On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
A Study in Death (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery/Historical Romance
4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Larry Rosant
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Hardcover: 336 pages
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages – (July 5, 2016)
E-Book ASIN: B00OQSF8OU
Scotland, 1831. After a tumultuous courtship complicated by three deadly inquiries, Lady Kiera Darby is thrilled to have found both an investigative partner and a fiancé in Sebastian Gage. But with her well-meaning—and very pregnant—sister planning on making their wedding the event of the season, Kiera could use a respite from the impending madness.
Commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband.
Kiera isn’t sure how to help, but when she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, things take a fatal turn. The physician called to the house and Lord Drummond appear satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit.
Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death—no matter what, or who, stands in her way…
Lady Darby has left the planning of her upcoming nuptials to her sister who needs something to keep her mind on during her confinement waiting for her baby to be born. With no pending inquires with husband to be Sebastian Gage, Kiera takes a commission from Lord Drummond to paint a portrait of his wife. Sadly Lord Drummond is much like most men in this era and view their wives as property and are abusive. This strikes very close to home for Kiera. Before she can help Lady Drummond the woman is dead. Cause of death, Apoplexy. Back in this time period many peoples cause of death was Apoplexy or what is now called a stroke. The term was used widely when when doctors didn’t know the cause. Without an autopsy it truly couldn’t be challenged but Kiera knows the woman was murdered so she convinces Gage to start an inquiry, much to the dismay of many.
This is definitely a series that needs to be read in order as each new book builds from the last. Gage and Kiera’s relationship had a rocky start that has changed and evolved in each book always surrounded by a top-notch mystery. Kiera still needs to build a feeling of trust with Gage. She was treated horribly my her first husband. Meeting his father in this installment shakes the security they had built, especially when she know Gage is keeping parts of his past a secret.
I enjoyed the subplot of Kiera’s sister Alana and her husband Phillip. Her pregnancy wasn’t an easy one and Phillip could be a typical man of this time period or could be the wonderful husband he seemed to be in past books.
As for the mystery, Gage and Kiera are interviewing everyone that had contact with Lady Drummond, including her husband, the staff, and her friends. The investigation also takes they to the dark and dangerous streets of the city as they try to determine what caused her death. Kiera is strong and independent and doesn’t appreciate being told she can’t go or do something. Gage tries to protect her but sometimes he even needs help from a certain unsavory character.
Anna Lee Huber continues to impress me with her storytelling. As a reader I am engaged almost even before I start reading because I know what to expect from this author. She has never disappointed me. I love the imagery of Scotland her words create. Her depiction of characters across all social classes is exceptional. Her plot lines are tight and the dialogue is excellent.
My reading schedule was messed up last year which made this book stay on my To-Be-Read shelf for far too long. That will not be the case with A Death Draws Near out July 5.
To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”