A Perilous Perspective

Lady Darby Mysteries #10

By Anna Lee Huber

ISBN 9780593198469


Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie


An all-new historical mystery in this USA Today bestselling series featuring beloved inquiry agents Lady Kiera Darby and her dashing husband, Sebastian Gage.

Argyll, Scotland. July 1832. After a trying few months in Edinburgh, Kiera and her husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, are eager to escape to the Highlands with their three-month-old child. Kiera is overjoyed for her cousin Rye and her detractor-turned-friend Charlotte who are being wed in a private ceremony at the estate of Rye’s great-uncle, the Marquess of Barbreck, in what seems to be the perfect wedding party.

But when Kiera is invited to peruse Barbreck’s extensive art collection, she is disturbed to discover that one of his most priceless paintings seems to be a forgery. The marquess’s furious reaction when she dares to mention it leaves her shaken and the entire house shocked. For it turns out that this is not the first time the word forgery has been uttered in connection with the Barbreck household.

Matters turn more ominous when a maid from a neighboring estate is found murdered where the forged painting hangs. Is her death connected to the forgeries, perhaps a grisly warning of what awaits those who dare to probe deeper? With unknown entities aligned against them, Kiera and Gage are forced to confront the fact that they may have underestimated their opponent. For they are swiftly made to realize that Charlotte’s and Rye’s future happiness is not the only issue at stake, and this stealthy game of cat and mouse could prove to have deadly consequences. (From Goodreads)


I completely enjoyed connecting with Lady Kiera Darby, her family, and friends! The characters are engaging and easy to become invested in. The author described the 1832 setting so well that at times I felt I was there. The Scottish Highlands sound incredibly gorgeous, wild, and beautiful whether in sunshine, the gloaming, or a storm. The mystery is complex, with roots from about fifty-four years ago.

It is almost beyond my imagination to live in or visit a manor house so huge that dozens of servants are required. It was mind-boggling to consider how that manor was filled with incredible, original works of art with names we read about in humanities and art classes today. The estate is large enough to have cottages for pensioners when they can no longer work.

Charlotte, a close friend of Kiera, and Rye, Kiera’s cousin, are getting married in a couple weeks. The small wedding party and their spouses arrive early enough to help the bride and groom to be. They are at the grand estate of Lord Barbreck, great uncle of Rye and his sister Morven. She and Kiera have been close friends as well as cousins since childhood.

Kiera, an excellent artist and very knowledgeable about famous artists and their styles of work, noticed and told Barbreck about one, possibly two forged paintings in the “long gallery”. Furious, he rode off to a nearby estate where former friends, the Campbell sisters, live, thinking one of them is behind the forgeries. Two nights later, one of the upstairs maids of the Campbells was found dead, underneath one of the paintings. Her death was thought to be caused by poisoning.

The days before the wedding pass in flurries of activities, and all involved want the murder solved quickly. When another poisoning resulting in death occurs, the pressure increases on Gage and Kiera, inquiry agents who are more than capable of investigating the deaths. Adding to the drama was the arrival of Charlotte’s father, who wants to keep her from marrying Rye.

I have not read many novels set in the Georgian era, but plan to read more, especially in this beautifully described area of Scotland. The author shares about their attire, some of the foods, and the plant life of the area as well as some of the history of the area. it is easy to see and appreciate the depth of research that has gone into this mystery. It has been a while since I’ve read from this series, and this makes me want to catch up with those I’ve missed!

The characters are very well defined, some being three-dimensional. I enjoyed the interactions between Kiera, husband Gage, and their infant, Emma, who becomes sick for the first time in her young life. It is also enlightening to see how the couple interacts with Kiera’s lady’s maid, Bree, and Anderley, Gage’s very loyal valet, who both provide much help in their investigations. They are more than staff and helpers; in many ways, they are friends, a very refreshing attitude. Kiera herself had gone through exceedingly difficult years for her young age. I appreciated the brief, summarized backstory of those years, and was reminded why she is mature beyond her age.

I was so wrapped up in this complex mystery and cold case that I didn’t spend much time thinking about who killed two victims, who forged the artwork, and the location of the originals. When I did consider the story and made my own determination, I was not disappointed. It was difficult at first for me to accept the depravity of the perpetrators and their extremely poor excuses. The ending was very satisfactory, leaving no loose ends. I highly recommend this novel, especially to those who appreciate late Georgian-era mysteries and drama.