Saturday, August 18, 2018

Book Review: As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber

As Death Draws Near
Author: Anna Lee Huber
Series: Lady Darby Mystery (Book 5)
Publication: Berkley (July 5, 2016)

Description: In this historical mystery from the national bestselling author of A Brush with Shadows, Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage get tangled in a dangerous web of religious and political intrigue.

July 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England’s Lake District, Kiera and Gage’s seclusion is soon interrupted by a missive from her new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that Kiera and Gage look into the matter.

Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travel to Rathfarnham Abbey school. Soon a second nun is slain in broad daylight near a classroom full of young girls. With the sinful killer growing bolder, the mother superior would like to send the students home, but the growing civil unrest in Ireland would make the journey treacherous.

Before long, Kiera starts to suspect that some of the girls may be hiding a sinister secret. With the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend, before their matrimonial bliss comes to an untimely end...

My Thoughts: Kiera and Gage have their honeymoon interrupted by Gage's father who sends them off to Ireland to investigate the death of a nun. Miss Harriet Lennox is a relative of the Duke of Wellington. Tagging along is the Marquess of Marsdale who played a role in one of their earlier cases. He is on the run from an irate father after he compromised the man's not-so-innocent daughter. It just so happens that Miss Lennox is also a relative of his.

At first Gage and Kiera are baffled at who would want to murder this quiet young woman. Of course they are wondering what made her decide to convert to Catholicism and join a convent. At this time, the conflict between Catholics and Protestants is heated. Laws have been passed to give Catholics more rights but these laws don't give much help to anyone but the more wealthy. Most Irish Catholics are in more difficult economic straits. The current issue of forced tithing to support the Irish Anglican Church is leading to violence.

When a second nun is killed in the same way as Miss Lennox, the confusion amplifies. Gage and Kiera both explore different aspects of the case since only Kiera is allowed into the convent to investigate that part of the case.

I liked the political detail in this story. I also liked the way Kiera and Gage are building their marriage. Kiera is wondering about her new career and how it will change if or when they have children. She gets some good advice from the Mother Superior of the convent and reassurance from Gage that shows how different he is from her first husband.

I will admit that I was surprised about the resolution of the mystery since so much of the story revolved around the conflict between Catholics and Protestants but the murders didn't directly relate to that conflict. It almost moved the murders to the side of the story.

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes it was difficult to accept the terrible lengths people would go to for their beliefs, particularly when they fooled themselves into thinking they were acting in the Lord's name or for the public's good when they were truly reacting out of hatred and fear.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite series, actually. I just love the relationship between the two of them and was excited to see that they do get together and the series can still go on, unlike other ones where they drag out the attraction and keep them apart. I've read this whole series and recommend it to everyone.

    Good review, Kathy!


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