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Publisher's Summary

Scotland, 1831. After a tumultuous courtship complicated by three deadly inquiries, Lady Kiera Darby is thrilled to have found both an investigative partner and a fiancé in Sebastian Gage. But with her well-meaning - and very pregnant - sister planning on making their wedding the event of the season, Kiera could use a respite from the impending madness. Commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness' eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband. Kiera isn't sure how to help, but when she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, things take a fatal turn. The physician called to the house, and Lord Drummond appears satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit. Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth behind the baroness' death - no matter what or who stands in her way....
©2015 Anna Aycock (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"The journey to uncover a killer takes many twists and leads to a surprising culprit." ( RT Book Reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kathi on 09-28-15

Warning: don't read this series out of order

I have enjoyed this series so far. Lady Keira Darby is a woman in Scotland 1831, gifted artist, but also fairly misunderstood by society. Because her deceased husband had made her illustrate the anatomical results of his stealthy, illegal autopsies, which was then considered scandalous and debauched to people (and associated with grave robbing). She had been cruelly forced against her will to do this, but that makes little difference to many, even after her husband is dead. So she has a curious place in this society that accepts her mostly due to her family connections. She has paired up (several books back) with Sebastien Gage, an "investigative agent" (detective) who is now now also her fiancé.

In this book, she becomes drawn in to what she believes is the murder of a woman whose portrait she has been painting, and she and Gage go into some of the murkiest depths of Edinburgh to ferret out the clues to solving it, often putting themselves in great danger. This is interwoven with story of her own family, with her sister due to give birth imminently, and in some distress and expected danger from this pregnancy.

I like the characters, and the way they have been developed over the books. Once in a while the author presents a scene that is a bit contrived to get them a clue or a bit ahead in their investigation. But for the most part these books leave me wanting to keep listening--eager to hear how they turn out. And they are lots of fun. But the author does something that always leaves me feeling miffed. She goes into way too much detail about things that took place in earlier books, making it difficult--even useless--for a reader to go (or want to go) back and read an earlier one, since she has revealed important details about them. And sometimes people don't read books like this in order. However, if you start at the beginning with this series, I think it is a good listen.

I say that with the caveat the the narrator is a mixed blessing. I love the way she does the different voices and love her scotch brogue for a couple of characters. But for some reason, she reads in an uneven way. At times the reading puts emphasis on words in a sentence in a manner that is so unlike that way people actually speak, that it is jarring. But I've listened to all the books in this series so far, and don't intend to stop because of that. I just wish she might go back and listen to herself and possibly work at having more ordinary speaking style. Oh well. That's just my opinion anyway. :-) I like all this series a lot, but just can't give it 5 stars right now.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Meg on 09-28-15

A worthwhile addition to the series

I have read all of the Lady Darby mysteries and enjoyed this one almost as much as the others. Unfortunately, as with many series there comes a point when some of the characters and plots can get a bit stale and boring. I did feel a few twinges of that while reading this book. However, overall I thought it was an interesting read that kept my attention throughout.

I thought the narrator did an excellent job with the material.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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