A Grave Matter (Lady Darby Mystery #3)
Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven. Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her. But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case. But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first—some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest…before another victim winds up six feet under.

A Grave Matter (Lady Darby Mystery #3) Details

TitleA Grave Matter (Lady Darby Mystery #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 1st, 2014
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780425253694
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Romance, Fiction

A Grave Matter (Lady Darby Mystery #3) Review

  • Rane
    January 1, 1970
    Time and again The Lady Darby series has captivated me with it's storylines, the time period and of course Kiera and Gage. Two leads I can't get enough of and Huber finally brings things to head with these two that many readers have been waiting for since the start of the series! After the events of the (previous book) months, Kiera is back at her childhood home with her brother Trevor trying to heal her soul and perhaps forget a certain inquiry agent.... Then when the clock strikes midnight fo Time and again The Lady Darby series has captivated me with it's storylines, the time period and of course Kiera and Gage. Two leads I can't get enough of and Huber finally brings things to head with these two that many readers have been waiting for since the start of the series! After the events of the (previous book) months, Kiera is back at her childhood home with her brother Trevor trying to heal her soul and perhaps forget a certain inquiry agent.... Then when the clock strikes midnight for the new year, Kiera and her family are confronted with a grave robbing that is much more then meets the eyes. Again reunited with Gage in order to solve this case, Kiera and Gage slowly pick up the pieces of their newest case while revealing more secrets of one another.. While the book was excellent it wasn't as dark as portrayed in book 1 & 2. The focus was shifted more into the building relationship and trust between Gage and Kiera. With Gage "finally" showing more of himself. At times you had of tug and pull between the two and a few bumps in the road, that was expected and no doubt there will be even more bumps between these two, but it was such a joy to see these two individuals find one another and be able to open themselves up. The mystery was again on the vein of knowing who was behind it but why we're they doing and for what purpose was the main push behind it all. I find myself re-reading this series and going back to my favorite passages as I just can't get enough of the Lady Darby series and eagerly await the next book!
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    This is another good historical mystery series. This is the third book and there are only a total of 5.
  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    My favourite book in the series so far. It's turning out to be quite a good historical mystery series.
  • Piyangie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third installment of the series, and it is getting better with each installment. This series is unlike anything I read before. The mystery plots are based on unusual themes. And they are original. It seems Anna Huber has taken a good amount of time to research and plan the plot. And there is an easy and smooth flow to the stories which show that she takes care in its execution. But undoubtedly the strongest point of the series is its recurring characters, especially the main duo Lady This is the third installment of the series, and it is getting better with each installment. This series is unlike anything I read before. The mystery plots are based on unusual themes. And they are original. It seems Anna Huber has taken a good amount of time to research and plan the plot. And there is an easy and smooth flow to the stories which show that she takes care in its execution. But undoubtedly the strongest point of the series is its recurring characters, especially the main duo Lady Darby and Sebastian Gage. There is good murder-mystery in this installment too, and I did enjoy it. But what really arrested and held my interest is the character development of the main duo, Lady Darby and Sebastian Gage. Lady Darby, as I've mentioned in my previous review, is an unusual choice of a heroine. Her previous abusive marriage has left her broken. It is a pure struggle for her to come to terms of her past and to find her lost innocence and happiness. And her growing attraction for Gage and her realization of her love him doesn't make things easier for her as her past disastrous marriage continuously haunts her arousing suspicions and doubts. Having some personal experience, it was very easy for me to empathize with her. On the other hand, the charming and handsome hero, Sebastian Gage too is not the man the world sees him to be. Underneath his charming facade, there lives a man with a troubled past and an "ungentlemanly" hobby. I really like Anna Huber's choice of these flawed two characters as her main duo. It gives them a very realistic touch. And in this particular installment, there was a lot of tension between them and they go through emotional struggle as they finally come to terms with their relationship. All of this were strongly and feelingly portrayed drawing the readers in to them. This was I felt to be the better part of the story and it is what captured my heart.All in all, I'm really happy to have come across this series. At this point, it is certainly the best murder-mystery series that I have thus far read.
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  • Jenny Q
    January 1, 1970
    I read this purely for the romance. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be continuing with the series. I kept going to see the romance come to fruition, and now it has. I find the stories to be very slow moving, heavy on description and repetitive introspection, and the villain's motive in this one was just silly. I'd like to see Ms. Huber write more in her Gothic myths series. I really enjoyed the first book.
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  • Olga Godim
    January 1, 1970
    I hate it when I have to disagree with my friends about a book or a series. Many readers like this series, but for me, the best one was the first book, The Anatomist's Wife (my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). I couldn’t finish the second book in this series – it was too depressing. I did finish this one although I was tempted to give it up at least a couple of times. It was a disappointment; I wanted so much to like it, but this novel was very slow.It takes place at the s I hate it when I have to disagree with my friends about a book or a series. Many readers like this series, but for me, the best one was the first book, The Anatomist's Wife (my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). I couldn’t finish the second book in this series – it was too depressing. I did finish this one although I was tempted to give it up at least a couple of times. It was a disappointment; I wanted so much to like it, but this novel was very slow.It takes place at the same time as the first two novels of the series, in 1830. It’s also a historical mystery. The protagonist Kiera, Lady Darby, again stumbles upon a murder and she is assisting Sebastian Gage, an inquiry agent we know from the first two books, in his investigation. Along the way, the two explore their deepening relationship. It could’ve been such a fun romp. Instead, for most of the book, the heroes shuttle from location to location without uncovering any clues to the baffling crime. They ride in their carriage from one estate to another, talking to various people, while the action stands still. Nothing else happens. No revelations occur. Even the murder was accidental. The main crime they investigate is that someone steals old bones of long-dead aristocrats from cemeteries all around Scotland and then ransoms them to the relatives. The author and the heroes, except Kiera herself, are more concerned about recovering old bones and the indignities done to the dead and their rich living relatives than they are about the murdered man. He was a poor caretaker after all, and the dead were all nobility. It made me so angry.Another reason for my dislike of this story: almost the entire book, Kiera is in the grips of angst about Gage, as if she was fifteen and not a grown woman. Yes, her previous marriage was a disaster, but she is free of it now. Her brutal husband is dead. Gage has proven himself to her several times already, even though he never confessed his undying devotion. Hasn’t she learned what is what in her three years of marriage and two years of widowhood? Why is she mooning and pining like a teenager all her waking hours: “he loves me – he loves me not?” Only the daisies and their petals are missing. After a hundred pages or so of such nauseating inner monologue, I got heartily tired of it. It makes Kiera seem stupid and immature – not a message I expected from the series. The writing is good, clean and professional, and the editing superb. And except for her insecurities about Gage and his love, I liked Kiera. She is an interesting protagonist, complex and talented. Maybe the author writes in the wrong genre? I think she might be much better suited to romantic suspense.
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  • Veronique
    January 1, 1970
    As was the case in the previous two titles, the focus in these novels is of course the crime mysteries set in 19th century Scotland, but also Lady Darby’s development, which includes her budding relationship with Sebastian Gage.In this instalment, following the death of her dear friend, Kiera has found refuge with her brother Trevor. However, during the Hogmanay Ball, someone is murdered and a grave is desecrated. It’s not long before Gage is called upon the scene and our duo are working togethe As was the case in the previous two titles, the focus in these novels is of course the crime mysteries set in 19th century Scotland, but also Lady Darby’s development, which includes her budding relationship with Sebastian Gage.In this instalment, following the death of her dear friend, Kiera has found refuge with her brother Trevor. However, during the Hogmanay Ball, someone is murdered and a grave is desecrated. It’s not long before Gage is called upon the scene and our duo are working together once more.What do I like in these stories? Well, Kiera of course, but also all the members of her family, which we discover more and more throughout the series. Gage can be infuriating and yet I can’t help thinking that it reflects how contemporary men would have been, fearful to lift their social masks - something that both Philip, her brother-in-law, and indeed Trevor, do more easily. The murders themselves are interesting and have been inspired from real historical events. I also appreciate how Huber didn’t go for the same ‘formula’ this time, which was present in the first two books (view spoiler)[this time, it was Kiera who saves Gage (hide spoiler)] - it bodes well for the rest of the series. And maybe more importantly, they are a fun way to spend a few hours :O)
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  • Caz
    January 1, 1970
    I've given this an A- at AAR, so 4.5 stars This is the third in Anna Lee Huber’s series of romantic mysteries set in 19th century Scotland and it’s a highly satisfying read on both counts.Lady Keira Darby is the widow of a renowned physician and anatomist who married her solely for her talents as an artist. Too tight-fisted to pay for someone to illustrate his anatomical textbooks, he forced Keira to watch and draw his human dissections. For a lady to be exposed to such a gruesome thing was quit I've given this an A- at AAR, so 4.5 stars This is the third in Anna Lee Huber’s series of romantic mysteries set in 19th century Scotland and it’s a highly satisfying read on both counts.Lady Keira Darby is the widow of a renowned physician and anatomist who married her solely for her talents as an artist. Too tight-fisted to pay for someone to illustrate his anatomical textbooks, he forced Keira to watch and draw his human dissections. For a lady to be exposed to such a gruesome thing was quite unthinkable, and when, after his death, word got out about Keira’s – albeit reluctant - involvement in his work, she was shunned, reviled, and relegated to the fringes of society. But the familiarity she had gained with the workings of the human body, combined with her quick wittedness and keen eye, made her ideally placed to help solve a murder investigation in which she was a suspect in The Anatomist's Wife. In A Grave Matter, as in the two previous books, Keira works to solve a mystery alongside the handsome and enigmatic enquiry agent, Sebastian Gage, a man who confuses, intrigues, frustrates, and attracts her in equal parts.Keira has retreated to Blakelaw House, her brother’s home, following the recent death of a dear friend during her last investigation (Mortal Arts). She is still mourning her friend and wrestling with the nature of her feelings towards Gage, from whom she parted in Edinburgh on uncertain terms. She has become very withdrawn from those around her – even her brother, to whom she is fairly close – and worse still, is unable to find solace in the art she so loves. A skilled portraitist, she has not completed a painting since her return from Edinburgh, and is finding it increasingly difficult to even pick up a paintbrush or to even want to paint, something which only adds to her grief and frustration.The story opens on Hogmanay 1830, at Clintmains Hall, the home of her uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Rutherford. When the tradition of “First Footing” (a superstition that the first person to cross the threshold of a house after midnight will bring good or bad luck to the household) is interrupted by a young man covered in blood, telling of grave-robbing and murder at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, it seems that Keira’s period of retreat is at an end. While her uncle would normally seek to spare a woman from something so gruesome, he nonetheless asks for Keira’s help. It’s a mark of her growing confidence in her abilities as an investigator that she actually wants to help, as her assistance in the previous investigations was more accidental and reluctantly given (because she had been trying to distance herself from the part she had played in her husband’s work). Her uncle also asks her to send for Gage, who, it seems, is still in Edinburgh, despite his declared intention of returning to London.Ms Huber has once more penned an engagingly complex mystery. Gage’s arrival adds yet more complications to the plot as he reveals he has been working on a similar case, and that whoever stole the bones then demanded a ransom for their return. He suspects the desecration at Drysburgh may follow the same pattern, so now he and Keira are faced with something rather more devious than a simple grave robbery.His arrival adds other complications, too, as his presence unsettles Keira in ways she isn’t ready to think about or admit to. Because the story is told in the first person, we only see Gage through Keira’s eyes and can only judge his thoughts and actions according to what she sees and thinks. He reveals little of himself to others, preferring to hide behind the persona he cultivates of the handsome charmer, something which enables him to move freely amongst the highest in society while also fooling people into thinking that he’s not much more than a pretty face. In their reluctance to let people get close to them he and Keira are very much alike, but Keira’s deep-rooted insecurities could put paid to any thoughts of a relationship between them. Her reluctance to trust a man is understandable, given the treatment she received at the hands of her late husband, but even though she knows Gage will never hurt her, she can’t help allowing her fears to overcome her rationality.While I – as, I suspect, is true for many others – read this book as much for the on-going romance as for the mystery element, I do enjoy the way the author weaves the two threads together. The relationship between Keira and Gage progresses nicely, and reaches a satisfying point by the end, even though it’s clear there is more to come (I admit, I may have squealed with delight at the prospect of a fourth book, even though it’s a year away!). But the romance is never allowed to overshadow the mystery, which makes for a greater realism in the story as a whole.A Grave Matter is very well written, (although a few Americanisms slip through – eg. sidewalk instead of pavement) and makes good use of a number of historical settings and personages. The main characters and familial relationships are strongly drawn; we’ve already met Keira’s sister and brother-in-law, the Earl and Countess of Cromarty, as well as her brother, Trevor, who appeared only briefly before. Here, he’s fully-fleshed out, and his relationship with his sister is supportive and truly touching, especially when, near the end of the book, he tells her a few things she needs badly to hear. Gage is as gorgeous a hero as ever, and I was delighted to see him opening up a little. But it’s Keira who makes the greatest journey in terms of character development. She’s progressed from being a woman who wants to sink into the shadows to one who is gaining confidence in herself and her abilities, is less afraid of the gossip that surrounds her, and isn’t afraid to put herself in harm’s way in order to protect those she cares about.Anyone who has enjoyed the previous books in this series is certain to enjoy A Grave Matter, yet there is enough detail about past events to make it work fairly well as a standalone for anyone picking this up without having read the others. I enjoyed it very much and will probably embark upon re-read of the series so far in order to get my Gage fix while awaiting book four!
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  • Maren
    January 1, 1970
    This book felt like being a bridesmaid in a wedding line: You're introduced to a huge number of people who you don't really know or care about talking to. And as soon as they walk away from you, you forget their name. While reading this book, I actually became bored. I had a few complaints about the other two books in this series, but I never felt bored. So there were too many new and uninteresting characters that Kiera and Gage had to interview one by one. But I also felt like our old, favorite This book felt like being a bridesmaid in a wedding line: You're introduced to a huge number of people who you don't really know or care about talking to. And as soon as they walk away from you, you forget their name. While reading this book, I actually became bored. I had a few complaints about the other two books in this series, but I never felt bored. So there were too many new and uninteresting characters that Kiera and Gage had to interview one by one. But I also felt like our old, favorite, returning characters were missing some of their spark. They failed to capture my sympathy like they did in the previous books. Maybe I'm just ready for Kiera to heal emotionally--not much time has passed in the world of the story, but three whole books of being sad about her terrible marriage to Lord Darby is enough. Two books of that was, apparently, my limit. I'm ready to move on.Two scenes I really enjoyed were the painting of Gage scene and the Bonnie Brock carriage scene. The rest of the book kind of plodded along, one measly hint at a time. It was probably realistic for how real life investigations typically go, but why should fake life be boring, too?
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  • Bookish Ally
    January 1, 1970
    I love these Victorian mysteries starring the wonderful Lady Darby and set at the border of England and Scotland. There is a lovely romance that moves with the slowness that is appropriate for the Victorian culture and lots of tidbits about the culture within the book
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    I am grateful to the Meridian Library for my copy of the third book of Lady Darby series. Keira has returned to her childhood home to stay with her brother, Trevor. The grave of a decrease Lord has been disturbed and the bones are missing and the night watchman is shot dead. Keira is asked to write to Sebastian Gage for help. He informs them that recent client of his had a missing bones of ancestors. This client received a note asking for money to return the bones. After payment, the bones were I am grateful to the Meridian Library for my copy of the third book of Lady Darby series. Keira has returned to her childhood home to stay with her brother, Trevor. The grave of a decrease Lord has been disturbed and the bones are missing and the night watchman is shot dead. Keira is asked to write to Sebastian Gage for help. He informs them that recent client of his had a missing bones of ancestors. This client received a note asking for money to return the bones. After payment, the bones were returned. The story has many twists and turns. Keira is fearful of her pass surfacing and the romance between Gage and he continues. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK AND SERIES.
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  • Rivka
    January 1, 1970
    Take my heart ❤ be that way 😍😍😍 Take my heart ❤️ be that way 😍😍😍
  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Can you hear the sound of my heart singing in book joy? *throws confetti* I loved every single thing about Kiera, Gage and their romance in A Grave Matter; every single act that underlined the depth of their regard for each other, every argument, every disagreement resolved. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a satisfying and beautifully-developed relationship between two people in a series that doesn’t have romance as its central genre. Despite both Kiera and Gage being the type of individu Can you hear the sound of my heart singing in book joy? *throws confetti* I loved every single thing about Kiera, Gage and their romance in A Grave Matter; every single act that underlined the depth of their regard for each other, every argument, every disagreement resolved. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a satisfying and beautifully-developed relationship between two people in a series that doesn’t have romance as its central genre. Despite both Kiera and Gage being the type of individual to mask their emotions and guard their pasts, we constantly see them war with these instincts in an effort to build a healthy relationship based on trust. Misunderstandings happen, some coming close to endangering any chance they have of a future together, but I love that neither are willing to drag out confrontations or run away without addressing their issues first. The amount of devotion and passion Gage demonstrates towards Kiera is enough to make every girl swoon. The author doesn’t have to put it in words; with every action, Gage reveals the dependable and honorable side of him that was hidden behind the rake’s façade in the first (and to a certain extent, the second) book. Once Gage comes to terms with his own feelings, he certainly does go all the way. By the end of this, I fully believed that Gage would walk through fire for Kiera. Kiera, for her part, has suffered so much abuse to her ability to trust and love during her previous marriage that it’s hard not to sympathize with her hesitation to throw herself in headfirst the way Gage does. But like the heroine I’ve come to adore, Kiera has no difficulty recognizing her own faults and makes every effort to reflect at every turn – and where she fails, she has a loving family circle ready to walk her through the process. I loved the addition of Kiera’s brother Trevor; like Alana, he’s fiercely protective of Kiera. Lord knows the girl needs some staunch protectors, after what she’s been through, and it’s definitely a nice change from all the dysfunctional or absent families that seem to perpetuate fiction nowadays. The grieving process that Kiera went through after the passing of her friend in the previous book is also very realistic - grief is long, painful and disruptive to everything that was once part of one's daily life. It's not often that you see it portrayed this way in mystery fiction (death is such a central part of murder mysteries that it's too easy to treat it like it's just another plot point). Kiera's grief really gets you in the gut and I appreciate that the author showed Kiera working through it rather than skipping over it. What forced me to deduct a star is the mystery, which paled in comparison to the cases in the first two books. While a death had occurred, it was only an unfortunate side-effect (so to speak) of a series of grave robberies. It could have been drummed up for suspense, but it took awhile for the pattern to be revealed and for the most part Kiera and Gage were flummoxed, forced to follow useless leads and wait for further developments. Not the most interesting case, that’s for sure. The resolution came too quickly and too neatly to be fully satisfying. What annoyed me most, though, was that (view spoiler)[we never got to see Bonnie Brock again – I kind of liked the tension-charged interactions between him and Kiera (hide spoiler)]. It could have made Gage jealous, if nothing else, and I do so love jealousy.I don’t know whether the next book can match or even surpass A Grave Matter; I’m a little worried that the bar is set too high now!
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  • Azita Rassi
    January 1, 1970
    Phew! What fun! So far, I’ve liked this volume the best in the series. Towards the end, I was seriously worried that the author is going to pull an Ann Cleeves on me and kill Gage. I listened to the superbly performed audiobook until about 3:30 am to find out Gage’s fate and finally went to sleep after his rescue :-)) The mystery was intricate enough for my taste and the solution was credible enough. A most enjoyable read altogether. Looking forward to the fourth volume.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like a reader's actual feelings on a series as a whole start to reveal themselves around book 3 or so. The way I figure it, the euphoria that you experience when starting a solid series is similar to how a shopper feels when you find an unexpected bargain in your favourite store. It surprises you and leaves you with a general feeling of contentment. This entirely nice feeling lingers on into the second book, but by the third, true feelings make themselves known. And what I feel about this I feel like a reader's actual feelings on a series as a whole start to reveal themselves around book 3 or so. The way I figure it, the euphoria that you experience when starting a solid series is similar to how a shopper feels when you find an unexpected bargain in your favourite store. It surprises you and leaves you with a general feeling of contentment. This entirely nice feeling lingers on into the second book, but by the third, true feelings make themselves known. And what I feel about this series is this: 1) I'm tired of how slow the relevant information about both MCs is revealed, 2) I'm tired of how insecure the h is about herself, 3) and I'm tired of how, even though she feels inadequate in so many ways, she feels like she's a great investigator (which she pretty much isn't). I know, I know. For the time period, any woman, gently reared or not, was not a detective and the fact that she's an amateur one is a point for her. But I digress.The first person narrative really doesn't help me not be annoyed with Kiera, the h. And the fact that we never hear from the H makes me wonder what his baggage is, aside from what was revealed in the previous book. I suppose the author has a series of many books planned and were all the secrets revealed too early on, the reader would be bored and stop reading. However, this reader is having a hard time caring to find out all the things. Case in point: (view spoiler)[ the h complains, rightly so, that the H is pretty much a closed book. (Hehe. Sorry, I couldn't stop myself.) He admits that he has a hard time trusting people, so what does he do? He shows her his woodshop since it's scandalous that a gentleman should work with his hands. Really? Maybe this was a sensitive issue for him, but I'm sure the h was much more interested in his military service or his childhood, not the fact that he makes furniture. (hide spoiler)]I do have to say this for the MCs: I like that the angst is never drawn out. They actually communicate, although it's usually after a huge misunderstanding and blowout. I will give the next book a read. Hopefully, now that things are more settled between the MCs, we can focus more on the actual mystery and suspense.
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  • Nidofito
    January 1, 1970
    So nice.It's not like I needed a reminder of what happened in this book. I read it more so because I'm head over heels in love with Keira and Gage. I love how relentless he is and I love how caring she is. On the outside, she comes across as pretty moody and he as a rake, but they're so much fun to read.I feel like rereading the rest of the series.
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  • LORI CASWELL
    January 1, 1970
    Dollycas’s ThoughtsThis 3rd installment of the Lady Darcy Mysteries is the best one yet. It is full of mystery but it is wrapped in romance as Kiera and Gage finally start to admit their feelings. It comes after much thought and reflection. Kiera’s self esteem needs a major boost and Gage needs to open himself up and trust her. Both characters truly grew throughout this entire story and it was a pleasure to see that. Kiera is still reeling from what her late husband put her through and the fact Dollycas’s ThoughtsThis 3rd installment of the Lady Darcy Mysteries is the best one yet. It is full of mystery but it is wrapped in romance as Kiera and Gage finally start to admit their feelings. It comes after much thought and reflection. Kiera’s self esteem needs a major boost and Gage needs to open himself up and trust her. Both characters truly grew throughout this entire story and it was a pleasure to see that. Kiera is still reeling from what her late husband put her through and the fact she has knowledge like no other woman of that time scares her but her family is there to support her. Gage has some secrets that are holding him back but he is really trying to open up more.In addition to the romance there is a fantastic mystery. When a caretaker is killed and a grave has been robbed during the Hogmanay Ball Lady Darby’s assistance is needed. She begrudgingly goes with the men knowing it will just hurt her reputation even more. She is happy when she is asked to request Sebastian Gage come to help with investigation and then we learn that this is not an isolated incident. Their inquiries take them hither and yon as they follow the clues. They make a great investigative team.Anna Lee Huber continues to write stories that evoke emotions and fully engages the reader from the first word until the last. Her characters come to life right off of the pages. They are flawed but so real.I enjoy learning the history of Scotland and about things like the Hogmanay Ball and the superstition of the first footer.I get excited each time a book in the series is released. The author gives us just enough of a cliffhanger to make readers wanting more. The problem is I want it right now!!! Write fast Anna!!! Your readers are anxiously waiting!!If this is a new series to you start at the beginning with The Anatomist’s Wife. This is a extraordinary series.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    A Grave Matter4 StarsLady Kiera Darby returns to her childhood home to celebrate Hogmanay with friends and family when news comes that the caretaker of local abbey has been murdered and the grave of a long deceased aristocrat has been disturbed. Finding herself once again embroiled in an inquiry due to her knowledge of anatomy, Kiera is eager to help, but must also contend with her complicated feelings for Sebastian Gage who arrives with the news that this is just the most recent incident of gra A Grave Matter4 StarsLady Kiera Darby returns to her childhood home to celebrate Hogmanay with friends and family when news comes that the caretaker of local abbey has been murdered and the grave of a long deceased aristocrat has been disturbed. Finding herself once again embroiled in an inquiry due to her knowledge of anatomy, Kiera is eager to help, but must also contend with her complicated feelings for Sebastian Gage who arrives with the news that this is just the most recent incident of grave robbers stealing bones and holding them for ransom.Although the mystery is intriguing, much of the investigation involves Kiera and Gage questioning suspects and witnesses. The dearth of suspects make it easy to guess the culprit, but the motive behind the crimes is compelling and the climax leads to some very intense and exciting moments.The real highlight of the story is the emphasis on Kiera and Gage’s developing romance. While the couple starts out circling each other warily as they have done in the previous installments, they finally admit the depth of their feelings for one another and take the inevitable next step. Although there are still obstacles to overcome in terms of the secrets in Sebastian’s past and Kiera’s fragile trust, it is clear that the two are definitely headed in the right direction.The secondary characters flesh out the narrative very well, however, one (view spoiler)[notorious crime boss Bonny Brock (hide spoiler)] stands out from the rest and it will be interesting to see if Huber continues this storyline.Heather Wilds' narration takes some getting used to, but her Scottish accents and inflection are top notch.All in all, an engaging continuation to one of my favorite historical mysteries and I look forward to listening to the next one.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This is a unique mystery. For one, it isn't a murder mystery, really. There is a murder, but it's tangential (what a weird thing to say). Instead, this is the story of weird body snatchers, and of Gage finally getting his act together and opening up. The latter is the better part of the book; much as I appreciate the mystery's uniqueness, the more I examine it, the less well it holds together. (view spoiler)[Mr. Collingwood, for example, was just dropped, along with a bunch of other threads, and This is a unique mystery. For one, it isn't a murder mystery, really. There is a murder, but it's tangential (what a weird thing to say). Instead, this is the story of weird body snatchers, and of Gage finally getting his act together and opening up. The latter is the better part of the book; much as I appreciate the mystery's uniqueness, the more I examine it, the less well it holds together. (view spoiler)[Mr. Collingwood, for example, was just dropped, along with a bunch of other threads, and the resolution with Mr. Stuart was just plain odd and unlikely. Also, it's a little - too fitting - that just as Kiera's grief is healing and she's realizing that she doesn't want to live with either sibling anymore, Gage is there to propose. I think her restlessness could be connected to her feelings for Gage, but it wasn't, at least not well enough. (hide spoiler)]Anyway, I don't think the mystery holds together like, say, a Dorothy Sayers mystery does, where every detail is precise and perfect, but on first read it's compelling enough. And I really appreciate the family dynamics.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Whoops, I just realized I hadn't reviewed this yet! I absolutely devoured it, and while it ends at a lovely point in the series, I cannot wait to read Book 4. (And if I hadn't already blown through my book budget for the month, I would have bought Book 4 IMMEDIATELY! I love being in Kiera's head.)
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  • The Lit Bitch
    January 1, 1970
    While my reviews of the Lady Darby mysteries are rather spread out, that does not mean that I read them sporadically. On the contrary, I read them in rather rapid succession but decided to spreat out the reviews so as not to overshadow other books that I had on my review calendar.The Lady Darby mysteries have won a place in my heart as a beloved lady detective series, all thanks in part to the electric romance between her and Gage, and all the Gothic elements that I adore in books.In this latest While my reviews of the Lady Darby mysteries are rather spread out, that does not mean that I read them sporadically. On the contrary, I read them in rather rapid succession but decided to spreat out the reviews so as not to overshadow other books that I had on my review calendar.The Lady Darby mysteries have won a place in my heart as a beloved lady detective series, all thanks in part to the electric romance between her and Gage, and all the Gothic elements that I adore in books.In this latest book, the Gothic element was a rather macabre burglary of sorts……stealing long dead skeletons. I loved the dark deserted graveyards and Abbeys, in remote locations of Scotland, paired with the creepy implication that perhaps the bodies rose from the dead.While this book had a lot to recommend itself, especially when it came to romantic tension, the mystery itself….for me….was a little less intriguing than some of the others. I personally wasn’t as invested in the mystery element as I had been with the first two. Maybe because the investigation focus was more on the grave robbers than an actual murder itself, or maybe because of the organized crime syndicate involvement, but for me something about the mystery just didn’t have the same appeal as the other books did. I would probably have given this book 3 stars had it not been for the romance part between Kiera and Gage finally coming to some sort of agreement.Having said that, I do understand why the author possibly choose to focus on those angles rather than have a dead body and gentleman murderer perpetually popping up at every single ball that Lady Darby attends. I get it, it’s nice to change things up and throw new scenarios at the heroine so I get why doing something more ‘fresh’ at this stage in the series would be a good thing, however I personally liked the first two books better.But mystery aside….I loved this book for the romantic drama. I love Gage and how he handles Kiera and her conflicting emotions. He is so perfect for her and compliments her character so well. I loved how things started to really come to a head between them in this book. It was kind of a ‘do or die’ point for them and I love how things culminated in the end for them. I enjoy how Gage slowly reveals bits and pieces of himself, I like a man with a little mystery about him still rather than laying it all out there. I think it’s exciting to watch Kiera slowly learn more and more about him and I love that the author doesn’t rush this process. At times Kiera frustrated me, I wanted her to just stop fighting her feelings and acknowledge them already. Sometimes this lack of acknowledgement made her seem rather daft but given her circumstances and history, I suppose it’s fitting but still, I was anxiously waiting for her to realize that she truly did love Gage.This has been a solid series so far. There are red herrings and little clues that may or may not play a role within the story/mystery. I always feel like I am trying to solve the case right along with Kiera and Gage. There are so many aspects of this series that are working well for me…..the Gothic elements, the romance, and complexity of the cases……not to mention it’s nice to get out of London sometimes and explore other murderous locations in Britain!See my full review here
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  • Jaclyn
    January 1, 1970
    So good! Can't wait for more adventures from this investigative duo.I have been dying for the next Lady Darby book since I finished Mortal Arts - a year ago. This series has had me hooked from the get-go and I have yet to be disappointed. A Grave Matter was another great installment and ahead of me stretches another long wait until book 4. *Sigh*Grave Matter picks up a couple of months after Mortal Arts. Kiera is now staying with her brother, Trevor, and grieving the loss of her friend Will. W So good! Can't wait for more adventures from this investigative duo.I have been dying for the next Lady Darby book since I finished Mortal Arts - a year ago. This series has had me hooked from the get-go and I have yet to be disappointed. A Grave Matter was another great installment and ahead of me stretches another long wait until book 4. *Sigh*Grave Matter picks up a couple of months after Mortal Arts. Kiera is now staying with her brother, Trevor, and grieving the loss of her friend Will. While attending a Hogmanay Ball hosted by her aunt and uncle, Kiera is once more drawn into an investigation when the neighbouring lord's caretaker is murdered and old bones are stolen for ransom. What's great about Grave Matter is the fact that Kiera is more of an established investigator now. She is asked to investigate by those outside of her immediate family, and because of her new found renown, Kiera is also asked to bring inquiry agent, Sebastian Gage, into the mix. Readers of the previous two books should be aware of Kiera and Gage's less than stable relationship, so Kiera is reluctant to contact Gage since she knows that it will change their dynamic considering how things were left in Mortal Arts.So what makes Grave Matter so great? Let me explain...1. Kiera's FamilyAs always Kiera's family really stands out in the series. In the previous two books it has been Kiera's sister and brother-in-law that have continued to support her following her societal fall. It so nice to have a supportive family in a series. I don't know if I've just been reading way too many historical romances (a distinct possibility) but it seems that bad family members seem to be the norm. I like the fact that Kiera has a strong support system and you can see how heavily she had relied on them following the death of her first husband and her subsequent fall from grace, and in Grave Matter you really get to see the impact of Kiera's reputation when she does venture out into society.In Grave Matter readers are now introduced to Kiera's brother, Trevor, who was another great addition to Kiera's family. I liked the fact that Trevor supported Kiera's taking part in the investigation. He didn't like it, but he never once stopped her or implied that she shouldn't be involved. Trevor was more concerned because he was her brother and wanted to protect her from any further hurt, especially since he feels guilt for not helping Kiera sooner in her disastrous marriage.I also liked the fact that Kiera often turned to her brother for advice in Grave Matter, it served to give their relationship more depth. It wasn't a window dressing relationship, it was a sibling relationship that actually had a point. Trevor gave Kiera some much needed advice and made Kiera ask herself some hard questions. Trevor also helped readers to understand what happened before Kiera's husband died, and why the family had been unable to help her sooner. Ultimately, Trevor was a great addition, and I hope that we get to see more of him in subsequent books.2. Character DevelopmentKiera has come such a long way from book one where she was hesitant and so obviously coming out of a disturbing relationship with her first husband. Kiera didn't have a lot of confidence outside of her own family circle in book one, but with book three Kiera seems to come into her own. She recognizes that she enjoys investigative work and she even seems less bothered by the snide comments others to and about her and her past as a illustrator of anatomy.I also liked how Kiera is also moving forward with her life. At one point, she's speaking with her brother and he mentions that she has freedom of choice, she has options open to her: she can paint, investigate, marry and have children. The point Trevor drives home, is that Kiera now has the power to choose her fate, something that I don't think she understood in the previous two books, she was much more inclined to be passive about the direction her life took. This power of choice comes out the strongest in Kiera's relationship with Gage, who threatens her in a way she's not sure that she's ready for.3. The RomanceI'll be honest, I mainly read this series because of the romance element, the mystery is simply a bonus for me. Happily for me, there is a lot of movement on the romance front for Kiera and Gage. Secrets are revealed, motives are questioned and decisions are made, of which I will say no more.What I liked about Kiera and Gage in Grave Matter was the fact that Kiera is struggling with her feelings for Gage. She had a bad first marriage and she doesn't really trust herself going into a new relationship. I think this is a pretty realistic portrayal and I liked that fact that we got to see Kiera's thought process in her interactions with Gage. She has to decide whether or not he's worth the risk.A Grave Matter was another excellent addition to the Lady Darby series. For me, the strongest element was the changes to Kiera as a character. She made some difficult choices about the way she wants to live her life and these will most certainly come to the fore in the next installments to the series - and I can't wait!And if you're anguished now that you also have to wait for the next book, check out a few series that I recommend on my blog that will keep you going in the Lady Darby drought.
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  • Andree
    January 1, 1970
    Grumble, grumble, grumble.An odd start to a five star review, to be sure, but I feel my emotions were played with unnecessarily over the course of this. And no, not for reasons of mortal peril (though that inevitably came up at some point).First of all though, can we talk about how not only do Kiera's sister and her husband continue to be fabulous in this (there was actual banter in this one between them, Kiera and Gage! Banter! There is little I love more than family banter with people-obviousl Grumble, grumble, grumble.An odd start to a five star review, to be sure, but I feel my emotions were played with unnecessarily over the course of this. And no, not for reasons of mortal peril (though that inevitably came up at some point).First of all though, can we talk about how not only do Kiera's sister and her husband continue to be fabulous in this (there was actual banter in this one between them, Kiera and Gage! Banter! There is little I love more than family banter with people-obviously-hoping-to-soon-be-family), but Kiera also has an older brother. Trevor. Who teases her and tries to make her happier and dances with her charmingly and teasingly at a ball when she tries to hide in a corner. I loved Trevor on page one (or whatever early page he showed up on that I'm to lazy to check). I loved him so much, I was willing to forgive the much later arrival of Gage in this one, when compared to book 2. (view spoiler)[Although, the fact that Kiera sent for Gage herself did help lessen my annoyance, as did his obvious interpretation of what that meant. (hide spoiler)]Then came mystery solving time! (I have minimal thoughts on mystery solving in this one, tbh) There was much arguing, plus some trying to actually communicate with each other (Gage's utter confusion when he realized Kiera thought he might be ashamed of her was pretty great), and a Scottish mobster being threatening (and Gage being charmingly but also bullheadedly protective). Also extensive making out in carriages. Definitely fun.I was also really liking how Kiera was slowly coming to terms with (view spoiler)[her grief over Will's death in the previous books (hide spoiler)], her frustration that wouldn't let her paint, and her insecurities that came from her past. I also really like her new ladies' maid. Seriously enjoy all characters in this.And then I became annoyed. Very annoyed. (view spoiler)[They were invited to a ball! They attended said ball! Together! Gage found out she loved to dance, and the reason she hid in corners was because no one ever asked her. So he adorably signed himself up for all sorts of dances! THERE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DANCING. I WAS PROMISED DANCING. Instead, some hateful debutante walked up and was all, "SO GAGE, Some random woman's expecting you to announce your engagement any day now. Your father's got it all arranged." AND IT WAS THE WORST. (I warned you he'd better not have a pre-existing wife! This was only marginally better than that!) Kiera goes off and dances with someone else she knows who's already requested the dance, and then escapes (understandably). THERE WAS NO DANCING. MY DANCING WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME.Later that evening Gage practically forces his way into her art studio and informs her that the woman is all wrong, he is not engaged, and the reason his father has been mad at him for months is that he has been sending his father letter after letter saying he will never agree to said engagement. Then he's all mad at Kiera for believing the worst of him. And she points out it would have been nice to be prepared for said possibility, since he had to know it could happen. And then there is more bonding over revealing shared secrets.But it was too late. My promised dancing was ruined. I was annoyed for at least 80 pages. THEN, they were invited to another party. Wearing highland dress. And I was promised dancing again! Gage even made sure to sign up for the first waltz to ensure dancing. Gage was on MY SIDE! And then the stupid mystery reared it's ugly head and ruined everything and they couldn't go. MY DANCING WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME AGAIN.So obviously, the book had lost a star. BECAUSE THAT WAS TWICE. THE SECOND ONE WAS JUST CRUEL.Then came the proposal. The second proposal. (Although, can we pause a minute and talk about the first one? When he sees her portrait of him, and is stunned by how clearly she obviously sees him and how much she obviously loves him and he proposes. And oh it's so great, even given her insecurities and non-acceptance. And then she comes to terms with delightful Trevor's help and support, and figures some stuff out, and is worried she's wrecked it, and then Gage demands inevitably-mystery-thwarted-dancing!) Right before/during the second proposal, he's all injured (because he was the one to get kidnapped this time, and she had to rush in, literally pretending to be the cavalry), but as they're riding out of the mess, having resolved the mystery, Gage gets off his horse, orders his valet to sing, and DEMANDS DANCING. I may have made a high-pitched squeak of some kind. (hide spoiler)]So, five stars it is! Because that ending. And really, just the whole three book arc thus far. But mostly that ending. Even if I do feel my emotions have been unfairly toyed with.Also, I'm beginning to become concerned about my investment in these. I'm well aware this review is essentially 90% flail. I'm waiting for the fourth book from the library (since it's not out in pretty paperback yet), and am seriously considering a reread in the interim.2016 Reading Challenge - A book set in Europe
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  • Lucinda
    January 1, 1970
    Finally!
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Anna Lee Huber’s A Grave Matter (A Lady Darby Mystery) is a historical, a mystery, and a romance. I’m not typically a historicals fan; that means I can’t judge historical accuracy. However, I truly enjoyed the setting. Also, one of my problems with some of the historicals that I’ve read is that the women all too often fall into the feisty & reckless stereotype. I understand why; it’s difficult to come up with reasons why a woman wouldn’t be excluded in many historical investigations and mach Anna Lee Huber’s A Grave Matter (A Lady Darby Mystery) is a historical, a mystery, and a romance. I’m not typically a historicals fan; that means I can’t judge historical accuracy. However, I truly enjoyed the setting. Also, one of my problems with some of the historicals that I’ve read is that the women all too often fall into the feisty & reckless stereotype. I understand why; it’s difficult to come up with reasons why a woman wouldn’t be excluded in many historical investigations and machinations, and a quick fix for this is to make the woman so headstrong and stubborn that no one will get in her way. I much prefer Huber’s solution: Kiera is curious and dogged yet reasonable and responsible.With respect to the romance, normally I’d get a bit fed up with the extent of the “but does he really love me?” agonizing Kiera does with respect to Gage. However, her background is such that while it’s a little overwrought, it at least makes sense. I always hate it when I want to smack the characters for being stupid, and that didn’t happen here. I got drawn in enough that there were some sniffles and tears toward the end of the book!The mystery was quite fascinating. There were a couple of points where I got a little confused, or it took a long time for a detail to get brought up again, by which time I had trouble remembering it. I wouldn’t say it was entirely smooth sailing, but it was very good. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting.There were tiny bits around the edges that kept the book from being perfect, but it was a great read! I would absolutely read more Lady Darby mysteries, despite the fact that it isn’t my usual milieu.NOTE: review book provided by publisherFor a longer review including premise, you can visit my site: http://www.errantdreams.com/2014/06/r...
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    In the third Lady Darby mystery, we get exposed to the border area between Scotland and England. Scottish holidays and traditions of the time add to the appeal of the novel.While the mystery is a good one, I enjoyed the character development of Kiera and Gage even more. Lovely.I look forward to the next in the series.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    This was just ok. More than the other two, the writing seemed particularly modern and out-of-place/jarring. There were too many characters to follow. The mystery wasn't that surprising or exciting. The romance was simplistic (but not simple enough in that it should've just naturally followed).
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  • Louise
    January 1, 1970
    I finished it but forgot to review it or rate it after I finished it and now I forgot what it was about. I think it was good?
  • Elisa
    January 1, 1970
    Quite enjoying these Lady Darby mysteries. The characters and settings are great, the mysteries are ok, and the romance is sweet. Read them in order to get to know everyone properly.
  • c,
    January 1, 1970
    listen it's not my fault i keep reading these instead of finishing something else when anna lee huber keeps putting damn hooks right at the end of the book what choice do i have but to read the next
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