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Mortal Arts (A Lady Darby Mystery) by Anna…
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Mortal Arts (A Lady Darby Mystery) (edition 2013)

by Anna Lee Huber

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1871094,771 (3.88)9
Member:HarperGray
Title:Mortal Arts (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Authors:Anna Lee Huber
Info:Berkley Trade (2013), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:To read
Rating:
Tags:detective novel, strong romantic elements

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Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Lady Darby fan here. She’s travelling with her sister and brother=in-law to Edinburgh because her sister is having a difficult pregnancy and needs to be near her doctor. Enroute they receive a letter from a friend who requests their help and they make the stop. Michael Dalmay older brother (believed dead) is now back home after spending 10 years in an insane asylum. Rumors abound that he is responsible for some unexplained murders in the area. Of course Sebastian Gage is there too and their more interaction and tension between him and Keira. Exciting ending although I would like to see Keira stop and think before racing off into the middle of danger again ( )
  Kathy89 | Jan 22, 2019 |
Keira, her sister Alana, and her brother-in-law Philip are on their way from the Highlands of Scotland to Edinburgh where Alanna can be nearer to medical assistance for her latest pregnancy when they take a side trip to deal with a summons from Philip's aunt. Lady Hollingworth has some qualms about her daughter's engagement to Michael Dalmay, a childhood friend of Alana and Keira. Michael's older brother has been missing for some years and Lady Hollingsworth wants Michael to petition to have him declared dead so that he can become the new Baron.

This would be a tense enough situation for Keira, Philip and Alana to come in on, but it gets worse. Gage is there after leaving Keira quite abruptly at the conclusion of their last adventure. Keira has a number of questions about their relationship or lack of one. Even more confusing is that Keira learns that Michael's older brother Will is not dead but had been committed to a lunatic asylum by his father ten years earlier. Upon his father's death, Michael had searched to locate his brother and bring him home. Will's problems began when he was fighting for England in the war against Napoleon. He suffered from melancholia and nightmares. His incarceration in the primitive and cruel environment of asylums at the time did not improve his sanity.

Keira remembers Will fondly. He was her art tutor for some months when she was fifteen. She refuses to believe that he would be violent and that he was responsible for the disappearance of a young local woman. Gage is not at all sure that Will is as harmless as Keira believes he is. However, they team up to investigate both the young woman's disappearance and Will's continuing mental problems.

This was an excellent historical mystery. I enjoy the growing relationship between Gage and Keira even though his secretiveness is almost enough to derail any hope of a relationship. I liked the historical accuracy of the story and the information about the early days of medical discoveries and almost total ignorance of mental illness which played a major role in the plot. I also liked learning about the state of law enforcement at the time in the person of Constable Paxton who uses his position as a way to boost his ego and importance.

I look forward to reading more of Keira and Gage's adventures. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 25, 2018 |
I do so enjoy these Lady Darby mysteries. This third book in series features Scotland, 1830 along the Firth of Forth. Lady Darby is accompanying her very pregnant sister, brother-in-law Philip - the Earl of Cromarty and their retinue from Gairloch estate to their town-home in Edinburgh. They make a slight detour to Dalmay House at the behest of his Aunt Hollingsworth. Apparently, there's a spot of trouble with his cousin Caroline's betrothal. Tension is high and tempers are short and it only gets better from there.

This book addresses the 19th century attitudes on mental illness or states of being different from "normal" people. It explores institutional practices and experimentation, the care of those with PTSD (as we know it today) and those suffering manic depression.

The cat and mouse romantic and professional sparring between Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage continue where book #1 had left off. It's charming without being gushy and excessive.

If a little Upstairs/Downstairs with a murder mystery thrown in for good measure is your cup of tea, then this may just be the book for you.

Synopsis (from book's back cover):
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... ( )
  KateBaxter | Jul 22, 2018 |
Mortal Arts
4 Stars

Lady Kiera Darby travels with her sister and brother-in-law to Edinburgh, but is detoured to Dalmay by an urgent missive from Phillip’s aunt. It seems that Michael Dalmay, an old family friend, is soon to be wed to Phillip’s cousin. Unfortunately, the return of Michael’s older brother and the disappearance of a local girl put a pall on the wedding plans, and Kiera is forced to join forces once again with the enigmatic Sebastian Gage to uncover the truth.

An enjoyable sequel with engaging characters although the mystery is far too obvious.

Similar to Charles Todd’s A Duty to the Dead, Huber provides an accurate and heart-wrenching portrayal of battle fatigue albeit during a much earlier time period (Napoleonic War vs. WWI). Huber’s insight into the human mind as it struggles with the devastating aftermath of war and her descriptions of the terrible atrocities suffered by those afflicted with mental illness and confined to asylums in the 19th century adds a darker tone to the story and makes it impossible for the reader not to sympathize with William Dalmay’s suffering.

The mystery takes time to get going and although the eventual explanation is exceedingly disturbing it is also very predictable. The culprit is glaringly obvious from the start as is the motivation, and all that remains is following along as Kiera and Gage investigate and figure out the hows and the whys of it all.

Gage and Kiera’s relationship (one cannot quite call it a romance at this time) develops at a steady pace as more of Kiera’s past is revealed including her feelings of isolation as a young teen and the time she spent under her nefarious husband’s oppressive thumb. More details of Gage’s background are also provided and they go a long way toward explaining his actions in the previous book. Nevertheless, there are still many unanswered questions and it will be interesting to learn the answers.

Heather Wilds' narration is alright. Her accents are very good, but her pacing is off. She reads quite fast and there are times when the sentences seem to run together, i.e., she doesn't pause would she should at the end of a paragraph or a section of dialogue.

All in all, a well written and disturbing mystery with a touch of romance. Recommended for fans of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia series. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
I have been waiting for this book since I devoured Huber's first novel last year and this follow up didn't disappoint. The mystery was intriguing and well plotted and ended in a thrilling conclusion while the tension between Lady Darby and Gage is more intense than before. We learn a bit more about Gage in this novel, and some more about Kiera's past as well that leave more questions than answers and left me just as eager for the next installment. ( )
  eschaalman | Nov 30, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anna Lee Huberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Estreicher, TiffanyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Worrell, LesleyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the veterans of all wars, in all times and all places, who suffered from what we now call PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Your cries may have gone unanswered and, in ignorance, your courage may have been questioned.

But we hear you now.

And we honor your bravery and sacrifice.
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It was the groan of death.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425253783, Paperback)

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…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:09 -0400)

"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" --… (more)

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