A Study in Death

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A Study in Death

A Lady Darby Mystery

A STUDY IN DEATH is the first of Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby mysteries I’ve read, and now I cannot wait to get my hands on the first three books in the series. A STUDY IN DEATH is everything I crave in a historical mystery. It features an interesting setting, a likable and compelling sleuthing team, and a mystery complex enough to keep me guessing. In Lady Kiera Darby, Huber has created a heroine who would be an interesting protagonist, even if she wasn’t solving crimes in Victorian Scotland. Her determination, cleverness, and vulnerability immediately drew me in. I enjoyed the first person point of view writing style and the fact that I got to view the world and other characters through Kiera’s eyes. I liked that she has a dark and shocking past: a talent for art which Huber lovingly describes, and an intriguing relationship with her inquiry agent and fiancé, Sebastian Gage. That dash of romance always makes protagonists more appealing to me. When they also happen to form a sleuthing duo, all the better.

Listing the best parts of A STUDY IN DEATH would take too long but I was particularly impressed with Huber’s ability to draw me (almost immediately) into the story and make me care about the characters, including secondary characters, and the book’s eventual victim. Not having read other books in the series, I wondered if I might have missed something crucial. Not in this case. Huber painted a lush portrait (not unlike her heroine) quickly and immersed me in 19th century Edinburgh and the relationships of her protagonists. She set a steady pace, never losing hold on the tension of the mystery, even as she spent time developing the relationship between Lady Darby and Sebastian Gage.

A STUDY IN DEATH is a beautifully written and completely satisfying historical mystery. I’ve found my new favorite mystery series! For anyone who loves mysteries with a historical British setting with a clever lady sleuth and a compelling crime to untangle, I highly recommend A STUDY IN DEATH.

Book Blurb for A Study in Death

From the national bestselling author of A Grave Matter comes the latest riveting mystery featuring a most “unusual and romantic” (Judith Rock) sleuth…

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…

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2015 4.50