Thursday, July 5, 2018

Book Review: The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber

The Anatomist's Wife
Author: Anna Lee Huber
Series: A Lady Darby Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley (November 6, 2012)

Description: “A riveting debut…an original premise, an enigmatic heroine, and a compelling Highland setting…a book you won’t want to put down.”—New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn
Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage—a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn’t about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage’s search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim…

My Thoughts: This mystery takes place at a house party in Scotland. Lady Keira Darby has taken refuge with her sister after her husband's death and accusations that she is an unnatural woman. Her husband was a famous surgeon and anatomist who married Keira for her artistic talents. He used her to make drawings of his dissections. Keira was forced to comply in order to be able to paint. She has the strong support of her sister and brother-in-law but most of society spread vicious rumors about her.

When a woman's butchered body is found in the maze, Keira is the focus of gossip again. Her brother-in-law pairs her with Sebastian Gage to investigate while the proper authorities travel there from Edinburgh. They have four days to solve the crime and clear Keira's name.

The woman had her throat slit and her five month fetus cut from her womb. Since her husband has been on his way to India for more than five months, Keira and Gage begin by looking at the lady's lovers. Several of them are also at the house party. They also become suspicious of the wife of one of the lovers who states that she was the murdered lady's best friend.

This was a nicely twisty mystery with a great setting. The Highlands of Scotland and the close quarters of the house party are nicely detailed. I liked the budding relationship between Keira and Gage and liked that she was the one who found the murderer despite Gage's greater experience in investigations. Keira, particularly, was a well-drawn character that the reader got to know. I liked the way she grew and changed during the story.

This book begins a series of historical mysteries and I was quick to order the rest of the series after reading this one.

Favorite Quote:
I might trust Gage with my life, but I did not trust him with my happiness or my heart.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.


  1. This series has come highly recommended. I need to check it out.

  2. This sounds REALLY good.

    I LOVE books set in Scotland, and I enjoy mysteries.

    Thanks for sharing...I didn’t know about this book.


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