From the national bestselling author of The Anatonmist's Wife comes the second historical mystery featuring enigmatic sleuth Lady Kiera Darby.
Scotland, 1830. Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes. After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care. But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator—and romantic entanglement—Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.
Kiera’s old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother—and Kiera’s childhood art tutor—William, has thrown everything into chaos. For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father. Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor’s plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing. Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another…
Set largely in Scotland in 1830, Huber's well-done sequel to 2012's The Anatomist's Wife includes all the ingredients of a romantic suspense novel, starting with a proud and independent heroine. Talented artist Lady Kiera Darby, who survived a dreadful first marriage, remains the object of society gossip. She's attracted to the dashing and rather mysterious Sebastian Gage, the upper class's go-to guy for private inquiries in Britain, with whom she has lots of misunderstandings. Strong and lively characters as well as believable family dynamics, however, elevate this above stock genre fare. Furthermore, the underlying mystery deals with a serious, even horrifying, subject the treatment of the insane in asylums. Readers should be prepared for some grim tales, though credit Huber for not turning this into a treatise on post-traumatic stress disorder. Rather, she assembles a collection of facts that unfold gradually, serving the story rather than the other way around.