The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber
Digital Audiobook narrated by Heather Wilds
Published by Berkley, Tantor Audio on November 6, 2012
Series: Lady Darby Mystery #1
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Mystery, Romance
Length: 357 pages or 11 hours, 44 minutes
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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...
Ahhhh guys guys guys.
I found a romance that didn’t make me want to puke. #notaromantic
Lady Darby was accused of murder and acquitted. Since the trial, she has fled to her sister’s country estate and has managed to avoid the worst of social gossip. When her sister throws a dinner party and someone is brutally murdered, Lady Darby is the first to be blamed by the guests. The only way to prove her innocence and protect her sister’s family is to find the real killer.
Okay, so there’s a few things to know right off the bat:
- This is set in the early Victorian period. It’s very formal and comes with all the gender roles that the era implied. I actually thought that it was well done to keep balance between historical accuracy and giving women some power and influence in the world. But it’s definitely not a feminist novel.
- The murder is a bit gory. We don’t see the act itself, but we do get descriptions of everything and it is not pleasant? Between the description of the mutilated body and Lady Darby’s story itself… not for the faint of heart.
- The focus is not the romance. The reason why I liked this so well was because the romance was a subplot. This is a mystery, then a romance. It was subtle and well done. It got a little cheesy at the end, but only the VERY end. It never felt forced or overpowered the plot.
I think I liked this so much because it was different. I read a lot of historical fiction and very few mysteries. My historical fiction seems to land either in the 1920s, 1960s, or Tudor England. The Victorian Era is a new century for me, and while I’m not completely converted, I’ll read more of this series.
And I hate being able to guess for sure who the killer is early on.
I knew without question by 75%, but at 50% I had created a whole conspiracy theory about the least likely person. Honestly, it felt like watching Clue.
I love that movie.
So this book is not a fluffy romance, it’s not the most predictable mystery, and it’s not a complete girl power book. But it’s sort of a lot of things and it was a fun read on my grueling commute.
Also, can I just say – mystery audiobooks are frustrating. I can’t flip to the end to see if I’m right.