The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby Mystery Series #1)

The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby Mystery Series #1)

by Anna Lee Huber

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425253281
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/06/2012
Series: Lady Darby Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 67,321
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Anna Lee Huber is the Daphne award–winning author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, including A Brush with ShadowsAs Death Draws Near, A Study in Death, A Grave Matter, Mortal Arts, and The Anatomist’s Wife, and the Verity Kent Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She currently resides with her family and is hard at work on her next novel.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"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 Book Reviews

Customer Reviews

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The Anatomist's Wife 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Ritr614 More than 1 year ago
Scotland, 1830. A widow whose husband used her artistic talents for his own macabre purposes. From the opening scream to the hushed ending, Anna Lee Huber’s The Anatomist’s Wife is a tight, historical mystery with skillful undertones of isolation, inequality, jealousy, and rules of society. Amid rustles of skirts and stirring of tea, clues are planted, lies are exposed, false leads send us along diverted trails, and characters are stripped of their proper Victorian façades. Here we see the polite drawing room tea, forced manners, and undercurrents of tension and injustice. One can serve tea while ruining a reputation at the same time. Thankfully, this book did not dwell on the cat and mouse games of London Seasons and scandalous liaisons. Okay there was scandal. But an unwarranted scandal cast upon Lady Darby, our protagonist. I loved the premise of setting this following the Resurrectionist Era of Burke and Hare and entangling Lady Darby in the bloody aftermath. Aristotle would be delighted at Ms. Huber’s use of story elements. The plot was tight, the characters dimensional with clear goals, and even the secondary characters left us with tidbits of their lives. The themes of isolation, guilt, revenge and family devotion in this story are relevant today. While I did not find that the language rang true to the locale, the clean use of grammar and conversation style between characters clearly indicated the Victorian Era. Finally, the setting was in my favorite place. However, my Scottish obsession was not, at first, satisfied, as I wanted to be transported right away to the textures, buildings, landscapes and surrounding area of the Highlands. Yet as the plot thickened and lies were revealed, I was soon in the middle of lush chambers and chilly stairways, and then an unstable boat rocking above the dark depths of a loch. The author’s intent for a good mystery is intelligently carried out with a tantalizing dash of romance slowly evolving and emerging through the self-imposed walls of Lady Darby’s isolation. Yes, I would have liked to see more sparks between Sebastian Gage and Lady Darby, but it would not ring true for this story. It would not align with Darby’s long self-exile and the gentle evolution of her return into society. Now the ending was the cleverest of all. Yes, it wrapped up with a credible resolution. Better than that, it left me very anxious to read the next book. Smart. See for yourself. Buy the book, a flavorful tea, and curl up under a good reading light. I bet you will not stop until the last page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strong characters, wonderful family, brutal murder and a young widow artist with a keen eye for detail who most solve. Romance, yes, but not a historical bodice-ripper. What a great find.
HistoricalNovelsFTW More than 1 year ago
Man I love a good historical mystery romance - and this was FANTASTIC! Deanna Reybourn and Tasha Alexander fans should pick this up. Couldn't stop reading and loved every second!!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
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... Anna Lee Huber has created an extraordinary heroine in Lady Kiera Darby. A heroine with an unusual past that allows her right into the middle of the murder investigation. A past that has isolated her and besmirched her name. A past she wishes would stay in the past. Sebastian Gage has assisted his father in many investigations but has never undertaken one totally on his own. He is unsure of how Kiera can help him but he bows to the wishes The Earl of Cromarty, his host. As the guests point fingers at Lady Darby and proclaim she is the murderer, Cage decides to allow her to assist him even for no other reason than to keep his eye on her. But it isn't long before they start to have feelings for each other and he feels the need to protect her. Neither is ready to admit their feelings and Lady Darby has been burned badly in her prior relationship so the while the romantic tension is great, the pace is slow and absolutely perfect. Huber takes us back in time, to a drafty and dark castle. We go deep into the remotest part of the castle for the preliminary inquiry to ascertain the cause of death of the victim. The halls are full of shadows and cobwebs. Lady Darby's travels through the fortress are always mired with the feeling that she is being followed or watched. The reader can almost feel the tickles up the back of our own necks as she travels through the manor and tries to search out the real killer. The author has given us a haunting story, in a fabulous setting, with the most intriguing characters. The story itself is very fast paced but each word should be savored. This is a chilling tale that may give you a sleepless night because you won't be able to put it down. I can believe we have to wait until next September for the return of Lady Darby, but I know it will be well worth the wait.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author tries to be historically correct, dropping colloquialisms into the book, but falls prey to modern mangling of English grammar in a book about people who would have had a better grasp of proper speech. Prior to the feminist /PC horror of using male pronouns even when referring to an unknown entity which might be a woman, the current fad of inconsistent number within a sentence would not have been tolerated and would have indicated poor education. The author however, makes this mistake all through the book, having her characters use modern PC jargon such as (paraphrase) "The suspect may have left a clue to their identity". People of the era would have quite naturally said "...to his identity..." with the implicit understanding that this did not mean the suspect was necessarily a man but because doing so allowed them to speak properly and not mix a singular and a plural in the same sentence. When modern usage, or misuse, of language intrudes in this way, the illusion of being immersed in a time and culture is disrupted. The story was OK but the characters were stiff not because of the formality of the era but because the author was trying to imitate a style she does not really understand. It is hard to fully inhabit a very different culture but when the elements of that culture are merely mimicked and infused with modern sensibilities such as feminism and language usage the result is awkward.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love to read, mysteries and romance among my favorites. Writing of this high caliber is a treat. I am so impressed by the tight mystery, wonderfully drawn characters and the subtle beginning of a romance. This is a very tasteful romance that is fine for any age. The mystery is also tasteful but can be a bit shocking depicting the evil behind the misdeeds. I started reading mysteries in grade school. Depending on the individual grade schooler, I think grades 7 and up is fine. (Heaven knows they have probably seen tv shows that are far more graphic). I cannot come up with enough words of praise for this book and thanks to the author for her imagination and great writing. I am delighted that the main characters will be back in the next book of what I hope is a long series. I have read all the reviews here and suggest reading the review by "BetsyBean". I have never suggested a review before, but I appreciate her ability to tell you about the book without giving anything away. Read this wonderful mystery, you will be happy you did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful read, can't wait for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent! Don't miss this new historical mystery.
Samantha1020 More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at my library after seeing a few reviews (and the gorgeous cover) for the latest book in this series. I decided it was time to give this series a try and I'm really glad that I did! This book was a really great read and one that I just immersed myself within its' pages. I most enjoyed this book how the author was able to really make me feel like I was there in Scotland 1830. The details she gave, the way the characters talked and dressed, it all added up to make such a great reading experience for me. I was sucked into the mystery as well as the struggles one faced as a woman during that time period that didn't fit into the norm. Kiera's character was one that I connected to and felt for because she just wasn't able to fit in with society thanks to her deceased husband's dark past. When she is pulled into the investigation it brings many of the things from that time in her life back to the surface. To protect both herself and her family she begins to work and investigate with Sebastian Gage. This might be a slight spoiler but the chemistry between these two has me very excited to get my hands on book two. I won't say any more than that but suffice it to say that I'm very curious as to where that next book may lead. The mystery portion of this book was actually darker than I expected. I can't say that I read a lot of historical mysteries but I kind of equated them to the same or similar as a cozy mystery. You can imagine my surprise with this book then, when it was quite the opposite of a cozy and was a bit more graphic than I expected it to be. It didn't effect my enjoyment in the least but just thought I would mention it. It was such a compelling mystery though and I couldn't quite set this one down. I thought I had the whodunnit figured out until 3/4's of the way through book when I realized I was completely wrong. The ending tied everything up quite nicely but left me wishing I had my hands on the next book. I just wasn't ready to see these characters go and am really looking forward to seeing what mysteries and adventures they get up to next. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am so excited that I have six more books or so to look forward to! I won't be waiting long to see what kind of trouble Lady Darby finds herself in next! This book was the perfect blend of mystery and historical fiction which makes me want to find more books just like it. What other historical mystery authors am I missing out on? It's something that I'm going to be figuring out in the very near future! I'm hoping that there will be some romance upcoming in those future books as well. Fingers crossed at least! I really can't say enough good things about the characters in this book and the mystery itself. It felt like the perfect fall read (although it isn't quite fall yet) and one that I just adored. I would recommend this book to fans of historical mysteries as well as mysteries in general! Bottom Line: Such a great beginning to this series and it has spurned my need to find other authors just like this! Disclosure: I checked this book out from my local library. Thoughts are my own!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engaging will continue with the series.
IAGrams More than 1 year ago
The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber is a gem I stumbled across. Note: this review contains spoilers! I was looking for a new audiobook book to listen to while driving and found this wonderful book. I’ve always loved historical novels, especially the ones where the author goes to the trouble to research the time and the area so actual events and locations can be used. I haven’t read, listened to, any set in Scotland, so that was an added bonus. The characters are richly drawn with detailed back stories, except for the insufferable Sebastian Gage. He too is richly drawn and I can easily picture him in my mind, but his history is shrouded in mystery which drives Lady Darby, Kiera, crazy. A guest is killed at a house party and Gage is going to find out who did it. He’s a kind of private detective for 1830 Scotland although he is called an investigator. He has no affiliation with the police or military, but is called on when society needs help. And he is going to have Lady Darby help him. Doctors are few and far between and autopsies are still not well respected, but Lady Darby’s late husband was an anatomist and Lady Darby illustrated his last book. That’s why he married her: to get a free illustrator. Unfortunately, Lady Darby didn’t find out until too late. Now she knows way more about the human body and what can happen to it than just about anyone around. What happens is a well executed mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. Every time I thought I had it figured out, there was a new clue, and I and the characters had to rethink everything! This was an engrossing tale of intrigue, infidelity, gossip, and love that you really need to listen to or read! I hope you find it as fascinating as I did!
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
I think that this book series would make a good television show. Everyone love period murder mysteries, right? This one was pretty good. I don't read a lot of Victorian-era historical books, and I limit my mysteries because most of the time I guess the killer in the first 30% and then I'm bored for the rest of the book. That was not the case with this one - at 50% I had developed a (wrong) conspiracy theory about the killer, and at 75% I knew who it was, but they behaved differently. There's a lot of thrown-in details to point you in the wrong direction, which is fun/frustrating. I love who-done-its. I'm so, so bad at them when they're done properly like this. I feel like books like this are why book clubs exist. The members read to page 200 and all argue about who the killer is and their theories about it and it's so much more fun to speculate about murderers than romantic pairings (I think). Really solid read, not too much cheesy romance. There's romance, but it's subtle and well done - a rare find these days, where romance so often overrides the other genres. I liked it and I'm in for book 2. That said - the narrator wasn't the best. Her voices were fine, but her pacing was strange and she paused in odd places. It took a while to get used to her and even then I stumbled occasionally.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our heroine is a quiet artist with a twisted past. She meets a golden boy who is not quite as shallow as he seems. Together they untangle the story which has led to a heinous murder in a Scottish manor. A compelling read with an imperfect heroine who has strong and loving ties to her family but watches the rest of the world with a cautious and observant eye. Can't wait to buy the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not realistic actions or dialogue for time period
SusanKC More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this immensely. I was immediately drawn to Lady Darby. Can't wait to read more of her adventures.
kipha More than 1 year ago
Oh my gosh! I can't believe I didn't grab this book sooner when it first debuted! I'm so regretting it but am so happy that I finally got this for my own when I absolutely needed it during this burnout on romances. This book kept me up into the night and I definitely didn't want to put it down. Anna definitely know how to bring on the mystery and the romantic elements of the story. Unfortunately, I found out who the killer was immediately so that was a disappointment but I had fun sleuthing the castle with Gage and Lady Darby. It was great seeing the change in all the characters we met and see how much they either grew or worsen. Lady Darby definitely had a huge change in her character from being a quiet and easily self concise with low esteem to being more out spoken with a back bone to those who dehumanize and attack her verbally. She also had quite an investigative mind and a wild imagination that sometimes does her no good in bringing her courage and bravery. The only thing that bothered me was her consistent reminder that she wasn't good enough or always bringing herself down by all the rumors and viciousness the others aimed at her. It got repetitive and irritating seeing her lack of backbone to those lies when she had 16 months to recover in the Highlands with her sister and her family so it was a bit ridiculous that she still didn't grow a spine. But I liked her and she was easy to sympathize. But Mr. Gage on the other hand had always been a charmer with a mysterious mind. A true rakehell, he was still an honorable gentleman with an eye for honesty and trust. We didn't see much change from him but it was great seeing how caring and open minded he was when it came to Lady Darby. A true flirt, he kept everything interesting and humorous and definitely rolling. Since this was a first person point of view from Lady Darby, I really miss being inside his mind and thought process. These two makes for a hell of a team and partnership and I absolutely can not wait to see what brings them together for their next mystery case. And I'm dying to see their slowly burning attraction build into a fire, which of course will be amazing.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
The title and the cover of this novel appealed to me. Then I read the back cover and was drawn completely in. Set in 1830 Scotland, Lady Kiera Darby, widow of an Anatomist's who was quite unkind to her, is staying with her sister's family after very unpleasant circumstances in her life. One of the other guests is murdered and Lady Darby decides she is more than capable of investigating the crime. Along with a Mr. Sebastian Gage, who is also a very handsome man, she sets out to find the sculpt who committed this horrendous crime. Anna Lee Huber creates a cast of characters akin to Agatha Christie in her novels. Not a dull moment and a wonderful mystery that keeps you guessing till the end. I am off to read the second Lad Darby mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. The characters are deep, and the writing is simply stunning. Huber creates a truly incredible world with this book. I can't wait to get the next one in the mail!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the characters and the story. Ready to start on the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DId not finish the book, just couldn't get in to it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like historical mysteries, and this was a very good one. Lady Kiera Darby is ostracized by society because t's thought that she willingly participated in her late husband's anatomy experiments. Now living with her sister and her family, she becomes involved in a murder investigation whena guet is found murdered. And she becomes acquainted with Sebastian Gage, who's been charged by her brother-in-law with leading the investigation. Kiera doesn't want to be attracted to this man, but... The next installment of this series may tell us where it all leads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Great plot, character development and full of suspense!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It was reminiscent of Tasha Alexander's books.