Soon-to-be new parents Kiera and her husband, Sebastian Gage, have been hoping for a respite from their inquiries, but murder and mayhem have a startling way of dropping into their laps in the all-new historical mystery in this national bestselling series.
Edinburgh, Scotland. March 1832. Kiera and Gage have been eagerly awaiting their bundle of joy but trouble has been brewing in the form of the roguish criminal Bonnie Brock Kincaid. A new book and subsequent play features some of Kincaid's daringly heinous exploits, although he swears he had nothing to do with it or the characters which are obvious representations of Kiera and Gage. While the scoundrel's fury seems genuine, as well as his determined quest to uncover the real identity of the author, the Gages still hold doubts about his innocence.
A rash of crimes break out across the city, seemingly inspired by the play and book. When the publisher is found brutally murdered--in an imitation of a gruesome scene--the finger not only points to Bonnie Brock as the possible culprit, but also the Gages, who have been outspoken in their condemnation of the tale. Now, the Gages are on a hunt to unmask the killer. Between the infamy garnered by the play, the cholera outbreak still wreaking havoc throughout the city, and the impending birth of their child, they will need all the resources they can garner.
But family quarrels and the revelation of a secret Kiera has been keeping from Sebastian threaten to undermine everything they have overcome. When they find themselves in the crosshairs of the killer, trapped in the squalid underground vaults of the city, they will soon discover that the truth does not always set you free, and death can lurk around any corner.
As Huber's artful ninth Lady Darby mystery (after 2020's A Stroke of Malice) opens in early 1832, Kiera Gage, Lady Darby, has finally found happiness through her marriage to aristocratic inquiry agent Sebastian Gage. The couple are looking forward to the impending birth of their first child, but their brief period of domesticity is shattered by the release of an anonymous fictional account of scandalous exploits by Edinburgh's real-life thief Bonnie Brock Kincaid and a married couple obviously based on Kiera and Sebastian. The Gages make their displeasure known to the book's publisher, who refuses to name the author, but their ire can't hold a candle to Kincaid's. When the publisher is murdered and the police put both Kincaid and the Gages squarely in their sights, Kiera and Sebastian have no choice but to throw in with Kincaid to find the real killer. Huber provides plenty of depth and detail about social conditions and mores in 19th-century Edinburgh, but the human relationships are the heart of the story. Historical fans will be well satisfied.
Liked/loved the book
I really liked this book and I am reading it the 2nd time to get ready for #10. But this one was harder as what has been referred to as Kiera’s weakness or eccentricities really comes out here. Kiera has great empathy for the less fortunate, marginalized and other women like herself. But she struggles extending the same to the people she loves the most and often makes them pay for what her first husband did to her. But I appreciate the author making our heroine human flawed as we all are. But there are definitely times I want to shake her as she can be quite abrasive but sensitive at the same time.