Wow, Anna Lee Huber's historical mystery AN ARTLESS DEMISE is up to book 7 in the Lady Darby Mystery series! It's
hard to believe that there are seven books to enjoy in this marvelous
series already. Huber supplies lush historical detail, weaving the many
facets of Victorian life into a vivid tapestry of London life.
Kiera, Lady Darby, is a sympathetic character. A talented artist, she
was forced by her previous abusive husband to illustrate stolen corpses
as he performed illegal medical dissections on them. After her first
husband's death, Kiera finds a delightful love with her current husband
Sebastian Gage, who is an inquiry agent. Sebastian ticks off all my
approval boxes: he's smart, compassionate, and very supportive of
Kiera. He also encourages her to help him in his investigative cases,
and I so enjoy their interactions as they pursue criminals together!
A series of murders of aristocratic heirs brings "burking" back into the
public's eye. Burking, or the killing of individuals to provide corpses to
medical schools for dissection, exposes Kiera to the ton's censorious
gaze once again. Kiera disapproving father-in-law proves to be a
rousing secondary character here, as he pulls his head out of his
behind for once to help Gage defend Kiera.
I am a sucker for historical English murder mysteries, and the Lady Darby Mystery series is
one of my current favorites. Readers who enjoy C.S. Harris or Deanna
Raybourne will be well pleased with this series, where a wealth of
period ambiance enlivens the knotty plots and savvy murderers.
Huber's AN ARTLESS DEMISE
provides an engaging mystery against the backdrop of Victorian
London domestic life.
Lady Darby returns to London with her new husband,
Sebastian Gage, but newlywed bliss won't last for long when
her past comes back to haunt her in the latest exciting
installment in this national bestselling series.
November 1831. After fleeing London in infamy more than two
years prior, Lady Kiera Darby's return to the city is
anything but mundane, though not for the reasons she
expected. A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion
of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals,
Burke and Hare--killing people from the streets and selling
their bodies to medical schools. Then Kiera's past--a past
she thought she'd finally made peace with--rises up to haunt
All of London is horrified by the evidence that "burkers"
are, indeed, at work in their city. The terrified populace
hovers on a knife's edge, ready to take their enmity out on
any likely suspect. And when Kiera receives a letter of
blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late
anatomist husband's involvement with the body snatchers and
wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how
precarious her situation is. Not only for herself, but also
her new husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage,
and their unborn child.
Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found
murdered a block from his home, and the man's family wants
Kiera and Gage to investigate. Is it a failed attempt by the
London burkers, having left the body behind, or the crime of
someone much closer to home? Someone who stalks the
privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his
own dark deeds?