If you have followed me for long, you know I have been a fan of this series since I reviewed the first book, The Anatomist's Wife (click here). I have also reviewed #2 Mortal Arts (click here), #3 A Grave Matter (click here), and was honored to interview the author (click here.) Now for the next book in this fascinating historical mystery.
Copyright: July 2015 (Berkley) 336 pgs
Series: 4th in Lady Darby Mystery series
Sensuality: mild kissing and situations
Mystery Sub-genre: historical-Amateur Sleuth, Private Investigator
Main Characters: Lady Kiera Darby, an accomplished artist,widow, and social outcast
Setting: 1831, Edinburgh Scotland
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Kiera has been commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, who is obviously in an abusive marriage. When she dies suddenly, Kiera suspects poison when the husband's physician insists it was her heart in spite of her excellent health. Kiera is determined to find the killer of the kind Lady Drummond, even when the rumors of her involvement in her husband's dissection of bodies is renewed and her fiance's father presents ongoing resistance to her personally and in the investigation. A few near miss accidents convince Kiera that somebody won't stop with rumors to halt her investigation, so she gets creative in some of her dealings. Subplots are sister Alana having a very difficult pregnancy and the family is emotionally struggling with it. Also, the conventions of a women's place in society is increasingly a point of frustration for Kiera.
Lady Kiera Darby is facing her past and coming into her own with a stubborn streak showing strong. Sebastian Gage must face his own baggage for the sake of their deepening relationship as well as handle his alpha-male father. Alana and husband Phillip are emotionally challenged in their relationship through her high-risk pregnancy. Bonnie Brook is a necessary evil that looks to be a recurring small character who is dangerous and unpredictable. Bree, Kiera's personal maid, is shaping up to be a great supporting role and I want more of her.
Edinburgh is a rich backdrop as the setting. The plot starts deceptively simple and quickly develops to more complicated and murky - which I like. The pacing stays consistent with the frustrating investigation and subplots. The climax is a mixed bag as several elements transpire at the same time so Kiera can't be involved in everything. I like a tense and suspenseful killer confrontation, but that didn't happen in this case. The resolution of the plot is natural and logical and the suspense is found in another element of the storyline, so it is satisfactory. The wrap-up is upbeat and a shining moment.
I love this series, it is the whole package with an entertaining story, interesting plot, developed characters, and atmospheric setting for a great escapist read.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list
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