A Study in Death (Lady Darby Mystery #4)
From the national bestselling author of A Grave Matter comes the latest riveting mystery featuring a most “unusual and romantic” (Judith Rock) sleuth… Scotland, 1831. After a tumultuous courtship complicated by three deadly inquiries, Lady Kiera Darby is thrilled to have found both an investigative partner and a fiancé in Sebastian Gage. But with her well-meaning—and very pregnant—sister planning on making their wedding the event of the season, Kiera could use a respite from the impending madness. Commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband. Kiera isn’t sure how to help, but when she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, things take a fatal turn. The physician called to the house and Lord Drummond appear satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit. Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death—no matter what, or who, stands in her way… 

A Study in Death (Lady Darby Mystery #4) Details

TitleA Study in Death (Lady Darby Mystery #4)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 7th, 2015
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780425277522
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Fiction, Romance

A Study in Death (Lady Darby Mystery #4) Review

  • Caz
    January 1, 1970
    I've given this a B+ at AARThis is the fourth book in Anna Lee Huber’s series of historical mysteries featuring Lady Keira Derby and her gorgeous but enigmatic partner-in-investigation, Sebastian Gage. At the end of A Grave Matter (the previous book in this series), readers were at last treated to the thing that many of us have been waiting for since The Anatomist's Wife - namely the resolution of the slow-burn romance between the protagonists which has built gradually during the three murder i I've given this a B+ at AARThis is the fourth book in Anna Lee Huber’s series of historical mysteries featuring Lady Keira Derby and her gorgeous but enigmatic partner-in-investigation, Sebastian Gage. At the end of A Grave Matter (the previous book in this series), readers were at last treated to the thing that many of us have been waiting for since The Anatomist's Wife - namely the resolution of the slow-burn romance between the protagonists which has built gradually during the three murder investigations they have solved together. I admit that I’m here as much for the romantic angle as for the mysteries, which have been well-written and constructed, but even though I enjoyed A Study in Death, I have to admit to feeling the teeniest bit disappointed overall.By the time the book opens, Keira and Gage have been engaged for a few weeks, and Keira’s heavily pregnant sister, Alana, Lady Cromarty, is keen to make their wedding the social event of the season – which isn’t really what the engaged couple wants. But Alana, who was previously warned of the danger of another pregnancy following the difficult delivery of her third child, is desperately trying not to worry about her upcoming confinement; and if choosing flowers, menus and wedding invitations helps provide a distraction, then Keira is prepared to go along with whatever her sister suggests.In the meantime, Keira has been engaged to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, a lovely, kind and well-liked lady a few years her senior. Lord Drummond is much older than his wife, and treats her abominably, something Keira relates to strongly given her own past experience of an abusive husband, and she thus feels a kinship to the lady. When Keira arrives at the Drummond’s residence for a session one morning, it’s to find the house in uproar and its mistress writing in agony upon the floor. There is nothing Keira – or anybody – can do, but when the doctor declares the cause of death to be apoplexy, Keira is incredulous. Nothing she witnessed in the woman’s final moments was suggestive of such a thing, and the little information she is able to glean at the time points elsewhere - but both Lord Drummond and the doctor refuse to listen.When Keira tells Gage what happened and announces her intention of finding Lady Drummond’s murderer, he is very supportive – but gently points out that before they can embark upon a hunt for the killer, they have to actually prove she was murdered in the first place.The mystery is thus twofold; Keira and Gage have to prove their suspicions of murder are correct as well as ferret out the identity of the killer, and all this makes for a very intriguing mystery, which I enjoyed very much. I didn’t guess whodunit until near the end, and the method used to carry out the crime is an unusual but perfectly plausible one.As well as working to solve the mystery, Keira and Gage have a number of other issues to work through on a personal level, and it’s in this area that the book is less successful.Readers of the series will have watched Keira gradually emerge from the cocoon she’d woven about herself following her late husband’s death and as a way of avoiding the terrible rumours that circulated about her when it was discovered that she had been – albeit unwillingly – illustrating the text book on anatomy he was writing. She has gradually become more confident as a person and in her abilities as an investigator, and her willingness to put her fate into the hands of another man shows just how far she has come since we first met her. The problem in this book, though, is that her relationship with Gage is just treading water and the story rehashes many of the same issues Keira exhibited in A Grave Matter. She loves Gage very much, but is still wary of marriage; she knows deep down that he will never hurt her, but her past experience scarred her badly and she is incredibly nervous of taking that final step. It seems to me that sometimes, she takes out that nervousness on Gage, almost to see how far she can push him – and it is fortunate for her that he knows her well enough to know what she’s doing and to make allowances for it. It’s true that Gage also has trust issues and a similar reluctance to share when it comes to personal matters, but Keira sometimes expects more than she is prepared to give in that area, which I started to find somewhat annoying.Conflict from a different source is introduced when Gage’s authoritarian father suddenly arrives in Edinburgh, furious with his son for disobeying his edict that he marry the wealthy heiress he has picked out for him. Lord Gage makes clear his disapproval of Keira in no uncertain terms, and insists on trying to cut her out of the investigation, particularly as Lord Drummond is an old friend and he (Lord Gage) has his own secrets to keep.A Study in Death is an enjoyable story and an engrossing mystery which boasts a well-drawn cast of secondary characters and a strong sense of time and place. Unlike the last book, however, the romance has definitely been pushed into the back seat, which is perhaps natural, given that the central couple is engaged to be married. Keeping a romance going once the UST has become RST is always difficult, but Ms Huber is a talented writer, and I’m hoping that perhaps the next book – featuring Mr and Mrs Sebastian Gage – may provide the change of pace and direction needed to keep the series fresh.
    more
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    A Study in Death4 StarsEager to escape her sister’s obsessive wedding plans, Lady Kiera Darby gladly accepts a commission to paint Lady Drummond’s portrait. Kiera soon realizes that the Baroness is suffering psychological and perhaps even physical abuse at her husband’s hands. So when Lady Drummond is discovered writhing in agony, Kiera suspects foul play and is determined to uncover the truth no matter where it may lead her …Warning: There are significant spoilers for books 1-3 in this installm A Study in Death4 StarsEager to escape her sister’s obsessive wedding plans, Lady Kiera Darby gladly accepts a commission to paint Lady Drummond’s portrait. Kiera soon realizes that the Baroness is suffering psychological and perhaps even physical abuse at her husband’s hands. So when Lady Drummond is discovered writhing in agony, Kiera suspects foul play and is determined to uncover the truth no matter where it may lead her …Warning: There are significant spoilers for books 1-3 in this installment. It is also recommended that the series be read in order so as not to miss out on the excellent character development.Kiera and Sebastian have taken their slow burn romance to the next level, but there are still outstanding issues between them, such as Sebastian’s secretive nature and overprotective tendencies as well as Kiera’s need to retain her independence and be accepted as an equal. Nevertheless, the love they share and the support they give to one another is key to overcoming all other obstacles and their relationship is definitely going in the right direction.The case is intriguing and there are several compelling suspects. That said, my suspicions regarding one character in particular ultimately turned out to be accurate, and it is possible to figure out the culprit, if not the actual motive, which is rather convoluted.The secondary characters all add nuance to the story and enrich the plotting and characterization. The irrepressible Bonnie Brock is a fascinating antagonist and it is clever of Huber to include him as his presence opens up new avenues of investigation that neither Sebastian nor Kiera would have access to without him. Sebastian’s autocratic father, Lord Gage, is another new addition and his confrontations with Kiera are a highlight of the book. Finally, the portrayal of Kiera’s sister’s high risk pregnancy is very realistic and leads to some truly intense moments.In sum, a well written and entertaining historical mystery series and I’m eager to read the next one when it comes out next month.
    more
  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    This is the fourth book in the Lady Darby Series. Its a historical mystery and there are only five books.
  • Misfit
    January 1, 1970
    Love this series, love the hero and can't wait for the next installment.For those who haven't read the first three, you shouldn't be reading recaps of this book unless you want to be thoroughly spoiled. If you have read the first three, you have a good idea of what's involved and I don't need to waste my time with it. All in all, a nice little murder mystery, more developments on the Gage and Kiera relationship and a few more hints about Gage's mysterious past. When does the next one come out?Ki Love this series, love the hero and can't wait for the next installment.For those who haven't read the first three, you shouldn't be reading recaps of this book unless you want to be thoroughly spoiled. If you have read the first three, you have a good idea of what's involved and I don't need to waste my time with it. All in all, a nice little murder mystery, more developments on the Gage and Kiera relationship and a few more hints about Gage's mysterious past. When does the next one come out?Kindle copy obtained via library loan.
    more
  • Piyangie
    January 1, 1970
    This is also an interesting murder-mystery story in the Lady Darby series. Huber's plots are dark, sinister and suspenseful - a good combination for a book of this genre. She carefully plans and executes the story well with interesting turns and twists. In this installment too, there is no exception. I was fully engaged with the story throughout the read.In addition to the murder-mystery plot, Huber works out on the lives and relationships of the recurring characters providing the reader with a This is also an interesting murder-mystery story in the Lady Darby series. Huber's plots are dark, sinister and suspenseful - a good combination for a book of this genre. She carefully plans and executes the story well with interesting turns and twists. In this installment too, there is no exception. I was fully engaged with the story throughout the read.In addition to the murder-mystery plot, Huber works out on the lives and relationships of the recurring characters providing the reader with a bonus story to the bargain. From the very first installment I liked Lady Darby and Sebastian Gage. Their flawed characters, tensed emotions and their relationship struggle made them real characters that reader can relate to. With each installment, they have grown on me. Even the recurring characters are so likable that I feel homely with them. In this installment, a new character, only known by name in previous installments, makes his appearance; and it is none other than Sebastian's father, Lord Gage. It was quite interesting to witness his hostility towards Lady Darby and her unflinching determination to stand up to him. However, with the disapproval of Lord Gage and with three near death escapes, Lady Darby comes out victorious to finally wed Sebastian Gage. I'm really enjoying this series. Anna Lee Huber is doing a great job. 👏👏👏
    more
  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    The Meridian library provided a copy of this book. Thanks to them for all you do.The fourth book of the Lady Darby mysteries is another good tale with numerous two and turn. Keira has accepted Sebastian Gage's marriage proposal.The,look brings new support ing characters to the tale. Gate's Father, Lord Gage does not like Keira and tries to change Gage. Keira is present when Lady Drummond expires and feels it is murder, the doctor disagreed and signs the funeral papers with death by Apoplexy. Ama The Meridian library provided a copy of this book. Thanks to them for all you do.The fourth book of the Lady Darby mysteries is another good tale with numerous two and turn. Keira has accepted Sebastian Gage's marriage proposal.The,look brings new support ing characters to the tale. Gate's Father, Lord Gage does not like Keira and tries to change Gage. Keira is present when Lady Drummond expires and feels it is murder, the doctor disagreed and signs the funeral papers with death by Apoplexy. Amanla is planning an elaborate social wedding for her sister until she is about to loose the baby. “Bonnie Brock Kincaid, the head boss of the criminal organization enters the story. Keira needs to find an answer before she fellow Lady Drummond in death.
    more
  • Jaclyn
    January 1, 1970
    A Study in Death is the fourth installment in Huber's Lady Darby historical mystery series and just so happens to be one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. I've really enjoyed the series to date and was ready to dive into this one and while I certainly enjoyed this one, I have to admit to being a tiny bit disappointed.Having read the previous three books I was well aware of Kiera's progress from insular artist to a confident investigator and I really appreciated the character growth tha A Study in Death is the fourth installment in Huber's Lady Darby historical mystery series and just so happens to be one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. I've really enjoyed the series to date and was ready to dive into this one and while I certainly enjoyed this one, I have to admit to being a tiny bit disappointed.Having read the previous three books I was well aware of Kiera's progress from insular artist to a confident investigator and I really appreciated the character growth that was conveyed in the previous three novels. Unfortunately for me, A Study in Death seemed a tad repetitive, covering much of the internal conflict that Kiera experienced in the previous book. Don't get me wrong, I still really like the character of Kiera, but I don't think there was much change in her in this book and I think that could have been better compensated by a stronger mystery. In A Study in Death Lady Darby is investigating the probable murder of Lady Drummond, who's portrait Kiera was commissioned to paint. Naturally, Kiera enlists the help of her new fiance and seasoned investigator, Sebastian Gage. Kiera is quick to turn her attention to Lady Drummond's husband, who is by all accounts a brute, forcing Kiera to revisit her own past and her relationship with her own abusive late husband. No one is convinced that Lady Drummond was murdered, but Kiera is relentless and refuses to back down even when she is forced to consider a less obvious suspect for the murder.In addition to murder, Kiera is also dealing with her sister Alana's complicated and dangerous pregnancy as well as signs of stress in Alana's solid marriage. Then there's Kiera's introduction to her future father-in-law, who is less than pleased with his son's engagement and has no problem sharing that fact with Kiera. And on top of that, Gage still has not told Kiera the events that scarred him in Greece, something that Kiera was insistent on knowing in the previous book.So while the mystery was certainly central to A Study in Death, there was a lot of other stuff going on as well. I, of course, enjoyed the character-focused plot that has been so central to this series, but as I mentioned, I did feel that it was repetitive in this book. In the previous book, Kiera struggled with her feelings for Gage. She wasn't sure she could trust him and she was deeply affected by her relationship with her late husband. While I didn't anticipate that Kiera would (or should) be unaffected by her past relationship, I was disappointed that she continued to bring up the same issues. Kiera continued to leery of marriage in general and took it out on Gage most of the time, all the while demanding he tell her the secrets of his "past". For me, this repetitiveness makes me see A Study in Death as more of a "filler" book in the series and I feel that the pace will pick up once readers are treated to Kiera and Gage's married life and seeing how these two interact with each other on a daily basis.Overall, A Study in Death was a good read, but I didn't think it was the best in the series. The unique Lady Darby continues to impress and I will be back for the next book, I can only hope that Kiera and Gage's marriage will bring a much-needed change in pace and tone to the series.Originally reviewed at The Book Adventures.
    more
  • The Lit Bitch
    January 1, 1970
    After reading the third Lady Darby book, I hoped this one would return to better investigations as the third book investigation left me feeling a little on the wanting side. While it was still a four star book for me, I simply felt like I needed more out of the next book. The relationship between Gage and Kiera saved the third book for me so I was hoping this one would improve the series.I am happy to report that this book had a lot more mystery and it was a bit darker which I liked. It reminded After reading the third Lady Darby book, I hoped this one would return to better investigations as the third book investigation left me feeling a little on the wanting side. While it was still a four star book for me, I simply felt like I needed more out of the next book. The relationship between Gage and Kiera saved the third book for me so I was hoping this one would improve the series.I am happy to report that this book had a lot more mystery and it was a bit darker which I liked. It reminded me of the earlier mystery that Gage and Kiera worked on so in that regard I was much more invested in the whodunit element of the story.So while I was completely invested in the mystery element of this book, the romance part stalled for me. I didn’t feel like Kiera and Gage were really progressing in their relationship in the way that I had seen in the previous books. I don’t know if it was the introduction of Lord Gage or if it was the illness her sister was experiencing but I felt like outside sources were interfering in their relationship a lot in this book and for some reason or other, it just stalled the progress.While that’s to be expected I guess to a certain degree, I also felt like the big Greece reveal was too rushed and didn’t satisfy me as a reader. There was such a focus on it for the last two books that I felt sure it would be something bigger than what it was. For me this was the biggest problem between Gage and Kiera in the book. I felt like the audience just needed more. More explanation and more time to process what Gage had been through.While the romance was a little off in this book for me, I felt like the mystery was better constructed than in the last book. However that said, this book didn’t have quite the red herrings that the first book had. I expected a little more in the twists department as I had come to expect from earlier books.On the whole though, while this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, it was still entertaining and fun to read. I love Kiera and Gage and their methods of investigation in addition to their wit and charm and volatile romance. I think this is a solid series and while not every mystery will compare to the first book, it’s still a wonderful read and a fun romp through Scotland!See my full review here
    more
  • Nidofito
    January 1, 1970
    Fun and quick to read. Both Kiera and Gage are stubborn but I am noticing that Gage is more often the first to apologize after a disagreement and tended to acquiesce to Kiera's requests towards the end. She's quick to temper and there was a time where I thought she was being unfair to Gage's emotions particularly because he had possibly been through a life-changing conversation with his father and I think she needed to allow him time to process. At least she didn't complain to his face, thank go Fun and quick to read. Both Kiera and Gage are stubborn but I am noticing that Gage is more often the first to apologize after a disagreement and tended to acquiesce to Kiera's requests towards the end. She's quick to temper and there was a time where I thought she was being unfair to Gage's emotions particularly because he had possibly been through a life-changing conversation with his father and I think she needed to allow him time to process. At least she didn't complain to his face, thank goodness.
    more
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Wish I could say I loved this installment, but the mystery was fairly weak, and the relationship between Lady Darby and Gage didn't progress so much as stall on the ol' trust issue. The big reveal of his shady doings in Greece was delivered too quickly and clinically to merit much emotion, and ultimately, I was disappointed by the lack of chemistry between the main characters. Too much of the book was devoted to the sister's medical troubles and marriage issues, and even though Kiera's relations Wish I could say I loved this installment, but the mystery was fairly weak, and the relationship between Lady Darby and Gage didn't progress so much as stall on the ol' trust issue. The big reveal of his shady doings in Greece was delivered too quickly and clinically to merit much emotion, and ultimately, I was disappointed by the lack of chemistry between the main characters. Too much of the book was devoted to the sister's medical troubles and marriage issues, and even though Kiera's relationship with her sister warranted page time, I found it didn't enhance the story. I never believed the author would sacrifice that character, so I just wanted to fast-forward to the interesting characters. Like Bonnie Brock. What's he still doing hanging around Lady Darby, hmmm?
    more
  • Mei
    January 1, 1970
    Here we get Keira to istigate an investigation!It's interesting to see how she becomes more and more confident! I loved her showing a backbone! We get to know also Gage's father: a righteous (gag) prick! There were times I wanted to slap him soundly! What an odious man!But I got the feeling that the majority of men of that time were the same... poor women...In all a wonderful read! I'm looking forward to find out how the married life is for Keira and Gage! *wink*
    more
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Another great addition to the Lady Darby series! I like how this story spent a bit more time on character development and showed some different aspects of certain people that previously hadn't been seen. Heather Wilds is an entertaining narrator as well.
    more
  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "A Study in Death" is a historical mystery set in 1831 in Scotland. This book is the fourth in the series, and I'd highly recommend starting with the first book if the series interests you. The details of previous mysteries were spoiled in this book. Also, I might have understood why Gage puts up with Lady Darby if I'd read the previous books. She demands that Gage do things her way and that he trust her abilities completely, but she doesn't return the respect she demands. She doesn't trust Gage "A Study in Death" is a historical mystery set in 1831 in Scotland. This book is the fourth in the series, and I'd highly recommend starting with the first book if the series interests you. The details of previous mysteries were spoiled in this book. Also, I might have understood why Gage puts up with Lady Darby if I'd read the previous books. She demands that Gage do things her way and that he trust her abilities completely, but she doesn't return the respect she demands. She doesn't trust Gage to question her main suspect without her even though she's repeatedly accused the suspect of murder and is unlikely to get any cooperation from him.As for the mystery, Lady Darby is very impulsive and jumps to conclusions without considering all of the possibilities. She's certain from the start that she knows whodunit. When she's talking with one of many chemists who could have sold the poison, he says he has sold a bunch of the first poison on her list of possible poisons, but only one of the second. She immediately assumes it's the second poison and runs off to search her suspect's house without bothering to ask about the rest. I initially assumed she ran off so quickly because she was concerned it was being used against someone else, as that would have fit the description more accurately as far as they knew, but she doesn't even consider this as a possibility.As for whodunit, I thought whodunit was acting suspiciously from the first time we meet them. Something else suspicious happens soon after that which pointed toward that character. And, yes, that character really was whodunit. So there are clues, but whodunit is also fairly obvious.I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
    more
  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    This fourth book in the Lady Darby mysteries is my favorite so far! Lady Darby has gained confidence throughout the series. The romance element of these novels is delightful. I also enjoyed the return of notorious Bonnie Brock Kincaid.This series is recommended for fans of historical mysteries.
    more
  • Keri
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars. LOVE this series!
  • Lona
    January 1, 1970
    I really did love the earlier books in this series, but man, it is just getting repetitive now. The same old unfounded trust issues between Gage and Kiera and the same old random case with a slew of unnotable characters. Also, I am real over Kiera's whole "help me; I have a tragic past" bit. It is getting real old. We are on book 4 and Kiera's character has not grown much. If anything, it's kind of getting worse and becoming more whinny. Will not continue on with the series. Book #2 was great th I really did love the earlier books in this series, but man, it is just getting repetitive now. The same old unfounded trust issues between Gage and Kiera and the same old random case with a slew of unnotable characters. Also, I am real over Kiera's whole "help me; I have a tragic past" bit. It is getting real old. We are on book 4 and Kiera's character has not grown much. If anything, it's kind of getting worse and becoming more whinny. Will not continue on with the series. Book #2 was great though!
    more
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This story focused more on the relationships between characters than anything else, which is probably a good thing since the mystery element was a bit weak. Normally, I appreciate and enjoy some solid relationship development. However, the h and her insecurities were really starting to get on my nerves. And again with the H’s secretiveness? The h got it right when she was frustrated with him and yet equally frustrated with herself because she was the one who always ended up apologizing for askin This story focused more on the relationships between characters than anything else, which is probably a good thing since the mystery element was a bit weak. Normally, I appreciate and enjoy some solid relationship development. However, the h and her insecurities were really starting to get on my nerves. And again with the H’s secretiveness? The h got it right when she was frustrated with him and yet equally frustrated with herself because she was the one who always ended up apologizing for asking him to open up. Sister, I’m frustrated too. I’m glad the h wasn’t a doormat and stuck up for herself when it counted. I also appreciated that there was no OP drama at all. I thought for sure that the author was going to ruin things and have the h run into some ex-mistress or merry widow of the H’s, but no such thing happened.
    more
  • ❂ Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This series has been just one great book after another and every time I think the author is going to go in a trite or cliched direction, she surprises me and takes me interesting places. This book is no exception. Great characters, really great mystery.More wordy review: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/120110...
    more
  • Lady Wesley
    January 1, 1970
    I always enjoy an adventure with Kiera and Gage. Well, mostly Gage.
  • Lavins001
    January 1, 1970
    Another great book in this mystery series. I loved the story, the characters, the investigation, the side stories and the fact that you can't really guess the killer until the end.
  • Sometime
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the mystery in this one. Kiera is convinced her client was poisoned. The murderer came as quite a surprise.Kiera and Gage are engaged to be married and there are many conflicts in Kiera's life. Her pregnant sister is in danger of losing her baby and her life, can she and Gage learn to trust each other, will the rumors ever stop, will her father-in-law ever approve of their marriage?The highlight for me, was seeing Bonny Brock once again. I hope we see more of him.Kiera's constan I really enjoyed the mystery in this one. Kiera is convinced her client was poisoned. The murderer came as quite a surprise.Kiera and Gage are engaged to be married and there are many conflicts in Kiera's life. Her pregnant sister is in danger of losing her baby and her life, can she and Gage learn to trust each other, will the rumors ever stop, will her father-in-law ever approve of their marriage?The highlight for me, was seeing Bonny Brock once again. I hope we see more of him.Kiera's constant doubts and insecurities are getting tired, so I hope that once they are a married couple their relationship will develop beyond that. I do love the romantic thread that flows through each of the books. The mystery is always good, but it's the romance that keeps me coming back for more.
    more
  • LORI CASWELL
    January 1, 1970
    Dollycas’s ThoughtsLady Darby has left the planning of her upcoming nuptials to her sister who needs something to keep her mind on during her confinement waiting for her baby to be born. With no pending inquires with husband to be Sebastian Gage, Kiera takes a commission from Lord Drummond to paint a portrait of his wife. Sadly Lord Drummond is much like most men in this era and view their wives as property and are abusive. This strikes very close to home for Kiera. Before she can help Lady Drum Dollycas’s ThoughtsLady Darby has left the planning of her upcoming nuptials to her sister who needs something to keep her mind on during her confinement waiting for her baby to be born. With no pending inquires with husband to be Sebastian Gage, Kiera takes a commission from Lord Drummond to paint a portrait of his wife. Sadly Lord Drummond is much like most men in this era and view their wives as property and are abusive. This strikes very close to home for Kiera. Before she can help Lady Drummond the woman is dead. Cause of death, Apoplexy. Back in this time period many peoples cause of death was Apoplexy or what is now called a stroke. The term was used widely when when doctors didn’t know the cause. Without an autopsy it truly couldn’t be challenged but Kiera knows the woman was murdered so she convinces Gage to start an inquiry, much to the dismay of many.This is definitely a series that needs to be read in order as each new book builds from the last. Gage and Kiera’s relationship had a rocky start that has changed and evolved in each book always surrounded by a top-notch mystery. Kiera still needs to build a feeling of trust with Gage. She was treated horribly my her first husband. Meeting his father in this installment shakes the security they had built, especially when she know Gage is keeping parts of his past a secret.I enjoyed the subplot of Kiera’s sister Alana and her husband Phillip. Her pregnancy wasn’t an easy one and Phillip could be a typical man of this time period or could be the wonderful husband he seemed to be in past books.As for the mystery, Gage and Kiera are interviewing everyone that had contact with Lady Drummond, including her husband, the staff, and her friends. The investigation also takes they to the dark and dangerous streets of the city as they try to determine what caused her death. Kiera is strong and independent and doesn’t appreciate being told she can’t go or do something. Gage tries to protect her but sometimes he even needs help from a certain unsavory character.Anna Lee Huber continues to impress me with her storytelling. As a reader I am engaged almost even before I start reading because I know what to expect from this author. She has never disappointed me. I love the imagery of Scotland her words create. Her depiction of characters across all social classes is exceptional. Her plot lines are tight and the dialogue is excellent.My reading schedule was messed up last year which made this book stay on my To-Be-Read shelf for far too long. That will not be the case with A Death Draws Near out July 5.
    more
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksFollowing a rather interesting courtship, Lady Kiera Darby is more than thrilled to have an investigative partner and fiance in Mister Sebastian Gage. Wanting only a simple ceremony, Kiera finds herself capitulating to the wishes of her well-meaning sister who seems intent on making the wedding the event of the season.Seeking solace from the ensuing madness, Kiera takes on a commission to paint a portrait of Lady Drummond. The sadness in the elder woman’ See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksFollowing a rather interesting courtship, Lady Kiera Darby is more than thrilled to have an investigative partner and fiance in Mister Sebastian Gage. Wanting only a simple ceremony, Kiera finds herself capitulating to the wishes of her well-meaning sister who seems intent on making the wedding the event of the season.Seeking solace from the ensuing madness, Kiera takes on a commission to paint a portrait of Lady Drummond. The sadness in the elder woman’s eyes is an expression Kiera recognizes; Lord Drummond’s brutish behavior brings to mind Kiera’s own late husband’s brusque ways. Unsure how to help, Kiera knows she cannot sit idly by. It is when Kiera comes upon Lady Drummond prostate on the floor however, that things take a fatal turn.The physician called to the house as well as Lord Drummond believe it was natural causes that led to Lady Drummond’s demise. Kiera however believes poison to be the culprit. Using her knowledge of the macabre and armed with her own convictions, Kiera is determined to find the cause behind Lady Drummond’s death regardless of what – or who – stands in her way.This is the fourth and most recent novel in the Lady Darby Mystery series, and so far the strongest. The plot is quite believable as is the execution of how the mystery itself is solved. Both Kiera and Gage act and react in realistic manners and we are given a great deal of information on Gage’s mysterious past. After finding out the truth it is easy to see why he would be hesitant to divulge such information.Previously introduced characters make appearances as well as new individuals. Kiera’s sister and her husband are here once more supporting their beloved family member but also causing some emotional grief. We are also introduced to Gage’s father and the turmoil he tends to cause.Unlike the third novel, Lady Darby is really given an opportunity to show her worth. Being the titular character she takes the forefront in every scene, thus allowing her to grow in the readers’ eyes.A very well written mystery – those who enjoy a good historical novel will likely enjoy this series.
    more
  • Carole (in Canada)
    January 1, 1970
    Ms. Huber never fails to amaze me! This 4th book in her Lady Darby series was brilliant! It was gripping, intense, atmospheric and I absolutely loved it! In order to follow the story arc, I highly recommend reading the first book 'The Anatomist's Wife' which begins the tale of Lady Keira Darby and the horror of her infamous marriage and how trouble finds her even in seclusion at her brother-in-law's estate in Scotland. Lady Darby is a gifted artist with a wounded soul. How she battles back from Ms. Huber never fails to amaze me! This 4th book in her Lady Darby series was brilliant! It was gripping, intense, atmospheric and I absolutely loved it! In order to follow the story arc, I highly recommend reading the first book 'The Anatomist's Wife' which begins the tale of Lady Keira Darby and the horror of her infamous marriage and how trouble finds her even in seclusion at her brother-in-law's estate in Scotland. Lady Darby is a gifted artist with a wounded soul. How she battles back from strictures of the times to become a lead investigator with her now fiance, Sebastian Gage, is beautifully executed. I so enjoy being able to figure out who the perpetrator(s) are and at times found I doubted my own conclusions as different characters are set up to be just as culpable. There is great tension in this particular tale, not only in who the murderer(s) may be, but between Keira and Sebastian. All is not smooth sailing. There is also the story line of her sister, Alana, and her husband, Philip, that causes much angst for Keira. Then, of course, is the criminal leader, Bonnie Brock, who I find just as fascinating as Sebastian Gage! Ms. Huber weaves a delicious tale that held me to the very end.
    more
  • Christy Carlyle
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars - A STUDY IN DEATH is the first of Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby mysteries I’ve read, and now I cannot wait to get my hands on the first three books in the series. A STUDY IN DEATH is everything I crave in a historical mystery. It features an interesting setting, a likable and compelling sleuthing team, and a mystery complex enough to keep me guessing. In Lady Kiera Darby, Huber has created a heroine who would be an interesting protagonist, even if she wasn’t solving crimes in Victorian 4.5 stars - A STUDY IN DEATH is the first of Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby mysteries I’ve read, and now I cannot wait to get my hands on the first three books in the series. A STUDY IN DEATH is everything I crave in a historical mystery. It features an interesting setting, a likable and compelling sleuthing team, and a mystery complex enough to keep me guessing. In Lady Kiera Darby, Huber has created a heroine who would be an interesting protagonist, even if she wasn’t solving crimes in Victorian Scotland. Her determination, cleverness, and vulnerability immediately drew me in. I enjoyed the first person point of view writing style and the fact that I got to view the world and other characters through Kiera’s eyes. I liked that she has a dark and shocking past: a talent for art which Huber lovingly describes, and an intriguing relationship with her inquiry agent and fiancé, Sebastian Gage. That dash of romance always makes protagonists more appealing to me. When they also happen to form a sleuthing duo, all the better.Read the rest of my review at Night Owl Reviews: https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Re...
    more
  • Linniegayl
    January 1, 1970
    So many mystery series start out great and then gradually becoming boring: not so Ms. Huber's Lady Darby series! I loved virtually everything about this book. The mystery was complicated and interesting. The setting -- in Ireland -- was fascinated and I enjoyed the historical details added to the plot. In fact, I would love to see more historical mysteries set in Ireland.In the last entry in the series they married at the end. As this begins they're on their honeymoon when Gage receives a letter So many mystery series start out great and then gradually becoming boring: not so Ms. Huber's Lady Darby series! I loved virtually everything about this book. The mystery was complicated and interesting. The setting -- in Ireland -- was fascinated and I enjoyed the historical details added to the plot. In fact, I would love to see more historical mysteries set in Ireland.In the last entry in the series they married at the end. As this begins they're on their honeymoon when Gage receives a letter from his father sending him to Ireland to investigate the murder of a woman. I liked the development of Kiera and Gage's relationship as they're adjusting to being married. Kiera in particular is faced with questions about mixing investigating and being a wife and eventually a mother.I can't wait for the next entry in the series!
    more
  • Kate Baxter
    January 1, 1970
    This 4th book in series continues on with the dynamic investigating team of Lady Darby and her handsome fiancé, Sebastian Gage (son of overbearing Lord Gage). It's 1831 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our heroine, a gifted portrait artist, recently hired to render the likeness of Lady Drummond, is witness to and appalled by Lord Drummond's brutish behavior to his wife. The next day, Lady Drummond is dead. The doctor says it was apoplexy which took this young, vital woman's life and Kiera (Lady Darby) is This 4th book in series continues on with the dynamic investigating team of Lady Darby and her handsome fiancé, Sebastian Gage (son of overbearing Lord Gage). It's 1831 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our heroine, a gifted portrait artist, recently hired to render the likeness of Lady Drummond, is witness to and appalled by Lord Drummond's brutish behavior to his wife. The next day, Lady Drummond is dead. The doctor says it was apoplexy which took this young, vital woman's life and Kiera (Lady Darby) is not so keen on the doctor's hasty diagnosis. She convinces Gage to dig deeper into this one with her and then the game is afoot!The book holds lots of red herrings as each suspect is eliminated. The character development is excellent and the writing is exquisite and painterly. A most enjoyable series, for certain!
    more
  • Nidofito
    January 1, 1970
    I'm probably the worst person to ask how a Lady Darby book was.I don't even care that it's exam week. I HAD to read this book.And I gotta say, it was good to go back. With an apt title, the story was much of a study where we see how women of different status have to compromise, live through their choices, and their marriages, for better and for worse. I am a little sad to see a UST (which was so delicious in this series) become a RST, and tbh, I'm kinda ready for this series to end. The romance I'm probably the worst person to ask how a Lady Darby book was.I don't even care that it's exam week. I HAD to read this book.And I gotta say, it was good to go back. With an apt title, the story was much of a study where we see how women of different status have to compromise, live through their choices, and their marriages, for better and for worse. I am a little sad to see a UST (which was so delicious in this series) become a RST, and tbh, I'm kinda ready for this series to end. The romance (that is decidedly in the backseat) has lost its appeal (just a teeny tiny bit) ever since the impending marriage though I still love Gage and Kiera to bits. What? I'm fickle. Sue me. Anyways, I think I would like a new series by Huber to love and obsess. Just a thought.
    more
  • Melodie
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to all the book friends who got me interested in this series! I don't really care much for period stories, but I definitely make an exception for these books. I wasn't all that crazy about the previous book in this series, but this one was back to form. Looking forward to the next one! RECOMMEND!
    more
  • OpenBookSociety.com
    January 1, 1970
    http://openbooksociety.com/article/a-...Brought to you by OBS Reviewer DanieleI greatly enjoy the Lady Darby mystery series and had high expectations for A Study in Death, the fourth installment. I was not disappointed for it is a fantastic read!Kiera, Lady Darby, is a widow whose independent nature has never really fit in with the shallow Society in early nineteenth century Scotland. The scandal surrounding her first marriage and death of her husband has left her haunted and on the outskirts of http://openbooksociety.com/article/a-...Brought to you by OBS Reviewer DanieleI greatly enjoy the Lady Darby mystery series and had high expectations for A Study in Death, the fourth installment. I was not disappointed for it is a fantastic read!Kiera, Lady Darby, is a widow whose independent nature has never really fit in with the shallow Society in early nineteenth century Scotland. The scandal surrounding her first marriage and death of her husband has left her haunted and on the outskirts of society. She takes respite in her art, her family, and her investigative partner and fiancé Gage. When she is commissioned to paint Lady Drummond’s portrait, she cannot help but like the woman and, after witnessing an altercation between her and her husband, feels that they have shared experiences living with a controlling, brute of a spouse. Kiera arrives one morning for their scheduled portrait sitting to find Lady Drummond quite ill, and when Clare does indeed die, Kiera cannot help but think that hers was not a natural death and jumps to blame Lord Drummond. She only needs to prove his guilt.She and Gage quickly set out to find the cause of Clare’s death, what motives a killer might have, and who, if not Lord Drummond, is responsible. This takes them from the drawing rooms and glittering ballrooms of Society to the shady underbelly of Old Town Edinburgh and back. Of course, Kiera’s life is threatened more than once for her efforts. To complicate matters, Gage’s father has come to town and makes no secret of his dislike of Kiera. She even suspects that her future father-in-law is responsible for the resurgence of the tittering gossip surrounding her husband’s scandal, even implying that Kiera is only investigating to satisfy her own ghoulish nature. To add to the strain of the situation, Kiera is worried about her sister’s health as she prepares for the birth of her fourth child, and her brother-in-law is uncharacteristically absent and emotionally distant even when present. The betrothed couple also has some issues that they need to work out. Kiera has been scarred by her abusive marriage, and they both have trust issues and secrets they have not shared.I admire Kiera. She is intelligent, observant, independent for the historical period, and strong despite her past circumstances. However, she is not perfect, having a bit of a temper. Sebastian Gage is an ideal foil for her. He is charming, gallant, and moves easily about Society, but his ability to see past Kiera’s sometimes prickly surface and his loyalty to her are his traits I like most. He stands up to his father, and other members of Society, to protect his love’s honor. I appreciate that all does not go effortlessly smooth for them; they argue quite a bit but work through their problems. They make a formidable team, both in investigative matters and romance.The mystery here is solid, and there are plenty of viable motives that are appropriate for the time period. Even though Kiera is a bit short sighted when it comes to Lord Drummond’s guilt initially, she does come around quickly to include other suspects. I suspected the killer’s identity early in the story, if only because I thought her/his actions odd from her/his first appearance. When the murderer is finally revealed, it made complete sense and brought the story to a satisfactory conclusion.I must warn readers – there are some references to prior cases that are blatant spoilers for preceding books in the series so this might be a series best read in order to avoid any disappointment.A Study in Death is a delightful trip back in time to beautiful Scotland. From the first page, I was transported to Kiera’s world and was entranced until the last page. I felt her compassion for Lady Drummond, her fear that her sister might not survive childbirth, her frustration with the limitations society placed on women, the hurt from Lord Gage’s nasty words, and her love for Gage. This is historical fiction at its best, and I highly recommend it to all fans of mystery.http://openbooksociety.com/article/a-...A Study in DeathA Lady Darby Mystery #4By Anna Lee HuberISBN 9780425281246annaleehuber.comBrought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie5 StarsSynopsis: Scotland, 1831. After a tumultuous courtship complicated by three deadly inquiries, Lady Kiera Darby is thrilled to have found both an investigative partner and a fiancé in Sebastian Gage. But with her well-meaning—and very pregnant—sister planning on making their wedding the event of the season, Kiera could use a respite from the impending madness.Commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband.Kiera isn’t sure how to help, but when she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, things take a fatal turn. The physician called to the house and Lord Drummond appear satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit.Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death—no matter what, or who, stands in her way…(from Goodreads)Review:In spite of the grim-sounding title, I very much enjoyed this great new mystery for Lady Darby and Gage to work on! Lady Kiera Darby’s background often leads her to think the worst in certain situations, as in the unusual death of Lady Drummond, a woman whose husband had commissioned Kiera to paint her portrait. Kiera witnessed the Lady Drummond’s husband’s temper during one of the sittings, and had serious concerns for her. Kiera had endured rages and abuse from her late husband, resulting in her concern for other ladies who might be enduring something similar.Kiera does what she can to assist with Lady Drummond’s death, trying to discover whether her death was ‘apoplexy’ as the doctor claimed, or murder. As she visits with various friends and acquaintances of the couple, danger begins to follow Kiera even as she asks Gage to go with her during some of those visits. There are so many secrets among the upper class, yet the rumors about Kiera’s seem to keep creeping about the locals. As a result, some of the ladies avoid her entirely while whispering with each other behind bejeweled hands. Meeting her future father-in-law was as stressful, as Lord Gage did not want his son to marry her.Kiera is living with her brother-in-law and sister, Alana, who is many months along in a high-risk pregnancy. Alana’s husband Philip has been acting out of character, avoiding his wife as much as possible and working late with Parliament business. Alana distracts herself with planning the upcoming wedding of Gage and Kiera, but for the kind of wedding she would want for herself even though Kiera would be much happier with a very small setting. Alana and her baby have to survive the wee one’s birth, and Kiera and Gage survive the current investigation.The characterizations are excellent, as thorough as required for each role. The novel is written first person which continually shows the reader more about her Kiera, her fiance and family, her painting, and thought processes while solving a case. Gage seems the perfect match for her, but at times it may not seem so. We see very little of Alana’s children, yet we learn more about Alana through her brief scenes. The maids and other staff members in each home truly do know more about the household occurrences, relationships, and visitors; a servant should never be ignored as Kiera well knows. Lady Drummond seems every bit the kind, elegant lady, well-liked by her servants and lady’s maid. Some of the informants that Kiera knows are defined so well that this reader could shiver just reading about them!The author is adept at executing the perfect plot, with twists that take away one’s breath and keeps the reader riveted by this novel. I enjoy the setting in this fourth offering in the Lady Darby Mystery Series. Edinburgh, Scotland is a town full of history, even in 1831, a history going back centuries as we are not accustomed to in our relatively new United States. This book can be read as a standalone, since the author provides sufficient background, yet it might be helpful to read at least one of the earlier novels in the series.The plot twists bring new suspects or rule out those existing. Each one shows bits of Kiera or Lady Drummond that may change the reader’s perspective. At times the scenes cascaded down then roared back up as if riding the rapids of deception, threatening lives or relationships. At other times the author could bring one to the calm peace of knowing one or another character is loved and cherished. Discovering who the bad guy/ bad gal might be was not easy for this armchair detective, however, I did begin to distrust the real murderer. The conclusion of the investigation was very satisfactory, and I very much am looking forward to the next Lady Darby mystery. I highly recommend ‘A Study in Death’ to those who enjoy the more traditional cozy mystery with a very likable protagonist and multi-layered mysteries.
    more
Write a review