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Lord John and the Hand of Devils

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Diana Gabaldon, the New York Times bestselling author of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and the wildly popular Outlander novels, delivers three tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey. In the heart of the eighteenth century, here are haunted soldiers . . . lusty princesses . . . ghostly apparitions . Diana Gabaldon, the New York Times bestselling author of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and the wildly popular Outlander novels, delivers three tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey. In the heart of the eighteenth century, here are haunted soldiers . . . lusty princesses . . . ghostly apparitions . . . dark family secrets. And here Lord John will face enemies who come in the guise of friends, memories in the shape of a fiery-haired Scot named James Fraser, and allies who have the power to destroy him with a single blow. . . . In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentlemen's club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet in private. The rendezvous forestalled by a sudden murder, Lord John will wade into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society. . . . In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by the nocturnal visitations of a deadly woman who sucks life and soul from a man. Called to investigate the night-hag, Lord John finds a murdered soldier and a treacherous Gypsy, and comes to the stark realization that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart. . . . In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the deadly case of an exploding battlefield cannon. Wounded in the same battle, Lord John is called to tesify and soon confronts his own ghost—and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty's armed forces. Capturing the lonely, tormented, and courageous career of a man who fights for his crown, his honor, and his own secrets, Diana Gabaldon delivers breathtaking human drama. And in tales seething with desire, madness, and political intrigue, Gabaldon once again proves that she can bring history to life in a way few novelists ever have.


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Diana Gabaldon, the New York Times bestselling author of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and the wildly popular Outlander novels, delivers three tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey. In the heart of the eighteenth century, here are haunted soldiers . . . lusty princesses . . . ghostly apparitions . Diana Gabaldon, the New York Times bestselling author of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and the wildly popular Outlander novels, delivers three tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey. In the heart of the eighteenth century, here are haunted soldiers . . . lusty princesses . . . ghostly apparitions . . . dark family secrets. And here Lord John will face enemies who come in the guise of friends, memories in the shape of a fiery-haired Scot named James Fraser, and allies who have the power to destroy him with a single blow. . . . In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentlemen's club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet in private. The rendezvous forestalled by a sudden murder, Lord John will wade into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society. . . . In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by the nocturnal visitations of a deadly woman who sucks life and soul from a man. Called to investigate the night-hag, Lord John finds a murdered soldier and a treacherous Gypsy, and comes to the stark realization that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart. . . . In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the deadly case of an exploding battlefield cannon. Wounded in the same battle, Lord John is called to tesify and soon confronts his own ghost—and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty's armed forces. Capturing the lonely, tormented, and courageous career of a man who fights for his crown, his honor, and his own secrets, Diana Gabaldon delivers breathtaking human drama. And in tales seething with desire, madness, and political intrigue, Gabaldon once again proves that she can bring history to life in a way few novelists ever have.

30 review for Lord John and the Hand of Devils

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    This collection of 3 stories (one short story and 2 novellas) is a must-have for all Lord John fans. It took me some time to figure out how these stories should be placed in relation to the 2 Lord John novels, so here is the order to save you trouble: Lord John and the Hellfire Club (short story) Lord John and the Private Matter (novel) Lord John and the Succubus (novella) Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (novel) Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (novella) The Custom of the Country (nov This collection of 3 stories (one short story and 2 novellas) is a must-have for all Lord John fans. It took me some time to figure out how these stories should be placed in relation to the 2 Lord John novels, so here is the order to save you trouble: Lord John and the Hellfire Club (short story) Lord John and the Private Matter (novel) Lord John and the Succubus (novella) Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (novel) Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (novella) The Custom of the Country (novella printed in Warriors) Overall, the collection is a nice addition to the series. "Hellfire Club" is negligible, mostly because it is so short (about 30 pages). The ending of it is however mentioned in the 1st Lord John novel. "Succubus" is my favorite story. It has a little bit of mysticism in it and introduces a character of Austrian officer Stephan Von Namtzen, another Gabaldon favorite of mine (possibly gay, naturally). "Haunted Solder" explores Grey's relationship with his De Vane half-brother and of course, there is a military intrigue.

  2. 5 out of 5

    B the BookAddict

    I rarely read short stories so my rating probably reflects my impatience at the brevity of these tales. I've just finished Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) and picked up this Lord Grey book while waiting for Voyager (Outlander #3) to be available at my library. Gabaldon tantalisingly drops the name 'Jamie Fraser' in each of the three stories and that itself was enough to keep me reading. Hellfire Club: After an acquaintance is murdered, an event whch John Grey witnesses, he finds himself inexpl I rarely read short stories so my rating probably reflects my impatience at the brevity of these tales. I've just finished Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) and picked up this Lord Grey book while waiting for Voyager (Outlander #3) to be available at my library. Gabaldon tantalisingly drops the name 'Jamie Fraser' in each of the three stories and that itself was enough to keep me reading. Hellfire Club: After an acquaintance is murdered, an event whch John Grey witnesses, he finds himself inexplicably drawn into the ill-reputed Hellfire Club where he discovers secrets he'd never imagined. 3★ Succubus: During a assignment as Liaison Officer to a regiment in Germany, John finds himself in a bewildering drama, murder and intrigue as ranks fall prey to fear of a succubus. The succubus is a demon spirit who hunts men as they dream, taking the form of a human woman in order to seduce the men and taking their seed and their lives. After one soldier's ravaged body is found, rumours abound through the ranks and John is embroiled in an effort to find the assailant and quell the men's fears. I found this to be thoroughly engrossing and at times amusing. European folkore, superstition, life of men in the troop's in 1750s, the Prussian nobility; this was quite the pick of the three stories. 4.5★ The Haunted Soldier: A much more personal drama for John as he is called to an Inquiry over the explosion of a cannon he was in charge of which resulted in a man's death. But all is not as it seems as John discovers there is real evidence of actual treason behind the accident. As he struggles to solve the mystery, John sees a long-dead lieutenant rumoured to appear only at specific times. His investigations lead him to a woman shunned by her family and it seems he is being trailed by a man who has no face. 3.75★ I would be interested in reading more of Lord John albeit in a full novel form. For the book in it's entirety: 4★

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christine (AR)

    A collection of three novellas. The first, Lord John and the Hellfire Club, I'd already read as part of one of the other Lord John books. I wasn't too impressed then, and upon re-reading it's still just meh. However, as it's the first Lord John story, it's worth reading. The second, Lord John and the Succubus, comes between the two Lord John novels and explains his relationship with Namtzen. It was okay as a mystery, but I wish I'd read it before the novel it precedes. The third, Lord John and the A collection of three novellas. The first, Lord John and the Hellfire Club, I'd already read as part of one of the other Lord John books. I wasn't too impressed then, and upon re-reading it's still just meh. However, as it's the first Lord John story, it's worth reading. The second, Lord John and the Succubus, comes between the two Lord John novels and explains his relationship with Namtzen. It was okay as a mystery, but I wish I'd read it before the novel it precedes. The third, Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, was really, really enjoyable. It takes place after the last book, and John is recovering from battle wounds while looking into possible espionage. I liked the mystery, and I thought there was some fantastic character development here. I've discovered that with this particular series, I don't really care how good the storyline is, because Lord John himself, the way Gabaldon writes him, has become one of my favorite fictional characters. She says her next novel is going to be Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner, which has to be Jamie Fraser, so all I can say is YAY. (However. I really, really hope she lets John get over Jamie. I totally get that in the book universe, Jamie is the Ultimate Male, but he's also the straight guy whose relationship with his wife is the one, perfect, literally timeless Love Story of the AGES. I live for subtext and even I can see there's no hope here. Just give the guy a break, already.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julianna

    Reviewed for THC Reviews Lord John and the Hellfire Club - Lord John and the Hellfire Club is the first novella in Diana Gabaldon's Lord John Grey series. I'm not sure if it's the shortest story she's ever written, but it's by far the shortest one by her I've read to date. In this novella, she's taken Lord John Grey, a popular secondary character from the Outlander series, and given him a mystery to solve, thereby turning him into an amateur sleuth, which is what I understand he'll be doing t Reviewed for THC Reviews Lord John and the Hellfire Club - Lord John and the Hellfire Club is the first novella in Diana Gabaldon's Lord John Grey series. I'm not sure if it's the shortest story she's ever written, but it's by far the shortest one by her I've read to date. In this novella, she's taken Lord John Grey, a popular secondary character from the Outlander series, and given him a mystery to solve, thereby turning him into an amateur sleuth, which is what I understand he'll be doing throughout the series. It takes place in London sometime after Lord John's return from his time as warden at Ardsmuir Prison where Jamie was held. Harry Quarry, the warden who preceded Lord John, is also a part of the story. He and John share a loose friendship and he's related to the murdered man. The plot is a fairly simple and straightforward one. John is approached by a man he's barely met, asking for a clandestine meeting to discuss something of import that he can trust to no one else, but before the meeting can take place, the man is stabbed almost before John's eyes and dies in his arms. John vows to find the killer, which leads him to a surprising meeting of a secret society know at the Hellfire Club. As usual Diana Gabaldon has done an exceptional job with her research. Hellfire Clubs actually did exist during that time period, and Sir Francis Dashwood's, the one which John attends, appears to have been the most famous. I also found it interesting to learn more about the perceptions of gay men in that era. Of course, John, out of necessity for his own safety, keeps his sexuality a closely guarded secret, but we do get hints of how he gets around the social mores of the day to engage in intimacies and how he views society's attitudes toward men like him. I felt rather bad for John, because he still pines for Jamie even though he's trying to set aside that unrequited love. The main reason this was a four-star read for me instead of higher is that parts of the story didn't seem to flow as well as the Outlander books I've read. The details of the first chapter weren't quite gelling in my mind's eye the way this author's work usually does. I had to concentrate pretty intently to fully grasp the situation. Also, Ms. Gabaldon is a highly intelligent person, and it definitely shows in her writing. That's great, except that in this story, she uses more historically accurate language in both her dialogue and prose. This made it a bit more challenging to read, because the dialogue is unfamiliar to my modern ear, and while normally I can pick up on the meaning of unfamiliar words in context, some of the words in the prose still remained a mystery to me. Otherwise I enjoyed Lord John and the Hellfire Club. The mystery was handled well, especially for such a short format. It was a good start to the series, and I look forward to reading more about Lord John's adventures. Star Rating: **** Lord John and the Succubus - Lord John and the Succubus is a novella in Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John Grey series that falls between Lord John and the Private Matter and Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade in the series chronology. Much like with the first novella in this book, the story was rather slow-paced and occasionally I was having trouble following it. Now I admit that it could have been that through part of it I was very sleepy and kept dozing off, and through another part, I was repeatedly interrupted by my family members, so the fault may be partly mine, which is why I only marked it down one star. However, this one seemed a bit more steeped in military history surrounding the Seven Years War, with some geography, troop positions, etc. playing a part here. Normally, I’m very appreciative of Ms. Gabaldon’s attention to detail, but for the most part, military history isn’t at the top of my list of reading preferences, especially when it comes to wars I know very little about, therefore some of the details of this story were lost on me. I did, however, enjoy the mystery. With this being a shorter story, though, it wasn’t as developed as I’m used to, but it was still good. The title of the novella might lead some readers to believe that this is a supernatural mystery, but the paranormal really only comes into play in the form of legends and superstition. The gist of this part of the story is that Lord John, in his capacity as a liaison officer with the English forces who are allied with the Prussians and Hanoverians, becomes aware of the murder of a Prussian soldier. Many locals believe it was the work of a succubus, which of course, the logical and deductive-reasoning John doesn’t believe for a minute. However, to appease them, he allows the use of his horse in a graveyard ritual, during which the body of an English soldier is also discovered. This leads John to investigate a possible connection between the two cases in an effort to bring an end to the speculation regarding a succubus. While solving the mystery, John is drawn into some interesting interactions with several secondary characters. He and some other high-ranking officers are staying at the castle of a widowed princess. John, being an attractive man, finds himself having to fend of the princess’s advances. Also, the author toys with the reader regarding a possible relationship between John and his dashing Hanoverian friend, Stephan von Namtzen, who was introduced in the previous book, Lord John and the Private Matter. In the end, we know that John’s attraction to Stephan is real, but we’re never entirely sure if the attraction is reciprocal. I suspect it is, but I’ll be interested to see if anything more comes of it in future stories of the series. John’s valet, Tom Byrd, also introduced in the last book, returns as his efficient and helpful assistant. Then John meets a young teenage soldier out in the field, who he realizes is also gay. He is able to provide the young man with some sage advice, during which we learn of a traumatic incident in John’s own past. It’s little more than a mention, though, and I would have liked a better understanding of how it affected him on an emotional level. John is a courageous soldier, so perhaps there isn’t much more to tell, but I doubt. This story makes it seem like it was simply something that happened that he quickly moved on from, but I think it could definitely be an interesting aspect of his character to explore in more depth if the author chooses to go that way. I’ll be interested to see if Ms. Gabaldon expands upon it later. Overall, Lord John and the Succubus was an enjoyable novella. It may have been a little slow-paced, but I did like following along with the mystery and in particular, John’s interactions with the other characters. I might not have thought it was as good as Diana Gabaldon’s full-length novels, but it was still a good story. Therefore, I look forward to continuing on with the series soon, and since the next book is a full-length one, perhaps it will be even better. Lord John and the Succubus was originally published in the multi-author anthology Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy and was later reprinted in this single-author anthology along with two other companion novellas in the Lord John Grey series. Star Rating: **** Lord John and the Haunted Soldier - Lord John and the Haunted Soldier is a novella in Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John Grey series that falls immediately after Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. I enjoyed Lord John and the Haunted Soldier better than the first two novellas in this anthology. I think that’s because, rather than being a stand-alone story, it’s more of a continuation of events from Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, which made it a little more interesting to me. It also, like the novels, has a more personal flavor to it, involving John’s older half-brother, whom we’ve not met up until this point and other familiar characters from the previous novel. So overall, Lord John and the Haunted Soldier held my attention equally as well as the novels have so far. As I said this novella picks up where Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade left off, with John being called before a Commission of Inquiry. They are investigating the explosion of the cannon that badly injured John and other soldiers, as well as the death of Lieutenant Lister, who’d been in command of the cannon before being decapitated by an enemy cannonball and Lord John took over. The Commission seems to be insinuating that John made a mistake which led to the cannon being destroyed, or even perhaps his half-brother, Edgar, who makes the powder for the cannon might have had something to do with it. This leaves John to figure out exactly what did happen to make sure his and his brother’s good names aren’t dragged through the mud. At the same time, he finds himself agreeing to search for the ill-fated Lister’s fiancée, who was believed to have been with child. The two investigations end up intersecting in surprising ways. John’s investigation into the cannon leads him down a twisting path of corruption and dirty dealings that also connects up with Bowles, a mysterious figure who’s been lurking in the background throughout the series. The more personal side of the investigation leads to a sad and twisted tale of unrequited love. I enjoyed both because they kept me guessing and wondering what new connections John might find next. I also liked meeting new members of John’s family, who seem like good people. Throughout all this John continues to deal with the pain and fear of death associated with a piece of shrapnel still lodged in his chest. He also continues to pine for Jamie, regrets the heated the words they exchanged in the last book, and finds comfort in writing letters to his old friend. The only reason I knocked off the half star is because there were one or two plot points that were a tad hard to follow and a couple of places that were just a little slow, but otherwise, Lord John and the Haunted Soldier was a very good read. John is an excellent hero who I very much look forward to reading more about in the coming stories. Star Rating: ****1/2

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    1. ‘Lord John and the Hellfire Club’ - 3 stars 2. ‘Lord John and the Succubus’ - 4 stars 3. ‘Lord John and the Haunted Soldier’ - 5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I loved this book! As an avid read of the Outlander series as well as a fan of the Starz series, I just had to read the Lord John series as well. Personally Lord John is one of my favorite characters in the series. I have read the first two Lord John novels preceding this one (Lord John and the Private Matter and Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade) and each time I am drawn in by Gabaldon's writing and the development she has provided for his character. In each of the novels what I find a I loved this book! As an avid read of the Outlander series as well as a fan of the Starz series, I just had to read the Lord John series as well. Personally Lord John is one of my favorite characters in the series. I have read the first two Lord John novels preceding this one (Lord John and the Private Matter and Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade) and each time I am drawn in by Gabaldon's writing and the development she has provided for his character. In each of the novels what I find appealing is that Lord John Grey is not only an aristocratic soldier, but he is also gay which quite often places him in precarious situations given the time period and the constant threat of being exposed. He also has a very entertaining sense of humor and wit which makes the books crackle with intelligence but also a sense of sarcasm that kept me wanting to read more. Similar to the previous novels, this book placed John in different mysteries that he finds himself wrapped up in. This book was a compilation of three short stories so each mystery stood alone but at the same time some of the characters and story lines within each story continued. For example, Gabaldon always has a knack for including Jamie Fraser even if it is just a name drop and many of the people that John meets throughout each of the stories has recurring role. Overall I suggest the Lord John series for anyone who is a fan of the Outlander series or just likes a good but quick mystery story now and again. The mysteries are not classic thrillers but they are entertaining and provide another insight into the 18th Century and the role of a soldier.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gaijinmama

    #11 Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon This collection of one longish short story (11,000 words) and two novellas (about 100 pages each) stars one of my favorite secondary characters from Gabaldon's Outlander series. I'm madly in love with her romantic hero,Jamie Fraser, but lifelong Hag that I am, I would ***LOVE** to sit down and have a nice pot of Earl Grey with Lord John, preferably with liberal amounts of brandy splashed in f #11 Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon This collection of one longish short story (11,000 words) and two novellas (about 100 pages each) stars one of my favorite secondary characters from Gabaldon's Outlander series. I'm madly in love with her romantic hero,Jamie Fraser, but lifelong Hag that I am, I would ***LOVE** to sit down and have a nice pot of Earl Grey with Lord John, preferably with liberal amounts of brandy splashed in for medicinal purposes. Yes, Lord John is gay. Deal with it, or maybe give this book a miss. As Lord John (and most of my gay friends in real life) would probably agree, his sexual orientation is not the center of the story, but it's an important aspect of who he is and how he sees the world. While he certainly cannot be open about it as a military man in the 18th century, he is brutally honest with himself. 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Candice

    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. 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 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...~shrug~.

  9. 4 out of 5

    D Dyer

    This collection of the three Lord John gray Novelas is definitely interesting enough for me to recommend it to anyone familiar with the outlander universe and with the Lord John Gray novels in particular. But honestly, it’s not a fantastic introduction to either of those series. The stories suffered somewhat from their shortness, there isn’t enough time to really build the sort of complex characterizations that I’ve particularly enjoyed the series for. All of the stories feature some hint of the This collection of the three Lord John gray Novelas is definitely interesting enough for me to recommend it to anyone familiar with the outlander universe and with the Lord John Gray novels in particular. But honestly, it’s not a fantastic introduction to either of those series. The stories suffered somewhat from their shortness, there isn’t enough time to really build the sort of complex characterizations that I’ve particularly enjoyed the series for. All of the stories feature some hint of the supernatural and originally appeared in other paranormal-themed anthologies. The best of the three is the last, Lord John and the haunted soldier, where at John is drawn into an army investigation that has implications for his brother. Lord John and at the succubus does the best job of using the supernatural I think, with the investigation of a possible demonic cause to troubles in an Eastern European army camp. The opening story, a prequel to the lord John Gray series, felt more than a bit flat. It’s a quick mystery but so quick that there’s little time to build tension.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    In an effort to read the Lord John Grey series in order, I have not read this anthology of short story and novellas together, but rather where they fall in the story time line. I love John Grey's character in the Outlander series and was so pleased to see that he had his own stories. The first story in this book, Lord John and the Hellfire Club, was a nice introduction and reminder of his character while posing a nice murder mystery plot. John has just returned to London and visits a few of his o In an effort to read the Lord John Grey series in order, I have not read this anthology of short story and novellas together, but rather where they fall in the story time line. I love John Grey's character in the Outlander series and was so pleased to see that he had his own stories. The first story in this book, Lord John and the Hellfire Club, was a nice introduction and reminder of his character while posing a nice murder mystery plot. John has just returned to London and visits a few of his old haunts meeting an old army friend. He is still raw from his experiences with the Scottish prisoner and sees hints of the man at every turn. But soon his thoughts have a new direction when a newly made acquaintance asks for a private interview and then gets murdered almost before his very eyes. John agrees to inquire into the matter of the young man's death and the trail leads to unexpected people and place. I found it engaging and it has whetted my appetite for the rest of the stories. 4.19.13 I just finished the second story, the novella Lord John and the Succubus. Now that was a nice atmospheric mystery set just after the events of Lord John and the Private Matter. John becomes the liaison between the English army and the Prussians in their war against the French and the Austrians near a small town in Germany. Things are going until a rumor of a Succubus breaks out and men start cropping up dead. Between negotiating this superstition, intrigue in the castle where he resides and worrying about the location of the enemy, John has his hands full. My only niggle was the ending was abrupt like you get in a shorter story, but nothing to upsetting. It was another enjoyable installment in the series. 4.27.13 Finally was able the third story after I finished the novel that comes between the second and third stories. For a novella, this one was charged with the danger, tension and internal turmoil that the author is good at. There was the mystery of the sabotage and the accusations that were flung at him going on, but John was also commissioned to discover the whereabouts of a dead lieutenant's woman. This story was very much a follow up to certain events near the end of 'Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade' so I don't want to get detailed and spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, it was a gripping, entertaining read that was just one more wonderful story in the Lord John series. 6.2.13 In conclusion, if you are thinking of passing on the short story and novellas in this book, don't. These are well worth it and to skip them would to missing out on a good part of Lord John's ongoing story. Update: I did a re-read listen to this book with the talented Jeff Woodman narrating. I really do enjoy his voice work for John and all the regular characters of this series. John is a thoughtful person, his valet Tom is sharp and eager, Harry is bluff and engaging, and the German accents during the Succubus tale were good. Woodman captures the voices and stories so well There were some editing issues where phrases were repeated now and again. But, it was a delight to listen to these three stories and the author's note with as much interest as the first time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I really enjoyed this audible collection of historical mystery short stories and novella by Diana Gabaldon, featuring Lord John, a character from her Outlander series which made my long commute bearable.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Delta

    3.5 stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Where I got the book: B&N clearance rack. Do you have to be a Lord John Grey fan to read this book? I think not. 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. I've said a lot of what I think about the Lord John books in my review of Where I got the book: B&N clearance rack. Do you have to be a Lord John Grey fan to read this book? I think not. 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. I've said a lot of what I think about the Lord John books in my review of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (which I just posted; it is new to Goodreads). 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 3.25* of five Gabaldon's writing is of the kind I call "serviceable" but her characters either make you swoon, pant, sweat and holler, or they leave you completely cold. 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). This book is a collection of three novellas that Gabaldon wrote about the good Major Lord John Grey. One was written for this Rating: 3.25* of five Gabaldon's writing is of the kind I call "serviceable" but her characters either make you swoon, pant, sweat and holler, or they leave you completely cold. 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). This book is a collection of three novellas that Gabaldon wrote about the good Major Lord John Grey. 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. Relax, ewww-ickers. 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. Simple: Depth. 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. Recommended? Oh, sure. Why not. Start with these novellas and see if the character appeals; if so, the novels await your pleasure.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jujubee

    The drums were beating in the distance, ordering the troops. The thrum of them beating his blood, in his bone." Completed anthology Lord John and the Hand of the Devil October 5, 2018 The author spins an excellent puzzle of local folk lore, gypsies, family loyalties, amongst the harsh realities of war and military politics. Seemingly unrelated at the onset, but no less tramatic, a double murder mystery engulfs Major Grey's circumstance in his current post. There was a lot of pieces spinning here, The drums were beating in the distance, ordering the troops. The thrum of them beating his blood, in his bone." Completed anthology Lord John and the Hand of the Devil October 5, 2018 The author spins an excellent puzzle of local folk lore, gypsies, family loyalties, amongst the harsh realities of war and military politics. Seemingly unrelated at the onset, but no less tramatic, a double murder mystery engulfs Major Grey's circumstance in his current post. There was a lot of pieces spinning here, including wisps of "possibilities" toward John's true self, that I thought were brought together brilliantly. Within all the revelations I found LJG's sharp intelligence and curiosity, ingrained sense of duty and logic, deep-seated protectiveness of those under his charge, and his keen insights of himself and his social consciousness further develops, bringing new insights into an already noble, human character. Read Lord John and the Hell Fire Club 09/22/17 3.5* My review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Read Lord John and the Succubus 09/28/17 5* My review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... So far, this novella is my fav LJG to date. Read Lord John and the Haunted Soldier 10/04/17 5* No review, but IMO is Marcus is the haunted soldier ;) And John's writing of those decidedly unsendable letters to Jaime (as a dear confident) was heartbreakingly poignant.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    ~Lord John and the Hellfire Club (3.5 Stars) (short story - 0.5) ~Lord John and the Succubus (3.75 Stars) (novella - 1.5) ~John and the Haunted Soldier (3.75 Stars) (novella - 2.5)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol Oliveira

    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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~

    Lord John and the Hellfire Club (#0.5, comes before LJ and the Private Matter) The only actual short story in this short story collection, this sees John immediately home from his stint as warden of Ardsmuir Prison, where old acquaintances are eager to catch up. 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 (#0.5, comes before LJ and the Private Matter) The only actual short story in this short story collection, this sees John immediately home from his stint as warden of Ardsmuir Prison, where old acquaintances are eager to catch up. 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 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 (#1.5, comes between LJ and the Private Matter, and LJ and the Brotherhood of the Blade) All of these "short" stories were originally written for paranormal anthologies, and this one easily makes the best use of that element. 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. (OMG JUST KISS! BUT FOR REAL! GAAAHHH!) Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (#2.5, follows after LJ and the Brotherhood of the Blade and comes before A Custom of the Army) After John was injured on campaign in Brotherhood of the Blade, he finds himself in the middle of an inquest regarding his involvement in a cannon exploding. 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. There were a couple of instances of background noise, and LOTS of skipping/repeating of words and lines. 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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I love it when a team comes together. I've been very much a fan of Diana Gabaldon for some time, and I like Lord John Grey very much. And as it turns out I utterly love Jeff Woodman's narration. He's wonderful. 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. It wasn't. The only issue I have I love it when a team comes together. I've been very much a fan of Diana Gabaldon for some time, and I like Lord John Grey very much. And as it turns out I utterly love Jeff Woodman's narration. He's wonderful. 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. It wasn't. The only issue I have with the narration is a handful of repeated lines, where apparently an editor failed to delete out–takes. Odd. 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. Possibly in conversation. Why have a reputation for weird without capitalizing on it? - "Lord John and the Hellfire Club" felt familiar – oh, that's why. 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?" When in fact (perils of the audiobook) it was the story I was thinking of, which I did not realize for some reason was part of this collection, and so of course nothing happened to make it different from, er, itself. I'm not even going to try to unravel that sentence. - "Lord John and the Succubus" – That was different. 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. - "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier" – Such beautiful story–telling. 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. Excellent. 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. Oh dear.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Hell was filled with clocks, he was sure of it. There was no torment, after all, that could not be exacerbated by a contemplation of time passing. (p. 161) Lord John and the Hand of Devils is actually three pieces set in 18th century England and Germany: one short story and two novellas, each longer than its predecessor. Each of these three is a mystery and has at its heart Lord John Grey, while Jamie Fraser shows up in some peripheral – but entertaining – role. In my head, Lord John, is a foppis Hell was filled with clocks, he was sure of it. There was no torment, after all, that could not be exacerbated by a contemplation of time passing. (p. 161) Lord John and the Hand of Devils is actually three pieces set in 18th century England and Germany: one short story and two novellas, each longer than its predecessor. Each of these three is a mystery and has at its heart Lord John Grey, while Jamie Fraser shows up in some peripheral – but entertaining – role. In my head, Lord John, is a foppish and superficial figure; perhaps that is in comparison with Jamie Fraser, a large, courageous, honorable, and comely lad. Despite the foppish presentation, Lord John is a major in the British army. He is a logical detective as mysteries appear, dogged in finding an answer, even when he is hungry and dead tired, even when pursuit of the truth puts him at risk. He is honorable, even when surrounded by people who are far from honorable. I cling to the thought of Simon Coles. His goodness, his idealism—foolish though it may be—is a single bright spot in the dark quagmire of this wretched business. God knows I am neither ignorant nor innocent of the ways of the world. And yet I feel unclean, so much evil as I have met tonight. It weighs upon my spirit; thus I write to cleanse myself of it. (pp. 300-301) Lord John is honorable even when his love for Jamie must remain unrequited, as Jamie has both different inclinations and another object of desire. This contradiction between surface appearance and core is part of what makes Lord John a compelling figure. I am also a sucker for a mystery that is more intellectual than physical, particularly when the detective discovers the mystery and does what he knows is right, even when not being entreated or paid.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    The Lord John series are a MUST 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. 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. Go on.. get a copy today!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ish Healy

    Author: Diana Gabaldon Genre: Novella, Historical, Mystery Rating: A Once again I’m going to start off a review of a Lord John story by referencing the first Lord John story, "Lord John and the HellfireClub." My critique there was that because of the brevity of the work some of the plot was lost due to all the details that Gabaldon includes in her writing. 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: Diana Gabaldon Genre: Novella, Historical, Mystery Rating: A Once again I’m going to start off a review of a Lord John story by referencing the first Lord John story, "Lord John and the HellfireClub." My critique there was that because of the brevity of the work some of the plot was lost due to all the details that Gabaldon includes in her writing. 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 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. "Succubus" picks up much roughly where Lord John and the Private Matter left off: Lord John Grey has gone to Germany (or what would later become Germany) to join the staff of Captain Stephan von Namtzen, Landgrave von Erdberg. 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. In the earlier parts of the story I really did begin to wonder if the succubus might be real, despite the fact that Gabaldon’s stories are, time travel aside, largely set in the real world. 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. Grey’s early struggles with understanding some things combined with this note makes me question just how he’s able to interview some of the characters in a language that they logically wouldn’t be able to speak – I really don’t buy that Austrian gypsies in the nineteenth century are fluent in English. But then, I could really just be reading into this too much and over thinking things. As such, if this is my biggest flaw with the story then it stands to reason that it’s a pretty good story. http://ishreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/07... Merged review: There were elements of "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier" that I liked, and elements that I disliked. The story deals with the consequences of the explosion of a cannon. Tom Pilchard, that Lord John momentarily is in command of during Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. An inquiry has been formed as Grey's cannon was not the only one to explode: in the previous ten months, a total of eight cannons have exploded, causing a lot of death and injury among the British army. 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. 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. http://ishreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/07... Merged review: 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. 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. Lord John and the Private Matter takes place between "Hellfire Club" and "Succubus" and Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade occurs in between "Succubus" and "Haunted Soldier." It kind of makes reading this a bit of a hassle, having to go from one book to another and then back again, although I do appreciate having these stories collected in general - the other option being tracking down the anthologies in which they were initially written (which I have had to do for the later Lord John novellas, "Custom of the Army" and "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies"). 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. http://ishreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/07...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Melo

    This is a collection of three novellas about Lord John which have all been previously published. The stories about Lord John are a spinoff of the Outlander series. LORD JOHN AND THE HELLFIRE CLUB: Lord John is approached by a man who bears a resemblance to Jaime and agrees to meet with the man about a political problem. The man is soon murdered and Lord John investigates and is drawn into the Hellfire Club. This is a very short story (around 40 pages) which gives a glimpse into Lord John's life a This is a collection of three novellas about Lord John which have all been previously published. The stories about Lord John are a spinoff of the Outlander series. LORD JOHN AND THE HELLFIRE CLUB: Lord John is approached by a man who bears a resemblance to Jaime and agrees to meet with the man about a political problem. The man is soon murdered and Lord John investigates and is drawn into the Hellfire Club. This is a very short story (around 40 pages) which gives a glimpse into Lord John's life and a quick investigation, but it didn't really stick with me. Neither the mystery, nor the life glimpse seemed that grand. Okay story for fans, but not a necessary read. Rating 2.5 stars. LORD JOHN AND THE SUCCUBUS: Lord John is in Prussia and encounters another murder. This time the suspect is a succubus (female demon). Lord John investigates the death. This is a longer story (about 100 pages) and has a bit of supernatural flare which won't surprise readers of the Outlander series. The mystery was intriguing to be because of the supernatural possibilities mixed with possible prosaic answers. The closeness of the possibility of supernatural answers feels really time appropriate. The story was enjoyable and I liked the resolution. Rating: 3.5 stars. LORD JOHN AND THE HAUNTED SOLDIER: Lord John is engaged in an inquiry as to the explosion of a cannon during battle. Through a series of events, Lord John ends up with the only evidence that the cannon was poorly constructed, perhaps even criminally so. The novellas in this series have so far not interested me as much as the previous novel. I was interested in the investigation but perhaps the parts of this novella that overlap with the Outlander series was the most interesting part to me. Rating: 3.5 stars.This review was originally posted on Top10RomanceBooks.com

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vida

    This book is a compilation of 3 Lord John stories. Each written at different points in relation to the Outlander series. The 3 stories are "Lord John and the Hellfire Club", "Lord John and the Succubus", and "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier." The last being the better of the 3. Written as short stories there is little storyline, just enough to give insight into Lord John. Having met the character in the Starz series and reading the "Outlander" series, I find that personification more to my lik This book is a compilation of 3 Lord John stories. Each written at different points in relation to the Outlander series. The 3 stories are "Lord John and the Hellfire Club", "Lord John and the Succubus", and "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier." The last being the better of the 3. Written as short stories there is little storyline, just enough to give insight into Lord John. Having met the character in the Starz series and reading the "Outlander" series, I find that personification more to my liking. The impression I have had from reading the short stories is quite different and I like the Lord John of the series better than that of these stories. I have read the "Scottish Prisoner" and have figured out that I am glad I read it before reading any of the short stories. There was a preface to these indicating that all the short stories of Lord John could be read without reading the others but that they also have a chronology. I agree.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lori C

    There’s a comment on the back cover of this book that describes it as a “collection of the ghost of desire”, a perfectly apt description that I never would have thought of myself. 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! I found this book wonderfully detailed, funny at times, and truly heartbreaking at others. I really love There’s a comment on the back cover of this book that describes it as a “collection of the ghost of desire”, a perfectly apt description that I never would have thought of myself. 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! I found this book wonderfully detailed, funny at times, and truly heartbreaking at others. I really love this series! John Grey is so wonderfully human, both aware that he’s flawed and so optimistic. Though one could read them alone, especially The Succubus, I definitely recommend using the official reading order, along with the novels.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Raz

    This is not a fair review. I did not read any other Lord John book and I'm not even sure I read any of Gabaldon's books. This book is definitely not meant to be read out of context so I probably lost much of it, especially the sexual connotations and many mentions of characters which are supposed to be known to the reader. Still, the writing is so fluent that I managed to follow most of it, and the periodical setting is superbly done. I give it three stars out of five, but if you are a "Lord John This is not a fair review. I did not read any other Lord John book and I'm not even sure I read any of Gabaldon's books. This book is definitely not meant to be read out of context so I probably lost much of it, especially the sexual connotations and many mentions of characters which are supposed to be known to the reader. Still, the writing is so fluent that I managed to follow most of it, and the periodical setting is superbly done. I give it three stars out of five, but if you are a "Lord John fan" as many are, I think you will enjoy this much more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    I loved this book and Lord Gray is one of my favorite characters in the Outlander book's so nice that he has his own story's to follow I loved this book and Lord Gray is one of my favorite characters in the Outlander book's so nice that he has his own story's to follow

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    Lord John and the Hands of Devils is a collection that contains three Lord John mysteries... one simply called a short story and the other two meriting the designation "novella" from the author. Prior to starting the Lord John novels, I should have done a bit of research, as the first of these stories comes before the first novel in chronological order... similarly, the second story comes before the second novel and then the third story finishes things up. Reading them out of order doesn't neces Lord John and the Hands of Devils is a collection that contains three Lord John mysteries... one simply called a short story and the other two meriting the designation "novella" from the author. Prior to starting the Lord John novels, I should have done a bit of research, as the first of these stories comes before the first novel in chronological order... similarly, the second story comes before the second novel and then the third story finishes things up. Reading them out of order doesn't necessarily harm you, but I wish that I had somehow contrived to figure out the chronological order as it would have filled in some details within the larger books that get more attention in the stories (who kills someone in the Abbey, why suddenly the Prussian guy is pining for John, etc.). It's a quick read, but really only worth it to those who enjoy Gabaldon's other work and, in particular, Lord John. "Lord John and the Hellfire Club" is the first and shortest of the bunch -- though it is to this story that we are indebted for all of the Lord John spin-off works, as it was this story that launched him as an independent protagonist. Lord John comes across the historically famous/infamous Hellfire Club at Medmenham Abbey as he investigates the death of a young man, a cousin of John's friend Harry Quarry. Immediately returned from his exile in Scotland and still burning with desire for Jamie Fraser, John is implored by Harry Quarry's (gay) cousin for assistance in a certain matter, but before John can meet him to discuss the matter, the young man is killed. John is then courted by the elite club, which includes an ex-lover of his among the members, but he's quite right to believe that there are many things amiss with the Hellfire Club. Very short and simple, this mystery solves itself quite quickly, but one must at least appreciate this story for spurring Gabaldon to write other Lord John tales. In "Lord John and the Succubus," Lord John is stationed in Gundwitz with a companies of Prussian and English troops as they attempt to rout some French and Austrians, but the men seem more frightened by rumors of a demon spirit in the area. Of course, Lord John is smart enough to see mortal hands behind these actions... though it might take some real magic if he wants to keep out of a widowed Princess's matrimonial designs and get a moment alone to find out if his friendship with handsome German soldier Namtzen is just brotherly love or a bit more. The mystery isn't much of a mystery, but there are some amusing scenes of suspense and the standard fear that men have about their manhood and essence being stolen. For "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier," you certainly need to have read Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade to understand everything well -- because the story largely concerns the battle of Crefield, which closed out that novel. Lord John is summoned before a military commission that is concerned with the explosion of the gun he had commanded and the death of a lieutenant, floating the veiled accusation that it might have been Lord John's inept leadership that led to it. The military seems more concerned about the gun, which leaves John to try and see what right he can do by the family of the lieutenant and the man's missing widow. Lord John also investigates some leads on what caused the gun's explosion and finds a few problems, including the faulty construction of guns due to someone inside the military stealing copper and the potentially volatile ammunition provided by John's half-brother's company. In the author's notes before each story, Gabaldon makes jokes about the fact that by the time she's hit the page count for a Lord John novel, she generally feels like she's just starting up the story, so real short stories and novellas were quite the challenge indeed. Her real talent lies in creating wonderful characters and taking them through epic stories, so while individual stories might not be ideal as short stories on their own outside of the context of the larger world, they are lovely little installments in the ongoing story of Lord John Grey. I l like Lord John as a strong male figure who happens to be homosexual -- while this fact of his existence doesn't define his life, it does play a large role. He's witty and clever... and there's always the odd glimpse of Jamie, which is fun. I do hope that Gabaldon eventually gives us a story that takes us through the healing of his friendship with Jamie... which might relieve poor John from pining after his russet-haired Scot.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    # Lord John and the Succubus (#1.5) First of all I love the tittle of this novella. A succubus? Wooo, what are you up too, my dear John? While is stationed in Germany, among the Hanoverian regiment led by Stephen Von Namtzen, Lord John is set in the midst of a mystery that it's spreading the fear among the troops. A "nigh hag" is coming to men at night, to suck their seed and their lives, a succubus. Now, John doesn't believe in superstitions, but between the dangers of the french and Austrian armi # Lord John and the Succubus (#1.5) First of all I love the tittle of this novella. A succubus? Wooo, what are you up too, my dear John? While is stationed in Germany, among the Hanoverian regiment led by Stephen Von Namtzen, Lord John is set in the midst of a mystery that it's spreading the fear among the troops. A "nigh hag" is coming to men at night, to suck their seed and their lives, a succubus. Now, John doesn't believe in superstitions, but between the dangers of the french and Austrian armies, strange events are happening. Will John solve another mystery? I love you John! For those who don't like him... Anyway, I love how each story unravels more of his character and personality, and also his struggles, being a gay man in that era, a major and a duke's son, he can loose everything if the truth comes out. And well, there is a particular scene where John tries to help a lad from fighting back and exposing himself. It was such a gut wrenching and intense scene. He shook the boy slightly, to bring him to his senses, and said, very quietly,”Laugh. It was a joke.” He stared hard into the boy’s eyes, willing him to come to his senses. The thin shoulders under his hands vibrated with the need to strike out, to hit something – and the Brown eyes were glassy with anguish and confusion. Grey shook him harder, then released him, and under the guise of slapping dead leaves from his uniform, leaned closer. “If you act like this, they will know,” he said, speaking in a rapid whisper. “For God’s sake, laugh!” Anyway,it's actually a treat to read his stories, his life in the army and the mysteries he solves. Yep, John is quite awesome! #Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (#2.5) Now this novella follows up the events of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade,where John survived a canon explosion, in the heat of the Kerdeff battle. But now, he was summoned by the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s, where they are firing with questions and accusations, that John may have been negligent, and somehow at fault in that explosion, that took several soldiers lives. But they are also implying that his half brother, that his the supplier of the gun powder to the army, may be giving a product of low quality, and thereby putting the lives of the soldiers at risk because of profit. So John also starts to investigate the cause, while still sustaining several injuries (he still have a piece of metal in his chest) and being tormented by the vision of a follow soldier being blown up by the canon. So who is committing treason? Who is responsible not only for that accident but also several more? Another interesting story of John, he does not have a dull life but I do not envy his problems. It was nice to “meet” his half brother, but it made me laugh that he considers that his brother is much more attractive than him although not more intelligent. c’mon John, we all know you’re also gorgeous and witty ;)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    The story picks up right after the events of Brotherhood of the Blade. The gun crew to which Lord John belongs is brought before a board of inquiry to answer for their actions involving a cannon explosion that cost Lt. Phillip Lister his life. The explosion injured many men, including Grey, who possesses the shrapnel extracted by the surgeons. When the cannon goes missing, Grey ends up with the only remaining evidence to substantiate poorly constructed weapons that could prove Grey of his innocen The story picks up right after the events of Brotherhood of the Blade. The gun crew to which Lord John belongs is brought before a board of inquiry to answer for their actions involving a cannon explosion that cost Lt. Phillip Lister his life. The explosion injured many men, including Grey, who possesses the shrapnel extracted by the surgeons. When the cannon goes missing, Grey ends up with the only remaining evidence to substantiate poorly constructed weapons that could prove Grey of his innocence in the matter. Grey is determined to get to the bottom of the investigation and clear his name. Grey in turn, seeks out Lt. Lister's fiance and child and investigates a black-market distribution of gun powder. The novella is filled with mystery and intrigue and fills in many of the gaps between the full length novels. The story helps to build upon characters, and future storylines. https://www.auniversaltruth.com/?p=689 Merged review: Lord John continues his adventures in Prussia, serving as the English liaison officer to he First Regiment of Hanoverian Foot. While stationed at the town of Gundwitz reports reach him of a local succubus who is said to have visited a number of townsfolk and is blamed for the death of a Prussian soldier. Skeptical, yet curious, Grey goes to the graveyard to investigate and stumbles upon an English soldier with whom he is acquainted. While attempting to solve the mystery, Grey finds himself fighting his attraction to Hanoverian Captain Stephan von Namtzen, as well as deflecting the advances of the beautiful young widow Louisa, Princess von Lowenstein, at whose castle both men are staying. While Grey seeks to solve the case logically, something sinister keeps him from completing the task. All around him the battle is raging on and the Seven Years War has only just begun. I really love Lord John's character and enjoy watching as the mysteries unfold. Gabaldon is gifted storyteller and keeps fans wanting more. https://www.auniversaltruth.com/?p=761

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