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Publisher's Summary

Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage are looking forward to celebrating with new friends at an exciting yearly soiree, but they soon learn that murder never takes a holiday.

January 1832. After enjoying a delightful few weeks with her family, expectant mother Kiera and Sebastian Gage have been invited to the Duchess of Bowmont's Twelfth Night party in Traquair, Scotland. Though she normally avoids such fashionable, rambunctious events, Kiera is ready to join in the festive merrymaking. But upon their arrival at the opulent estate, it becomes obvious that all is not merry in their hostess's home. The family appears to be under a great strain, and someone seems determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes.

Matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the partygoers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castle's crypt. The corpse is thought to be the duchess's son-in-law who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. It is evident the man met with foul play, and Kiera and Gage soon realize that a ruthless murderer walks among them-and may well be a member of the duchess's own family. And when the investigation takes a treacherous turn, Kiera discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.

©2020 Anna Aycock (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about A Stroke of Malice

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Have to get past the irritating narrator to enjoy.

Almost all the narrator's sentences ended in what I found to be a very annoying pattern. I don't know how to describe it other than in musical terms: the fifth, fourth and third last words of the sentence as a triplet on the pitch of RE, followed by the second last word as a quarter note on SO, and the last word as a quarter note down to DO. I honestly don't think I can listen to another book in the series. It drives me crazy.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoy this series

I enjoy this series but agree with other reviewers that, in this particular book, the narrator had an odd cadence that wasn’t as striking in the previous performances. It distracted from the story as I found myself listening for it.

1 person found this helpful

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this dragged on and on

I am really sorry i usually like this series, but this dragged on and on.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Can an audiobooks be unputdownable?

Yes, an audiobook can be unputdownable, and this one was exactly that. It is my new favorite among this author’s mysteries with a touch of romance. The vividly drawn characters. The romantic setting. The intricate plot. All impeccable.

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Series keeps improving

I'm such a fan of Lady Darby (well...Mrs Gage). No gory murder details, but still a mystery and clean romance. I love that they have a happy marriage and work as a team. I've found it is uncommon in books to have a happy couple working together and recognizing each others strengths. I'm only sad that I'm caught up with the series and have to wait in between books now.

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Heather Wilds' performance is perfection!

I flew through the Lady Darby series last year after reading and loving Anna Lee Huber’s Verity Kent series. Both are delightful! When we meet Lady Kiera Darby at the beginning of the series, she is a woman ostracized by society when they found out her late husband had her sketch the dead bodies he dissected for an anatomy journal he planned on publishing. At the time fresh bodies were hard to come by, not many would donate their body to science for this purpose, so medical colleges and people like Sir Darby resorted to buying corpses from questionable sources. It was later found out that some of these suppliers not only robbed fresh graves, but also murdered people to sell as dead medical subjects. Kiera had no knowledge of this, and even if she did there wasn’t much she could’ve done about it since her husband was forcing her to comply by force and threats. He was an awful man, as we learn from Kiera’s memories, and so I was thrilled he died before we’re introduced to her.

This unwanted, unsolicited knowledge of anatomy as well as Kiera’s superb deductive skills make her valuable source of information to Gage, an inquiry agent tasked to solve a murder while staying at her sister’s estate. In Kiera’s estimations, Gage is entirely too full of himself, and the rest, as they say, is history! Each installment tackles a new mystery, while at the center of the series is the relationship between Kiera and Gage. Ms. Huber masterfully created two wonderfully complex characters, faults and all, so of course their journey isn’t all smooth sailing, but I’ve loved every minute!

This is the eighth book in the series, so if you read on, you’re bound to get some spoilers. If you’re planning on reading the series, which I totally recommend, I’d stop right here and go search for the first book! I highly recommend the audio version as Heather Wilds’ performance is perfection!

In A Stroke of Malice Kiera and Gage are intent on relaxing, spending time with family while enjoying the festivities of a Twelfth Night Celebration at the Duchess of Beaumont’s estate in Scotland. This is a happy time for Kiera and Gage, still newly married and expecting their first child. I adore these two together, settled and joyous in their situation! Unfortunately, the happy times are rudely interrupted by the discovery of a dead body in crypt. Gage and Kiera must find out the identity of the body as well as the murderer which is not made easy by the family or guests involved.

The mystery is wrapped up and solved, but as usual I’m left wanting the next story!

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great book

lady Darby mysteries are always great, the narrator does a fantastic job, can't wait for the next one!

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Grippimg tale

Always enjoy reading about Kiera and Gage solving murders. Trevor her brother had a great part of it.
Love the description of the lamdscapes, dress attire, and the food they eat.
Can't wait for the next !mystery to solve.

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Love This Series

I have enjoyed this series very much. The stories are always woven so cleverly and include just enough of the history of the era to really imagine the scenes. Also - the narrator is exceptional.

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fantastic read

It's January 1832 and after enjoying a delightful few weeks with her family, expectant mother Lady Kiera Darby and husband Sebastian Gage have been invited to the Duchess of Bowmontʼs Twelfth Night party in Traquair, Scotland. Though she normally avoids such fashionable, rambunctious events, Kiera is ready to join in the festive merrymaking. But all is not merry in their hostess’s home. The family appears to be under a great stress, and someone is determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes.

Matters swiftly turn deadly when the party-goers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castleʼs crypt. Gage and Keira are naturally asked to investigate. The corpse is thought to be the duchessʼs son-in-law who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. But when the investigation takes a treacherous turn, Kiera discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.

Great read as are all the books in this series. They just keep getting better. So looking forward to the next book and hopefully the birth of Keira and Gages's son or daughter.