A Brush with Shadows
Lady Darby Mystery, Book #6
By Anna Lee Huber
Author Website: Annaleehuber(.)com
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. (Goodreads)
A Brush with Shadows, the sixth book in the Lady Darby Mystery series, is marvelous. With strong, exquisitely developed characters, stellar writing, and lavish descriptions that are both atmospheric and evocative, the Moors, Kiera, and Gage will haunt you long after the last word is read.
Still on their honeymoon, Kiera and Gage travel from to Dartmoor at the urgent request of Gage’s grandfather. Gage has been estranged from his family since his mother’s death and has not been home since he was eighteen years old. Family loyalty and curiosity bring him back to where he never thought he would be again. Gage is surprised to find his grandfather gravely ill, his Aunt Vanessa as acid-tongued as ever, and his cousin Alfred missing. It has been two weeks since Alfred disappeared, and everyone is beginning to think he met an untimely, possibly foul end. Facing secrets that no one wants revealed, hints of witchcraft, a curse, family expectations, and poison, Kiera and Gage together confront danger to reveal the truth.
We see Gage at his most vulnerable, and we learn a great deal about his past which helped make him the man he is today. Gage’s experiences are heartbreaking. He has always held his cards close to his chest, making him mysterious. Sharing his past with Kiera is probably the most intimate they have ever been. There is still some romance within the pages, they are newlyweds after all, and the mystery is important throughout the book, but the character interactions and the austere setting are what hold this tale together. Kiera continues to grow more confident and asserts herself well here. Huber’s attention to detail is stunning. Her prose draws the reader in, and I felt like I was there on the Moors with mist swirling about me as the cold seeped into my bones. The Moors are indeed a magical place.
I adored every word of A Brush with Shadows. It is historical writing at its finest. Highly recommended.