Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage are looking forward to celebrating with new friends at an exciting yearly soiree, but they soon learn that murder never takes a holiday in the latest riveting installment in this national bestselling series.
January 1832. After enjoying a delightful few weeks with her family, expectant mother Kiera and Sebastian Gage have been invited to the Duchess of Bowmontʼs Twelfth Night party in Traquair, Scotland. Though she normally avoids such fashionable, rambunctious events, Kiera is ready to join in the festive merrymaking. But upon their arrival at the opulent estate, it becomes obvious that all is not merry in their hostess’s home. The family appears to be under a great strain, and someone seems determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes.
Matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the partygoers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castleʼs crypt. The corpse is thought to be the duchessʼs son-in-law who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. It is evident the man met with foul play, and Kiera and Gage soon realize that a ruthless murderer walks among them—and may well be a member of the duchessʼs own family. And when the investigation takes a treacherous turn, Kiera discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.
In Huber's gripping eighth Lady Darby whodunit (after 2019's An Artless Demise), it's 1832, and the hopes of Lady Kiera Darby and her husband, Sebastian Gage, for a relaxing stay at a Scottish castle belonging to the Duchess of Bowmont are dashed during a tour of the castle's lower level. There, in a chamber that once housed prisoners awaiting torture, the couple come upon a male corpse with a fatal head wound. The man may be Lord Helmswick, the duchess's son-in-law, who was believed to have left for Paris a month earlier, but damage to the man's face from animals feeding on the body prevents positive identification. Gage, who carries out discreet private inquiries for members of the nobility, and Kiera are convinced Helmswick was murdered, evidently weeks before the corpse's discovery. An attempt on Kiera's life bolsters their belief that a killer is afoot. Huber makes the most of her creepy setting and never strains credulity during the course of the investigation or at the ultimate reveal. Fans of C.S. Harris's Regency mysteries will be pleased.