Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Grave Matter

Author:  Anna Lee Huber
Genre:  Mystery/Suspense

Three Stars

Scotland, 1830.  Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven. Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her. But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.

While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case. But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.

When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first—some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest…before another victim winds up six feet under.


Lady Kiera Darby is celebrating the New Year with her family when she learns that Dodd, a caretaker at Dryburgh House, has been shot.  He apparently interrupted graverobbers and was murdered because of it. 

Lady Darby, who was ostracized from society because of her late husband forcing her to draw the anatomical parts of the dead (due to his work), has been asked once again (this is the third book in the series) to use her knowledge of human anatomy and find the people responsible for being body snatchers.  And again, Sebastian Gage is called in to help.  Although Sebastian and Keira did not part happily (I gather) in the last book, they are given the time to repair that breach between them.

I didn't really enjoy reading this book, perhaps because the language used is not that which would have been in 1830.  It appears to be more modernized:  In an early scene, her brother mentions that she had vomited on him once; he does so in a public place, at a ball.  While someone may have mentioned that in this day and age, I can hardly believe that in that time he would not be a little more discreet, so as not to embarrass her.

I also found it a little hard to believe that she requested her father to arrange her marriage.  After all, the person you married you would be expected to spend a lifetime with; so naturally you would want to be able to live with them - have things in common, enjoy each other's company, etc.  You would be - to put it bluntly - sleeping with this person and have children with them, so wouldn't you want to not only tolerate them, but like them?  Admittedly, it did not always happen this way, and there were many arranged marriages; but if one had a choice (and I'm assuming she did, since she asked her father to intervene for her), then why would you go willingly into a marriage without taking the time to choose your own mate?  Her art consumed her, so she had not the time.  Really?  She couldn't take a few weeks of her time to find someone she liked?  So, now she is told by her brother that she won't look at her father's grave because she is angry at him for choosing Sir Anthony (the late husband).  What?  Did I miss something?  In a previous paragraph, she says she asked her father to arrange her marriage, and now she's angry at him for doing so?  Really?  And then later on she states that her father didn't force her to marry Sir Anthony, but she did anyway.  So she's transferring her own stupidity to her father?  Issues, issues...I won't give more examples of why I didn't care for the book, but you get my drift.

At any rate, the book could not hold my interest, and I really love mysteries of any kind.  Suspense, thriller, etc.  I'm not saying it was a bad book; it had parts I thought were decent.  It was just not for me.  For someone else, who enjoys historical mysteries, and has read the first two in the series, might find it to their liking.

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