Monday, October 28, 2019

Penny for Your Secrets - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Penny For Your Secrets (Verity Kent #3) by Anna Lee Huber

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  NetGalley

Description: England, 1919. In Anna Lee Huber’s latest mystery, former Secret Service agent Verity Kent is finding that life after wartime offers its own share of danger . . .
The Great War may be over, but for many, there are still obstacles on the home front. Reconciling with her estranged husband makes Verity sympathetic to her friend Ada’s marital difficulties. Bourgeois-bred Ada, recently married to the Marquess of Rockham, is overwhelmed trying to navigate the ways of the aristocracy. And when Lord Rockham is discovered shot through the heart with a bullet from Ada’s revolver, Verity fears her friend has made a fatal blunder.

While striving to prove Ada’s innocence, Verity is called upon for another favor. The sister of a former Secret Service colleague has been killed in what authorities believe was a home invasion gone wrong. The victim’s war work—censoring letters sent by soldiers from the front—exposed her to sensitive, disturbing material. Verity begins to suspect these two unlikely cases may be linked. But as the connections deepen, the consequences—not just for Verity, but for Britain—grow more menacing than she could have imagined.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I really love the Lady Darby Mystery series by this same author and I love this time period with mysteries. 

My Impression:  I'm a huge fan of another series by this author that is set in a completely different time period with a completely different setup.  I was curious about just how this book would work?  Would the two very very different series feel the same?  What works for 1830 is hardly going to play for 1919.  However, as it turned out there was no need to worry.  The tone and basic feel of this book was completely different from the Lady Darby series.  While that series is darkly atmospheric this one was brighter with a bit more flash.  This is champagne while Lady Darby is a good Scotch.  Both delightful but totally different.

That isn't to say this is silly or fluffy.  There's a lot of darkness and a lot of pain lurking among the bright lights and fancy parties.  Verity and her husband are just coming back together after a long separation during the war.  There's hurt and anger and just plain adapting to the different people they've become.  The mystery reflects the complicated immediate post-war reality of 1919 London without ever feeling melodramatic or angst ridden.  This isn't a world without hope but it's a world that is just beginning to heal.

The mystery is interesting pulling possible motives and connections from everyday life as well as shadowy WWI secrets.  My only complaint is that it did feel like it took some time for the actual mysteries to really gain traction.  I enjoyed getting to know Verity and her husband but the first third or so of the book felt far more character driven with a dash of mystery instead of having the murders front and center.  That said the pacing never felt bogged down and time spent with the Kents' made up for the lack of progress in the murder investigation.  This is the 3rd book in the Verity Kent series but I had absolutely no problem jumping into the series right here. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I really love this author and I'm looking forward to getting to know Verity better. 

Would I Recommend this Book?   If you enjoy historical mysteries I think you'll really enjoy this one!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I think I could be enticed into this book from your review of it. I like the character driven aspect. And I like the 1919 setting. The cover makes it look like it could have been written back then as well!

  2. This does sound good. It is nice to know that you had no trouble jumping in with the third book.

  3. I've been wanting to read this series. It looks so good.