Review: A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber

Posted April 5, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 28 Comments

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Review: A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber
A Study in Death

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Series: Lady Darby #4
Genres: Historical Romance, Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on July 7, 2015
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

Crackling with tension and rising suspense, this series continues to capture me.  A clever, strong, and yet vulnerable lady artist and a gentleman inquiry agent solving murders and struggling to solve the mystery of each other at the same time.  I love this series and look forward to each fresh installment.

Review

A Study in Death is fourth of the Lady Darby series .  This is a series that builds the character and relationship plot threads with each book so does not do well when read out of order.

Kiera and Sebastian are engaged.  But, if she thought admitting her love and accepting a new man’s offer would be the hard part, she finds that trusting in his love and pushing away her fear is as strong as ever.  Alana’s pregnancy has grown more fraught with danger and she gets put on bedrest even as her husband drifts further away and focuses on his work and the responsibilities of his estate and his political activities.

But when both situations have Kiera ready to burst, one of her portrait subjects dies suddenly and, though physician and husband both believe its apoplexy, Kiera can’t accept that.  Her intuition tells her to dig deeper and Gage trusts that and steps up to investigate beside her.  Interference comes from all sides including a surprising and unwelcome newcomer on the scene and even the detecting pair themselves are starting to fall out when Gage tells her to avoid dangerous aspects of the inquiry and Kiera bristles up and forges ahead.

Someone doesn’t want the investigation to continue and it may mean Kiera’s life and not just a shredded reputation.

If I thought Kiera’s angsty wavering would be over after the ‘I love you’s and decision to marry Gage in the last book, this one taught me that it was not smooth sailing yet.  Kiera is a fiery woman and is driven by her impulses and her fears just as much as a finely honed instinct, learned skills, and a bright intellect.  She is having wedding jitters in the worst way and her past is rearing its ugly head at every turn.  It was painful to see her lashing out at Gage as a result.  This heroine struggles so hard and works through these things.  She is reactionary because of her past, but being with Gage is slowly teaching her to either let it go or find the inner strength to power through stuff and she is teaching him to open up and trust her with his painful past.  They are a beautiful couple and I loved where things ended in this one.

The mystery was secondary to Kiera’s relationship crises, but the mystery becomes the vehicle to showing her and Gage’s relationship in a good light even when they get acrimonious now and then.  They have different strengths even when Kiera pulls a few stubborn-stupids that put them in unnecessary harm because she gets so determined and impatient to get to the truth.  Even though I was rolling my eyes at her choices, I do love when a certain Edinburgh criminal makes an appearance or two so I let it ride.  Kiera is the one who connects the dots though the culprit isn’t hard to guess.  It’s the motive that stumped me until nearly the reveal.

All in all, this was another deep feeling, suspenseful book in a fabulous series.  Those who love authentic historical backdrop, amazingly drawn characters, sizzling low burn romance, and a good murder mystery then give this series a go.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #26
Literary Pickers #48 fireplace
Historical Fiction #26
Reading Assignment #9 Prof Author Luv
Series That Never Ends #3

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
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Mary Kirkland
1 month ago

I’m glad it was a good one for you.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Thanks, Mary! I’m having a blast with these. 🙂

Jen
Jen
1 month ago

Is this Victorian era? I just had someone ask for recs for historical mysteries set in the Victorian time period. I’ll have to pass this one along, if appropriate.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Jen

It just missed by less than a decade. This is still the Georgian period. If they are looking for Victorian: Tasha Alexander, Anne Perry, Deanna Raybourn, and Charles Finch all have Victorian mystery series I love.

sherry fundin
1 month ago

romantic suspense does lend itself to some eye rolling moments, but i love the genre any way. this does sounds like a great series and i enjoyed the wonderful review. you had me pulling for the couple
sherry @ fundinmental

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

Oh yes, it sure does. But, these are worth it. Glad I could get you cheering for Keira and Gage. 🙂

Ethan
1 month ago

The combination of the lighter romance elements with the heavier suspense sounds like a really good balance, especially for these trying times!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan

You said it, Ethan!

vvb
vvb
1 month ago

I like reading this series through your reviews 😉

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  vvb

How fun! I love doing that with reviews, too, Velvet. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I definitely want to read this series and I’m thinking on audio. We will see if I like the narrator.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

I listened to book one and enjoyed her audio work. Hope you get the chance, Anne. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I’m thrilled you enjoyed this installment. I’m glad Kiera didn’t ruin things with her hesitancy and doubt, happy that these two found a way to each other in the middle of all the danger! I’ll be picking up the latest release this week. Can’t wait! 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Yeah, she really was getting in her own way. Woohoo! I’m hoping to finish catching up on the series by the end of May so I can grab the latest.

Carole Rae
1 month ago

OooOOooooo. I like the sounds of this.
And holy cool cover.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Oh yes, it s a fab series to read. She seems to have a great cover artist.

Jenea’s Book Obsession

Now this sounds like a fantastic series and one I’d enjoy too.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Super glad to put it in front of you, Jenea!

Lola
1 month ago

This sounds like an interesting series with them solving a mystery each book and growing closer. I don’t think I’ve read any historical mysteries so far, but I hope to give them a try eventually.That does sound painful to see her lashing out at her fiance. It does sound like they make for a great couple. I’ve read a few of those mysteries too where I knew who the culprit was, but couldn’t figure out the motive, it can be quite interesting when that happens. Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Lola

It will be neat to see what you think of historical mysteries when you get the chance. Yes, it was a bit touch and go when she was struggling with her fears and taking it out on Gage. I was glad she got through it.

Carole's Random Life in Books

This sounds like a series that I would enjoy! Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

I think so too since I’ve seen you reading similar historical mystery. 🙂

ShootingStarsMag
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing! Sounds like an intriguing read, and I LOVE that cover. Glad you’re enjoying the series.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

The atmospheric covers match the mysteries. Thanks, Lauren!

Lover of Romance
1 month ago

This one just sounds fantastic especially in how realistic the historical backdrop was written. And what a gorgeous mysterious cover.

Lovely review!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Most definitely, Renee. It’s another good combo of history, mystery, and romance. Oh yes, the covers reflect the tone of these. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

This series sounds fantastic, from the historical backdrop, to the heroine figuring things out with her relationship and making growth, to the mystery! Glad that this was another great addition Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Oh yes, it is definitely one of those series that I will be snatching up each book. 🙂