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
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 26th, 2017
PublisherKensington
ISBN-139781496713155
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Fiction

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

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    AN EXCERPT: 'You might question whether this is all a ruse, whether I truly have anything to reveal. But I know what kind of work you really did during the war. I know the secrets you hide. Why shouldn't I also know your husband's?'THE BLURB: 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 pier AN EXCERPT: 'You might question whether this is all a ruse, whether I truly have anything to reveal. But I know what kind of work you really did during the war. I know the secrets you hide. Why shouldn't I also know your husband's?'THE BLURB: 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 . . . MY THOUGHTS: 'Who of us really knows what's coming? Or what secrets will come back to haunt us in the end? The war might be over, but it still echoed through our lives like an endless roll of thunder. 'This Side of Murder is an excellent beginning to a new series, Verity Kent, by Daphne Award winning author Anna Lee Huber. I must rather shamefully admit that I had never heard of her prior to reading this book. I intend to remedy that, and sooner rather than later. She has two other series available, The Lady Darby Mysteries and Gothic Myths. Both sound equally appealing. Huber had me hooked from the beginning. Set in post WWI England, Huber has written an absorbing and thrilling tale of spies, murder, treason and a little romance with a strong young female lead. The plot is complex, but not confusing, and the characters are magnificently portrayed. Like Verity, I never even came close to suspecting who was pulling the strings until all was finally revealed. Full of action and suspense, This Side of Murder, is an excellent read on many levels. It is both humorous and poignantly sad in places. It reveals the toll of the war from both sides; those left at home - '..how I had dreaded those letters. Each one seemed to relay news of another death, another tragedy. '; and those away fighting for their country - 'they'd had no clue how dreadful the conditions were at the front, or the horrors their men had faced almost daily. The press never told the truth; propaganda at its finest. And the men didn't want their loved ones back home to know it anyway, even though it caused countless divides and misunderstandings. They didn't want the terrors they'd confronted to touch those they'd loved and gone to war to protect and preserve. ' This Side of Murder is both a touching and thrilling read. Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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  • Caz
    January 1, 1970
    I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 starsWith two series of historical mysteries already on the go –  Lady Darby  and  Gothic Myths  – Anna Lee Huber jumps into her new  Verity Kent  series with This Side of Murder, a smashing and engrossing tale of deceit, murder and betrayal set just after World War I.   As with Ms. Huber’s other books, the story is told in the first person from the heroine’s PoV, and there is plenty of astute observation and historical flavour that puts the reader firmly into I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 starsWith two series of historical mysteries already on the go –  Lady Darby  and  Gothic Myths  – Anna Lee Huber jumps into her new  Verity Kent  series with This Side of Murder, a smashing and engrossing tale of deceit, murder and betrayal set just after World War I.   As with Ms. Huber’s other books, the story is told in the first person from the heroine’s PoV, and there is plenty of astute observation and historical flavour that puts the reader firmly into the world of post-war England some seven months after the Armistice. The isolated island setting and disparate group of individuals who comprise the secondary cast list are most definitely reminiscent of some of the works of Agatha Christie, but this is no copy-cat story, and it will certainly work for fans of historical mysteries whether they’re fans of Christie or not (for the record, I’m not, and it certainly worked for me!).Mrs. Verity Kent is about to decline an invitation to a house party to celebrate the engagement of one of her late husband’s closest friends when she receives an anonymous note indicating that Sidney  Kent may have been a traitor.  The sender clearly knows that Verity worked for the Secret Service during the war  – something she had never even told her husband – so intrigued, angry and wanting desperately to find out the truth, Verity changes her mind about the party and plans to attend, intending to see what she can find out from Sidney’s former comrades.She is on her way to Poole Harbour at the wheel of her late husband’s prized possession, his Pierce-Arrow, when she almost collides with a Rolls Royce coming in the opposite direction.  Having ascertained no damage has been done or injury sustained, the driver of the Rolls, a handsome gentleman a few years Verity’s senior, introduces himself as Max, Lord Ryde.  During the course of their short conversation, Verity learns that not only is Max on the way to the Ponsonby house party, but that he had known Sidney and, for a short time, been his commanding officer.Verity and Max jump back into their respective cars and head for the harbour, where the rest of the party is awaiting their arrival. It’s a fairly disparate group; a few single men and women, three couples… none of whom appear – at first – to have a great deal in common, although it emerges that all of the men had served together in the same battalion as Sidney Kent, the “unlucky” Thirtieth – so-called because it was all but wiped out at the Somme. Relations are strained and tensions run high as harsh words are exchanged and unpleasant accusations fly around; it’s clear this group of men doesn’t want to speak of or be reminded of their wartime experiences and actions – and just as clear that there are dangerous secrets being kept, secrets that someone is prepared to kill to protect.Anna Lee Huber has crafted a truly captivating mystery here, one which has its roots in the trenches and on the mud-laden, bloody battlefields of northern France. She very skillfully builds the tension and atmosphere of paranoia among the characters and does a superb job of portraying the post-war mood in England where so many people were coping with so much pain and loss and attempting to move past the horrible things they saw and did during the conflict. There’s a real sense that the characters are barely able to contain their emotions beneath a thin veneer that could crack at any time, and while Verity is no exception, she’s a thoroughly likeable character; clever, resourceful and resilient. She married Sidney Kent shortly before he left for France and had been looking forward to beginning their lives together, but it was not to be. They only managed to spend a few short periods of time together during his army leaves, and the fact that she never really had the chance to get to know Sidney has made her grief even more difficult to cope with. Like many others in her situation, she tried to numb the pain by drinking too much and partying too hard, using forced high spirits and plenty of booze as a survival mechanism. But unlike many young women of her class, she was able to ‘do her bit’ during the war by working for the Secret Service, which did at least give her something to focus on besides her grief in the time immediately following Sidney’s death. Now the war is over, she is struggling not only to cope with his loss, but also with the loss of the sense of purpose she had gained as a result of her work.She’s a very relatable heroine and I very much enjoyed following her as she and Max try to work out who is murdering house-guests while she is quietly pursuing her own investigations into the accusations levelled at Sidney. Verity is a little confused – and perhaps feels a bit guilty – about the fact that she is attracted to Max, but a sudden and very unexpected development gives her no time to contemplate it and instead causes her to question everything she knows about Sidney and her marriage and sends her investigation off in a different – and dangerous -direction.The mystery is very well-constructed and kept me guessing throughout as I eagerly turned the pages, anxiously awaiting each new twist, turn and clue. It’s wrapped up most satisfactorily by the end of the book and the evil-doers are brought to justice – but Verity is left with a completely new set of challenges to face, and I am eager to find out just how she confronts them.This Side of Murder is a terrific start to this new series of historical mysteries and is a book I have no qualms about recommending to all, whether you’re a fan of the genre, the author, or are new to her work.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start out with, I love Anna Lee Huber as an author. Her Lady Darby series is a favorite of mine. I also do like the character Verity Kent. She's created an extremely interesting, multifaceted, and strong female heroine in Verity. The story itself was a great classic British murder mystery. Stormy nights, a house party, guests with more emotional baggage than the luggage they brought, and murders. I was thoroughly enjoying the book and thought nothing of recommending it. However. A plot t Let me start out with, I love Anna Lee Huber as an author. Her Lady Darby series is a favorite of mine. I also do like the character Verity Kent. She's created an extremely interesting, multifaceted, and strong female heroine in Verity. The story itself was a great classic British murder mystery. Stormy nights, a house party, guests with more emotional baggage than the luggage they brought, and murders. I was thoroughly enjoying the book and thought nothing of recommending it. However. A plot turn straight out of The Young and The Restless just utterly ruined it for me. Then a slipshod rush to the end just left me shaking my head. I know Anna Lee Huber is great writer and it just didn't seem to fit with what I had come to know and love. I will definitely keep reading the series, I do really like Verity Kent and love that Huber is addressing the post war PTSD and adjustment to civilian life by soldiers, their wives, and the women who served. She has created characters with depth, mystery, and seem believable. I just am struggling with the soap opera turn the book took that just was awful, in my opinion.
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  • Cindy 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!
  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    I first noticed this author's regency era mysteries and they seemed good. Then I noticed that she was starting a whole new series of historical mysteries and they were to be set post WWI with a clever former Secret Service heroine. Immediately, I chose to go with the shiny new series though after reading, This Side of Murder, I do very much need to go back for the older, Lady Darby series, too.The book was an engaging blend of history and mystery with a whiff of romance. The heroine, Verity Kent I first noticed this author's regency era mysteries and they seemed good. Then I noticed that she was starting a whole new series of historical mysteries and they were to be set post WWI with a clever former Secret Service heroine. Immediately, I chose to go with the shiny new series though after reading, This Side of Murder, I do very much need to go back for the older, Lady Darby series, too.The book was an engaging blend of history and mystery with a whiff of romance. The heroine, Verity Kent, is a war widow who is living on the edge as a way to push back the shadows of grief. This island house party hosted by a friend of her dead husband is not one she would have attended save for the cryptic letter accusing Sidney of treason. Nothing feels right about the party from the atmosphere to the other guests to the hosts themselves and then someone dies...I was bowled over by this author's gift for time, setting, and atmosphere. I had no trouble believing this story was from the '20s or that the characters had all been touched by the horror of war in their own ways. Verity was a character gem and I enjoyed exploring her world and watching her backstory and personality develop as things progressed. She wants to move on with her life after Sidney and the war, but she can't seem to let go. And now there is Max who seems to awaken feelings in her even while he is also a suspect in the current situation and so cannot be trusted entirely.The mystery was complex. It was a current murder mystery that was strongly connected to a secret past incident that ties all the house party guests together and makes them suspects. Just when I thought I had a grip on the answer there was this huge twist at the end that showed me I only had a partial answer.All in all, I was thrilled with my first encounter with the author and her new lady sleuth. I will definitely be exploring further mysteries with Verity and also want to go back for the Lady Darby ones as well. Historical mystery fans should definitely give this a try.I rec'd this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    2.75 starsVerity Kent showed promise as a lead character and her journey as a recovering widow in the aftermath of WW1 also had a lot of potential. I didn't even mind the somewhat slow start. However, a plot twist at over the halfway mark ultimately spoiled this series for me and I find I'm not really interested in the direction this book chose to go.
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    Fun, “Clue” style mystery where characters are housed up together and slowly start to die off. You try to figure who’s responsible from the hints revealed, but they can be misleading! Verity is a Great War widow who is still grieving and trying to move past her losses as the country is beginning to recover. She has secrets, and she’s finding out her husband apparently did too. She tries to find out truth, and it becomes quite dangerous and deceptive. Look for a big twist that will keep you on th Fun, “Clue” style mystery where characters are housed up together and slowly start to die off. You try to figure who’s responsible from the hints revealed, but they can be misleading! Verity is a Great War widow who is still grieving and trying to move past her losses as the country is beginning to recover. She has secrets, and she’s finding out her husband apparently did too. She tries to find out truth, and it becomes quite dangerous and deceptive. Look for a big twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat! I think this will make an interesting series and look forward to where it goes next. I took to Verity quickly and found the writing clever and atmospheric!—Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Publishers for an ARC to read & honestly review. I was so excited to be approved!—
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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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  • Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
    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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  • Kate Baxter
    January 1, 1970
    Another great read by historical fiction writer, Anna Lee Huber. This first in series story takes place in post WWI England year 1919. Our heroine, Verity Kent, widowed by nearly a year and a half still carries a torch for husband Sidney - lost to the war on a French battlefield.One of Sidney's comrades is celebrating his engagement and has invited a number of war mates and surviving widow, Verity, to his island retreat for fun and festivities. As it turns out, it's an odd mishmash of guests - a Another great read by historical fiction writer, Anna Lee Huber. This first in series story takes place in post WWI England year 1919. Our heroine, Verity Kent, widowed by nearly a year and a half still carries a torch for husband Sidney - lost to the war on a French battlefield.One of Sidney's comrades is celebrating his engagement and has invited a number of war mates and surviving widow, Verity, to his island retreat for fun and festivities. As it turns out, it's an odd mishmash of guests - all initially jovial and eventually sullen and subdued. Perhaps due to the discovery of two guests having lost the good fight at the sinister hands of an unknown assailant. But the only folks on the island are those invited guests to the engagement party. Our feisty Verity seems to have a good head on her shoulders and is eager to ferret out the perpetrator(s). She and fellow guest, Max, are on the trail and uncovering the deceits layer by layer. Tension, suspense, mystery, history - this book has it all!.
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  • The Lit Bitch
    January 1, 1970
    As many of you know, I binge read almost all of Anna Lee Huber’s books this year. I love the Lady Darby books and I also loved her Gothic Myths book as well!Huber rapidly became a favorite author of mine and I was eager to read her latest book series about Verity Kent. I saw a lot of this book on Twitter so I tried to procure a copy before it’s release but sadly I waited too long! So I had to resort to my local library….which I waited like 3 weeks for it to come in.By then I had almost lost inte As many of you know, I binge read almost all of Anna Lee Huber’s books this year. I love the Lady Darby books and I also loved her Gothic Myths book as well!Huber rapidly became a favorite author of mine and I was eager to read her latest book series about Verity Kent. I saw a lot of this book on Twitter so I tried to procure a copy before it’s release but sadly I waited too long! So I had to resort to my local library….which I waited like 3 weeks for it to come in.By then I had almost lost interest in reading it but when I found that I couldn’t renew it because there were other holds, I figured I better get to reading!This book had all the makings of a great series….I loved Verity. She was vulnerable and real and I loved that about her. She wasn’t afraid to show pain and sadness about her husband’s death and I felt that she genuinely loved her husband, at least for the initial period. I had a hard time though buying that she loved him so unconditionally by the end of the novel though.I don’t want to give a ton away for those who haven’t read it but let’s just say that I did NOT trust a certain character who happens to come into the narrative a little too conveniently and I felt like that was a frustrating tactic by the author. I couldn’t even warm up to said character because I felt wrong and betrayed. That’s all I am going to say on that so the rest of the book was uncomfortable for me on this account.In the beginning I thought there were too many characters for my taste and I didn’t like the use of the first names and last names interchangeably. I kept forgetting who was who. I also felt like I had either read or seen something similar in the past…..a host of strange characters all linked by a common secret come together under extraordinary circumstances and people start coming up murdered.Don’t get me wrong, I loved the mystery and the complex secret I especially loved the whole WWI war crimes elements….that alone drove the narrative for me. I love war history and crime and this was the perfect mixture.At times I felt like the author kept reminding the reader how much the soldiers had suffered and how ‘broken’ many of them were or how many memories they had….it bordered on excessive and by the end I felt myself saying ‘ok we got it’ more times in my head…..but ironically that didn’t hinder the progress of the story for me. In fact, even though it was a lot sometimes I found it comforting if that makes sense.I am interested to see what direction Verity goes in the future, the author pretty much left it wide open. I don’t know if she will go on to be a ‘detective’ or go work for the war department or secret service but whatever she does I am looking forward to her future and seeing how she develops. Personally I like Lady Darby better, maybe because there is more romance, but this wasn’t a bad book by any means!This was a great start to an interesting heroine and I look forward to seeing where Huber takes her in future books!See my full review here
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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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  • 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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  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    January 1, 1970
    RATINGS: 4 STARS(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY )(Review Not on Blog)I have been wanting to read Anna Lee Huber for a few years but could never get my hands on the first book (well, at the price I could afford). Alas, I finally have the first book (yay!). Before then, I saw that This Side of Murder was book one in a new series. I was excited when my request was approved and dove into this one. Verity is a World War I war widow. The loss of her late husband, Sidney, is renewed when she rece RATINGS: 4 STARS(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY )(Review Not on Blog)I have been wanting to read Anna Lee Huber for a few years but could never get my hands on the first book (well, at the price I could afford). Alas, I finally have the first book (yay!). Before then, I saw that This Side of Murder was book one in a new series. I was excited when my request was approved and dove into this one. Verity is a World War I war widow. The loss of her late husband, Sidney, is renewed when she receives an anonymous letter vaguely stated that her husband may have committed treason before he died. She would love to dismiss this note, but the sender is aware that Verity actually worked for the Secret Service. Very few knew about this, not even Sidney. She feels she must uncover the truth and accepts the invitation to Sidney's fellow officer. As soon as she steps onto the island she senses this may be a bad idea, but she wasn't expecting it to be so dangerous...and heartbreaking.I love historical mysteries, and this one was right up my alley. It is more than a cozy mystery as it is pretty realistic, but also is not graphic. I loved the characters and emotions. This one reminds me of Maisie Dobbs series.
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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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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    I had been waiting for this series from Ms. Huber. I have been a fan since discovering her Lady Darby series, with this new series, Ms. Huber did not disappoint. I was intrigued from the very first page; it had everything I was hoping for. I’m looking forward to more in The Verity Kent series.
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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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  • Nidofito
    January 1, 1970
    Sigh, I was hoping I wouldn't have to go through Huber referring to her heroine's hair as tresses and the clothing descriptions are back on as well, but, I digress...I think the story was progressing quite solidly as a murder mystery until a major twist (that every reviewer has referred to) quite thoroughly spoiled it for me. However, as I finished the story, I now find myself willing to play along with the atypical route that Huber is taking. I'm also curious and cautiously hopeful of how well Sigh, I was hoping I wouldn't have to go through Huber referring to her heroine's hair as tresses and the clothing descriptions are back on as well, but, I digress...I think the story was progressing quite solidly as a murder mystery until a major twist (that every reviewer has referred to) quite thoroughly spoiled it for me. However, as I finished the story, I now find myself willing to play along with the atypical route that Huber is taking. I'm also curious and cautiously hopeful of how well it'll continue to be received by her readers and, most importantly, the story.Important note: I found that This Side of Murder and Treacherous Is the Night's blurb VERY similar to Simone St. James' Lost Among the Living and The Other Side of Midnight, respectively. They are different flavors of the same story, and I know that Huber is friends with St. James, so I'm wondering if it was a coincidence that the stories overlap so much. In my opinion, I find St. James' writing stronger than Huber. Plus, it has the paranormal element which makes them amazing reads. So if you find yourself at the end of this book wishing for a little something more, read St. James. Better yet, listen to the audiobooks.
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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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  • Fred
    January 1, 1970
    This Side of Murder is the first book in the Verity Kent Mystery series.This is the second historical mystery series from Anna Lee Huber. It is as gripping as her Lady Darby series and provides the reader with a well-plotted story and a very interesting cast of characters that you will begin to understand the terrible mess of lives that war causes.Verity Kent has been widowed just a few years when she receives in the post an invitation to the engagement party of Walter Ponsonby and his fincee, N This Side of Murder is the first book in the Verity Kent Mystery series.This is the second historical mystery series from Anna Lee Huber. It is as gripping as her Lady Darby series and provides the reader with a well-plotted story and a very interesting cast of characters that you will begin to understand the terrible mess of lives that war causes.Verity Kent has been widowed just a few years when she receives in the post an invitation to the engagement party of Walter Ponsonby and his fincee, Nelly. What makes her decide to attend is a letter that she receives that claims the writer knows what Verity did during the war and knows the secrets that she has. On the way to the Ponsonby’s she narrowly misses running into another guest, Max Westfield, who also had served with her husbands unit and Verity will soon find out that all of the men in attendance had served in Sidney’s unit. Shortly after arriving on Poole Island being shown her room, she finds a book that she had given her husband Sidney. Hidden within the book is a note that questions Sidney’s loyalty and a cryptic message. As everyone is getting to know one another, she senses bitterness between quite a few of the men. Soon one of the men is found hung, apparently a suicide, but Verity and Max aren’t so sure. Then a second body is found and Verity knows it is time to really get to work deciphering the message she found in the book before any more deaths occur. But she soon begins to wonder just who she can trust when a storm knocks out electricity to the islandThis was a very exciting beginning to a very enjoyable new series. It was one that kept me guessing to the end.I will be looking forward to the next book to find out what Verity’s next adventure might be.
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  • 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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  • Ceki
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the writing and the setting was done in an interesting Agatha Christie's fashion. I'm not a huge fan of WWI fiction but that is not what made me dislike this book. It was (view spoiler)[bringing the dead husband back and introducing the love triangle (hide spoiler)] that I found distasteful.Not really interesred in the sequel.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Fariba Arjmand
    January 1, 1970
    ده نفر به یک مهمانی دو سه روزه در جزیرهای دعوت میشوند. مناسبت مهمانی نامزدی میزبان است. زمان داستان سال ۱۹۱۹ است. جنگ جهانی اول تازه تمام شده و وجه مشترک میزبان و دیگر مردان این جمع حضورشان در جبهههای همین جنگ است. بعد اولین نفر میمیرد، طوفان ارتباط با ساحل را مختل میکند و ....آشناست، نه؟ اما شباهت داستان به then there were noneآگاتا کریستی در همین حد باقی میماند. شاید داستان در قالب و فرم رمانهای زمان روایت نوشته شده باشه، همانطور که مثلا مجموعه لیدی داربی نوشته شده بود، اما همان قدر که من اون ده نفر به یک مهمانی دو سه روزه در جزیره‌ای دعوت می‌شوند. مناسبت مهمانی نامزدی میزبان است. زمان داستان سال ۱۹۱۹ است. جنگ جهانی اول تازه تمام شده و وجه مشترک میزبان و دیگر مردان این جمع حضورشان در جبهه‌های همین جنگ است. بعد اولین نفر می‌میرد، طوفان ارتباط با ساحل را مختل می‌کند و .‌‌‌...آشناست، نه؟ اما شباهت داستان به then there were noneآگاتا کریستی در همین حد باقی می‌ماند. شاید داستان در قالب و فرم رمان‌های زمان روایت نوشته شده باشه، همانطور که مثلا مجموعه لیدی داربی نوشته شده بود، اما همان قدر که من اون سری را دوست داشتم از این یکی خوشم نیامد. بعید می‌دونم بقیه سری وریتی کنت را بخونم.
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  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    I gave this 3.5 stars at Romantic Historical Reviews.Anna Lee Huber is a new to me author, though I’m fond of mysteries and historical romance, so it’s no surprise that many of my friends have recommended her books to me. Unfortunately, my TBR pile somehow precluded me from reading her books each time I’ve made the attempt, so I was happy to get this first book in her new Verity Kent series for review.Widowed when her husband Sidney was shot in a skirmish at the end of the World War I, Verity ha I gave this 3.5 stars at Romantic Historical Reviews.Anna Lee Huber is a new to me author, though I’m fond of mysteries and historical romance, so it’s no surprise that many of my friends have recommended her books to me. Unfortunately, my TBR pile somehow precluded me from reading her books each time I’ve made the attempt, so I was happy to get this first book in her new Verity Kent series for review.Widowed when her husband Sidney was shot in a skirmish at the end of the World War I, Verity has spent the past year and a half trying to dull the pain of her loss in parties and evenings out with friends. When she receives an invitation to an engagement party for one of Sidney’s fellow officers, an emotionally fragile Verity initially intends to decline. But shortly after she receives the invitation, a cryptic letter arrives referencing her work for the Secret Service (a secret she kept from everyone, including Sidney) and suggesting Sidney might have committed treason before his death. Shocked and unwilling to believe her husband guilty of treason, Verity decides to attend the weekend house party and do some investigating of her own.As This Side of Murder opens, Verity – lost in thoughts of her husband, the letter, and the houseparty – nearly collides with another car. When the handsome driver emerges, they engage in a flirtatious exchange about her driving and the driver’s own car – a pale yellow Rolls-Royce – and soon realize they’re both on their way to Walter Ponsonby’s engagement party. After her companion introduces himself as Max Westfield, Earl of Ryde, Verity is startled when he asks if she’s Sidney Kent’s widow. He reveals that he knew her husband – they attended Eton at the same time and served together during the war. When they finally part and head to Poole Harbour, Verity finds herself wondering about Max and their meeting. Why is he attending the party? How well did he know her husband? Could he be the letter writer?Boarding the yacht that will take them to Umbersea Island for the party, Verity makes yet another discovery. Though she expected the guest list to include some of Sidney’s fellow officers, it appears to be made up almost entirely of them. It’s an odd group to invite for an engagement party, and, suspicious and overwhelmed by fresh grief for her husband, Verity climbs aboard determined to get to know the men who once fought alongside him – and to determine, once and for all, if he committed treason.When she arrives on the island, Verity is greeted by her hosts and handed another letter. Exhausted by the journey and the prospect of the weekend ahead, she retreats to her room to read it – only to discover someone was there before her. A battered copy of The Pilgrim's Progress, which bears an inscription from her to Sidney, lies on the counterpane with yet another note tucked inside. Verity is convinced the author is one of her fellow guests, but a separate discovery – intentionally hidden in the binding of the book? – seems to suggest Sidney might have been passing coded messages. Verity isn’t sure whether her secret correspondent is working with – or against – her as she searches for the truth.The initial trip to Umbersea Island casts a pervasive sense of foreboding and disquiet that runs throughout the book. Verity is suspicious of the other guests, and it’s obvious they are tense and ill at ease with each other. Something seems off, and it seems like the only person she can trust is Max – but even then, she’s unclear as to whether he can be trusted or not. Most of the guests have history, and it soon becomes apparent that the men of the former Thirtieth Company have dark secrets they’ve kept hidden until this weekend. As the engagement party continues apace, Verity simultaneously tries to crack the code contained in The Pilgrim’s Progress, get to the bottom of the tension between the guests, and determine if there’s a traitor in their midst. No one is above suspicion, and when guests begin dying, Verity becomes desperate to discover what really happened to Sidney in his last days.Ms. Huber paints Verity as an intelligent and independent woman who passionately loved her husband and hoped for a happily ever after with him following the war. She alludes to Verity’s secret life working for the British Secret Service – but for some reason, she keeps the specifics of her work deliberately vague. I never felt like I got to know Verity, aside from her feelings for Sidney (and maybe Max), and rather than leading an investigation, Verity seems more often to be in the right place at the right time to move the narrative forward. When she cracks the code hidden in Sidney’s book, I sighed. With only vague references to a history with the Secret Service, it’s a bit of a stretch to believe she knows so much about code breaking – and frankly, the skill just read like a convenient plot device. We get to know the other guests at the party through the lens of Verity’s thoughts, but frankly, it was hard to keep track of all of them. The guests each briefly star in the narrative, and then Ms. Huber focuses our attention on someone else. I never felt like I knew any of them well enough to suspect them as they were all – with the exception of Max – awful in their own way! I liked Max despite Ms. Huber’s obvious efforts to make him a suspect, but without him, I’m not sure Verity would have ever ‘solved’ this case. He’s definitely the more aggressive investigator – even though Verity kept information from him – and he rather conveniently ensures Verity is in the right place at the right time to discover new clues. I had high hopes for him and Verity in future books… but, well, let’s just say I don’t believe Ms. Huber does.I’m reluctant to spill any details of the house party only because I don’t want to reveal any secrets that might spoil the story. That said, I’m not sure how my telling you – in detail – everything leading up to the denouement would really ‘spoil’ it for you. Ms. Huber slowly but surely reveals the secrets that bind the guests together (there is an intrigue that links them to each other – and to Sidney) and ratchets up the tension…but when she introduces a ridiculous, convoluted plot twist ending, it just made me mad. In hindsight, I see some of the clues she spread in the text… but really, if someone saw this coming, bravo. I didn’t, I don’t see how you could, and I hated it.Hmm… so would I recommend This Side of Murder? Oh reader! I’m torn. I liked it, but I was easily and often distracted from it. I wanted to like Verity, but I never really connected with her or the mystery and found it difficult to keep up with the secondary characters – about whom we know very little aside from their relationship to Verity’s dead husband. It seems like Verity’s (very interesting) past will be more fully explored in future novels, and I’m curious about it. But if those books feature her passively watching and waiting for events to unfold, I’ll pass.
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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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  • Hannah (Sakurahan or ForeverBooks18)
    January 1, 1970
    Hi Readers,I've just finished This Side Of Murder by Anna Lee Hubert and it was great! This isn't my normal type of read but I still enjoyed it. NetGalley allowed me access to This Side Of Murder so thanks to them for letting me read and review it. This Side Of Murder tells the story of widower, Verity. She's going to a house party on an island near England. This story is really about Verity trying to figure out a code as she was a secret code breaker in the war. Verity lost her husband in the W Hi Readers,I've just finished This Side Of Murder by Anna Lee Hubert and it was great! This isn't my normal type of read but I still enjoyed it. NetGalley allowed me access to This Side Of Murder so thanks to them for letting me read and review it. This Side Of Murder tells the story of widower, Verity. She's going to a house party on an island near England. This story is really about Verity trying to figure out a code as she was a secret code breaker in the war. Verity lost her husband in the War, or so she thinks...4 StarsThe book is set just after World War 1 so there are some customs that are different to now, smoking being seen as a good or relaxing thing, for example. Verity meets another attendee of the party, Max on the way there. They strike up a friendship. The other attendees are rather hostile to Verity. The other women treat her terribly and the other men just seem to ignore her. This is a mystery novel where we're trying to work out lots of things. I don't really want to write more because I think it's a lot more shocking if you go into this book blind.I'm using this for 2 squares of the Boo!kish Bingo on the Life And Lit group on Facebook. The book with a murder and book with a stalker squares. The murder is pretty obvious with as the title has the word Murder in it, and there's what I'd call a stalker in it too, various stalkers, actually. What did I like about This Side Of Murder? I liked how I was always guessing with this book. Nothing seemed simple. I liked how the narrative is written in first person. I think this made the story seem more realistic.I liked how I was never quite sure what was going on and the surprises that seemed to pop out of nowhere!I liked how Verity, the main character was always questioning everything. She never just said "that's that". There was thought behind all of her movements.What didn't I like about This Side Of Murder? Some bits of this novel are slow but then some bits are fast, too fast I'd say, so the pacing is a little off in my opinion. I didn't like how the romance between 2 characters didn't seem to happen. It might happen in future books! I can only hope! I read this book for 2 spots on the Boo!kish Bingo sheet that the group, Life And Lit have done on Facebook. I read it for the Murder square because the title states there is a murder and for the Stalker square too because there's a stalker involved as well, who's trying to figure out secrets, as well as the murderer who becomes a stalker like character.I'm giving This Side Of Murder 4 Stars because it pleasantly surprised me. When I requested this on NetGalley, I was unsure of just what I would be reading. I wanted to try something different to my preferred genre of romance. It's the perfect time to read this as well, what with it being Halloween soon. I liked how the story was historical but not overdone in the details. I'm looking forward to the next Verity Kent novel.Will you be reading this mystery read? Look for my next review coming soon...
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