betrothed, Joseph Trevelyan, while searching for the murderer of a fellow soldier suspected of espionage and recovering missing military intelligence. Grey meets and is joined in his investigation by the handsome Hanoverian Captain Stephan von Namtzen, Landgrave of Erdberg, and takes young Tom Byrd into his employ as his valet. Briefly stationed at the town of Gundwitz with a group of English and Hanoverian soldiers, Major Grey is at first skeptical when he receives reports of a local succubus victimizing a number of men and murdering a Prussian soldier.

Accompanying the town Buergermeister to a graveyard in his search for the creature's resting place, Grey stumbles upon the corpse of an English soldier, which only feeds the superstitious fears of the soldiers and townspeople. While attempting to solve the mystery, Grey tries to navigate his perhaps-mutual attraction to the dashing Hanoverian Captain Stephan von Namtzen, as well as to deflect the advances of the beautiful young widow Louisa, Princess von Lowenstein, at whose castle both men are staying.

In , Lord John finds that someone has reawakened the long-forgotten scandal of his father's death 17 years earlier, and the old controversy threatens to cause trouble for himself and his elder brother Harold, Earl of Melton. Despite Hal's desire to leave the secrets of the past buried, Grey seeks the help of his old friend Jamie Fraser , whose secrets may both help and complicate Grey's investigations.

Picking up right after the events of Brotherhood of the Blade in , Grey searches for the culprit behind a suspicious cannon explosion as others seek to blame him or his half brother for the incident. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Grey gladly accepts an urgent summons from his old friend Charlie Carruthers, who is facing court-martial in Canada.

In , Lord John and Jamie Fraser are reunited again as Grey seeks his old friend's help investigating a conspiracy that leads them to Ireland, and danger. In , Lord John is sent to Jamaica in command of a battalion to put down a slave rebellion and soon finds himself investigating a mystery involving snakes, spiders and zombies. Craving Steel Brothers Saga Book 1.

Lord John and the Hand of Devils

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Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Read reviews that mention outlander gabaldon diana jamie novels novellas collection claire soldier succubus club mystery haunted historical hellfire fraser writes enjoyable adventures fans. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Anything Diana Gabaldon writes can be assumed to be well worth reading. How Gabaldon manages to make this character so completely likable--for his integrity clearly shines through--yet succumbing to his "attraction"--is a work of art.

In her other writings, Jamie Fraser, an alpha male, tells Lord John just what HE thinks of him--and it's surely not flattering; but Jamie tells it like it is. This book, as are all of her writings, is a page turner. I think she had a good time writing it, probably chuckling to herself at times. I indicated in this review that it was written in the third person--I read it some time ago, can't really remember. One can't help but like Lord John, and rather wish he can stay "out of trouble,.

The man's respect for others--male or female--comes across as being beyond reproach. One could trust him with one's bank account. He's a likeable fellow with a dangerous way of life. Not that one precludes the other, but in the 18th Century Sodomites, as they were called, faced a death sentence if found out.

Lord John Grey is an urbane, attractive, adaptive and quick-witted man who happens to be what we call "Gay" in the 18th century. These 3 stories may not please all, but they are worth reading because they add to the body of knowledge about Lord John. They don't need to be read to enjoy the larger in every sense! Gabaldon books, but they do form part of the body of work and have their own value.