I recently discovered a new mystery series that I like very much: Lady Darby mysteries by Anna Lee Huber.
I started reading the series in 2018 and have read all of the Lady Darby series and the first of the Verity Kent series. I am not recommending the Verity Kent series and will not be reading more of them. But I just finished the newest Lady Darby book, #8, “A Stroke of Malice.”
I like books with strong female characters that grow as a series moves along. The first book, “The Anatomist’s Wife,” introduced us to Lady Kiera Darby. Her husband, Lord Darby, was an emotionally abusive man who forced her to draw the illustrations for his anatomy book. This is not something a lady does in the 1830’s. When her husband dies suddenly, Kiera is put on trial for her “unnatural urges.” She is ostracized by society and retreats to her sister’s home in Scotland. Her knowledge of anatomy, however, puts her in a unique position to help with murder investigations.
As the series goes on, she meets and becomes friends with others who are ostracized by society for various reasons. She also develops a relationship with a gentleman’s inquiry agent (1830’s version of private investigator). Together Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage create a formidable team in searching for the truth.
I have enjoyed every one of the books in the Lady Darby series. Each mystery is unique, but the characters move from story to story. I particularly like how Anna Lee Huber sets up the historical setting. You don’t notice it, but it makes solving the mysteries more interesting. How do you find a suspect without fingerprints or DNA? How do you even identify a decomposing corpse?
From the first book to this last one, Lady Darby grows and comes to value her unique talents. Sebastian Gage is a partner instead of a foil as they learn to appreciate what each one brings to an investigation. I look forward to reading more about their investigations together.