Cover image for Book Club kit : The anatomist's wife
Book Club kit : The anatomist's wife
Berkley trade paperback ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2012.
Physical Description:
11 bks. (357 p.) : ill. ; 21 cm. + 1 discussion guide
Lady Darby novel
Immersing herself in her painting after the death of her anatomist husband, Lady Kiera Darby is ostracized by London society until her brother-in-law asks her to use her skills to help a local inquiry agent solve a murder.


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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 . . .
'A riveting debut . . . an original premise, an enigmatic heroine, and a compelling Highland setting . . . a book you won't want to put down.' Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey novels
'Lady Darby is an engaging new sleuth to follow . . . A history mystery in fine Victorian style!' Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author
'A fast-paced, atmospheric and chilling debut featuring a clever heroine with a shocking past and a talent for detection. I'm already anticipating Lady Darby's next adventure.' Carol K. Carr, national bestselling author of India Black and the Widow of Windsor
'An unusual and romantic heroine, haunted by a deadly past and trying to be herself in a society that wants to silence her-and worse.' Judith Rock, author of A Plague of Lies
'Huber's protagonist is complex and likable and the well-lotted mystery is filled with fascinating secondary characters. The setting is lavishly portrayed . . . you'll be engaged right to the end.' RT BookReviews

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Anachronistic language and a predictable romantic plot detract from Huber's debut set in 1830 Scotland. Respectable society views Lady Kiera Darby with suspicion, because she assisted her late husband, a renowned anatomist, by preparing sketches of the human body parts he studied. When someone stabs Lady Godwin to death at Kiera's sister's castle, Kiera's dubious reputation makes her the prime suspect among the eminent guests gathered for a house party there. With the authorities some distance away, responsibility for investigating falls to Sebastian Gage, "London's gentleman inquiry agent." Kiera initially regards the Darcyesque Gage with disdain, but she also notes that his eyes were "the pale blue of a winter sky the morning after a snowstorm," leaving little doubt that their relationship will improve. The insertion of a fiendishly clever fair-play clue at the outset suggests that Huber is capable of better things. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Even a remote Scottish castle in the 1830s is not far enough removed from society to shield a talented artist from her fearsome reputation. Since the death of her husband, Lady Kiera Darby has been living with her sister Alana and her brother-in-law Philip quietly painting. After her husband forced Kiera to illustrate an anatomical book he was writing, the recent Burke and Hare scandal caused people to look upon Kiera with fear and loathing when her part in the book was revealed. After 16 peaceful months, Alana invites a diverse group of titled friends to a house party only to find one of them, Lady Godwin, stabbed in the garden. When several of the assembled company immediately accuse Kiera, Philip asks houseguest Sebastian Gage, whose father is a noted investigator, to look into the crime, forcing Kiera to work with him. Her unwelcome expertise shows that not only was Lady Godwin's throat slit; someone cut a child out of her womb. Since Lord Godwin has long been away in India, the sleuthing pair look elsewhere for the father of the child. They soon learn that Lady Godwin had spread her favors among many men. Kiera is attracted to Gage even though she does not know whether he regards her as a suspect. She does know that it will be no easy task to solve the crime in the four days before the fiscal prosecutor arrives, given that most of the guests have already identified Kiera as the killer. Huber's debut, first in a planned series, reads like a cross between a gothic novel and a mystery with a decidedly unusual heroine.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.