Tag: Berkley Prime Crime

#PubDay Book Review | “Chai Another Day” (Book Four: The Spice Shop Mysteries) by Leslie Budewitz a cosy mystery series by one of my favourite crime publishers Seventh Street Books!

Posted Tuesday, 11 June, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Books By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

However, their imprints Seventh Street Books & Pyr were merged into Start Publishing in [2019] – wherein I had the pleasure of being approached by their new publicity team via Kaye Publicity this Spring wherein I was first introduced to the Spice Shop Mysteries as I was told about a forthcoming release this June – “Chai Another Day” for which I am receiving for review consideration. I decided to back-read the series as this marks the fourth in an on-going series. Uniquely enough, the first three were published by Berkley Prime Crime and the fourth installment is being published by Seventh Street Books.

I borrowed the first three novels in the Spice Shop Mysteries “Assault and Pepper”, “Guilty as Cinnamon” and “Killing Thyme” in paperback from my local library via inter-library loan through the consortium of libraries within my state. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

I received a complimentary copy of “Chai Another Day” direct from Seventh Street Books in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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on why i was drawn into the spice shop mysteries:

You could say it felt like a homage to what I personally loved about being in the Pacific Northwest when I was eighteen – I had the chance to visit Seattle and Pike’s Place Market – it was a trip which left quite the impression on me. For starters, my aversion to sunshine was no longer an issue and my entire spirit soared without the oppressively volcanic presence of the Sun. The glare was gone being that I traded regions to where even sunlight filtered through clouds at a different angle than what I had become accustomed too. The whole setting in the West is uniquely different from other parts of the States – yet, it was the vibe of Pike’s Place which left the strongest impression.

Thereby, when I first learnt of the Spice Shop Mysteries – my heart hungered to read them, as any excuse to re-visit my memories spent walking through the marketplace would be a lovely excursion to take as it marked a moment in my life where I loved being in a walkable downtown which was vibrantly alive with merchants and artisans who were both approachable and hilarious to speak too.

Yes, I even saw the infamous fishmongers happily throwing their fish and trying to get everyone to celebrate the spontaneous joy in our lives. It was the blueberry vendors who struck a chord with my foodie heart – from their oils to their wines and how the magic shoppe and the Hollywood memorabilia shoppe left strong impressions due to the beauty of conversing with people with like-minded interests. The market itself had everything you needed for your basket and then some, replete with fresh cut flowers and other knicks or knacks you might not expect to find. Always a kind smile, a hearty laugh and loads of healthy sampling to see what your palette might appreciate eating.

I could see how a spice shop would thrive here – the downtown corridor in and round the marketplace itself had heaps of hills and it was definitely walkable as the traffic wasn’t (at the time) like other cities where pedestrians might struggle against the heavy flow and constant shifting of cars. After reading the author’s notes on behalf of the market today compared to the market I once knew myself – my memories are as old as Sleepless in Seattle as Pike’s Place then was most comparable to the one I saw IRL. I’m certain that the lay of the land now is quite uniquely different – from what she mentioned of the change in structures and buildings – not to mention the relocation of a highway! Laughs. I still remember how lovely it was to just be in a place where independent businesses were thriving and where it was possible to have personable conversations with the growers of the local produce, fruit, flowers, cheese and artisan goods. The concept is much more transparent nowadays across large and small cities alike but back then it was quite the extraordinary concept!

Now, if only spice shoppes and markets had caught-on in the slow food movement and were readily accessible as health food stores, now that would be progress I’d appreciate seeing come full circle into our everyday lives!

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Mostly though – what intrigued me the most is the publisher I know for publishing wicked good dramatic Crime Fiction was now enticing me to try their Cosy side of the ledger! I will also say, as the publisher changed hands – when the book arrived I wasn’t sure if there would be a change in style and format for the finished copies, as previously I had mostly received their (print) ARCs with a few finished copies here or there for Seventh Street Books.

Chai Another Day was happily a wider trade paperback edition – where you could easily open the pages, see the layout and even the font was easier on the eyes – if you directly compared this fourth installment to the previous three when the series was with Berkley. However, in regards to previous Seventh Street Books releases – the format was refreshingly new as they were the more standard version of the trade paperback than this particular one where it felt more akin to a 5×7 size than the regular versions your used to holding in your hands. I honestly preferred it for this Cosy as it made reading it quite the ease and after so many migraines plaguing me recently, ease of reading a story was priority one!

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#PubDay Book Review | “Chai Another Day” (Book Four: The Spice Shop Mysteries) by Leslie Budewitz a cosy mystery series by one of my favourite crime publishers Seventh Street Books!Assault and Pepper
Subtitle: A Spice Shop Mystery
by Leslie Budewitz
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425271780

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Amateur Detective, Crime Fiction


Setting: Pike's Place Market, Seattle Washington


Published by Berkley Prime Crime, Seventh Street Books

on 3rd March, 2015

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 289

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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Initially, I had planned to read the first *three!* novels in this series, however, after five migraines this past May, I decided to simply focus on “Assault & Pepper” as I couldn’t listen to the audiobooks either due to time constraints and the after effects of my migraines. As you will see, the first novel in the series held my interest at first but that interest waned a bit once I was settled inside it. I decided to forego the first novel, as I had a proper sense of the setting & the way in which Ms Budewitz wanted us to feel a part of this world to where I moved directly into “Chai Another Day”. I think you might be pleasantly surprised by what I found inside the fourth novel,..

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my review of assault and pepper:

I could immediately relate to two things: temperatures below seventy-five and smelling Autumn through a palette of spices and herbs! There is something to be said for calmer climes and the foods which speak to our souls during the different seasons of the year. For me, I could skip over a volcanic Summer and a nausating Spring full of allergens in exchange for a calmer cloudy and grey environment wherein the air is crisper, the produce is healthier and your sense of season was a gentler influence than an abrasive and blundering thundercloud of insanity. Already, as soon as I started reading Assault and Pepper, I was clued into how much angst I have living where I do.

The irony of course, is they are lamenting about the uses of spice for fish and meat; something which would never interest me (save the odd scallops here or there) as I’m a veghead vegan in the making! I’d rather know how you could grill, roast, saute and otherwise dress your veg and fruits than know about the dry rubs you need for a carnivore. Despite that – the aromas and aromatics they are inviting into my sensory memories reflects my own spicy life as a home cook as I have the tendency of appreciating the warmer spices throughout the year. It isn’t that I don’t like lighter foods but my wheelhouse always includes the posher spices of India or the flavourings of the Mediterranean. You can do loads with those spices – they indulge your creativity – especially once you master Garam Marsala and Turmeric!

The specialty tea blends, ah, now your talking! I love loose teas but I have to be careful with them as sometimes I opt instead for the bags as the loose varieties can be a bit strong even if your a careful steeper! The interesting bit is that I’ve learnt recently how you can cook or bake with tea blends – something I hadn’t realised in the past and I’m keen to explore it in the future.

I could definitely relate to Reed – I have a penchant for finding new ways to incorporate curry (the spice) into a lot of what I’m choosing to cook. By the time they were contemplating what to do with roasted squash and how to spice up their oatmeal, I had heard enough to know I wished this shoppe was a viable one in our own reality! Definitely keen on how I’m not the sole home cook who likes to switch things up in her saute pan, too! I also had a mad hankering for their tea samplers as although I prefer the warmer teas (full-on spices) there are a few floral teas I don’t mind though nothing overtly fruity as that’s just wrong.

Pepper’s ex-husband reminds me of why I enjoy the Coffeehouse Mysteries – these two series share that in common; where the ex-wives have moved forward with their lives but their exes haven’t quite caught on to the fact that some woman really do not want to reconcile the marriage they’ve divorced. Tag seemed to be the kind of bloke who liked to flirt no matter what his ex felt about him; almost as if it was its own inside tongue-and-cheek game between them – even if of course, from Pepper’s perspective it wasn’t likely to progress past the playful exchanges. On her end of it though, I sensed she liked her independence and enjoyed being single – or maybe, I was picking up on the fact she was thankful she was no longer married to Tag. It could swing either way – still too early-on to know what drew them apart to begin with and what led to the divorce. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 11 June, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern Day, Pike's Place Market, Seattle, Washington, West Coast USA

Book Review | “A Study in Death” (#LadyDarby, No.4) by Anna Lee Huber

Posted Sunday, 10 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: My local library has always been quite keenly astute on forthcoming releases by authors whose books wink at me from the card catalogue, whenever I am seeking a new read within a genre I happen to have a penchant attachment. Cosy mysteries have always been knitted into my heart, and although I honestly cannot remember exactly if the library purchased the Lady Darby book series off a request of mine OR if they were requested by another patron, all I can simply say is that I felt immeasurably blessed that the first two novels of the Lady Darby mysteries were at my library! I did make enquiries on behalf of this series to be continued to be added to the library as forthcoming titles release henceforth forward!

As this series is a part of a personal quest to read Serial Fiction Library Finds, I was not compensated for this review nor was I obliged to share my thoughts on behalf of this novel or the Lady Darby Mysteries.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On how we left Lady Darby & Mr Gage in A Grave Matter:

From the very beginning, I was smitten with the idea of Lady Darby and Mr Gage as a true partnership of intellectual minds who were both naturally inclined to sleuth. Watching them grown closer together with each new story I was reading, was a happiness without measure, as it truly knitted together so very organically from how Huber approached disclosing their connective relationship. Circumstances would thrust them together out of dire situations where lives were at risk and mysteries needed to become resolved post haste.

This was one of my favourites of the series, simply because Huber allowed us a proper pause from the cardinal focus of sleuthing, to walk alongside Kiera and Gage – seeing exactly what was causing them the most stress in sorting out how they fit together and why that was presenting such a conflict as well. Concurrent to their difficulties in sorting out their feelings for each other, there was a greater scope of depth surrounding what was causing a lot of strife for Kiera and her brother Trevor.

Aside from the robbery at the graveyard, you would speculate A Grave Matter also spoke of the grave matters surrounding the heart, mind and subconscious state of the Darby siblings. Lady Darby and Trevor never had a talking out after her husband died; never addressed the guilt Trevor had from not being a better brother nor the anguish she has felt through the aftermath. There are moments in life that can undermine your progress forward if the past is not dealt with to such an extent as to not repeat itself through tortured memory. Better to talk things out, than to let their echoes fester and plague you til the day you can no longer handle their presence.

Kiera has struggled with her psychological well-being since we first met her, as she did not live during a time where society would treat her with kindness or compassionate understanding. They’d rather seek out every way they could riddle her with judgements spun out of hearsay or fear. Part of her healing was forestalled because she had trouble accepting the assistance of those who dearly cared for her happiness. She is closed-off to most emotionally attempting to control everyone’s perception of her, but the disservice is to forsake her process to heal and recovery a measure of joy by living a life removed from her past.

-quoted from my review of A Grave Matter

I truly loved the ending chapters of the third Lady Darby novel, because at long last, I was treated to a private conversation where Lady Darby & Gage finally at long last are forevermore now known as ‘Kiera & Sebastian’! They followed their hearts, they owned their individual truths and they elected to take the risk to join together for the sake of true love!

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Book Review | “A Study in Death” (#LadyDarby, No.4) by Anna Lee HuberA Study in Death
Subtitle: A Lady Darby Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

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’s 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 appear 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’s death—no matter what, or who, stands in her way…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425281246

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

Series: Lady Darby Mysteries


Also in this series: The Anatomist's Wife, Mortal Arts, A Grave Matter


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


Published by Berkley Prime Crime

on 5th July, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 336

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The Lady Darby Mysteries:

The Anatomist’s Wife | No.1 | (see Review)

Mortal Arts | No.2 | (see Review)

A Grave Matter | No.3 | (see Review)

A Study in Death | No.4 | Synopsis

A Pressing Engagement | No.4.5 (e-novella) | Synopsis

As Death Draws Near | No.5 | Synopsis | Happy #PubDay 5th of July, 2016

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

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.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Serial Fiction Library Finds (Personal)
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Posted Sunday, 10 July, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Fly in the Ointment, 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, Scotland, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Victorian era

Book Review | “A Grave Matter” (#LadyDarby, No.3) by Anna Lee Huber

Posted Friday, 8 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: My local library has always been quite keenly astute on forthcoming releases by authors whose books wink at me from the card catalogue, whenever I am seeking a new read within a genre I happen to have a penchant attachment. Cosy mysteries have always been knitted into my heart, and although I honestly cannot remember exactly if the library purchased the Lady Darby book series off a request of mine OR if they were requested by another patron, all I can simply say is that I felt immeasurably blessed that the first two novels of the Lady Darby mysteries were at my library! I did make enquiries on behalf of this series to be continued to be added to the library as forthcoming titles release henceforth forward!

As this series is a part of a personal quest to read Serial Fiction Library Finds, I was not compensated for this review nor was I obliged to share my thoughts on behalf of this novel or the Lady Darby Mysteries.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On how we left Lady Darby & Mr Gage in Mortal Arts:

I believe, dear hearts, you’ve caught enough of a glimpse between my tweets in regards to this series, and my reviews as they are releasing throughout the week I’m spending inside #LadyDarby’s world – to recognise the series lit a flame of joy for me to devour! It is directly related to Lady Darby & Mr Gage, as I had such a lot of pleasure of declaring within the folds of this tweet! Such a beautiful journey where hearts are starting to heal, reconciliation of the past is unfolding and you have this incredibly layered romance being delivered to you in-between the investigative bits that truly flex the integrity of the series!

I daresay I was smiling the entire time Mr Gage re-entered Lady Darby’s life at Dalmay House! He draws out such a fiery reaction inside her heart – she quite nearly doesn’t know how to handle the emotions that he stirs within her, but at the same time, she’s so fiercely independent due to the circumstances she’s been subjected too, it’s almost as if she’s nearly unwilling to relent that a person can fall for someone they were never opting to meet. Her heart closed to love after her husband’s death and for good reason, yet that doesn’t mean that time wouldn’t find a way to heal her heart in such a way as to surprise her reasoning mind against the logic of such a discovery! He continues to challenge her whilst he vexes her conscience; she is never quite sure how she feels about him except to say, she doesn’t want to become ensnared by his gallantry. I think the greater truth is that she’s trying to resolve how and why she let her heart become smitten when she was truly considering walking into the life of an old maid. She has this will about her that she doesn’t deserve happiness and yet, at the same time, demands to find a way to breathe out a better life than the one where she’s hiding behind family. To say she’s conflicted is to put it mildly!

-quoted from my review of Mortal Arts

I am over the moon in wicked joy in watching these two sort out their relationship & start to realise that neither of them can live without the other close at hand! They truly took each other unawares & were trying to sort out how someone understood them to such a level of depth!

Further proof that at any particular time, this series is a Cosy Historical Mystery; a Gothic Romantic Suspense tale & a beautifully evolving Historical Romance that truly is a joy to read!

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Book Review | “A Grave Matter” (#LadyDarby, No.3) by Anna Lee HuberA Grave Matter
Subtitle: A Lady Darby Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

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.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425253694

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

Series: Lady Darby Mysteries


Also in this series: The Anatomist's Wife, Mortal Arts, A Study in Death


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


Published by Berkley Prime Crime

on 1st July, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 421

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
The Lady Darby Mysteries:

The Anatomist’s Wife | No.1 | (see Review)

Mortal Arts | No.2 | (see Review)

A Grave Matter | No.3 | Synopsis

A Study in Death | No.4 | Synopsis

A Pressing Engagement | No.4.5 (e-novella) | Synopsis

As Death Draws Near | No.5 | Synopsis | Happy #PubDay 5th of July, 2016

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

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.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Serial Fiction Library Finds (Personal)
Divider

Posted Friday, 8 July, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, 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, Scotland, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Victorian era

Book Review | “Mortal Arts” (#LadyDarby, No.2) by Anna Lee Huber

Posted Wednesday, 6 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: My local library has always been quite keenly astute on forthcoming releases by authors whose books wink at me from the card catalogue, whenever I am seeking a new read within a genre I happen to have a penchant attachment. Cosy mysteries have always been knitted into my heart, and although I honestly cannot remember exactly if the library purchased the Lady Darby book series off a request of mine OR if they were requested by another patron, all I can simply say is that I felt immeasurably blessed that the first two novels of the Lady Darby mysteries were at my library! I did make enquiries on behalf of this series to be continued to be added to the library as forthcoming titles release henceforth forward!

As this series is a part of a personal quest to read Serial Fiction Library Finds, I was not compensated for this review nor was I obliged to share my thoughts on behalf of this novel or the Lady Darby Mysteries.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On how we left Lady Darby in The Anatomist’s Wife:

Aside from being betwixt and between knowing if her instincts were fuelling her mind into the right direction to explore in regards of which suspect was truly the one who could have acted with such a sinisterly blackened heart – it was the truth she uncovered about his mental state & the lengths in which he would resort to elicit a future that no longer mattered if lives were the cost. Lady Darby had trouble finding a way to reconcile what she learnt but it’s how she survived the ordeal outright that left me hanging onto my seat until the very last page was turnt!

Huber writes us such an intensively compelling story, it’s hard to forsake stepping outside the series even for rudimentary necessities like sleep or a nosh to fill an appetite! How I lasted as long as I did from a respite of entrance is unknown! The ending was so dearly emotional – not only at the fervently dire pitch to live past the madman’s last efforts to cover his tracks, but because of the realisations both Lady Darby & Mr Gage come to understand about themselves. At the heart of this series is a very humanistic threading of a heart-pulse for the living; wherein we see how hard-won living a life of your own making can become when scrutiny overrides your freedoms.

You can only smirk when you first realise Lady Darby’s error in regards to Mr Gage’s proclivities! This is where I felt there was a marked change in her attitude towards him as well as a levelling of their angst for each other. It took them each a long time to sort each other out, as each of them was highly guarded for different reasons. Being able to have a ‘fly on the wall’ presence as they talk out their differences whilst owning to their own pride is part of the joy in reading the story; whilst giving you a clue about how the series might shift forward in successive installments. Lady Darby shines when she has a bit of challenge next to her in regards to a potential partner who is both her equal and is a bit in awe of her level of intelligence outside his own interests. They exchange the roles often between who is the teacher and who is the student, depending on the situation at hand.

-quoted from my review of The Anatomist’s Wife

I daresay, I was full of wicked anticipation of what would come next within the chapters of #MortalArts! Especially as I dearly wanted to read more exchanges between Lady Darby & Mr Gage!

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As I was settling into collecting my thoughts as read this next installment of the series, I had a bit of a go selecting which tweets to respond to threading on the #LadyDarby tag – whereupon, I learnt a joyous spoiler via this tweet! The rest of which I have added to the bottom of this review, as a further record of how happy I am to find readers of the series & the joy I am having tweeting about it as well! The spoiler did not affect me – if anything, it confirmed what I sneakily forethought to occur after having concluded The Anatomist’s Wife as truly was it not writ as a meant in the stars conclusion!?

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Book Review | “Mortal Arts” (#LadyDarby, No.2) by Anna Lee HuberMortal Arts
Subtitle: A Lady Darby Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

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...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425253786

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

Series: Lady Darby Mysteries


Also in this series: The Anatomist's Wife, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death


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


Published by Berkley Prime Crime

on 3rd September, 2013

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 374

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
The Lady Darby Mysteries:

The Anatomist’s Wife | No.1 | (see Review)

Mortal Arts | No.2

A Grave Matter | No.3 | Synopsis

A Study in Death | No.4 | Synopsis

A Pressing Engagement | No.4.5 (e-novella) | Synopsis

As Death Draws Near | No.5 | Synopsis | Happy #PubDay 5th of July, 2016

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

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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