Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Book Review: A Brush with Shadows by Anna Lee Huber

A Brush with Shadows
Author: Anna Lee Huber
Series: A Lady Darby Mystery (Book 6)
Publication: Berkley (March 6, 2018)

Description: Sebastian Gage returns home to battle the ghosts of his past and prevent them from destroying his future with Kiera in the latest exciting installment in this national bestselling series.

July 1831. It's been fifteen years since Sebastian Gage has set foot in Langstone Manor. Though he has shared little with his wife, Lady Kiera Darby, about his past, she knows that he planned never to return to the place of so many unhappy childhood memories. But when an urgent letter from his grandfather reaches them in Dublin, Ireland, and begs Gage to visit, Kiera convinces him to go.

All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage's grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage's cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred's disappearance. And when Alfred's brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage's past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage's family before the moors claim yet another victim...

My Thoughts: Kiera and Gage's current case takes them to Gage's childhood home in Dartmoor. He has been summoned by his grandfather because his cousin Alfred is missing. Gage's childhood was not a happy one. He was tormented by his cousins and his aunt because he was blamed for his mother's marriage. She married down by choosing a simple mister who was a Navy Captain. His mother also suffered from some illness that affected her life and sent her back to the home she ran away from when she married. Gage, even as a small child, felt that he had to be her protector. He hasn't been back since he was eighteen and his mother died of poison administered by her maid.

They arrive to find that most things are the same. His aunt still resents him and his cousin Rory has mixed feelings about him. Just about the only one who welcomes him is Hammett who is the majordomo and who has been on the estate since his childhood. His grandfather is gravely ill but is still keeping secrets. He thought his grandson ran away to avoid an arranged marriage but he's been gone too long.

Kiera and Gage investigate despite the fact that Gage really dislikes his cousin Alfred who tormented him when he was a child and has grown into a thoughtless, vain adult. They have some clues to follow. Could it be the Swing who are protesting the use of farm equipment that lower the need for farm workers? Could it be a family curse that seems to have been plaguing the family for generations? Could Alfred have run afoul with the father or brother of one of the young women he despoiled?

I enjoyed the setting of this story. The moors of Dartmoor really came to life. I like that Kiera and Gage are getting closer as Gage is gradually giving up some of the secrets of his past that he has been clinging to since his difficult childhood. I thought the mystery was well done and not overpowered by the politics. I liked the way Kiera protects Gage and that she isn't above a spot of blackmail to make his life easier. 

Favorite Quote:
I leaned over to kiss the honorable man I'd married, pouring all of my regret that he'd had to endure so much pain, and gratitude that he'd chosen me for his wife, into my caress. When I lifted my mouth to stare into his eyes, my chest tightened at the vulnerability reflected there. Gage so rarely showed weakness. Even in our private interactions he was usually so confident and self-assured. To see him expose his pain and insecurities in such a raw way made me want to wrap him up in my arms and never let him go. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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