Review: An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7) by Anna Lee Huber

Lady Darby has been a favorite heroine of mine for some time now. I only recently discovered the series a couple of years ago, but from the moment I started reading The Anatomist’s Wife, I was completely in love with her character.

Reviewing this book was a no brainer. I have loved watching this series evolve and progress, shifting from mystery, to romantic suspense, and back to more mystery and I have loved every single book. Plus Huber is a wonderful writer with many of her books ranking highly on my recommended list!

I have recommended all of her books to everyone I know and have loved seeing friends and family fall in love not only with Lady Darby but with Verity Kent as well! Each could be read as a stand alone book in my opinion as the author does a great job orientating the reader within the story and the character backstories, so if you have your eye on this book but haven’t read the others, don’t fret you won’t be horribly lost.

Summary

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? (summary from Goodreads)

Review

I thought this book had a lot to offer when it comes to mystery. This series has always been a mystery series, but some of the books focused quite a bit on the romance between Lady Darby and Gage, which were easily some of my favorites. However, now they are married so the focus has shifted from building a romance between the two, to building a more complex mystery story.

I loved the burkers angle of this book. Considering Lady Darby’s past, this book was appropriately placed and was a wonderful bookend to the first book. I loved how this book dun into the body trade and the anatomists. It was interesting and the mystery itself was complex and with different angles.

This time the victims were easily unlikeable which made the challenge of solving the murder even more tedious. I absolutely hated the first victim and can easily say that I was glad someone did him in. However, other bodies start popping up and not every victim is as easily dismissed as the first. This kept me guessing and interested in the story.

While I loved this installment, for me I could have done without the Italian Boy storyline in some ways. It was ok, but clearly not the focus and for me it just seemed a little forced and used as a way to give Anderly a backstory. While all this was nice, I didn’t think it was necessary in the larger narrative. Overall though I gave this book 4.5 stars!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: April 2nd 2019 by Berkley
ASIN B07FC7Y6GT
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley, in exchange for an honest review. This review is in no way influenced. All opinions are my own.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: historical fiction, mystery

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