On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
As a huge fan of Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby Mystery Series, I was thrilled when asked to review this book and the new book Treacherous Is the Night that is being released September 25. I will be posting my review on the 26th. So technically this book has not been screaming at me from the bookshelf, but from my wish list on Amazon. Thank you to the publicist at Kensington for granting my wish!
This Side of Murder (A Verity Kent Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – England
Kensington (September 26, 2017)
Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N4JS4N4
The Great War is over, but in this captivating new mystery from award-winning author Anna Lee Huber, one young widow discovers the real intrigue has only just begun . . .
England, 1919. Verity Kent’s grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity’s first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew.
Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement party of one of Sidney’s fellow officers, Verity mingles among the men her husband once fought beside, and discovers dark secrets—along with a murder clearly meant to conceal them. Relying on little more than a coded letter, the help of a dashing stranger, and her own sharp instincts, Verity is forced down a path she never imagined—and comes face to face with the shattering possibility that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was. It’s a truth that could set her free—or draw her ever deeper into his deception . . .
Verity Kent lost her husband, Sidney, in The Great War. She has been trying to move on, probably not in the best ways, but then she receives a letter saying he may have committed treason before he was killed. The letter invites her to an engagement party for one of his fellow officers on Umbersea Island. At first, she doesn’t plan to go, but she needs to find out what proof the letter sender has. The group attending the party boards the ship to the island. Verity knows some of the attendees but realizes the mystery letter writer could be someone she knows or someone she will meet at the party. As the weekend progresses one guest is found dead and then another. She starts to believe her husband may be guilty and people are dying because of it. She is going to use everything she learned as part of the Secret Service to try to find out the truth. Hopefully, hers won’t be the next body found.
Verity Kent is a strong, smart, feisty and independent protagonist. Not even her husband knew she was working for the Secret Service during the war. She also has a really cool car! Meeting her husband’s fellow officers she finds that his battalion suffered a large number of casualties. She just can’t imagine her husband was a traitor, everything in her being tells her that is a lie. She meets Max Westfield, the Earl of Ryde, on her way to the ship, she is wary of him but as things start to spin out of control they start to work together to not only find the letter writer but a killer.
When the secondary characters are introduced we find it is a unique group. The soldiers are clearly suffering a malady of injuries, mentally and physically, setting a somber tone, but the fiancee goes over the top to create a party atmosphere. Some of the other ladies go along at first but one game idea turns the tables and fractures the group.
Ms. Huber captures the time period expertly, from the ship to the cars, the house, and the island. The imagery she creates with her words brings everything crystal clear in my mind. While reading the scenes in the pouring rain I found myself all crouched up in a blanket, like I was right there.
Basically a closed room mystery with a set number of suspects, everyone except Verity, it was not easy to solve. Everyone is hiding something. When the guests start dying, and a storm takes over the island the tension starts to rise and a surprising moment twists the story all around. This all sets up a very exciting finish.
This series is off to a marvelous start. I can wait to read Treacherous Is the Night, coming out September 25.
About the Author
I am giving away my review copy!
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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.”