An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7)
November 1831. After fleeing London in infamy more than two years prior, Lady Kiera Darby’s return to the city is anything but mundane, though not for the reasons she expected. A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals, Burke and Hare—killing people from the streets and selling their bodies to medical schools. Then Kiera’s past—a past she thought she’d finally made peace with—rises up to haunt her.All of London is horrified by the evidence that “burkers” are, indeed, at work in their city. The terrified populace hovers on a knife’s edge, ready to take their enmity out on any likely suspect. And when Kiera receives a letter of blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late anatomist husband’s involvement with the body snatchers and wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how precarious her situation is. Not only for herself, but also her new husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, and their unborn child.Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found murdered a block from his home, and the man’s family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate. Is it a failed attempt by the London burkers, having left the body behind, or the crime of someone much closer to home? Someone who stalks the privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his own dark deeds? ~ via USA Today's blog Joyce Lamb at Happily*Ever*AfterAnna Lee Huber is the Daphne Award-winning author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries and the Verity Kent Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She currently resides with her family and is hard at work on her next novel.

An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7) Details

TitleAn Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 2nd, 2019
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Romance

An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7) Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I’ve only read one prior Lady Darby mystery, but I absolutely loved it. An Artless Demise is so unique! LOVE! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ I’m having a real run on historical mysteries lately (I’m finishing up another right now), and I having so much fun with these. I wish I had been reading more all along? Lady Kiera Darby returns to London in 1831. She fled over two years ago. Her mission this time: a group of body snatchers has been arrested. They appear to be copying previous criminals, Burke and H Disclaimer: I’ve only read one prior Lady Darby mystery, but I absolutely loved it. An Artless Demise is so unique! LOVE! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ I’m having a real run on historical mysteries lately (I’m finishing up another right now), and I having so much fun with these. I wish I had been reading more all along? Lady Kiera Darby returns to London in 1831. She fled over two years ago. Her mission this time: a group of body snatchers has been arrested. They appear to be copying previous criminals, Burke and Hare, famous for killing people and selling their bodies to schools of medicine. London is understandably on edge and terrified with knives on their persons and under their mattresses. Kiera has a connection to these body snatchers, at least in one way. Her late husband was an anatomist, and someone sends her a blackmail letter claiming that he and even Kiera are involved in the plot. Kiera worries about her situation for her partner and husband, Sebastian Gage, and also for the child they are expecting. A young nobleman has been murdered, his body left in the street. Is this connected to the body snatchers or some other murderer? The family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate the murder. Such a complex and well-done mystery here. I was so worried about Kiera during this installment, even as indomitable as she is. Fans of the series should be prepared for a BIG twist. An Artless Demise is as charming and engaging as its predecessor (the one I read), and devoted series readers are bound to be as thrilled with this one as I was. An Artless Demise and the Lady Darby mysteries are exactly why we read mysteries. Anna Lee Huber has executed another perfect installment. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Milena
    January 1, 1970
    An Artless Demise is another great addition to the Lady Darby mystery series. In this book Lady Darby and Gage return to London only to get involved in another murder investigation. It seems that the body snatchers are killing people in order to sell their bodies to medical schools, creating panic and unrest in the city, and it appears that the past Kiera was trying so hard to put behind is still haunting her. Some of the people in Kiera and Sebastian's circles believe that Kiera has a connectio An Artless Demise is another great addition to the Lady Darby mystery series. In this book Lady Darby and Gage return to London only to get involved in another murder investigation. It seems that the body snatchers are killing people in order to sell their bodies to medical schools, creating panic and unrest in the city, and it appears that the past Kiera was trying so hard to put behind is still haunting her. Some of the people in Kiera and Sebastian's circles believe that Kiera has a connection to the body snatchers and blame her for what is happening. It's up to Kiera and Gage to not only solve the murders but to clear her name and reputation once again. I really enjoyed this installment. I loved London setting and I found the murder mystery part very interesting. Lady Darby series is one of my favorite historical mysteries and it continues to surprise and delight me well into book seven. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mei
    January 1, 1970
    Just as Kiera thought she and Gage could have a normal life, the past starts hounting Kiera again with the new wave of murdered bodies being delivered to medical schools. Murmurs about her association with the burkers and ressurectionists starts slithering around and Kiera feels araid not only for herself but for Gage and their unborn baby.Add to that heirs to aristocratic families being murdered by someone who's emulating the burkers, blackmailers threatening to expose her past by connecting it Just as Kiera thought she and Gage could have a normal life, the past starts hounting Kiera again with the new wave of murdered bodies being delivered to medical schools. Murmurs about her association with the burkers and ressurectionists starts slithering around and Kiera feels araid not only for herself but for Gage and their unborn baby.Add to that heirs to aristocratic families being murdered by someone who's emulating the burkers, blackmailers threatening to expose her past by connecting it to the present murders and jealous colleague of her late husband waning to print her late husband's diary and you'll get to see under how much pressure she is!What I loved here, besides the excellent historical research done by the author, is the unwavering love Gage shows her! He's relentless in her defence, even when she herself falls into self-deprecating fits. He defends her agains all, his father included!I never liked Gage's father, but I was pleasantly surprised that he's not an ogre because towards the end, after reading her late husband's diary, he realises that he didn't fully understand what happened to her and offers her his apology. He also tries to help her even if with his usual heavy hand that neither Gage nor Kiera appreciate!Who did kill the young heirs is somebody unsuspectable, but I don't want to spil the read for you. Just let me say that it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth...
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  • Misfit
    January 1, 1970
    I love this series. Another mystery/investigation to solve, and always improved by the ever-so-yummy hero, Gage.
  • Lucinda
    January 1, 1970
    How do I love this series? Let me count the ways:1- Sebastian Gage2- Kiera 3- Sebastian with Kiera 4- Sebastian Okay, so I'm a little (a lot) partial towards Sebastian. I was afraid that great chemistry between them would start dwindling after they got married, but it's still there, thank goodness, which (let's be honest) is the main reason for reading this series. This story was particularly creepy in certain ways. Given Kiera's past and what she endured at the hands of her first husband, the t How do I love this series? Let me count the ways:1- Sebastian Gage2- Kiera 3- Sebastian with Kiera 4- Sebastian Okay, so I'm a little (a lot) partial towards Sebastian. I was afraid that great chemistry between them would start dwindling after they got married, but it's still there, thank goodness, which (let's be honest) is the main reason for reading this series. This story was particularly creepy in certain ways. Given Kiera's past and what she endured at the hands of her first husband, the theme of grave robbers and burkers was one that touched her and Sebastian more closely than some others. To know that this went on for real, and to that point, was really creepy to read about. It might be one of the reasons why the old cemeteries in my country all have very high stone walls. If you like historical (Georgian era) clean novels with decidedly Gothic elements and romance, awesome characterization and engaging setting, then I recommend this series. You can't go wrong.I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
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  • LORI CASWELL
    January 1, 1970
    Dollycas’s ThoughtsLady Kiera Darby just can’t escape the taint her late husband put upon her. The latest crime wave involves a group killing people and selling the bodies to medical schools and anatomists like Lord Darby. They are calling the killers “Burkers” because they seem to be copying Burke and Hare, Edinburgh criminals, in the way the people are killed. They are preying on young men, “Italian Boys” that were said to be sold by their parents and in hopes, they would have a better life, b Dollycas’s ThoughtsLady Kiera Darby just can’t escape the taint her late husband put upon her. The latest crime wave involves a group killing people and selling the bodies to medical schools and anatomists like Lord Darby. They are calling the killers “Burkers” because they seem to be copying Burke and Hare, Edinburgh criminals, in the way the people are killed. They are preying on young men, “Italian Boys” that were said to be sold by their parents and in hopes, they would have a better life, but that was never meant to be. The boys were abused, many living on the streets. Lady Darby soon finds that people have long memories and some are sure she is involved with these bodysnatchers or at the very least knows who they are.The newlyweds have also been asked to investigate the murder of the eldest son of Lord Redditch. He was killed close to his home and Kiera and Sabastian were the first on the scene. The killing had similarities with the “burker” death but Kiera and Sabastian believe that is what the killer just wants them to think. Will this murder be pinned on the burkers while the real killer goes free?I anxiously await each new book in this series because Anna Lee Huber is such a talented storyteller. Her words transport the reader back in time so effortlessly. The scenes come alive from the gritty streets on foggy nights to the amazing homes in all their grandeur.Ms. Huber also creates wonderful characters. Lady Darby was grown so much over the course of the story. After the death of the husband that kept her captured to illustrate the intricate parts of the body for his textbooks to the strong woman, she is today. Married to the man she truly loves, his partner in many sordid investigations, soon to be the mother of his child. She is intelligent and an independent thinker and his true equal. Very uncommon for the time and place. Sebastian Gage has grown too. He went against his father’s wishes by getting involved with Kiera and then marrying her. Their union has made him a stronger man and she truly brings out the best in him.They are surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast. Their servants Bree and Anderley, who are much more than servants, they are trusted by Gage and Kiera and step up to take part in the investigation. They can go places and talk to those below floors in ways Gage and Kiera can’t. Add to this the vast cast of the noble realm, the families, the staffs, the Bow Street Runners, The New Police, and more. There are a lot of characters but Ms. Huber gives them great definition making each unique and memorable.The mystery is very complex encompassing many situations. A true puzzler as clues are revealed and pieced together in many different ways until they all align and fall into place. I enjoyed following along each step of the way. I did have the killer on my radar but was still guessing right up to the final reveal.These books can each be read on their own but I believe they should be read in order to realize all the character development. Plus they are all excellent stories that shouldn’t be missed by fans of this genre.Until next year Lady Darby. I am excited for our next adventure!
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  • Kate Baxter
    January 1, 1970
    This is yet another delightful and thoroughly engrossing installment in the Lady Darby mystery series. Author Anna Lee Huber writes with elegance and a strong understanding of human social interaction. Her characters feed off the emotions of one other, whether it be passion, pride, arrogance, insecurity, fear, or unbridled joy - truly a dramatic read. Huber's grasp of the historic record is spot on. She skillfully and deftly weaves the fictional accounts through the given historic record. Her wr This is yet another delightful and thoroughly engrossing installment in the Lady Darby mystery series. Author Anna Lee Huber writes with elegance and a strong understanding of human social interaction. Her characters feed off the emotions of one other, whether it be passion, pride, arrogance, insecurity, fear, or unbridled joy - truly a dramatic read. Huber's grasp of the historic record is spot on. She skillfully and deftly weaves the fictional accounts through the given historic record. Her writing is atmospheric and quite painterly as one is wrapped in an early London fog or summoned to the sumptuous and palatial residence of a duke or lord. I admire Huber's ability to weave the historic headlines of grave robberies (known as "burking"), human trafficking, and snatched children from the streets with the murders of three members of the ton. It's one big pretzel of a mystery and as the clues fall into place the tension is heightened and the action accelerated. Among the most charming aspects of this series is the maturing relationship between investigators Sebastian Gage and Kiera, his lovely wife (formerly Lady Darby). As they await the arrival of their precious child, his care and protection of her is fierce and their love does not falter. (Would that all husband's were this caring and loving.) There is so much more to this story but to share it would give too much away. Though the book can stand on its own, I would recommend reading the series in order. This particular book draws heavily on the story of book one (The Anatomist's Wife). It's definitely a lovely read for those who enjoy historical mysteries as much as I.
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    Ah the joy of reading a Lady Darby novel!In An Artless Demise Lady Darby's past comes to the forefront. While in London in 1831, the London Burkers (body snatchers selling bodies to anatomists) were creating havoc. Due to Lady Darby's past as an anatomist's wife, rumors and truths about her rose to the surface.The author does a fabulous job of painting the environment. The way the upper class snubbed each other was at once entertaining and obnoxious.There is a nice blend of historical fact in th Ah the joy of reading a Lady Darby novel!In An Artless Demise Lady Darby's past comes to the forefront. While in London in 1831, the London Burkers (body snatchers selling bodies to anatomists) were creating havoc. Due to Lady Darby's past as an anatomist's wife, rumors and truths about her rose to the surface.The author does a fabulous job of painting the environment. The way the upper class snubbed each other was at once entertaining and obnoxious.There is a nice blend of historical fact in the novel. The London Burkers did exist back in 1831.Now the question is how long must I wait for the next Lady Darby novel? I love that the ending of the novel sets up where the next one will take place.The cover seems a bit dark to me. The pages inside though did nothing but brighten my days while reading them.My gratitude to publisher Penguin for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Linden
    January 1, 1970
    It's 1831, and Lady Darby and her husband, Sebastian Gage are in London, when a new case finds them. Someone is killing sons of the nobles, and people are wondering if it's the same notorious body snatchers who were recently tried for murdering to obtain bodies for medical use. Kiera's memory of her life with the sadistic Sir Anthony is coming back to haunt her, aided by judgmental people in the so-called upper echelons of society. I enjoyed this historical mystery with a strong female protagoni It's 1831, and Lady Darby and her husband, Sebastian Gage are in London, when a new case finds them. Someone is killing sons of the nobles, and people are wondering if it's the same notorious body snatchers who were recently tried for murdering to obtain bodies for medical use. Kiera's memory of her life with the sadistic Sir Anthony is coming back to haunt her, aided by judgmental people in the so-called upper echelons of society. I enjoyed this historical mystery with a strong female protagonist who continues to aid Gage in his investigation throughout her pregnancy.
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  • Kelley
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received courtesy of Berkley PublishingI didn't like this book as much as the ones I had read previously. Part of the problem was that I had a terrible time keeping up with the characters' names. Set in London in 1831, the nobles all had titles that would be passed down to their first-born sons. These sons had different names from their fathers and succeeding sons had different names from the first two. Through no fault of the author, I found it confusing. I very much enjoyed the main charac ARC received courtesy of Berkley PublishingI didn't like this book as much as the ones I had read previously. Part of the problem was that I had a terrible time keeping up with the characters' names. Set in London in 1831, the nobles all had titles that would be passed down to their first-born sons. These sons had different names from their fathers and succeeding sons had different names from the first two. Through no fault of the author, I found it confusing. I very much enjoyed the main characters, Lady Darby and Sebastian Gage. They were investigating the "Italian Boy" case. Italian Boys were kids sold to Padroni to take away from Italy to give the parents some money and the boy a chance at a better life. Of course, that promise wasn't kept. The boys were used and/or abused by these buyers. The Italian Boy in the case was one who had been murdered and then sold to a teaching hospital to be used as a teaching cadaver. Lady Darby was once married to a doctor who bought bodies and forced her to draw diagrams of them for his medical book. London now looks to her as they used to, as someone who knows and was part of the body trade. Even though she did nothing wrong, the town still looks down on her.They are also investigating the murders of sons of the nobility in Mayfair. These men are the oldest sons of a noble but seem to have nothing else in common. Lady Darby and Gage mange to find the connection and a connection to the murders of many, many street children.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Another excellent installment in the Lady Darby series.Kiera and Gage return to London to find respite neither in their personal nor their professional lives. It appears that resurrectionists again are murdering (“burking”) people to provide cadavers for medical dissections. Polite society quickly recalls Kiera’s alleged involvement in her deceased ex-husband’s procurement of such corpses for writing his anatomy text and are quick to ostracize her and whisper of possible new association with the Another excellent installment in the Lady Darby series.Kiera and Gage return to London to find respite neither in their personal nor their professional lives. It appears that resurrectionists again are murdering (“burking”) people to provide cadavers for medical dissections. Polite society quickly recalls Kiera’s alleged involvement in her deceased ex-husband’s procurement of such corpses for writing his anatomy text and are quick to ostracize her and whisper of possible new association with the latest killings. On top of this, a loathsome heir is murdered in upper class Mayfair, and the killer is trying to link it to the “burker” slayings. Gage and Kiera must juggle a commission to find that killer while trying to navigate the shark-infested waters of the ton.While I early on suspected the identity of the murderer (though I was wrong about the motive), I enjoyed reading about how Kiera and Gage, along with their loyal retainers, investigated the case and dealt with the nastier elements of high society. But the most satisfying aspects of the story were the more personal ones. Kiera and Gage are relatively newly-wed and Kiera is in the early stages of pregnancy. I really enjoyed how their love and respect for each other shone and grew through some very trying circumstances. One of my favorite scenes involved the usually polite and stoic Kiera giving a pointed, though still fairly polite, set-down to one of her nasty tormenters. By the end of the book, she has gained a surprising, if not a bit alarming, new supporter.I look forward to Kiera and Gage’s next adventure.
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  • Lorena
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley. Another fun read in this well-written series. This one focuses on the historical Italian Boy murder and subsequent resurrectionist trials in 1831. Kiera and Gage's return to London was a bit of a let-down, though...Kiera spent most of the time feeling persecuted and depressed, and her eventual "stand" against her detractors in London society was pretty tame and unsatisfying.
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  • The Lit Bitch
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars Lady Darby has been a favorite heroine of mine for some time now. I only recently discovered the series a couple of years ago, but from the moment I started reading The Anatomist’s Wife, I was completely in love with her character.Reviewing this book was a no brainer. I have loved watching this series evolve and progress, shifting from mystery, to romantic suspense, and back to more mystery and I have loved every single book. Plus Huber is a wonderful writer with many of her books rank 4.5 stars Lady Darby has been a favorite heroine of mine for some time now. I only recently discovered the series a couple of years ago, but from the moment I started reading The Anatomist’s Wife, I was completely in love with her character.Reviewing this book was a no brainer. I have loved watching this series evolve and progress, shifting from mystery, to romantic suspense, and back to more mystery and I have loved every single book. Plus Huber is a wonderful writer with many of her books ranking highly on my recommended list!I have recommended all of her books to everyone I know and have loved seeing friends and family fall in love not only with Lady Darby but with Verity Kent as well! Each could be read as a stand alone book in my opinion as the author does a great job orientating the reader within the story and the character backstories, so if you have your eye on this book but haven’t read the others, don’t fret you won’t be horribly lost.I thought this book had a lot to offer when it comes to mystery. This series has always been a mystery series, but some of the books focused quite a bit on the romance between Lady Darby and Gage, which were easily some of my favorites. However, now they are married so the focus has shifted from building a romance between the two, to building a more complex mystery story.I loved the burkers angle of this book. Considering Lady Darby’s past, this book was appropriately placed and was a wonderful bookend to the first book. I loved how this book dun into the body trade and the anatomists. It was interesting and the mystery itself was complex and with different angles.This time the victims were easily unlikeable which made the challenge of solving the murder even more tedious. I absolutely hated the first victim and can easily say that I was glad someone did him in. However, other bodies start popping up and not every victim is as easily dismissed as the first. This kept me guessing and interested in the story.While I loved this installment, for me I could have done without the Italian Boy storyline in some ways. It was ok, but clearly not the focus and for me it just seemed a little forced and used as a way to give Anderly a backstory. While all this was nice, I didn’t think it was necessary in the larger narrative. Overall though I gave this book 4.5 stars!
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  • eyes.2c
    January 1, 1970
    Raw emotion and gripping mystery!I found myself absolutely immersed in this unforgiving historical murder mystery set in 1831 London.The public anxiety about resurrectionists, a spate of lordly murders, "the life of Italian Boys, the Reform Bill, and the Anatomy Bill, " all part of the historical record, form the background for this Lady Darby mystery with Kiera and her husband Sebastian Gage.What is not part of the historical record is Kiera's dread and fight to survive censure from the ton wit Raw emotion and gripping mystery!I found myself absolutely immersed in this unforgiving historical murder mystery set in 1831 London.The public anxiety about resurrectionists, a spate of lordly murders, "the life of Italian Boys, the Reform Bill, and the Anatomy Bill, " all part of the historical record, form the background for this Lady Darby mystery with Kiera and her husband Sebastian Gage.What is not part of the historical record is Kiera's dread and fight to survive censure from the ton with all that is happening. Her fears are so real that they jump off the page with dread. The past once more intrudes upon the present and she rages against it, “and so it begins again...The old accusations. The frightened glances and furious snubs...Will the past never leave me be?”"Burkers" were named after Burke and Hare, two resurrectionists from Edinborough who'd smothered their victims and sold their bodies to the local anatomy schools. "They had killed sixteen people before being caught." With this latest rampage the London public is up in arms and mob mentality is being reflected in the tonnish ball rooms. A pregnant Kiera is the one being targeted.The death of three of their own gives the ton the excuse to drag up what they see as Kiera's past iniquities. Never mind the fact that as the former wife of the once great, now infamous anatomist Sir Anthony Darby, Kiera had been threatened and forced to draw the bodies he'd procured from resurrectionists.Meanwhile Kiera is being blackmailed by unknown persons, a publisher is about to print Darby's private journals, and she and Gage have been asked to bring their skills to bear on deaths of three Lords apparently by resurrectionists and other burker deaths, including an Italian boy.Another raw and gripping mystery that Kiera and Gage find themselves reluctantly thrust into. The murderer must be found. Along the way both Kiera and Gage have to relive and in Gage's case learn more about, the emotional and physical abuse done to Kiera by her former dead spouse, and the resultant fears for Kiera's personal safety are revisted.A Berkley Publishing Group ARC via NetGalley
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  • Barbara Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    Series: Lady Darby Mystery #7Publication Date: 4/2/19Number of Pages: 384This well-crafted book is a wonderful blend of mystery and history and a romance between one of my favorite couples. The series just keeps getting better and better with each new addition to it. While this is the seventh book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone. However, I highly recommend that you read the series in order – from the beginning – in order to learn more of Kiera’s history and see how far she’s come Series: Lady Darby Mystery #7Publication Date: 4/2/19Number of Pages: 384This well-crafted book is a wonderful blend of mystery and history and a romance between one of my favorite couples. The series just keeps getting better and better with each new addition to it. While this is the seventh book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone. However, I highly recommend that you read the series in order – from the beginning – in order to learn more of Kiera’s history and see how far she’s come and to watch the romance between Kiera and Gage blossom.This book was so suspenseful that my heart was in my throat the whole time I was reading – and yet I couldn’t put it down. There is murder, resurrectionists, blackmail, social unrest and – well – a tad of fatigue and queasiness while dealing with the early days of pregnancy. As with all of the Lady Darby books, there are multiple things happening for Kiera and Gage to unravel. The ‘things’ in this book are only loosely related and each would be a good mystery on its own – but when you put all of them in one book – well – WOW!Kiera fled London a little over two years ago thanks to her first husband’s perfidy. Everyone thought Kiera was as guilty as her husband – just by association. After Kiera’s formal charges were dismissed, her brother and brother-in-law just barely managed to get her out of London before the incensed mobs attacked her. Now, she and Gage have returned for a visit and what raises its ugly head again? Resurrectionists! Everybody in society looks at Kiera and wonders – even outright accuses – her of being involved with them. Then, a body turns up in Mayfair – the heir to one of England’s oldest and most venerable titles. The murder was committed in a manner reminiscent of the resurrectionist murders that happened in Edinburgh a few years earlier. Then a second and third murder committed in the same manner.In the midst of the murder investigations and trying to assist with the resurrectionists trial, someone is blackmailing Kiera. The blackmailers are threatening to go to the papers and accuse Kiera of helping them and her husband. Kiera can’t let that happen because it wouldn’t be just her that it would ruin – Gage, Kiera’s sister, brother, brother-in-law, and unborn child would also suffer.When all is wrapped up, you will be surprised to find who the murderer is and the reasons for the murders. This is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it.I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    While this can be read as a stand-alone, die-hard Lady Darby fans will applaud as Kiera faces the shadows of her past that haunt her with strength and fortitude. In An Artless Demise, the seventh book in this series, we find Lady Darby and her husband, Gage, residing at their home in London. Their newly married domestic bliss is disturbed by several events. The city of London is experiencing civil unrest due to political conflict over reform. Add to this the fact that evidence of "burking", the While this can be read as a stand-alone, die-hard Lady Darby fans will applaud as Kiera faces the shadows of her past that haunt her with strength and fortitude. In An Artless Demise, the seventh book in this series, we find Lady Darby and her husband, Gage, residing at their home in London. Their newly married domestic bliss is disturbed by several events. The city of London is experiencing civil unrest due to political conflict over reform. Add to this the fact that evidence of "burking", the practice of body snatchers killing people from the streets and selling their bodies to medical schools, is at work in the city. Kiera and her husband must discover if these volatile situations are related to the murder of the heir to a nobleman. Can they keep her reputation from suffering additional damage as they navigate the snubs of society in their newest inquiry?As always, Anna Lee Huber can be counted on for her attention to historical detail, weaving true events into her mysteries. I find her stories to be well-plotted with a fabulous cast of characters. She is a master at penning a character arc that will resonate with her readers. The evolution of Kiera's character throughout the series is heart-warming. As always, Gage can be relied upon to be a swoon-worthy hero who allows his own vulnerability to appear occasionally. It is refreshing for Huber to continue to tell a couple's story after they have married. So many stories end with marriage, not sharing the adventurous journey that follows. I cannot wait to read the next installment in this series, my interest already peaked by the hint at the end of the story.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Lorraine
    January 1, 1970
    Winning ARC copy of An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7) from Anna Lee Huber was a very surprising and lovely Christmas present for me. Being an avid Anglophile and loving London, this book was a very special as well as educating read for me. The independent Lady Darby, who would much prefer to be called Mrs. Gage, but in 1831 society that is not done as one is called by their loftier title, and her new husband, Sebastian Gage, return to London where the newlyweds are to settle. Their happi Winning ARC copy of An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7) from Anna Lee Huber was a very surprising and lovely Christmas present for me. Being an avid Anglophile and loving London, this book was a very special as well as educating read for me. The independent Lady Darby, who would much prefer to be called Mrs. Gage, but in 1831 society that is not done as one is called by their loftier title, and her new husband, Sebastian Gage, return to London where the newlyweds are to settle. Their happiness and Kiera’s reception and her reputation are threatened by various members of the tun and eventually the citizens of London as the resurrectionists (body snatchers) offer too fresh a body to a medical college which is then reported to the police, and three of these resurrectionists are arrested. Lady Darby’s past is catching up to her. Following the infamous Burke and Hare case in Edinburgh, these ‘burkers’ have ‘set the stage’ for Kiera and her past to become fodder for the newspapers and local gossip. Then a young heir of an earldom is murdered. Have the ‘burkers’ come to Mayfair? Is Lady Darby involved? Will Sebastian discover the answers in time? A fascinating read! Highly recommended! So well done, Ms. Huber! 5 stars.
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  • Susan Snodgrass
    January 1, 1970
    'I'd learned long ago that just because someone was likeable did not mean they weren't capable of terrible things.' When I read Anna Lee Huber's first novel in the Lady Darby series, 'The Anatomist's Wife', I was hooked. I still feel the same way. I eagerly anticipate each new book in the series. In this offering, Kiera, who is still called Lady Darby, even though she has shed that unfortunate husband, is still a newlywed, married to the charming Sebastian Gage. Her past is coming back to haunt 'I'd learned long ago that just because someone was likeable did not mean they weren't capable of terrible things.' When I read Anna Lee Huber's first novel in the Lady Darby series, 'The Anatomist's Wife', I was hooked. I still feel the same way. I eagerly anticipate each new book in the series. In this offering, Kiera, who is still called Lady Darby, even though she has shed that unfortunate husband, is still a newlywed, married to the charming Sebastian Gage. Her past is coming back to haunt her now, because she has been targeted by a blackmailer. It is November 1831 and she and Gage are back in London after escaping two years prior under very distressing circumstances indeed. Now, a gang of bodysnatchers is at work and have been arrested and once again, Kiera's past, rises up to haunt her. Even though she is not guilty of anything, many in society believe badly of her. London is horrified by these 'burkers' at work in their city. Then the young heir of a noble family is murdered and Kiera and Gage are hired as the inquiry agents to find the culprit. Is this murder the result of the burkers' attempt at procuring another body or is it another sinister monster on the loose?Kiera is now expecting her and Gage's first child, but both of them are determined to solve this crime and indeed clear her name once and for all of the hateful Lord Darby's evil machinations. I love Huber's work, her impeccable research: these bodysnatching events actually happened. And the 'Italian Boy' did also happen. Her ability to weave a fascinating story while also giving us every detail into the lives of the Gages is indeed compelling. I recommend this series. Now I long for the next one.*My thanks to the publishers for making a copy of this book available to me through Net Galley. I was not pressured to leave a review and all the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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  • Keri
    January 1, 1970
    Another series that just continues to get better and better.
  • Lady Wesley
    January 1, 1970
    First rate.
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    I received this arc from Netgalley in exchange of an unbiased review. Although this isn't the first book in the series, the reader does not feel lost as this book can be read as a stand alone novel. Kiera and her husband are in search of the missing Italian boy while the city is running rampant with killing for medical examiners. I am a huge fan of historical novels and was excited to dive in to this gem, but I found the authors descriptions too wordy and page fluffy. The story does have an inte I received this arc from Netgalley in exchange of an unbiased review. Although this isn't the first book in the series, the reader does not feel lost as this book can be read as a stand alone novel. Kiera and her husband are in search of the missing Italian boy while the city is running rampant with killing for medical examiners. I am a huge fan of historical novels and was excited to dive in to this gem, but I found the authors descriptions too wordy and page fluffy. The story does have an interesting premise, but unfortunately this novel didn't suck me in as I expected it to. Enjoy
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    This was the best one in the series, which has had its ups and downs at times. Well plotted and thrilling, the story also greatly highlighted the main character, who continues to grow. I’m curious how many more of these there will be. This particular story, while dark, was done really well, and I could see more being written without exhausting the premise.
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy this series.In this one Gage and Keira are expecting their first child and are enjoying their newlywed life back in London when a case involving anatomists by 'newly' dead bodies roars to the forefront bringing back all the terrible stuff with Keira's first marriage.Once again some members of society begin to whisper and shun, while others stand staunchly by her side. But things get worse when some of the murders start happening in Mayfair and then even worse when Keira starts get I really enjoy this series.In this one Gage and Keira are expecting their first child and are enjoying their newlywed life back in London when a case involving anatomists by 'newly' dead bodies roars to the forefront bringing back all the terrible stuff with Keira's first marriage.Once again some members of society begin to whisper and shun, while others stand staunchly by her side. But things get worse when some of the murders start happening in Mayfair and then even worse when Keira starts getting blackmail notices and finally, one of Sir Anthony's old cronies is threatening to publish his journals. So yeah, for poor Keira, when it rains it pours,But she and Gage are on the case of the Mayfair murders all the while trying to stop the blackmailers and the journals getting published.What I liked about this book beyond the mystery (it was a good one) that I feel like we turn a corner in a couple of places with our intrepid couple. First, Keira's tattered reputation was in the midst of slowly being repaired when a few seems burst again. I've always felt that reputation kinda hovered over the series like a miasma. In this one it feels like Keira gets a chance to finally put some of her own ghosts to rests. Also she gets a great pep talk in how to not give any fucks from an fascinating new character And second, it seems like Keira gets a fierce and powerful ally in her corner signalling a huge development in one of her relationships. I liked how this developed. There were some great emotional scenes that precipitated this and gave me a spark of joy.The end sets up the new mystery and it sounds like it is going to be a good one.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this one more than some of the previous ones, maybe in small part due to the fact that I now know what to expect. Being the seventh book in the series, I now know that it'll be solely from Kiera's first person pov. I've stopped hoping that we'll hear from Gage. I also know that Gage's father will be a total jerk, Kiera will still be suffering from the pain of her first marriage, and that every other chapter will end with some ominous foreshadowing. That being said, the mystery of this on I liked this one more than some of the previous ones, maybe in small part due to the fact that I now know what to expect. Being the seventh book in the series, I now know that it'll be solely from Kiera's first person pov. I've stopped hoping that we'll hear from Gage. I also know that Gage's father will be a total jerk, Kiera will still be suffering from the pain of her first marriage, and that every other chapter will end with some ominous foreshadowing. That being said, the mystery of this one was interesting, especially given the true historical background of the story. The burker rampage and subsequent public fear and panic were creepy yet interesting. The solving of the mystery wasn't as bumbling as previous installments' either. Kiera stopped making assertions about her investigative skills and instead actually had some decent thoughts that spurred along the mystery solving. I liked her more in this installment (and honestly, it's about time since it's book seven), and while she was still a bit insecure due to her past, I found her to have actually grown in this book. I also adored Gage in this one. He is a great husband. And contrary to my previous fears, there was absolutely no OP drama in this one. We don't bump into any OW from Gage's past. Thanks so much for that, Anna Lee Huber. For that little detail alone, you might be my HR writing hero.Overall, I'm glad I kept going with this series. Things are hopefully looking up for Kiera and Gage. I hope Gage keeps being awesome and Kiera grows even fiercer.
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    An Artless Demise is the first book I've read by Anna Lee Huber. I've seen her books on the shelves of our local bookstore many times, and have contemplated reading one, so, when my bookish friends at Berkley Prime Crime offered me the opportunity to read one of her mysteries, I went with it.London is scared and aghast when it is discovered criminals are killing people and are selling their bodies to medical schools. Kiera's deceased husband was involved in these atrocities and Kiera's past come An Artless Demise is the first book I've read by Anna Lee Huber. I've seen her books on the shelves of our local bookstore many times, and have contemplated reading one, so, when my bookish friends at Berkley Prime Crime offered me the opportunity to read one of her mysteries, I went with it.London is scared and aghast when it is discovered criminals are killing people and are selling their bodies to medical schools. Kiera's deceased husband was involved in these atrocities and Kiera's past comes back to haunt her during this time of fear. Kiera and her new husband Gage are expecting their first child and Kiera fears for her baby and her husband. It's a stressful time for the young couple. She receives a blackmail letter which could send shivers up anyone's spine and the young heir of a prestigious family is discovered murdered. The heir's father ask Gage and Kiera to investigate his son's death and find the killer. As tensions rise in London, Gage and Kiera must stop a killer before there is another victim.This story could have been macabre or morbid with gory details, however, the author did a wonderful job writing the mystery with a minimal amount of gruesome details. Kiera is a lovely lady with a considerable amount of strength, however, I don't think she realizes how strong she is. Anyone who knows her, would soon realize she couldn't possibly be guilty of the heinous crimes her former husband was involved in. Gage and her friends are completely supportive and assist her in any way they are able. I thought Gage was an interesting man. He's a "take charge" kind of guy while loving and tender toward Kiera. The streets of London and the escalating mobs are well described.If you enjoy historical mystery, this might be the book for you. 3.5 stars.A BIG thank-you to Berkley Prime Crime.
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  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    This 7th book in Huber's Lady Darby series comes full circle from the series beginning when we meet Lady Darby as she hides from the world after a huge scandal involving her late husband, grave robbers, and her art. Set against the 1831 trial, conviction, and hanging of resurrectionists (those who rob graves to supply bodies to anatomists), this real life murder case involving "the Italian boy" provides plenty of gory details on burking (the murder of someone for the express purpose of selling t This 7th book in Huber's Lady Darby series comes full circle from the series beginning when we meet Lady Darby as she hides from the world after a huge scandal involving her late husband, grave robbers, and her art. Set against the 1831 trial, conviction, and hanging of resurrectionists (those who rob graves to supply bodies to anatomists), this real life murder case involving "the Italian boy" provides plenty of gory details on burking (the murder of someone for the express purpose of selling their body to a medical school/anatomist) and the events that prompted change in dissection laws in England. Lady Darby and her husband Gage, now well known for their criminal investigations among the upper classes, must try to solve the murders of prominent heirs and stop a blackmail plot against themselves all while navigating some significant historical events. There's a lot in this plot, but it works perfectly. Both the mystery arc and character development make this one a solid 5 star read.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved it! As always, Anna Lee Huber has written another wonderful mystery. I simply did not want to put it down and found myself greatly annoyed with having to take a break to work. I feel like “new book releases in favorite series” should be an adequate excuse for calling out sick. I mean, how much can one focus when you pondering who the villain is and anxiously watching the clock? Back to the book, this might be a new favorite in the series though it does regrettably leave out my f Absolutely loved it! As always, Anna Lee Huber has written another wonderful mystery. I simply did not want to put it down and found myself greatly annoyed with having to take a break to work. I feel like “new book releases in favorite series” should be an adequate excuse for calling out sick. I mean, how much can one focus when you pondering who the villain is and anxiously watching the clock? Back to the book, this might be a new favorite in the series though it does regrettably leave out my favorite supporting character in the series. I’ve loved watching Kiera’s development throughout the series and this one showed truly just how far she has come. Also loved watching her relationships with friends and family grow. Cannot wait til the next book.
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  • Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    I really do enjoy this series. The way she weaves historical facts with a mystery is truly impressive. Lady Darby and Gage are in London, a place she hasn't been in a couple of years after fleeing due to a scandal. The old problems rise up again when body snatchers are arrested for having murdered someone in order to provide the body to the medical schools. Add to that blackmail, additional murders meant to take advantage of the burker hysteria, and navigating society there is plenty to keep the I really do enjoy this series. The way she weaves historical facts with a mystery is truly impressive. Lady Darby and Gage are in London, a place she hasn't been in a couple of years after fleeing due to a scandal. The old problems rise up again when body snatchers are arrested for having murdered someone in order to provide the body to the medical schools. Add to that blackmail, additional murders meant to take advantage of the burker hysteria, and navigating society there is plenty to keep them busy.
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  • Janie
    January 1, 1970
    One of the better titles in this excellent and distinctive series. Set aside some time to reward yourself with a great read.I love the unobtrusive, authentic settings, the compelling and satisfying romance, and the well-crafted murder cases and forensic investigations of Huber's books. #GoodreadsGiveaway for this most recent volume - thanks!
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  • Kathleen Schilling
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t love this installment, I think it felt like a step back in Kiera’s development. However by the end of the book she seemed a lot stronger so maybe it was necessary.
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