Title: The Anatomist's Wife
(A Lady Darby Mystery #1)
Author: Anna Lee Huber
Date Of Publication: November 6th, 2012
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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...
The Anatomist's Wife
The chapel where Lady Godwin's body had been stored was located on the far western end of Gairloch Castle. It often bore the brunt of the ferocious winds coming off Loch Ewe in winter, blocking the rest of the castle from a direct blow. Being the coldest part of the estate, the western block was rarely used anymore, and at an hour past midnight, the rooms and hallways that shrouded and dusty from disuse felt eerily vacant.
I shivered as we marched down the corridor, grateful I had thrown a shawl over my shoulders before we set out. The lantern Mr. Gage carried barely peeled back the darkness around us, and certainly did nothing to heat the drafty hallway. Much as I had decided to dislike him, I found myself shifting ever closer to his body, trying to stay as close to the center of the circle of light as possible.
I realized we could have waited until dawn to examine Lady Godwin's body. She would stay fresh enough in the chapel cellar. But I had decided it would be better to have the task over and done with. Procrastinating was not going to make it any easier, and I knew I would never get any sleep that night regardless. Mr. Gage had readily agreed, and I wondered if perhaps he felt the same way.
The clatter of our footfalls echoed off the old stone, the only sound other than the creak of the swinging lantern. The silence unsettled me, but I somehow felt speaking would only make it worse. As if making conversation somehow demeaned the seriousness of our undertaking. Besides, what would we talk about? The weather? The party? It all just seemed foolish.
I wrapped my shawl tighter around me. I didn't even really know Lady Godwin. In the week she spent at Gairloch, I had discovered she was a flirt and many of the men seemed to fancy her. After all, she was beautiful, but in the superficial way that wealthy ladies often are. I believe I'd only spoken two words to her during her stay, an "excuse me" as she nearly bumped into me in the hall one evening. And now I was about to view more of her than any of her gentlemen admirers had ever seen.
There is so much to love about Anna Lee Huber's The Anatomist's Wife. Leading lady, Keira Darby, is the perfect blend of social outsider, wronged widow, and too smart for her own good. Factors which, when taken together, make her a totally irresistible character indeed.
Can you say must read mystery?
If you are a reader who likes your mysteries suspenseful until the last. Your plots cerebral and character driven, and the barest hint of nuanced attraction to boot. You are sure to love the Bonnie and Clyde-esque maneuverings of Keira and Sebastian.
There is much musing about the thoughts and feelings of others. As well as flowery prose and romantic notions about Gage on the part of Keira. But that is to be expected, given the time period and general lack of any other pressing activities.
The best part of this read by far however, has to be the can't miss action packed ending.
An ending that not only provides readers with an utterly jaw dropping solution to the where's, why's, and truly are moments of this most gruesome of murders.
But also goes a long way in assuring readers that the chemistry that is a brewing between our sleuthing twosome, is a whole lot more than just a flash in the proverbial pan.
All About Anna
Anna Lee Huber is the Daphne award-winning author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, the Verity Kent Mysteries, the Gothic Myths series, and the forthcoming anthology The Jacobite’s Watch. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She currently resides in Indiana with her family and is hard at work on her next novel. Visit her online at www.annaleehuber.com.
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