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Publisher's Summary

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' 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 appears 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' death - no matter what or who stands in her way....

©2015 Anna Aycock (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The journey to uncover a killer takes many twists and leads to a surprising culprit." ( RT Book Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Warning: don't read this series out of order

I have enjoyed this series so far. Lady Keira Darby is a woman in Scotland 1831, gifted artist, but also fairly misunderstood by society. Because her deceased husband had made her illustrate the anatomical results of his stealthy, illegal autopsies, which was then considered scandalous and debauched to people (and associated with grave robbing). She had been cruelly forced against her will to do this, but that makes little difference to many, even after her husband is dead. So she has a curious place in this society that accepts her mostly due to her family connections. She has paired up (several books back) with Sebastien Gage, an "investigative agent" (detective) who is now now also her fiancé.

In this book, she becomes drawn in to what she believes is the murder of a woman whose portrait she has been painting, and she and Gage go into some of the murkiest depths of Edinburgh to ferret out the clues to solving it, often putting themselves in great danger. This is interwoven with story of her own family, with her sister due to give birth imminently, and in some distress and expected danger from this pregnancy.

I like the characters, and the way they have been developed over the books. Once in a while the author presents a scene that is a bit contrived to get them a clue or a bit ahead in their investigation. But for the most part these books leave me wanting to keep listening--eager to hear how they turn out. And they are lots of fun. But the author does something that always leaves me feeling miffed. She goes into way too much detail about things that took place in earlier books, making it difficult--even useless--for a reader to go (or want to go) back and read an earlier one, since she has revealed important details about them. And sometimes people don't read books like this in order. However, if you start at the beginning with this series, I think it is a good listen.

I say that with the caveat the the narrator is a mixed blessing. I love the way she does the different voices and love her scotch brogue for a couple of characters. But for some reason, she reads in an uneven way. At times the reading puts emphasis on words in a sentence in a manner that is so unlike that way people actually speak, that it is jarring. But I've listened to all the books in this series so far, and don't intend to stop because of that. I just wish she might go back and listen to herself and possibly work at having more ordinary speaking style. Oh well. That's just my opinion anyway. :-) I like all this series a lot, but just can't give it 5 stars right now.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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

A worthwhile addition to the series

I have read all of the Lady Darby mysteries and enjoyed this one almost as much as the others. Unfortunately, as with many series there comes a point when some of the characters and plots can get a bit stale and boring. I did feel a few twinges of that while reading this book. However, overall I thought it was an interesting read that kept my attention throughout.

I thought the narrator did an excellent job with the material.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Heather Wildes must go.

Like the author, but the narrator's got to go she's getting better, but YIKES her drawl is enough to make anyone scream.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Good story, annoying performance

Narrator does not do a good job differentiating voices and has an annoying affectation at the end of each sentence. Like the book but not the narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Did he or didn't he ?

I was so looking forward to this book. I have to admit though, it did not hold my interest like the first three. Lady Darby befriends Lady Drummond , whose portrait she was commissioned to paint. Kiera feels Lady Drummond is on the verge of revealing something to her but before she can find out what, Lady Drummond suddenly takes ill and dies. Kiera believes she was poisoned so she and Sebastian launch their own investigation into her "murder". Thwarted in their efforts , even by Sebastian's own father, they plow ahead to find the killer. Overall a good book but it just was as exciting for me as the ohers were.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Intregiing story line.

Love the 1840's time frame. The associated details were delightful.
I find readings by H. Wilds very enjoyable. She establishes strong character delineation, with charming accents and rhythm.
A strong, independent female lead is a real draw for me. I believe Ms. Huber develops her main character with depth and richness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Story was good but the ending could be better!

If you could sum up A Study in Death in three words, what would they be?

Ending be better.

What did you like best about this story?

I love how Lady Darby and Gage work together. I love the story line.

What about Heather Wilds’s performance did you like?

I love how she tells the story. She keeps me interested.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was.

Any additional comments?

the only thing that disappointed me about the book was the author spent time on the story and the mystery, but I thought should would have spent a little time on the wedding. The description of the wedding felt rushed.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

I enjoyed A Study in Death. Lady Darby again solves the death of Lady Drummond with Sebistan Gage. Love the descriptions of the Edinburgh. Scotland. Looking forward reading the next Lady Darby mystery.

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

Somewhat uneven entertainment

Huber's fourth Lady Darby mystery is notable for family intrigues surrounding her sister's impending childbirth: why is the brother-in-law so distant, what are her sister's thoughts alone in the dark, and will she survive a childbirth she was warned not to undertake? Other mysteries, including the murder of a domestically abused woman, lose immediacy and take a bit of a back seat. But inventive plot twists and turns, along with Wilds' understated, occasionally sensuous reading, make this an overall enjoyable listen. One troublesome plot element is the author's apparent assumption that readers will support the heroine's emotionally aggressive insistence on learning her fiance's painful secret before their wedding. Lady Darby descends into manipulative tyranny to get at her fiance's backstory. I kept thinking, "Accept him as he presents himself, or let him go. Isn't this story about domestic abuse?" Once the supposed mystery is revealed, I kept hoping the heroine might self-scrutinize and realize that emotional insecurity and her own suppressed trauma made her scrape away at her fiancé's soul so voyeuristically. But the story ends with Lady Darby's reminder that her husband can have no secrets, and their agreement to share everything. . . Perhaps if I listened again, that aspect of the story might not be so off-putting, but in the context of a murder mystery tied to marital abuse, I will settle for warning sensitive readers, and move on.

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

Another great one by Anna and Heather!

Another great one by Anna Lee Huber and Heather Wilds. Can't wait to finish out my summer break listening to the next one.