Category: Cosy Historical Mystery

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “This Side of Murder” (#VerityKent Mysteries, No.1) by Anna Lee Huber Celebrating All Saint’s Day with a delightfully sophisticated Cosy Historical Mystery!

Posted Wednesday, 1 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Borrowed Book By: I have been an appreciator of Ms Huber’s novels ever since I first read “The Antaomist’s Wife” being the first Lady Darby Mystery – which set the course for my heart to fall in love with the relationship building between Lady Darby and Mr Gage! As you can follow my readerly musings and ruminations throughout the length of the series, save the fifth book which I am in the process of reading right now. I was delayed initially from consuming the fifth Lady Darby (which I shall explain when I post my review), however, I’ve been proactively requesting Ms Huber’s novels via my local library!

As I knew I couldn’t purchase copies for myself per each release, I decided to ‘introduce’ the novels to other patrons whilst selecting them for my own reading benefit. Blessedly, my library has been continuously adding the novels of Ms Huber to our card catalogue and I must say, they are regularly finding new ‘readers’ who appreciate her collective works! When it came time for her new series ‘The Verity Kent Mysteries’ and the ‘Gothic Myths’, I knew I wanted to submit these for purchase requests as well. I was overjoyed when they initially arrived, however, I had to ‘let them go’ to re-request lateron. This October, whilst planning my #SpooktasticReads readathon of lovelies, I put the books back into ‘queue’ to be savoured now. Ergo, I was not obliged to post this review – I am sharing it for my own edification and to help those who follow my literary adventures seek out a new author they might not have stumbled across themselves. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I asked my library to purchase more Huber novels:

When you find a writer who can transport you so wholly true into the historic past with convicting narrative clarity such as Ms Huber has established, you simply want to follow their writerly careers. If I had been in the position to purchase the novels as they released, I would have – however, I did something to help others in my area learn of her novels: I submitted purchase requests for her stories! I’ve been doing this since the beginning – encouraging my library to continue to seek out and purchase her next releases as new stories emerge to be read.

As October christianed a new Season, I decided to have a bit of ‘fun’ this year, by spending the weeks leading up to Halloween reading Mysteries, Suspense & Thriller stories in anticipation of a holiday I truly have loved since I was a child! Halloween is a beloved tradition – the stories which leave you thirsty for more which give you a bit of a girth of excitement to read make it even more enjoyable! I couldn’t pick out as many Cosy Horror titles as I would have preferred – I’ll save those for next year’s follies, but this year, the callings of my heart led me back into Ms Huber’ s novels!

Whilst planning to finish my readings of the latest #LadyDarby – I happily re-requested to read her latest: ‘This Side of Murder’ being the first #VerityKent Mystery and ‘Secrets of the Mist’ being a decidedly Gothic tale which was sure to haunt me a wee bit! I hadn’t realised she was publishing through different publishers – as I was focusing more on the ‘stories’ rather than their route to publication. I thought it was quite lovely each of her stories have found wings and a home to fly – as I know this is sometimes a tricky part of a writer’s life – finding how to publish the stories which step outside one of your main veins of interest – in this case, the Lady Darby series.

Equally to why I love Lady Darby, I am finding Verity Kent has a refreshing new ‘interest’ for me to latch onto as she’s set this delightful series between the World Wars – an era I readily explore through war dramas and the odd Cosy Historical Mystery (the category of genre I rightly place her Lady Darby Mysteries) – a definitive term I use for those writers who are so hugged centre into the ‘history’ of their timescapes – they are creating a lovely hybrid new genre which merges & blends everything I love between the ‘Historical Fiction novel’ and the ‘Cosy Mystery’; it’s an elevated sophistication in literature which I wholeheartedly am giddy about exploring!

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Notation on the : Poole harbour – where Lord Ryde & Verity Kent were arriving gives out a certain layer of insight into where this ‘story’ is both set and placed into our view. It also allows the reader to see Mrs Kent from a different perspective than straight-on whilst gaining a bit about how ‘put together’ she is and how she strives to make do with what she has left to give. She’s a curious woman – by all counts – as she is both conflicted and eludes great confidence in not only who she is but where she is in her life. The confliction of course is due to the nature of how she lost her husband and the ‘after effects’ of the war which affected them all.

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “This Side of Murder” (#VerityKent Mysteries, No.1) by Anna Lee Huber Celebrating All Saint’s Day with a delightfully sophisticated Cosy Historical Mystery!This Side of Murder
Subtitle: A Verity Kent Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

England, 1919. Verity Kent's grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity's first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew.

Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement party of one of Sidney's fellow officers, Verity mingles among the men her husband once fought beside, and discovers dark secrets—along with a murder clearly meant to conceal them. Relying on little more than a coded letter, the help of a dashing stranger, and her own sharp instincts, Verity is forced down a path she never imagined—and comes face to face with the shattering possibility that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was. It's a truth that could set her free—or draw her ever deeper into his deception. . .

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781496713155

Also by this author: The Anatomist's Wife, Mortal Arts, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death, As Death Draws Near Book Blast (Series Notes)

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Kensington Books

on 26th September, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 304

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The Verity Kent Mysteries:

This Side of Murder | No.1 | Read the 1st Chapter via annaleehuber.com

Treacherous is the Night | No.2 | (Pub Date: October, 2018)

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook & Ebook

About Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the Award-Winning and National Bestselling Author of the Lady Darby Mystery Series. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. From a young age, her imagination was boundless. She spent her summers with her brothers and sister playing Star Wars, wearing snow boots and her mother's old nightgowns while swinging plastic bats as light-sabers, and The A-Team hanging off the riding lawn mower (what else were they supposed to use for the van?). In the fourth grade, she penned her first story, and she’s been writing ever since.

Anna attended college in Music City USA-Nashville, Tennessee, where she met her husband while acting in a school production of Our Town. They married just before she graduated summa cum laude from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. She now pens the award-winning Lady Darby historical mystery series for Berkley Publishing. Her debut novel, The Anatomist’s Wife, has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including a Daphne du Maurier Award and two 2013 RITA® Awards.

Anna is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in Indiana with her family, and when not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 1 November, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Lady Detective Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Psychological Suspense, the Nineteen Hundreds, The World Wars

#JorieReads | Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological #Suspense & #Gothic Tales Personal Reading Challenge!

Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov 0 Comments

Spooktastic Fortnight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror. This year, as I was looking over the lists for *reading challenges* I noticed 2017 fell a bit short in offering a chance to interact with other readers who appreciate the same type of stories! Therefore, as I had already put my plan into action to read the selected stories during the final fortnight of October, I decided to host my ‘own’ self-direct reading challenge this year!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join me, please link to your blog, Twitter, Riffle List, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales 2017
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Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

Blog Book Tour | “On the Rocks” (Book One of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth

Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

When I realised this was the first ‘book’ in a series, I requested to receive the first book in order to understand the continuity and flow between the lead characters within the second installment. It is a personal preference of mine to read series ‘in order’ and I was blessed I could start this one at the beginning! I received a complimentary copy of “On the Rocks” direct from the publicist of Sue Hallgarth in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read the Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

I am unsure when I first stumbled across ‘living persons’ being amateur sleuths in Mysteries & stories of Suspense – however, ever since I was first smitten by the idea, I have taken to these kinds of stories like a duck to water! I only vaguely ‘knew of’ Willa Cather – she’s the kind of woman you might hear about in literary circles as her own legacy of stories has quite the following. However, in regards to her personal life or the adventures she had as an novelist – these are the missing gaps in my knowledge! If anything, I knew her ‘in name only’ rather than of having a biographical sketch of an idea about her person.

This is one reason I am drawn into Biographical Fiction stories – generally speaking, I lean on the branch of ‘Historical Fiction’ to chart my course through time whilst alighting in the footsteps of either novelists (such as the Brontés) or well-known figureheads (such as Eleanor Roosevelt) whilst feeling a bit attached to some of the dexterities of creative muses (such as the Jane Austen Mysteries). Throughout each story I pick up to read, I am drawn closer to the ‘person’ who lived the life either being re-transmitted through a portion of their own living hours or re-identified in a different lifestyle altogether! It makes for a fascinating jaunt through time, history and known fact!

I hadn’t fused to mind ‘where’ the story was set – coming into fuller knowledge as I sat down to read the novel, I realised it was hugged close to the Canadian Maritimes – specifically the region of the Bay of Fundy and the Fundy Isles. This is an especially lovely area where artists, artisans, writers and other creatives have found a renewing peace to create in this part of the world where life is laid back & the natural scenery etches out its own inspiration to the creator. The Bay of Fundy in recent years is a bit better known due to a hard-won battle to secure the sanctity of the waters in the North Atlantic by the conjoined efforts of the Americans, Canadians & Passamaquoddy Indians.

Realising this connection, when it came time to ‘step forward’ into Ms Hallgarth’s vision for the series, I was more than ready to lay pause on her prose and feel absorbed into this area of the Northern Hemisphere where the lights like to dance, ice meets the sea and where there is an enchantment of wonderment lit over the land. It was then, I realised I was supposed to read this series!

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Blog Book Tour | “On the Rocks” (Book One of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue HallgarthOn the Rocks
Subtitle: A Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mystery
by Sue Hallgarth
Source: Publicist via Poetic Book Tours

The year is 1929 and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy. In their cottage’s sparsely-furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel. Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove.

Out of the corner of her eye, Edith sees a body plunge from the edge of a cliff to the rocks below…. Solving the mystery, first-time novelist Sue Hallgarth’s intimate view of village politics and the goings-on of two women’s communities long lost to history is also a suspenseful and surprising crime novel. Hallgarth draws the reader into a unique retreat and an inside glimpse of the lives of a great American novelist and her talented life partner.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0985520007

Also by this author:

Genres: Amateur Detective, Biographical Fiction, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


Published by Arbor Farm Press

on 13th January, 2013

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 262

Published By: Arbor Farm Press

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

The Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

On the Rocks (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue HallgarthDeath Comes (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth

Book One: On the Rocks

Book Two: Death Comes (Synopsis)

Converse via: #WillaCather + #CosyMysteries

About Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth is former English professor. She has written scholarly articles on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, and Death Comes is her second book of fiction featuring the two of them. Her first book in the series On The Rocks, set in 1929 on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada. She lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Apothecary, Art, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Canada, Canadian Maritimes, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Creative Arts, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Edith Lewis, Equality In Literature, Fundy Isles, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Naturopathic Medicine, Poetic Book Tours, Seclusion in the Natural World, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Social Change, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties, Village Life, Walking & Hiking Trails, Willa Cather, Women's Rights