Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A Stroke of Malice - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Stroke of Malice (Lady Darby #8) by Anna Lee Huber

Rating:  Really Liked It!
Source:  Publisher

Description:  Scotland 1832. After enjoying a delightful holiday with her family, Lady Kiera Darby is looking forward to finishing her new friend, the Duchess of Bowmont's portrait, as well as attending the duchess' annual Twelfth Night party. Though she normally avoids such fashionable events, Kiera trusts the attention will not be focused on her, but rather her notorious hostess and her family. But upon their arrival at the opulent Scottish estate, Kiera and her husband and fellow investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, swiftly deduce that all is not merry in the duke's household. 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.
However, matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the merrymakers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castle's crypt. This corpse is certainly no laughing matter, especially when it is identified as the duchess' son-in-law, the Earl of Helmsdale, who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. It is evident the man met with foul play, and Kiera and Gage step in to investigate, at the duchess' insistence. Kiera and Gage must swiftly reexamine the facts, for a ruthless murderer walks among them and may well be a member of the duchess' own family. Kiera soon discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.

Genre: Mystery - Historical 

Why I Picked This Book:  I love this series! 

My Impression:  *Sigh of reading contentment* I just thoroughly enjoy this series.  The world Huber has created for Kiera and Gage is well developed enough that I instantly feel connected to the story but not so complicated that I find myself having to stop and remember tiny details.  I like Kiera and Gage's relationship as well as their relationships with their family and close friends.  Not all of them are perfectly smooth but they're realistic without getting tedious.  It just felt so nice to pick this book up and spend time with the cast of characters.

I had met the Duchess of Bowmont in the previous book and thought she was an interesting character so I was pleased to see that she was a more central character in this book.  What a fascinating family with all kinds of secrets and I really enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about them as the book went along.

The mystery itself was intriguing and solid but in a way kind of simple. Who was the dead body in the crypt and who had put him there?  But each question asked, each person talked to seemed to open up a whole line of questions and before I knew it the investigation was well underway and I didn't want to put the book down! 

If you enjoy a historical mystery with likable and interesting characters and serious atmosphere this series is a must read.  While there is some character development that occurs throughout the series I think you would be able to jump in here without too much difficulty.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  Huber is one of my favorites and I've enjoyed every book by her I've picked up.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  If you enjoy historical mysteries this is a must read series.

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


  1. Sounds good. I don't read many historical fiction books but maybe I should give this series a try. I'd want to start at the beginning though.

  2. I rarely read books set in this time period, but I do love a good murder mystery. The only thing that might stop me from reading it is that I can't force myself to start a series anywhere but at book #1.

  3. Wow, you sold this, Katherine. Of course I want to begin with book

  4. I really need to start this one!

  5. This really does sound good. I noticed this cover of the book in an earlier post and wondered what it was all about. Hmm a series I could easily pick up.

  6. This sounds delightful. I don't know why but I thought this PNR for some reason. SMH. Should I start with book one or can I jump in with whatever book my library has?

  7. This sounds fabulous! I really enjoy historical mysteries so I might have to give this series a try.

  8. I need to get caught up on this series! It's a good one.

  9. I am looking forward to giving this series a try. I am sure I will love it as much as you do.