Review: Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber

Description (from cover):

‘Scotland, 1830. Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue–in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes. After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care. But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator–and romantic entanglement–Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.
Kiera’s old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother–and Kiera’s childhood art tutor–William, has thrown everything into chaos. For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father. Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor’s plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing. Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend–and save the marriage of another…’

My thoughts:

Lady Kiera Darby is not quite like your other historical mystery heroines. She has a dark past and society has shunned her for it. The author has created a lead character that is mysterious in her own right and the reader is left in the dark about some things in Kiera’s past. It definitely makes for good reading. The reader knows just enough detail to get by, but the author seems to keep some things from Kiera’s past close to her chest. I am anxious to learn what they are and cannot wait for them to be revealed. I like this about Kiera’s character because it shows the reader that she has a had rough life and not everything was handed to her. She had to fight for who she is and that endears her to me a little.
Kiera and her family have stopped at Michael Dalmay’s house during their journey to Edinburgh. Right off, there is something strange going on with Michael. He is cagey and when his engagement is called off by his fiance’s mother, something doesn’t seem right. Of course, that is when it comes out, that his presumably dead older brother has been locked in an insane asylum for the past ten years and is residing in the house. The situation is clearly not rectified when William has fits of rage and is seen as danger to everyone in the house. When word reaches the family that a local girl is missing, everyone has doubts as to whether William was involved in her disappearance. Kiera sets out to clear her good friend’s name at no matter the cost.
I enjoyed the second installment in this series. I like the characters and the romance between Kiera and Gage is tastefully done. I am a little annoyed that they seem to be playing a cat and mouse game, but other than that, it is actually beneficial to the storyline. I really just want them to go ahead and figure everything out, but that is my impatience. Of course, nothing goes that smoothly in books. I like how the author leaves the ending open with a little foray into the future of the characters. I am now reading the next book in this series and cannot wait to see how everything plays out.

Overall Rating: 4.5

Title:  Mortal Arts
Author:  Anna Lee Huber
Series:  Lady Darby Mystery #2
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  September 3, 2013
Pages:  384
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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