Apr 092019
 


An Artless Demise (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – England
Berkley (April 2, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 045149136X
ISBN-13: 978-0451491367
Kindle ASIN: B07FC7Y6GT

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 her.

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?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Kiera Darby just can’t escape the taint her late husband put upon her. The latest crime wave involves a group killing people and selling the bodies to medical schools and anatomists like Lord Darby. They are calling the killers “Burkers” because they seem to be copying Burke and Hare, Edinburgh criminals, in the way the people are killed. They are preying on young men, “Italian Boys” that were said to be sold by their parents and in hopes, they would have a better life, but that was never meant to be. The boys were abused, many living on the streets. Lady Darby soon finds that people have long memories and some are sure she is involved with these bodysnatchers or at the very least knows who they are.

The newlyweds have also been asked to investigate the murder of the eldest son of Lord Redditch. He was killed close to his home and Kiera and Sabastian were the first on the scene. The killing had similarities with the “burker” death but Kiera and Sabastian believe that is what the killer just wants them to think. Will this murder be pinned on the burkers while the real killer goes free?

I anxiously await each new book in this series because Anna Lee Huber is such a talented storyteller. Her words transport the reader back in time so effortlessly. The scenes come alive from the gritty streets on foggy nights to the amazing homes in all their grandeur.

Ms. Huber also creates wonderful characters. Lady Darby was grown so much over the course of the story. After the death of the husband that kept her captured to illustrate the intricate parts of the body for his textbooks to the strong woman, she is today. Married to the man she truly loves, his partner in many sordid investigations, soon to be the mother of his child. She is intelligent and an independent thinker and his true equal. Very uncommon for the time and place. Sebastian Gage has grown too. He went against his father’s wishes by getting involved with Kiera and then marrying her. Their union has made him a stronger man and she truly brings out the best in him.

They are surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast. Their servants Bree and Anderley, who are much more than servants, they are trusted by Gage and Kiera and step up to take part in the investigation. They can go places and talk to those below floors in ways Gage and Kiera can’t. Add to this the vast cast of the noble realm, the families, the staffs, the Bow Street Runners, The New Police, and more. There are a lot of characters but Ms. Huber gives them great definition making each unique and memorable.

The mystery is very complex encompassing many situations. A true puzzler as clues are revealed and pieced together in many different ways until they all align and fall into place. I enjoyed following along each step of the way. I did have the killer on my radar but was still guessing right up to the final reveal.

These books can each be read on their own but I believe they should be read in order to realize all the character development. Plus they are all excellent stories that shouldn’t be missed by fans of this genre.

Until next year Lady Darby. I am excited for our next adventure!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.


Also by this Author

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End April 23, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

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Sep 262018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to share with you my thoughts on this new book from Anna Lee Huber!

Treacherous Is the Night (A Verity Kent Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – England but Verity travels to Belgium. 
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713176
ISBN-13: 978-1496713179
Kindle ASIN: B078QSYZ3H

In 1919 England, in the shadow of The Great War, many look to the spirit world for answers. But it will take an all too earthbound intrigue to draw in the discerning heroine of Anna Lee Huber’s latest mystery . . .

It’s not that Verity Kent doesn’t sympathize with those eager to make contact with lost loved ones. After all, she once believed herself a war widow. But now that she’s discovered Sidney is very much alive, Verity is having enough trouble connecting with her estranged husband, never mind the dead. Still, at a friend’s behest, Verity attends a séance, where she encounters the man who still looms between her and Sidney—and a medium who channels a woman Verity once worked with in the Secret Service. Refusing to believe her former fellow spy is dead, Verity is determined to uncover the source of the spiritualist’s top secret revelation.

Then the medium is murdered—and Verity’s investigation is suddenly thwarted. Even Secret Service agents she once trusted turn their backs on her. Undaunted, Verity heads to war-torn Belgium, with Sidney by her side. But as they draw ever closer to the danger, Verity wonders if she’s about to learn the true meaning of till death do us part . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to This Side of Murder, Ex-Secret Service Agent Verity Kent is doing her best to reconnect with the husband she believed was killed in the war. His surprising return happened in the last book just as she started to have feelings for another man. It is difficult to curb those new feelings when the man seems to pop up everywhere as he did to a séance her friend had dragged her too.

In This Side of Murder a Quija board upset Verity greatly and this time a séance sends her into a tizzy when the medium singles her out and reveals secret information about one of the other agents Verity has worked with. Before Verity has a chance to question the medium is suspiciously killed. Unsure who she can trust Verity starts her own investigation and she and her husband Sidney travel to Belgium. They know they have been followed but she needs to find the truth no matter how dangerous her mission seems.

Verity Kent is a complex woman who has had quite a life for her young years. Working as a Secret Service Agent during the war took her to dangerous places and put her in dangerous situations. Her husband quickly sees this is not the same woman he left behind when he went into battle. She has become confident and almost fearless. It makes him see his own service in a different light too. Their relationship had become stunted because they both held everything in. While he wants to escape to the country she can’t back away from the search for her compatriot. This could be the final straw that breaks their marriage.

In addition to the relationship struggles of our protagonist, the author delivers an excellent mystery. Verity’s quest to find her cohort takes us deeply into La Dame Blanche (Belgian underground intelligence). She knows her friend needs her help and the path we follow with her is absolutely captivating and at times scary. Each twist, each turn, a breadcrumb here, a breadcrumb there, she doesn’t give up. As a reader, I enjoyed following this strong, smart. woman wherever she went.

Anna Lee Huber gives us a look at England and beyond after World War I in rich detail. She describes the places and the people so vividly. This author knows how to build a story that is full of intrigue. She has done her research and I always feel like I learn something while reading her books. The detail while great did slow down the pace just a bit in places, but when the pace picked up I was glued to the pages to the very end.

The book leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I really like Max, the other man in Verity’s life, but I should want her to be with her husband, right. Sidney may have had his reasons for what he did, but it just toasts me that he just thinks Verity should welcome him with open arms. I am very interested to see what the author has planned for Verity.

This book can be read all on its own, but I recommend reading them in order to fully understand Verity and the situations that occur within this story.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review for This Side of Murder here.

About the Author

Anna Lee Huber is the author of historical mystery series. She received the Daphne du Maurier Award for her national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate from Lipscomb University in Nashville. To find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Anna Lee Huber’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 10, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

 

 

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Sep 142018
 

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
ISBN-10: 149671315X
ISBN-13: 978-1496713155
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 . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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. 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Anna Lee Huber is the author of historical mystery series. She received the Daphne du Maurier Award for her national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate from Lipscomb University in Nashville. To find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Anna Lee Huber’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 28, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

 

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Mar 272018
 

A Brush with Shadows (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Dartmoor, England
Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399587221
Kindle ASIN: B071X2K1DY

 

 

July 1831. It’s been fifteen years since Sebastian Gage has set foot in Langstone Manor. Though he has shared little with his wife, Lady Kiera Darby, about his past, she knows that he planned never to return to the place of so many unhappy childhood memories. But when an urgent letter from his grandfather reaches them in Dublin, Ireland, and begs Gage to visit, Kiera convinces him to go.

All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage’s grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage’s cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred’s disappearance. And when Alfred’s brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage’s past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage’s family before the moors claim yet another victim…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been anxiously awaiting this book after the little teaser the author left us with at the end of As Death Draws Near, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Gage takes Kiera to his home, Langstone Manor. A place he hasn’t been since his mother’s death 15 years ago. His grandfather has summoned him to get there as fast as possible but the trip from Ireland took a little time. They arrive to find the Viscount Tavistock, deathly ill and his heir, Gage’s cousin, Alfred missing. Not sure if has been injured or killed out on the moors, or if he has been kidnapped, or just took off all on his own, his grandfather demands Gage find him. Then Alfred’s brother Rory disappears too. Gage and Kiera step up their investigation to find both men. Could their disappearance have something to do with the past? It is said, Langstone Manor is cursed. Gage vows to find the men and the truth.

Another fantastic story from Anna Lee Huber. The cover of this book is breathtaking too.

Ms. Huber returns with Kiera and Gage and the servants Bree and Anderley in a story so well written filled with vivid imagery. It is so easy to imagine being in the dark and dim castle or out on the moors or on horseback through the countryside.

Gage himself has been a mystery so I truly enjoyed learning about his past and what shaped him into the man he is now. All of Ms. Huber’s stories are very character driven and to peel away some of Gage’s layers was delightful.

Kiera is a little nervous to meet Gage’s relatives, but over the years she has learned to cope with those who judge her by her past. She quickly takes every opportunity to spend time with the Viscount. Even sitting at his bedside with her sketchbook while he slumbers to give the servants a break.

Gage and Kiera are a wonderful couple, they love and trust each other and are equals, something very strange for this time period.

Searching for the missing cousins takes our lead characters visiting neighbors and Bree and Anderley trying to get information from the staff. The author draws readers into the mystery quickly. Searching the vastness of the moors seems impossible, so it was important to look for other clues. Clues at first that were confusing to me as much as Gage and Keira. The twist that revealed what was really happening absolutely shocked me. Wow! I didn’t see that coming at all.

Anna Lee Huber is an amazing storyteller. She paints pictures with her words that allow readers to escape fully into her stories. She continues to surpass my expectations. The plotlines are tight, the dialogue is stellar, and her characters leap off the pages.

Each story stands on its own, but the Lady Darby mysteries are best enjoyed from the beginning to witness the character development and world building.

This book received my Paradise Rating because it deserves more than 5 stars. The is a book not to be missed.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 10, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

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Jul 212016
 

as death draws near

As Death Draws Near
(A Lady Darby Mystery)

Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Ireland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277720
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTK2I
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The latest mystery from the national bestselling author of A Study in Death tangles Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage in a dangerous web of religious and political intrigue.

July 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England’s Lake District, Kiera and Gage’s seclusion is soon interrupted by a missive from her new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that Kiera and Gage look into the matter.

Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travel to Rathfarnham Abbey school. Soon a second nun is slain in broad daylight near a classroom full of young girls. With the sinful killer growing bolder, the mother superior would like to send the students home, but the growing civil unrest in Ireland would make the journey treacherous.

Before long, Kiera starts to suspect that some of the girls may be hiding a sinister secret. With the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend, before their matrimonial bliss comes to an untimely end…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It seems Kiera and Gage can’t even have a honeymoon. Lord Gage sends them a message to travel to Dublin to investigate a nun that has been killed at an Abbey. He provides no details so the newly married couple find transport and get to Ireland as quickly as possible. The people of the surrounding area are not quick to provide much more information, even the other nuns at the abbey and the local Constable seems to holding back. Kiera and Gage have their work cut out for them to solve this case. It also tests their new married life as these two very independent people learn to trust their place now as man and wife.

Kiera has grown so much since this series began, much of the thanks to Gage, but now that she is his wife will he fall into the ways of most men in this time and curtail her independence and freedom when it comes to their investigations. The author has shown us both sides and not everything is resolved by the end of this book.

Huber’s stories are very character driven. Servants Anderley and Bree also play major roles in this mystery. Kiera has always been extremely close to Bree and we see Gage and Anderley are very close and trusting as well. We are also introduced to a wide variety of characters and a character from a past story reappears, much to Lady Darby’s dismay.

This mystery includes a lot of history and the murder takes a very interesting turn as we learn more about how that history impacts the nun’s death. I felt it was pretty complex and just a little hard to keep straight at times. There were so many players, secondary and minor characters that all played a part.

As I have come to expect from this author she paints amazing pictures with her words. The areas around the Abbey formed immediately in my mind. The portion of the story that takes place on the ship almost had me weaving with the motion of the waves.

As I have said in previous reviews to get the most out of these series the stories should be read from the start but this one does read well as a stand alone as the author gives us plenty of background.

I love that as the 5th book in this series that characters are fresh and engaging and the mystery is excellent. The author gives us a little tease for book number six and that made me so happy. I really want to go on more adventures with Mr. & Mrs. Gage.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 4, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

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Jun 242016
 

9WbGnJTR
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 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
ISBN-13: 978-0425277522
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages – (July 5, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281246
E-Book ASIN: B00OQSF8OU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

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…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

GIVEAWAYI am giving my hardcover review copy away!

The  publisher is giving away 1 paperback copy! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 8, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

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Jul 222014
 

1558415_10152213500626214_2051010994_nA Grave Matter
(A Lady Darby Mystery)

3rd Book in Series
Historical Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Larry Rosant
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Trade Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425253694
E-Copy File Size: 1728 KB
ASIN: B00G3L15FE
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven. Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her. But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.

While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case. But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.

When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first—some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest…before another victim winds up six feet under.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This 3rd installment of the Lady Darcy Mysteries is the best one yet. It is full of mystery but it is wrapped in romance as Kiera and Gage finally start to admit their feelings. It comes after much thought and reflection. Kiera’s self esteem needs a major boost and Gage needs to open himself up and trust her. Both characters truly grew throughout this entire story and it was a pleasure to see that. Kiera is still reeling from what her late husband put her through and the fact she has knowledge like no other woman of that time scares her but her family is there to support her.  Gage has some secrets that are holding him back but he is really trying to open up more.

In addition to the romance there is a fantastic mystery. When a caretaker is killed and a grave has been robbed during the Hogmanay Ball Lady Darby’s assistance is needed. She begrudgingly goes with the men knowing it will just hurt her reputation even more. She is happy when she is asked to request Sebastian Gage come to help with investigation and then we learn that this is not an isolated incident.  Their inquiries take them hither and yon as they follow the clues. They make a great investigative team.

Anna Lee Huber continues to write stories that evoke emotions and fully engages the reader from the first word until the last. Her characters come to life right off of the pages. They are flawed but so real.

I enjoy learning the history of Scotland and about things like the Hogmanay Ball and the superstition of the first footer.

I get excited each time a book in the series is released. The author gives us just enough of a cliffhanger to make readers wanting more. The problem is I want it right now!!! Write fast Anna!!! Your readers are anxiously waiting!!

If this is a new series to you start at the beginning with The Anatomist’s Wife. This is a extraordinary series.

 

paradise

Definitely More Than 5 stars!!!

5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

I am giving away my review copy!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 5, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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.”

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Sep 132013
 

17165593
Mortal Arts
(A Lady Darby Mystery)

2nd in Series
Historical Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Larry Rostant
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Trade Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425253786
E-Book File Size: 794 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ399Y
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Lady Kiera Darby has been doing her best to stay out of the public eye after helping solve a murder just a short time ago. She has been by her sister’s side as she struggles though the first stages of pregnancy. It is decided that the family will move to Edinburgh so that her sister will have the best care available. Kiera prefers the solace of the country and is apprehensive about the move because she is just not ready to face many things that await her in the city. Especially Sebastian Gage who she has not heard from since she helped him solve his case.

On their way to Edinburgh the family is sidetracked. An unexpected appearance has sent some of the extended family into a tailspin and Phillip, Kiera’s brother-in-law, has been summoned to offer his help in straightening matters out. Kiera is very surprised to Sebastian Gage is already in residence and there seems to be some very troubling mysteries to solve.

Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been anxiously awaiting the next Lady Darby mystery and it was well worth the wait.

This is an compelling story. Again Huber takes us into a castle and reveals its secrets.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Battle Fatigue. Shell Shock. It goes by many names, but for as long as there have been wars, soldiers have suffered the effects of combat and the horrors they have witnessed. Back in 1830 many soldiers were placed in asylums for “treatment”. The author takes us into one man’s tragic story and she really doesn’t pull any punches. The man, Michael Dalmay, was an artist and before being locked away he would draw and paint brutally graphic images of war. After his release from the asylum his drawings changed to his treatment and the treatment of others with “brain impairments”. Lady Darby knew him before and she is the key to understanding the man after. No one can understand or help him heal and she is his last chance especially when he is accused of something she knows he could never do.

The characters are so intriguing and the romantic tension gets intense between Kiera and Sebastian. The depth of Michael Dalmay was amazing. I can tell the author has done intensive research to portray this character as realistically as possible for the period.

Like The Anatomist’s Wife this is a haunting story. Again I stayed up late into the night because I couldn’t put this book down. This book touched me and had the tears flowing in places. You cannot help to feel what these soldiers went through and are still going through today even with all the advances. 

This story has something for everyone, mystery, suspense,a bit of romance, and a wonderful heroine. Now I begin the long wait until the next installment, coming in July 2014.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

This is where I usually put the About This Author section with the biography info that comes with the book.

Instead of that I found the following in the this month’s newsletter from Berkley and wanted to share it with you.

anna lee huberMORTAL ARTS Q&A with Anna Lee Huber

1)  We are delighted to sit down with Anna Lee Huber, the author of THE ANATOMIST’S WIFE and now MORTAL ARTS, the second historical mystery in her Lady Darby series. Readers have really connected with Kiera, Lady Darby-why do you think that is? What about Kiera made her an endearing and intriguing character to write?

I had one reader describe Kiera as being “extraordinary in an ordinary way,” and I think that’s a great description. She’s intelligent and gifted, but she’s also a bit of an every woman, who most of us can relate to in at least some small way. Kiera is awkward in social situations, but she’s fiercely loyal to those she cares about. She’s also a bit of an underdog in many respects, which makes her easy to root for. 

I love writing Kiera because she constantly surprises me. Even though I know her back story, her heartaches and secret hopes, suddenly something new will emerge I hadn’t realized. I also love her wit and sense of humor. 

2)  Sebastian Gage is an inquiry agent who finds his way into murder investigations and Lady Darby’s heart. Did you have any specific inspirations for his character? If you were to cast a film for the series, who would you pick to play Gage and who would play Lady Darby?

I didn’t have any specific inspirations for Gage. I knew I wanted him to be a gentleman inquiry agent, and for him to essentially be Kiera’s social opposite—charming and popular, but other than that he started out as a bit of a mystery. I discover something new about him with every chapter I write. I like it that way. 

I never write a character with a particular actor or actress in mind, but it is fun to think about who I would cast in their rolls. For Gage, I would choose English actor Rupert Penry-Jones—I loved him in his role as Captain Wentworth in the BBC version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. For Kiera, I would cast someone like Abbie Cornish. I adored her in Bright Star. 

3)  The Lady Darby books are very well-researched and filled with rich historical detail. Can you tell us a little bit about your research process for THE ANATOMIST’S WIFE and MORTAL ARTS and how they differed?

Before I started to write the Lady Darby series, I did a lot of era specific research, so that now I just have to do plot specific research for each book. Although, I do continue to do anatomy research, constantly trying to better understand what exactly surgeons knew in 1830 and what they didn’t. I do a lot of reading, and I’ve also visited Scotland to get a feel for the land. 

Much of the research for THE ANATOMIST’S WIFE was far more general, because a large portion of the book is establishing Kiera’s character and back story. The plot grew out of my creation of her, and so I did a lot of spot fact checking to make sure I had the details correct. MORTAL ARTS, on the other hand was developed more specifically around the plot. I wanted to focus on Kiera’s abilities as a portrait artist, and the notion of outcasts, as Kiera often feels she is. Once I decided that one of my main characters would be a war veteran suffering from PTSD, and that he had spent time in a lunatic asylum, I focused on those two issues. Much of my research time was spent in trying to understand the mindset of people in that time and their opinions of people with mental disorders. Psychology did not yet exist, so the characters could not have thought in the same terms as we do today. It was a struggle to write about the issue without planting concepts and terms into my character’s heads that they could not have grasped and still make it understandable to modern readers. 

4)  MORTAL ARTS deals, in part, with what we now call PTSD syndrome and also the frightening treatments given by so-called “lunatic asylums” to their patients. What inspired you to write about these subjects? Were you shocked by what you found in your research?

The treatment of lunatic asylums was something I had been exposed to years before, possibly in one of my college psychology courses, but I was still shocked to uncover some of the brutal methods they used, and their reasoning for employing them. I think it fascinates me because it terrifies me. Not so long ago, as a woman, if your parents or husband or guardians decided you were mentally unstable, justified or not, you could be locked away in one of these institutions. If you were lucky, it was clean and run by a staff who truly cared about your wellbeing. If not, all manner of horrid things could be done to you without your being able to do anything about it. In general, men had greater recourse to keep themselves from being committed without reason, but it still happened. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is also a concept that interests me. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to have never experienced real trauma, I do have a brain that easily fixates on frightening things and won’t let them go. This is why I cannot watch horror movies or read novels with extreme violence. It plays over and over in my head, interrupting my sleep and everyday life. PTSD sufferers experience this to a far greater degree. It is also such a recently diagnosed and accepted disorder. It pains me to know that men and women who suffered from it in the past, particularly soldiers who fought and died for their country, were branded cowards. They are what inspired me to write the character William Dalmay. And though his case is extreme, and his suffering exacerbated by his time spent in a lunatic asylum, I felt compelled to be as realistic as possible about what these men faced when there was no real treatment available to them. 

5)  Can you give fans and new readers alike a sneak peek into what you have in store for Kiera and Gage in the next Lady Darby Mystery, A GRAVE MATTERcoming out in July of 2014?

Two months after the end of MORTAL ARTS, Kiera is staying with her brother at their childhood home in the Borders region attempting to heal from the events that transpired. She hopes to be cheered by the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball, but when a young man covered in blood interrupts the festivities, she is suddenly pulled into another deadly mystery. A caretaker at nearby Dryburgh Abbey has been murdered, and an old grave disturbed—the bones of its occupant stolen. And it’s not the first. Some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera must join forces with Sebastian Gage yet again to catch the culprit, and untangle the complicated emotions that lie between them before one of them winds up six feet under.

I would love to share my review copy with you!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 27, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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.”

Share
Nov 302012
 

The Anatomist’s Wife
(A Lady Darby Mystery)

A Brand New Series
The Berkley Publishing Group (November 6, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Historical Mystery
Trade Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425253281

The Anatomist's Wife

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage–a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn’t about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage’s search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Anna Lee Huber has created an extraordinary heroine in Lady Kiera Darby. A heroine with an unusual past that allows her right into the middle of the murder investigation. A past that has isolated her and besmirched her name. A past she wishes would stay in the past.

Sebastian Gage has assisted his father in many investigations but has never undertaken one totally on his own. He is unsure of how Kiera can help him but he bows to the wishes The Earl of Cromarty, his host. As the guests point fingers at Lady Darby and proclaim she is the murderer, Cage decides to allow her to assist him even for no other reason than to keep his eye on her. But it isn’t long before they start to have feelings for each other and he feels the need to protect her. Neither is ready to admit their feelings and Lady Darby has been burned badly in her prior relationship so the while the romantic tension is great, the pace is slow and absolutely perfect.

Huber takes us back in time, to a drafty and dark castle. We go deep into the remotest part of the castle for the preliminary inquiry to ascertain the cause of death of the victim. The halls are full of shadows and cobwebs. Lady Darby’s travels through the fortress are always mired with the feeling that she is being followed or watched. The reader can almost feel the tickles up the back of our own necks as she travels through the manor and tries to search out the real killer.

The author has given us a haunting story, in a fabulous setting, with the most intriguing characters. The story itself is very fast paced but each word should be savored. This is a chilling tale that may give you a sleepless night because you won’t be able to put it down. I can believe we have to wait until next September for the return of Lady Darby, but I know it will be well worth the wait.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

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.”

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One Feta in the Grave (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) by Tina Kashian Order Your Copy Today! MMP Just $5.03
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