The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby Mystery Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby Mystery Series #1)

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Overview

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…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Anachronistic language and a predictable romantic plot detract from Huber’s debut set in 1830 Scotland. Respectable society views Lady Kiera Darby with suspicion, because she assisted her late husband, a renowned anatomist, by preparing sketches of the human body parts he studied. When someone stabs Lady Godwin to death at Kiera’s sister’s castle, Kiera’s dubious reputation makes her the prime suspect among the eminent guests gathered for a house party there. With the authorities some distance away, responsibility for investigating falls to Sebastian Gage, “London’s gentleman inquiry agent.” Kiera initially regards the Darcyesque Gage with disdain, but she also notes that his eyes were “the pale blue of a winter sky the morning after a snowstorm,” leaving little doubt that their relationship will improve. The insertion of a fiendishly clever fair-play clue at the outset suggests that Huber is capable of better things. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Huber's protagonist is complex and likable and the well-lotted mystery is filled with fascinating secondary characters. The setting is lavishly portrayed . . . you'll be engaged right to the end." —-RT Book Reviews
VOYA - Erin Wyatt
After the body of Lady Godwin is discovered brutally murdered during a party for high-society Londoners, the rich and powerful guests and their servants are sequestered at a remote Scottish estate. While an investigator is days away, Sebastian Gage, a guest at the party with some experience as an inquiry agent, and Lady Keira Darby try to discover who committed the murder. Keira is an artist and widow with a reputation because her husband forced her to attend autopsies and diagram them, something deemed unbefitting of a lady in the 1830s. While many guests find Keira the prime suspect, Keira desperately wants to protect her family and prove her innocence. With the murderer still present, the investigation leads to intrigue, revelation of secret affairs, and complex motives. Despite the initial disdain Keira has for Gage, there is a romantic undercurrent to their relationship and growing friendship. Keira is a widower who has not been lucky in love and is a fiercely independent woman. Fans of Downton Abbey might recognize and be drawn to this world with a veneer of high society manners and strict class rules. While at times it is difficult to keep the various society folks straight, the mystery is compelling, with several twists and turns. The relationship between Keira and Gage has a slow burn to it, and the book certainly ends with the suggestion of another case that would bring them together again. Reviewer: Erin Wyatt
Kirkus Reviews
Even a remote Scottish castle in the 1830s is not far enough removed from society to shield a talented artist from her fearsome reputation. Since the death of her husband, Lady Kiera Darby has been living with her sister Alana and her brother-in-law Philip quietly painting. After her husband forced Kiera to illustrate an anatomical book he was writing, the recent Burke and Hare scandal caused people to look upon Kiera with fear and loathing when her part in the book was revealed. After 16 peaceful months, Alana invites a diverse group of titled friends to a house party only to find one of them, Lady Godwin, stabbed in the garden. When several of the assembled company immediately accuse Kiera, Philip asks houseguest Sebastian Gage, whose father is a noted investigator, to look into the crime, forcing Kiera to work with him. Her unwelcome expertise shows that not only was Lady Godwin's throat slit; someone cut a child out of her womb. Since Lord Godwin has long been away in India, the sleuthing pair look elsewhere for the father of the child. They soon learn that Lady Godwin had spread her favors among many men. Kiera is attracted to Gage even though she does not know whether he regards her as a suspect. She does know that it will be no easy task to solve the crime in the four days before the fiscal prosecutor arrives, given that most of the guests have already identified Kiera as the killer. Huber's debut, first in a planned series, reads like a cross between a gothic novel and a mystery with a decidedly unusual heroine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101612323
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Series: Lady Darby Mystery Series , #1
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 21,666
  • File size: 540 KB

Meet the Author

Anna Lee Huber currenly resides in Indiana with her family, and is hard at work on the next novel in the Lady Darby series.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

4 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Historical Mystery lovers - you're going to love this one!

    Scotland, 1830. A widow whose husband used her artistic talents for his own macabre purposes. From the opening scream to the hushed ending, Anna Lee Huber’s The Anatomist’s Wife is a tight, historical mystery with skillful undertones of isolation, inequality, jealousy, and rules of society. Amid rustles of skirts and stirring of tea, clues are planted, lies are exposed, false leads send us along diverted trails, and characters are stripped of their proper Victorian façades. Here we see the polite drawing room tea, forced manners, and undercurrents of tension and injustice. One can serve tea while ruining a reputation at the same time. Thankfully, this book did not dwell on the cat and mouse games of London Seasons and scandalous liaisons. Okay there was scandal. But an unwarranted scandal cast upon Lady Darby, our protagonist. I loved the premise of setting this following the Resurrectionist Era of Burke and Hare and entangling Lady Darby in the bloody aftermath.

    Aristotle would be delighted at Ms. Huber’s use of story elements. The plot was tight, the characters dimensional with clear goals, and even the secondary characters left us with tidbits of their lives. The themes of isolation, guilt, revenge and family devotion in this story are relevant today. While I did not find that the language rang true to the locale, the clean use of grammar and conversation style between characters clearly indicated the Victorian Era. Finally, the setting was in my favorite place. However, my Scottish obsession was not, at first, satisfied, as I wanted to be transported right away to the textures, buildings, landscapes and surrounding area of the Highlands. Yet as the plot thickened and lies were revealed, I was soon in the middle of lush chambers and chilly stairways, and then an unstable boat rocking above the dark depths of a loch.

    The author’s intent for a good mystery is intelligently carried out with a tantalizing dash of romance slowly evolving and emerging through the self-imposed walls of Lady Darby’s isolation. Yes, I would have liked to see more sparks between Sebastian Gage and Lady Darby, but it would not ring true for this story. It would not align with Darby’s long self-exile and the gentle evolution of her return into society. Now the ending was the cleverest of all. Yes, it wrapped up with a credible resolution. Better than that, it left me very anxious to read the next book. Smart. See for yourself. Buy the book, a flavorful tea, and curl up under a good reading light. I bet you will not stop until the last page.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby h

    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...


    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 22, 2012

    Man I love a good historical mystery romance - and this was FANT

    Man I love a good historical mystery romance - and this was FANTASTIC! Deanna Reybourn and Tasha Alexander fans should pick this up. Couldn't stop reading and loved every second!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Liz

    I love to read, mysteries and romance among my favorites. Writing of this high caliber is a treat. I am so impressed by the tight mystery, wonderfully drawn characters and the subtle beginning of a romance. This is a very tasteful romance that is fine for any age. The mystery is also tasteful but can be a bit shocking depicting the evil behind the misdeeds. I started reading mysteries in grade school. Depending on the individual grade schooler, I think grades 7 and up is fine. (Heaven knows they have probably seen tv shows that are far more graphic). I cannot come up with enough words of praise for this book and thanks to the author for her imagination and great writing. I am delighted that the main characters will be back in the next book of what I hope is a long series. I have read all the reviews here and suggest reading the review by "BetsyBean". I have never suggested a review before, but I appreciate her ability to tell you about the book without giving anything away. Read this wonderful mystery, you will be happy you did.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    CSI Old School Style -Excellent debut novel

    Strong characters, wonderful family, brutal murder and a young widow artist with a keen eye for detail who most solve. Romance, yes, but not a historical bodice-ripper. What a great find.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Wonderful read, can't wait for the next book!

    Wonderful read, can't wait for the next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Kept me interested

    Many twists and turns kept the story interesting even though I figured it out early on.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Excellent! Don't miss this new historical mystery.

    Excellent! Don't miss this new historical mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    A good read!

    Really enjoyed the characters and the story. Ready to start on the next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Not what I expected

    DId not finish the book, just couldn't get in to it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    Wonderful read

    I really like historical mysteries, and this was a very good one. Lady Kiera Darby is ostracized by society because t's thought that she willingly participated in her late husband's anatomy experiments. Now living with her sister and her family, she becomes involved in a murder investigation whena guet is found murdered. And she becomes acquainted with Sebastian Gage, who's been charged by her brother-in-law with leading the investigation. Kiera doesn't want to be attracted to this man, but... The next installment of this series may tell us where it all leads.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Can't put it down!

    Well written. Great plot, character development and full of suspense!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Great read.

    I really enjoyed this book. It was reminiscent of Tasha Alexander's books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted October 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews

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