Wednesday, April 10, 2019

YA ARC Review: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

The Hummingbird Dagger
Author: Cindy Anstey
Publication: Swoon Reads (April 16, 2019)

Description: From the author of Suitors and Sabotage comes a suspenseful and enthralling new Regency novel, perfect for readers who like their Jane Austen classics with a side of mystery and murder.

1833. A near-fatal carriage accident has deposited an unconscious young woman on the doorstep of Hardwick Manor and into the care of young Lord James Ellerby. But when she finally awakens, it is with no memory of who she is or where she came from.

Beth, as she calls herself, has no identity; the only clue to her circumstances is a recurring nightmare of a hummingbird, blood dripping from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth tries to solve the mystery of her own identity and the appalling events that brought her to their door. But nothing could prepare her for the escalating dangers that threaten her and the Ellerby clan. From the hazardous cliffs of Dorset to the hostile streets of London, Beth will fight to reclaim her past, hunted by a secretive foe with murderous intentions.

Fans of Cindy Anstey's previous novels won't want to miss The Hummingbird Dagger, a dark and twisty new offering that blends romance, danger and mystery.

My Thoughts: The story begins with two coaches crashing. One is being driven recklessly by fourteen-year-old Walter who is the younger brother of the new Lord Ellerby. The other is a lot more mysterious.

In the wreckage of the mysterious coach is a bruised and battered young woman. Lord Ellerby is determined to take her to his home to take care of her despite the objections of the others in the coach. When the young woman awakes it is to a world she doesn't remember. She has total amnesia and is lots of danger.

The only thing she remembers is the name Beth, but she doesn't think it is her name. She is also plagued with vicious nightmares in which a hummingbird turns into a dagger with a bloody tip. The Ellerbys and their neighbor Dr. Brant are determined to try to find out who she is and what danger is chasing her.

The story is filled with suspicious characters who claim acquaintance with the young woman who is now called Beth. The danger edges closer when a young maid from the Ellerby home is murdered. The Ellerbys decide to travel to London, both to elude the villains and for Beth to see a doctor who might be able help her regain her missing memories. But London presents dangers of its own.

This was an entertaining mystery/romance as James, Lord Ellerby, and Beth begin to fall in love. I liked all the characters including the melodramatic Walter. Although I had a good idea who the villain was, it was still fun to follow along as James, his sister Caroline, his brother Walter, and Beth figure out who wants her dead.

Favorite Quote:
"Give over, James. It wasn't my fault...not really. the road is seldom traveled. How was I to know that the London coach was there?"

"Right," James said with more than a hint of sarcasm."It's only lumbered down the road at the same time every day since before your birth...But how could you have guessed that today, of all days, it would do so again."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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