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A Grave Matter

Lady Darby Mystery, Book 3
Narrated by: Heather Wilds
Series: Lady Darby, Book 3
Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (385 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Returning to her childhood home, Lady Kiera Darby 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 they must catch the grave robber… before another victim winds up six feet under.

©2014 Anna Aycock (P)2014 Tantor

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Zee
  • Rutland Town, VT, United States
  • 11-28-14

Narration Throw Me for Loop

Would you consider the audio edition of A Grave Matter to be better than the print version?

No. But the audio version is convenient during my drive to work and back.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lady Darby is a bundle of contradictions. I only wish she wouldn't "retell" her entire backstory every couple chapters.

Would you be willing to try another one of Heather Wilds’s performances?

No. Heather Wilds needs some major work. Where do I start? Her sense of a sentence is "off" -- the pacing stops and starts in the wrong places. She needs less monotone and more delivery. She's good at Scots and other dialects, but the voice she uses for Lady Darby or exposition is awful. She puts the emphasis on the wrong words so much that I find myself re-narrating aloud in the car -- in essence, fixing her work. I just wonder if anyone else is noticing? Listening to these parts of the book is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More romance than mystery

Excited about treating myself between Hogmanay and Burns' Day to a mystery set in Scotland between those same dates, I spent a credit on A Grave Matter. The narrator's Scots accents are excellent, the story's historic and geographic backgrounds are well researched, and the novel opens with a gripping scene: the good luck man with dark hair bearing gifts is pushed aside at midnight, and the first man to cross the threshold is a bad luck harbinger with red hair, streaked with blood. Wonderful! But then? No other word for it: the story drags. I think the source of the drag is that the intensity of the novel is concentrated in the fits-and-starts relationship between the traumatized artistic widow and her seeming playboy detective suitor. The mystery is just a jumble of investigations that throws them together. As a comedy of manners, which I was not looking for, the book earns the four stars I gave it. As a mystery, lack of emotional investment by any of the main characters in the laws being broken, myths confronted, or even bodies exhumed makes pursuing the criminals rather tedious. I put the book aside and listened to other novels before gritting my teeth to finish this book by Burns' Day, come hell or high water. Perhaps this series should not be read out of order. But four stars all the same for the delicacy and credibility of the volatile romance between two frightened, hardened, intelligent, and vulnerable people.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ugh!

Not sure why I keep reading this series. I guess I think it could be good but somehow isn’t. Too many characters, too much irrelevant detail and way too long to be a story about identifying a grave robber. Who the F cares. And the romance angle could be played up more - especially when the mystery is so freaking boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great combination of mystery and romance

WHAT IT'S ABOUT
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.

MY TAKE
Ah, Kiera and Gage. I love how they're learning to trust each other's investigative instincts and experience. The romance trust, especially for Kiera, is taking longer. It's another story of twists and turns. I hoping the underworld guy Bonnie (I listened to the book, so I can't remember his name) will show up in future books. He was interesting and could be a fun "friend" to have.

A delightful ending/beginning to the romance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Love the characters and the basic story but....

Too much romance and I really don’t care what color any clothes are. Still a good yarn.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • MURFREESBORO, TN, United States
  • 10-19-15

Very readable!

This third in the series of the Lady Darby mysteries is very readable, although I favored the first two stories more.
Those enjoying a will written romantic thrillers will find of this story to their liking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ~S
  • Wisconsin
  • 03-04-19

Could have skipped this one

The plot overall has an interesting beginning, but got tired of Kiera’s excessive whining about Gage. The idea behind keeping some of the bones made the story weak. Read the one before it’s much better. The narration is excellent .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

love it

Loved this book and the reader is awesome! Can't wait for the next one. 5 star.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good installment in the series.

Really liked this 3rd installment into the Lady Darby mysteries. The addition of Lady Darby's brother Trevor added more depth to her emotional journey. I don't mind the narrator... I think she captures the way Lady Darby thinks and feels well. She also does a great job with the accents.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

I enjoyed "A grave matter". I like it when Lady Darby solves the mystery and of course Sebastian Gage. Looking forward to reading the next Lady Darby mystery. I love the descriptions of the places in Scotland.