This Side of Murder (Verity Kent, #1)
The Great War is over, but in this captivating new series from award-winning author Anna Lee Huber, one young widow discovers the real intrigue has only just begun . . .An Unpardonable Sin?England, 1919. Verity Kent’s grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity’s first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew. Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement party of one of Sidney’s fellow officers, Verity mingles among the men her husband once fought beside, and discovers dark secrets—along with a murder clearly meant to conceal them. Relying on little more than a coded letter, the help of a dashing stranger, and her own sharp instincts, Verity is forced down a path she never imagined—and comes face to face with the shattering possibility that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was. It’s a truth that could set her free—or draw her ever deeper into his deception . . .

This Side of Murder (Verity Kent, #1) Details

TitleThis Side of Murder (Verity Kent, #1)
Author
ReleaseSep 26th, 2017
PublisherKensington
ISBN-139781496713155
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery

This Side of Murder (Verity Kent, #1) Review

  • Cindy (Thoughts From a Page) Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    This Side of Murder is a cleverly written and highly entertaining tale. When I started reading, my initial thought was that the story reminded me a fair amount of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. People assemble at a remote house, and then they start dying. While the stories begin similarly, the plots significantly diverged as I continued reading This Side of Murder. The mystery was clever, the characters amusing and well-drawn, and the plot resolution quite believable and a pleasant This Side of Murder is a cleverly written and highly entertaining tale. When I started reading, my initial thought was that the story reminded me a fair amount of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. People assemble at a remote house, and then they start dying. While the stories begin similarly, the plots significantly diverged as I continued reading This Side of Murder. The mystery was clever, the characters amusing and well-drawn, and the plot resolution quite believable and a pleasant surprise. My only complaint about the book was Verity’s occasional “bosom heaving” and wishy-washy behavior; it didn’t happen all the time but too much for my liking. Hopefully in the next installment, Verity’s character will gain a bit more strength and depth of character and join the ranks of Maggie Hope, Veronica Speedwell, Ruby Proulx and Maisie Dobbs. I look forward to reading Huber’s next book. Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC. All opinions are my own.
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  • Ashley Weaver
    January 1, 1970
    This Side of Murder is everything a mystery should be: suspenseful, atmospheric, and beautifully written, with rich historical detail and a heroine you really want to cheer for. I enjoyed every page, and I can't wait to see more of Verity Kent!
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    As a first book in the series, and as an arc before publication, I think this was quite a solid beginning. It certainly had me guessing and I suspected everyone at various points, so from that point of view, it was absolutely solid. A few things that niggled at me where the overly detailled descriptions of every item of clothing Verity wore, was a tad too much down to the brand of Mackintosh and wool coat. I appreciate that she knows that stuff about the era, but I felt it was lowering the overa As a first book in the series, and as an arc before publication, I think this was quite a solid beginning. It certainly had me guessing and I suspected everyone at various points, so from that point of view, it was absolutely solid. A few things that niggled at me where the overly detailled descriptions of every item of clothing Verity wore, was a tad too much down to the brand of Mackintosh and wool coat. I appreciate that she knows that stuff about the era, but I felt it was lowering the overall very good writing style a little bit. There was also a bit confusion about Helen and Walter's relationship, it was their engagement party, but then further on they were referred to as husband and wife. I am sure, they picked that up during the editing. All in all, I shall pick up books by this author in future.
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    The Lady Darby Series set in 1830-31 Scotland has been pure delight. The Verity Kent Series begins in 1919 England. Verity, as expected, is a very different heroine than Lady Darby. Verity is a likeable character with intelligence, heart and grit. The time period is an interesting one. It's set just after the end of WWI.Beyond Verity, there was one other interesting character. For the most part though, I wasn't terribly interested in the cast of characters. There was quite a large focus on alcoh The Lady Darby Series set in 1830-31 Scotland has been pure delight. The Verity Kent Series begins in 1919 England. Verity, as expected, is a very different heroine than Lady Darby. Verity is a likeable character with intelligence, heart and grit. The time period is an interesting one. It's set just after the end of WWI.Beyond Verity, there was one other interesting character. For the most part though, I wasn't terribly interested in the cast of characters. There was quite a large focus on alcohol in the early part of the novel. I understand soldiers, wives and girlfriends had been through so much and found relief in alcohol and drugs, however, the emphasis on this piece of the story was rather heavy in the early part of the novel. This focus did lessen substantially later on. There was then a section on seance, tarot cards, etc. While other readers may not have blinked about the focus on alcohol and occult, it stood out as not adding to the novel for this reader.The mystery itself was o.k. With my limited interest in the characters, this took away from the appeal of the mystery.I am looking forward to the next novel in the Lady Darby series.My gratitude to the publisher Kensington for a complimentary Net Galley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and the opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    The first book in a new historical series featuring Verity Kent. This is a new author for me and I will read her again. The characters are developed in depth and become friends. The description of you at the house party and you feel the emotions of each individual, especially Verity. I found I couldn't put the book down and need to finish it.It is 1919, the war is finally over and Verify is slowly recovering from her grief on the death of her husband in the final days of the war. She received an The first book in a new historical series featuring Verity Kent. This is a new author for me and I will read her again. The characters are developed in depth and become friends. The description of you at the house party and you feel the emotions of each individual, especially Verity. I found I couldn't put the book down and need to finish it.It is 1919, the war is finally over and Verify is slowly recovering from her grief on the death of her husband in the final days of the war. She received an invitation to a house party to celebrate the engagement to be married to a childhood friend of her husband. She accepted it after learning that there is new information her husband complete treason. When Verity arrives at the house party, she finds the male guests all fought with her husband and there is unexplained tension. She also received a book her husband requested that contains a code letter. Verify had worked for the Secret Service during the war and has training breaking codes. There is a death of one of the men that look like a suicide. A violent storm begins and the group is maroon on the island. The telephones are not working.The twists and turns that this tale makes will spell bound you. I highly recommend this book.Disclosure: I received a free copy Kensington Books through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book.The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Dharma Kelleher
    January 1, 1970
    I don't read a lot of historical fiction and it's been ages since I've read any of Agatha Christie's work. But I instantly fell in love with the character of Verity Kent. Author Anna Lee Huber really brings the character alive as well as post-World-War-I England. Still struggling to cope with the death of her husband, Verity Kent accepts an invitation to an island on the southern England coast to celebrate the engagement for one of her late husband's military comrades. But the celebration is sho I don't read a lot of historical fiction and it's been ages since I've read any of Agatha Christie's work. But I instantly fell in love with the character of Verity Kent. Author Anna Lee Huber really brings the character alive as well as post-World-War-I England. Still struggling to cope with the death of her husband, Verity Kent accepts an invitation to an island on the southern England coast to celebrate the engagement for one of her late husband's military comrades. But the celebration is short-lived when Verity begins to receive cryptic messages about her husband and guests turn up dead. Verity draws on her experience in the Secret Service to unravel a plot of treason, conspiracy, and murder. The book is beautifully written with a wonderful mix of characters and plenty of plot twists. Verity is bold, smart and resourceful. Umbersea Island, the setting of the story, is a fictionalized version of Brownsea Island. Huber did a wonderful job bringing this location to life, complete with the castle, church, and the abandoned potters village, all of which play a role in the story. If you're looking for a classic Christie-era mystery that will keep you guessing till the very end, you won't go wrong with THIS SIDE OF MURDER.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of Huber's Lady Darby historical mysteries, I was eager to read this first book in her new series. This also is historical, taking place just after WWI, and Verity, like Lady Darby, is a strong character somewhat constrained by traditional roles for women. Huber uses details and language to help establish the time period and weaves a story with a firm nod to Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None."Verity Kent, widowed in the war a bit more than a year earlier, receives an invitatio As a fan of Huber's Lady Darby historical mysteries, I was eager to read this first book in her new series. This also is historical, taking place just after WWI, and Verity, like Lady Darby, is a strong character somewhat constrained by traditional roles for women. Huber uses details and language to help establish the time period and weaves a story with a firm nod to Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None."Verity Kent, widowed in the war a bit more than a year earlier, receives an invitation to a house party on an island estate, an engagement party given by an old friend and army colleague of her late husband. At first thinking to decline the invitation, she receives a mysterious note implying her husband may have been a traitor and that she could discover more by attending. Unknown to friends and family, Verity had worked for British intelligence during the war, and this was news she could not ignore. Upon arrival, she discovers that the guest list is odd, consisting mostly of surviving officers of her husband's old unit. She forges a fragile connection with one of these officers, a man who like her seems troubled by the odd gathering. The first death confirms that she is dealing with some dangerous secrets someone--or some ones--wish to keep hidden.Verity is an appealing protagonist, and the post-WWI England setting has elements of Downton Abbey that I also find fun. The story springs a few twists and surprises, especially one such surprise, that keep the story interesting, and the situation at the end leaves some intriguing and potentially difficult plot lines in play. I definitely will look for the next book in the series.Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this ARC.
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  • Caz
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow at AAR.
  • Milena Widdowson
    January 1, 1970
    I requested This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. It is the first in a new series – the Verity Kent series – and is set in post-World War I England. Mystery, murder, the promise of a strong female lead and one of my absolute favourite periods in history; perfect.When it comes to a first book in a series, I tend to be more patient and allow for them often not being as rich as books further on. The writer and her characters need to g I requested This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. It is the first in a new series – the Verity Kent series – and is set in post-World War I England. Mystery, murder, the promise of a strong female lead and one of my absolute favourite periods in history; perfect.When it comes to a first book in a series, I tend to be more patient and allow for them often not being as rich as books further on. The writer and her characters need to get established, find their own groove. This is essentially how I see This Side of Murder. It wasn’t incredible but I certainly liked it a lot and I will definitely read the next in the series as I do see so much potential.The plot centres around an engagement party on the fictional island of Umbersea in Poole Harbour. Verity is invited as a guest of the groom to be, who had served with her husband in the trenches. Alongside the invitation, she receives a mysterious letter hinting that her husband wasn’t the honourable officer he was portrayed to be and that the answer lies on Ubersea island. And of course, a series of murders occur as the island is cut off from the mainland by a raging storm. I do love this type of plot and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Although I saw some things coming (and remember that I have read a lot of murder mysteries), there were a couple of twists I didn’t predict and Huber is wonderful at making you second guess each character in turn.What I loved the most about this book was the back history of Verity Kent, a young, upper class war widow, trying to find her way in the post war world. She had been part of the Secret Service during the war and I have a feeling that this will provide a lot of interesting story lines in future books. It also means she is fiercely independent and her intelligence coupled with her experience, mean that she is ideal as an amateur detective.I felt the writing itself was at times very strong, especially when dealing with World War I subject matter and the complex emotions of the characters, trying to come to terms with the many consequences of war. I liked that it dug a little deeper, was more serious than the average cosy crime. However, at times the language tries too hard to be 1920s, the characters speak a little unnaturally at points. Some descriptions have the same problem in my opinion, it is there to be a 1920s cosy crime. This relaxes as the book goes on and I have high hopes that the second book in the series will read more fluidly, especially as there were such glimpses of strong writing.So, all in all, a really enjoyable read with the potential to be a brilliant series.
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  • Lorraine Montgomery
    January 1, 1970
    This Side of Murder is by Daphne award-winning author Anna Lee Huber.  I received a free ARC copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.  This is the first in a new Verity Kent Mystery series and although she has a bestselling series, Lady Darby Mysteries, this is the first book by Huber that I've read.  It is a classic — an island setting, a storm cutting off communications, cryptic notes, army buddies harbouring resentments, and the body count rising.Verity Kent is a war widow inv This Side of Murder is by Daphne award-winning author Anna Lee Huber.  I received a free ARC copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.  This is the first in a new Verity Kent Mystery series and although she has a bestselling series, Lady Darby Mysteries, this is the first book by Huber that I've read.  It is a classic — an island setting, a storm cutting off communications, cryptic notes, army buddies harbouring resentments, and the body count rising.Verity Kent is a war widow invited to an engagement party at Walter Ponsonby's island estate in Simon's stead as the men are all survivors of the Thirtieth Battalion, her husband's regiment.  Initially, she had decided to pass on the event but after receiving a typed letter which implied her husband had been a traitor and the writer would give her proof at the party she decided to go.  He, or she, also seems to know that Verity had worked with the Secret Service, a fact she had revealed to no-one, not even her husband whom she cannot believe was a traitor.  In anger, she agrees to go.The first member of the party she runs into (almost literally) is Max Westfield, Earl of Ryde.  She rather likes him as the day progresses and is inclined to trust him but when the cryptic notes keep coming and she has no idea which of the assembled company is writing them, she is cautious about what she tells him.  The hanging is meant to look like a suicide but neither Verity or Max is convinced.  Walter says he's notified the authorities but no-one shows up.  The second death is clearly murder — gunshot wound to the heart.  Verity's room is ransacked and the third potential death is murder by multiple bee stings.  Will anyone survive the party?This is a murder setting that has been done many times but there are enough twists and interesting details that make it work.  Verity is a resourceful, competent sleuth who manages to catch her balance no matter what is thrown at her.  Her attraction to Max seldom clouds her judgment and her training in the service stands her in good stead.  As this is the first in a series, I look forward to more sleuthing by Mrs. Verity Kent.
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  • Susan Snodgrass
    January 1, 1970
    England, 1919. Verity Kent’s grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity’s first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew. Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement part England, 1919. Verity Kent’s grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity’s first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew. Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement party of one of Sidney’s fellow officers, Verity mingles among the men her husband once fought beside, and discovers dark secrets—along with a murder clearly meant to conceal them. Relying on little more than a coded letter, the help of a dashing stranger, and her own sharp instincts, Verity is forced down a path she never imagined—and comes face to face with the shattering possibility that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was. It’s a truth that could set her free—or draw her ever deeper into his deception . .I became fascinated with Anna Lee Huber's work with her Lady Darby Mysteries, which are awesome! She is a very thorough author, leaving nothing out. She is quite good at keeping the mysteries just that until the very end, too. This one is full of intrigue and sure to thrill her fans.*I received an early copy of this book from the publisher. My opinion is my own and honest.
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  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    First, I'd like to thank the author, Anna Lee Huber, for the Advance Reader's edition of this book. I have read all of the author's Lady Darby books, and was excited to be given the opportunity to read the first book in her new series, the Verity Kent Mysteries. The setting is England, June 1919, seven months after the end of WWI. Verity Kent, a war widow, is invited to a house party to celebrate the engagement of a good friend of her deceased husband. The party is being held on Umbersea Island, First, I'd like to thank the author, Anna Lee Huber, for the Advance Reader's edition of this book. I have read all of the author's Lady Darby books, and was excited to be given the opportunity to read the first book in her new series, the Verity Kent Mysteries. The setting is England, June 1919, seven months after the end of WWI. Verity Kent, a war widow, is invited to a house party to celebrate the engagement of a good friend of her deceased husband. The party is being held on Umbersea Island, off the English coast. Tensions run high, as the other guests all served with Verity's husband during the war, and all seem to have secrets, even Verity. And then, one of the guests is found dead. Suicide? Murder? I really enjoyed this book. It was a solid mystery set in an interesting time period. Verity is smart and determined as she tries to figure out who to trust and what everyone is hiding. There were some unexpected plot twists. And, a somewhat surprising revelation.I'm only sorry that I'll have to wait longer for the next installment, as I got an early peek at this book.
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  • Piepie Beuttel
    January 1, 1970
    This newest in a series of post-WWI mysteries by Anna Lee Huber takes on a sort of "Agatha Christie" feel as a group of friends gather at a castle on an island for an engagement party. Young widow Verity Kent drives up, and it doesn't take long for her to realize that all the men have something in common: her husband Sidney, killed 15 months earlier. Two mysterious deaths, cryptic letters, a puzzling code, and a storm which cut the island off from civilization are just some of the ingredients h This newest in a series of post-WWI mysteries by Anna Lee Huber takes on a sort of "Agatha Christie" feel as a group of friends gather at a castle on an island for an engagement party. Young widow Verity Kent drives up, and it doesn't take long for her to realize that all the men have something in common: her husband Sidney, killed 15 months earlier. Two mysterious deaths, cryptic letters, a puzzling code, and a storm which cut the island off from civilization are just some of the ingredients here. Verity doesn't know who to trust... and maybe her deceased husband was a man she really didn't know.The "chill factor" was high in particular scenes, and I enjoyed being "scared." However, there were a lot of characters, and it was easy for me to mix them up, as far as who was who, who was sweethearts with who. But, the beginning of the novel grabbed me right away, the moody atmosphere was skillfully built, and I loved all the secrets and codes. I wish the code Verity worked on was explained more, as well as her Secret Service job during the war. But maybe the author can go down those directions in future books. There was an intriguing character who I hope to see more of.All in all, not a bad beginning. It is interesting to see the author branch out to work something else other than the Lady Kiera mysteries. I think Verity Kent is just as notable as Kiera -- a character to watch!Thank you, Netgalley, for this arc!
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  • Mystica
    January 1, 1970
    I am always looking for new mystery/thriller/suspense authors and this was a really lucky find. It combined my love for the WW era, a strong effective woman and a mystery death as well. The combination was irresistible. Now the difficulty would be to track down the next book in the series. This was the first one in the Verity Kent series.Verity is a young woman who has worked in the Secret Service during WWI. She has lost her husband as well and is trying very hard to accept this and move on. It I am always looking for new mystery/thriller/suspense authors and this was a really lucky find. It combined my love for the WW era, a strong effective woman and a mystery death as well. The combination was irresistible. Now the difficulty would be to track down the next book in the series. This was the first one in the Verity Kent series.Verity is a young woman who has worked in the Secret Service during WWI. She has lost her husband as well and is trying very hard to accept this and move on. It is just fifteen months after she received news of the death of her husband, but there was no body. Getting an invitation to visit the home of one of her husband's colleagues to celebrate and engagement was she felt one more step towards closure as she felt that meeting them would bring her peace of mind. That was the last thing she ever felt as circumstances and events took over from the moment she set out on this journey to a beautiful, scenic, isolated part of the British coast to an island where she and the rest of the party would be cocooned together and the entire drama would slowly unravel.It was a beautiful piece of writing, building up in stages, never erupting but systematically going on to the next event and the next. Unexpected surprises at every turn, kept my interest going till the very end. Very descriptive as well this was such an enjoyable book to read I was sorry it had to end so soon.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I loooooved this book. Anna Lee Huber is so talented, and I love that she's branching out into different areas of the historical mystery genre. This is her best writing so far, with characters and scene descriptions that leap off the page and feel cinematic in nature. The suspense of the characters' isolation and resulting paranoia -- similar to And Then There Were None -- plus the many shocking twists, make the story so hard to put down.Verity Kent, a war widow and former British Secret Service I loooooved this book. Anna Lee Huber is so talented, and I love that she's branching out into different areas of the historical mystery genre. This is her best writing so far, with characters and scene descriptions that leap off the page and feel cinematic in nature. The suspense of the characters' isolation and resulting paranoia -- similar to And Then There Were None -- plus the many shocking twists, make the story so hard to put down.Verity Kent, a war widow and former British Secret Service agent during World War I, begins receiving cryptic anonymous messages hinting that her deceased husband was not the war hero she thought him to be. The messages prompt her to accept an invitation to an engagement party for her husband's best friend and his bride to be which is taking place on a remote island estate in the English Channel. Verity quickly realizes that the party is not what it seems and the guests -- all former soldiers and officers from her husband's unit or otherwise connected to the relatives of those soldiers -- are hiding secrets about what really happened during the war. As the guests start suffering fatal "accidents" and ominous messages from beyond the grave are found on their bodies, Verity is in a race to uncover the truth of what really happened to the unit before it's too late. Verity is a complex blend of supreme capability, intellect and vulnerability. She's used to keeping calm and carrying on, but can't help feeling adrift now that she's lost her husband of only a few years, as well as her formerly active life as a code-breaker and agent during the war. The constant reminders of her husband at the party, and the slow unraveling of anecdotes from the guests that make her question her own memories of him, add to her feeling of uncertainty. I'd be remiss not to also mention Max, who managed to push Sebastian Gage out of top place for my favorite of Huber's heros. Book 1 is only scraping the surface of his story, but he's already made a very favorable impression :-) Thank you to Kensington Books and Netgalley for providing an ARC for review!
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  • Mei
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, this is almost as good as Lady Darby series! Not just as good, but still good. I would say 4.5 stars rounded to 5! LOLWhat I like in Ms. Huber's writing style is that, while reading, I can immerse myself in the period and feel like I'm wearing the dress or talking in a certian way or srinking champagne during a gathering! It's amazing!I don't want to spoil the story (mystery) here since the book is not out yet, but I can tell you that there're a lot of unexcpected things happening and, even Oh, this is almost as good as Lady Darby series! Not just as good, but still good. I would say 4.5 stars rounded to 5! LOLWhat I like in Ms. Huber's writing style is that, while reading, I can immerse myself in the period and feel like I'm wearing the dress or talking in a certian way or srinking champagne during a gathering! It's amazing!I don't want to spoil the story (mystery) here since the book is not out yet, but I can tell you that there're a lot of unexcpected things happening and, even if I was suspitious since the beginning about the culpirt, it is not revealed until the very end! ;-)I loved the heroine, Verity. I suppose that she's what I would like to be if I lived in that period: smart, bold, but not snotty, strong and resilient.All the other characters are just supporting characters. Veruty is the main and only lead character here, even if there were some that were more important (and therefore more realistic and more life-likely built) than others that are just sketches.All in all, I'm looking forward to the next one, because I'm curious to se how the things are going to devel in Verity's life! *wink*
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  • JoAn
    January 1, 1970
    This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber is the first in a new historical mystery series by this author. I've never read her books before but this one convinced me that I've been missing some good reading.Her descriptive narrative had me feeling as if I was there with Verity Kent. The setting is post WWI England and Verity Kent is a widow as a result of the war. She worked for the Secret Service during the war and is aware of what many of the battle hardened soldiers saw during the war. She's a str This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber is the first in a new historical mystery series by this author. I've never read her books before but this one convinced me that I've been missing some good reading.Her descriptive narrative had me feeling as if I was there with Verity Kent. The setting is post WWI England and Verity Kent is a widow as a result of the war. She worked for the Secret Service during the war and is aware of what many of the battle hardened soldiers saw during the war. She's a strong and independent woman for the times and determined to discover if her husband had been a traitor. The smoothly paced plot was filled with twists and red herrings as Verity is surrounded by questionable companions while isolated at a castle on an island. I was completely shocked by the reveal and loved the way that Verity fought for herself. Suspense, murder, and well developed characters that were intriguing and complex. I will definitely be watching for the next one in this series.I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington Publishing via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
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  • nikkia neil
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks Kensington Books and netgalley for this ARC.Verity Kent might be my new favorite bon mot detective. You'll be up all night cuz it just gets better and the end is explove- you won't see it coming at all. I love Anna Lee Huber's style and cunning imagination.
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  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    Review for RHR to come.
  • Gail
    January 1, 1970
    Having fallen in love with the Lady Darby series, I was thrilled to be able to receive an ARC for the debut of the Verity Kent series. Needless to say, This Side of Murder does not disappoint--it is a crackling good mystery. Huber's riff on Dame Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None centers around a post World War I engagement party held on an isolated island and attended by a group of socially connected men and women. The connections and the motives of each only become clear as murders and Having fallen in love with the Lady Darby series, I was thrilled to be able to receive an ARC for the debut of the Verity Kent series. Needless to say, This Side of Murder does not disappoint--it is a crackling good mystery. Huber's riff on Dame Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None centers around a post World War I engagement party held on an isolated island and attended by a group of socially connected men and women. The connections and the motives of each only become clear as murders and attempted murders begin to take place.Verity is a war widow with her own secrets whose grief has caused her to do some things she's not particularly proud of. Initially she declines the party, but changes her mind when she receives disturbing messages regarding her late husband. Was Sidney a traitor? Who can she trust to help her investigate what's happening on the island? Who could know about the nature of her own work during the War?Huber throws in a great twist about two thirds of the way through which will have a major effect on future entries in the series. I'm already looking forward to the second book in the series. Verity is an intelligent, compelling heroine and I want to spend more time with her.Full Disclosure--Net Gallery and the publisher provided me with a digital ARC of this book. This is my honest review.
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  • Stephanie Mohler
    January 1, 1970
    ARCI liked the beginning of this historical mystery (right after WWI), but something that happens towards the end was a little much/hard to believe.
  • Milena
    January 1, 1970
    This Side of Murder is a great historical murder mystery set in one of my favorite time periods, the beginning of 20th century just after WW1 ended. It has a cast of interesting characters lead by our main heroine Verity, who is a war widow and a former Secret Service operative. Verity is smart, resourceful, and very likeable. The setting of This Side of Murder is very atmospheric. As I was reading I was getting Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" vibes: an isolated island, a storm, a p This Side of Murder is a great historical murder mystery set in one of my favorite time periods, the beginning of 20th century just after WW1 ended. It has a cast of interesting characters lead by our main heroine Verity, who is a war widow and a former Secret Service operative. Verity is smart, resourceful, and very likeable. The setting of This Side of Murder is very atmospheric. As I was reading I was getting Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" vibes: an isolated island, a storm, a party with a strange mix of people who start dropping dead one by one. I found the first part of the book a little slow but as I got to the middle there was a major twist/revelation that I didn’t see coming, and from then on I couldn't put the book down. The ending was satisfying but I still have major feels and questions about it and cannot wait for the second book to find out what's next in store for Verity and co. *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Received an ARC courtesy of NetGalley. I enjoyed the mystery and the main character. Not sure how I feel about some of the twists. I would recommend the book to readers who like historical mysteries.
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    It was OK, but did not seem at all realistic or terribly accurate. An interesting time period and some important topics concerning WWI, but nothing like the depth of Jacqueline Winspear's early Maisie Dobbs series or Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge or Bess Crawford series.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    From the opening pages I knew I would be happy in Verity's world. Though she's a fairly recent widow Verity doesn't dwell on her own story of loss. When she meets, Max, the handsome, eligible Earl in the very first chapter, I knew this would be a partnership in crime solving to rival the best of Anne Perry's historical sleuths. And then the plot develops, twists, and sways far off the course I'd guessed it would follow. Huber writes from inside Verity's head revealing her uneasiness with some of From the opening pages I knew I would be happy in Verity's world. Though she's a fairly recent widow Verity doesn't dwell on her own story of loss. When she meets, Max, the handsome, eligible Earl in the very first chapter, I knew this would be a partnership in crime solving to rival the best of Anne Perry's historical sleuths. And then the plot develops, twists, and sways far off the course I'd guessed it would follow. Huber writes from inside Verity's head revealing her uneasiness with some of the characters as the engagement party gets underway. Verity can't trust anyone, and I had no chance to trust them either. Midway through the book I gave up savoring every page, I stopped putting the book down to talk to people, fix dinner, and generally go about living. I had to realize this book would come to an end all to soon. And since it's the first in the series I am going to have to wait quite awhile to join Verity again.Thankfully, I can hang out with Lady Darby while I wait for Verity. The early copy of This Side of Murder came to me via Facebook giveaway from the author, Anna Lee Huber. I really could not believe Huber could create another world, another outstanding lead character, as entertaining and interesting as Lady Darby. Each scene is carefully painted, every historical nuance adds to the genuine atmosphere of the era, and the dialogue snaps into place true to each characters' personality. No skipping pages. No skipping paragraphs. Every word counts. While I'm no expert on the post-war period or the UK, I do know enough not to be fooled by anything less than honest and thorough research on the author's part. Huber does not disappoint. This is book I'll be recommending to all my mystery reading friends.
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  • Barbara Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    Series: Verity Kent #1Publication Date: 9//26/17 This book is the quintessential mystery. It is interesting, exciting, gripping, exciting and filled with interesting characters. The descriptions of the emotional turmoil of World War I and its aftermath on the soldiers and civilian are so strong that you feel every emotion – just as if you were there. This author’s descriptions of the heroine’s grief over the death of her husband make you feel as if it were your loss, your pain. I just can’t say Series: Verity Kent #1Publication Date: 9//26/17 This book is the quintessential mystery. It is interesting, exciting, gripping, exciting and filled with interesting characters. The descriptions of the emotional turmoil of World War I and its aftermath on the soldiers and civilian are so strong that you feel every emotion – just as if you were there. This author’s descriptions of the heroine’s grief over the death of her husband make you feel as if it were your loss, your pain. I just can’t say enough good things about the quality of writing and the depth of the emotions in this story. I almost didn’t request it because it is for a later time period than I usually enjoy, but since I love Huber’s Lady Darby series, I thought I’d give this one a try. I am so very glad I did!Be sure you have a clear schedule before you start reading because you won’t be able to put it down once you start reading!Verity married at 18 just as her husband was to go off to war. They never had that time of living together that made the deep memories – the kind where you miss his toothbrush being beside yours or his razor on the sink. Their brief time together was during his short leaves when he came home from the front. They were hurried and intense – and not nearly long enough. Then, a German soldier’s bullet took his life. Verity’s grief was so intense, so painful that she tried to drown it in alcohol and frenetic, frenzied activities such as dancing. Sidney had been dead for fifteen very long, very difficult months when she received an invitation to a house party to celebrate the engagement of one of Sidney’s life-long friends. She declines the invitation until she receives a letter that says the sender has information about Sidney being a traitor. While she knows that Sidney had been very troubled on his last few trips home, she couldn’t believe he would be a traitor – but she had to know for sure. So, she accepted the invitation and headed to the house party on a private island with about a dozen other people. Each person had some tie to Sidney or his service regiment and she had to figure out who sent the letter and find out what they know.On the way to the ferry to take her to the island, she runs into (almost literally) Max Westfield, the Earl of Ryde. She feels an attraction to him that she hasn’t felt in over fifteen months. But, can she trust him? Is he the one who sent the letter? As she comes to know him better, she really wants to trust him, but he and his family are in a position that he could have easily been the traitor. As the party continues, the attraction grows. Something about the party and the assembled guests doesn’t feel right to Verity. Then, the first death occurs. Jimmy Tufton was a cynic who had lost an arm in the war – and it was said that he deliberately tried to get himself killed. When he was found hanging, many thought he had committed suicide, but Verity and Max were pretty sure that wasn’t the case. Then, later the second death occurs – and that one definitely isn’t a suicide because there is a very plainly visible bullet wound in his chest. Charlie Montague was a very young man who seemed shell-shocked – and riddled with guilt. Who would be next? There is a massive storm raging and the telephone wires have been cut, so there is no way to contact the outside world nor to escape. They are trapped on an island with at least one murderer.Then, after the storm abates a little, the host, Walter Ponsonby is stung by several bees and he’s very, very allergic to the stings. Yes, it was also deliberate. Since everyone knew of the allergy, the unusual method didn’t bring them any closer to discovering the guilty party.There are many twists, turns, and surprises throughout the book – and the ending is a big surprise. I had half of it figured out, but not the rest! I wish I could tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil the read for you. I highly recommend this book and this author!"I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."
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  • Moriah
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this title from the publisher for an honest review. Wow, what a great start to a new series; I couldn't put this one down! The book opens when our heroine, Verity Kent almost crashes her motor car into another vehicle on her way to meet a boat to take her to an engagement party. Verity is intrigued by the other driver, Max, the Earl of Ryde, especially when she finds out he is a fellow guest at the party. A widow of a little over a year, Verity has been struggling with the d I received a copy of this title from the publisher for an honest review. Wow, what a great start to a new series; I couldn't put this one down! The book opens when our heroine, Verity Kent almost crashes her motor car into another vehicle on her way to meet a boat to take her to an engagement party. Verity is intrigued by the other driver, Max, the Earl of Ryde, especially when she finds out he is a fellow guest at the party. A widow of a little over a year, Verity has been struggling with the death of her husband during WWI and has been coping by drinking a little too much at night and going out dancing to numb her pain. Like many other war brides, she married right before her husband, Sidney left for France and only had short snatches of time with him during leaves, making her grief even more difficult because they never truly got to begin their married life. Unlike other women especially of her class, Verity found a way to contribute to the war effort by working secretly for the Secret Service and has also struggled with losing her sense of purpose in life once her job ended. The house party is a celebration of the engagement between her husband Sidney's old friend Walter and his young fiance Helen; other guests consist of the surviving members of the Thirtieth who served with her husband. Verity was reluctant to attend until she received a mysterious note hinting that Sidney may have been involved in treason. Once aboard the yacht, they travel to a nearby island where Walter's family owns an estate that Helen is refurbishing using her inheritance. Ms. Huber does a wonderful job of portraying the post war atmosphere of England - everyone is trying to come to terms with the deaths of so many young people and soliders are trying to move past the horrible things they witnessed during the war; using too much booze and forced high spirits to help cope setting the stage for the excesses of the Roaring '20s. After arrival, Verity discovers a copy of a book she'd purchased for her husband and hidden in it a coded message. After the suspicious suicide of one of the guests, Verity is determined to discover what really happened to her husband. Add in an attraction to Max despite her mixed emotions on moving on and a horrible storming cutting of the party from the mainland, you have all the perfect elements for a fantastic who done it mystery. The mystery aspect kept me guessing throughout and the reveal of pieces of it throughout the story was very well done including some unexpected twists and turns. Verity is smart, resourceful, and just plain likeable - I can't wait to see where her next adventure takes her!
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    Anna Lee Huber is rightfully well known for her Lady Darby mysteries (The Anatomist's Wife and others). This book is the first entry in what I fervently hope will be another long and successful series.An aside: it takes serious chops to stand in a ring and go a few rounds with Muhammad Ali, or share a stage with Eric Clapton holding a guitar, or have a paint-off duel with Matisse. Not a bit of hyperbole to say this book represents exactly that. Ms. Huber takes the classic Christie setting: remot Anna Lee Huber is rightfully well known for her Lady Darby mysteries (The Anatomist's Wife and others). This book is the first entry in what I fervently hope will be another long and successful series.An aside: it takes serious chops to stand in a ring and go a few rounds with Muhammad Ali, or share a stage with Eric Clapton holding a guitar, or have a paint-off duel with Matisse. Not a bit of hyperbole to say this book represents exactly that. Ms. Huber takes the classic Christie setting: remote English country house, on an island, isolated by a storm, cut off from help, tosses in a house party of odd characters absolutely resonating with unresolved history and sets it in the English interwar period.The writing is solid. The pacing is perfect and the plot moves along at a clip. The research into place and setting are perfect. I truly enjoyed reading this book so very much. The 'rules' of the setting and mystery writing were adhered to and I hadn't worked it all out by the end of the book.To be perfectly honest, I revere Agatha Christie (and Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy Sayers and all the grand dames of mystery). I think Huber has the potential to stand right up there with them. This book is wonderful with flashes of brilliance. Five stars seem too few but five it is.Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.
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  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    This Side of Murder is a fantastic historical mystery read. I absolutely loved it. Anna Lee Huber's writing is absorbing, the characters are fascinating and complex, and the plot has plenty of twists and turns. Verity Kent is a widow whose husband was killed in WWI. She receives an anonymous message that suggests her husband might not have been the hero everyone thinks he was when he died. When she receives and invitation to an engagement party on Umbersea Island, she goes and is surprised to fi This Side of Murder is a fantastic historical mystery read. I absolutely loved it. Anna Lee Huber's writing is absorbing, the characters are fascinating and complex, and the plot has plenty of twists and turns. Verity Kent is a widow whose husband was killed in WWI. She receives an anonymous message that suggests her husband might not have been the hero everyone thinks he was when he died. When she receives and invitation to an engagement party on Umbersea Island, she goes and is surprised to find many members of her husband's former regiment present.After she arrives, she realizes that the party has a strange feeling, and much is being left unsaid. She receives more messages telling her trust no one, including the handsome and dashing Max, the Earl of Ryde, whom she met on the boat ride over to the island. After one of the guests commits suicide (shell shock? guilt?), and Verity gets a coded message in a book, she gets very suspicious and begins investigating.This is a classic whodunit. The characters are trapped on an island during a storm. Although it sounds cliched, in this book it's suspenseful and exciting. The twists, and the ending, will surprise you.I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Homerun2
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsWorld War I widow and hidden secret agent Verity Kent is not anxious to attend a weekend gathering of old friends and men who served with her husband. But the very odd letter she received accusing her late husband of treason makes her decide she must go and find out what really happened. The ensuing story has all the elements of a Golden Age mystery: a group of suspicious characters, stuck together on an inaccessible island and cut off from the mainland by a horrible storm, all know som 3.5 starsWorld War I widow and hidden secret agent Verity Kent is not anxious to attend a weekend gathering of old friends and men who served with her husband. But the very odd letter she received accusing her late husband of treason makes her decide she must go and find out what really happened. The ensuing story has all the elements of a Golden Age mystery: a group of suspicious characters, stuck together on an inaccessible island and cut off from the mainland by a horrible storm, all know something about some alleged wartime deaths. But was it war -- or was it murder? And why? And who set the plot in motion? No one on the island is exactly what they seem. The storm rages on, and the body count rises.Verity Kent is an intriguing character, and the nuanced portrayals and nicely paced narrative help to distract us from an amazingly preposterous plot. Thanks to Net Galley for providing an ARC in return for my honest review.
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