Title: A Stroke of Malice
Author: Anna Lee Huber
Genre: historical mystery
Source: Purchase (Amazon)
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
On holiday for a Twelfth Night Party in her friends, the Duchess of Bowmont’s home, Kiera Gage quickly finds what she’d hoped to be a pleasant escape to be another day on the job. A decomposing body is found in the castle’s crypt and is tentatively identified as the duchess’s son-in-law, purported to have gone to Paris a few weeks prior. Kiera and Gage called upon to investigate and find not only the identify of the body, but the killer as well. They dive into the investigation, but Kiera soon finds that the killer will go very far to hide his identity and stop the truth from being discovered.
I really love this series, and the latest entry didn’t disappoint. It starts out light-hearted with wonderful historical details and costumes. I’d never heard of a Twelfth Night party before, and it was described so vividly, I could imagine myself there. I wish I had been, except for the part where the dead body was discovered.
Once again, my favorite part of this series is the love and devotion Kiera gets from her husband, Gage. Where he could demand she stop investigating, especially since she’s pregnant, he’s nothing but supportive of her. He understands that she needs to use the skills she unwillingly was taught to do some good in the world. Their relationship is loving and romantic, and I would read a thousand books for it.
The mystery was really well done, too. I love books that expose the seedy underbelly of the age when it came to the upper class. Most books of the time make it seem like everyone was perfect and faithful and no one every strayed, but Huber delves into the affairs the upper class had and shows how it was an open secret of the time. I loved the duchess and her family. They were definitely a colorful sort and not one that you come across in books a lot.
Overall, this was an excellently written book and a fantastic read. It was just the kind of thing I needed to escape the world around me.
If you haven’t read any of the Lady Darby books by Anna Lee Huber, I highly encourage you to start today. They are excellent historical mysteries with just the right touch of romance. You won’t be disappointed.