Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage investigate a macabre murderer in this historical mystery from the author of Mortal Arts.
Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven. Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her. But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.
While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case. But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.
When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first—some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest…before another victim winds up six feet under.
In Huber's polished third pre-Victorian mystery (after 2013's Mortal Arts), the grief that artist Lady Kiera Darby feels for her late friend, drawing master Will Dalway, doesn't prevent her from enjoying a traditional Hogmanay Ball near her childhood home in Scotland. Then a bloodstained servant from the estate of neighbor Lord Buchan appears. Buchan's caretaker has been shot, and his uncle's body has been stolen from its grave. Kiera is the only expert available to hunt for clues, though her interest in crime is considered scandalous. The stolen corpse is too long dead to have been purloined for anatomy lessons, and soon Lord Buchan receives a ransom note for his uncle's bones. When investigator Sebastian Gage arrives from Edinburgh, he brings useful information about a similar crime. But he also fills Kiera with tumult unresolved from their uneasy parting nearly two months before. Huber deftly evokes both the pair's attraction and the period's flavor.