A Day in the Life with Lady Kiera Darby by Anna Lee Huber

As Death Draws NearI lower my brush from the canvas and step back, tilting my head to examine today’s efforts. The portrait is beginning to take shape nicely. The intricate folds of the gown I’ve been shading and highlighting seem to almost ripple in the soft breeze blowing through the window. I nod my head in satisfaction and drop my brush in the jar of linseed oil. There is cleaning to be done, but the evening light gleaming over the Edinburgh rooftops outside catches my eye. Rubbing my paint-smeared hands against a cloth, I move closer to take a better look.

The view is still novel to me, having only lived in this town house for a few short weeks with my new husband. A smile curls my lips at the thought of Gage, who purchased this home as a wedding present, so that I would be close to my sister whenever we resided in Edinburgh. I can’t help feeling that I should pinch myself at my good fortune. So much has changed in the past twenty-one months. So much that I would never have believed possible.

Then I was the widow of a famous anatomist—a man who brutally used me, and forced me to sketch his dissections as he worked on his definitive anatomy textbook. And when he died, as word of my involvement with his anatomy work shocked and horrified a public still reeling from the infamous trial of Burke and Hare—bodysnatchers turned murderers, he left me to face the storm of the scandal of his creation. They called me the butcher’s wife, the sawbones’ siren, and worse.

Fortunately, my sister and her husband, the Earl and Countess of Cromarty, willingly took me in, and hurried me away to their castle in the Highlands, where I might lick my wounds while the worst of the rumors subsided. However, the place that started as my sanctuary, quickly turned into my hiding hole. I’m not sure I would ever have willingly left the Highlands again if not for my sister and the house party she insisted on hosting, or the murder that befell one of the guests. A murder in which I instantly became the main suspect because of my macabre past. At my brother-in-law’s urging, I reluctantly agreed to assist his friend, the dashing Sebastian Gage, gentleman inquiry agent, with the investigation. That one action irrevocably altered my life and set me on a different course. A course of healing and discovery, of daring and courage, of comradery, and yes, even love.

Gage and I have now conducted numerous inquiries together, both big and small, humorous and life-shattering, and I have grown more in the span of the past twenty-one months than in an entire lifetime. I am more capable and confident than I ever imagined, and not just at painting portraits—my particular passion. And a great deal of that has to do with those who entrusted me to find out the truth of their loved one’s murders, and the support of my investigative partner, now my loving husband.

I turn at the distinctive sound of his footsteps striding down the hall. No one moves quite like he does, with purpose and surprising grace for a man of his height. There is a gentle rap on the door before he opens it. His pale blue eyes immediately go to the spot before my canvas where I normally stand before searching the room and finding me near the window. He smiles that smile I know is only for me, and I can’t help but grin back.

In a few days’ time we shall depart on our honeymoon to the Lake District of Cumberland. Who knows what adventures will await us there and beyond. All I know is that for perhaps the first time in my life, I am excited to face them, with Gage by my side.

As Death Draws Near is the fifth book in the Lady Darby mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, July 2016.

July 1831.In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England’s Lake District, Kiera and Gage’s seclusion is soon interrupted by a missive from her new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that Kiera and Gage look into the matter.

Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travel to Rathfarnham Abbey school. Soon a second nun is slain in broad daylight near a classroom full of young girls. With the sinful killer growing bolder, the mother superior would like to send the students home, but the growing civil unrest in Ireland would make the journey treacherous.

Before long, Kiera starts to suspect that some of the girls may be hiding a sinister secret. With the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend, before their matrimonial bliss comes to an untimely end. . .

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Meet the author
Anna Lee Huber is the RITA and Daphne awards-nominated author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, Anna_Lee_Huberincluding A Study in Death, A Grave Matter, Mortal Arts, and The Anatomist’s Wife. 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 in Indiana with her family and is hard at work on the next Lady Darby novel. A special Lady Darby novella titled A Pressing Engagement was released in May.

Visit her online at www.annaleehuber.com, on Goodreads, Twitter and on Facebook.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of As Death Draws Near. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end July 18, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

55 responses to “A Day in the Life with Lady Kiera Darby by Anna Lee Huber

  1. Love historical mysteries.

  2. I really enjoy this type of mystery. I’ve got some catching up to do with this series since this us book 5! Thanks so much for the introduction to the Lady Darby mysteries.

  3. Doward Wilson

    Thanks for introducing me to another new to me, author & series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Linda Herold

    This is a new series for me. I would love to win this book!! Thanks for the chance!! lindaherold999@gmail.com

  5. I love the setting of this one. Sounds fascinating!

  6. This is a great series, I am happy to see a new addition to it. Thank you for the chance to win.

  7. I have enjoyed this series from the beginning.

  8. Donna Gantt

    I like to read historical mysteries. Thanks for sponsoring this giveaway!

  9. Susan Runkl;e

    I love this series. The first books captured my interest from page one. I hope to read lmany more of Kiera and Gage’s adventures.

  10. I’ve been meaning to check out this series! Based on the excerpt, definitely adding it to my TBR list ^^

  11. Gail Arnold

    I just finished the first book in this series and LOVED it! I’ve ordered the next one and look forward to continuing to enjoy the series.

  12. This is one of my favorite series! Ms. Huber does not disappoint with her stories. The only thing I dislike about the series is having to wait until the next book is published!

  13. Karen Terry

    I like historical murder mystery.

  14. I love the series!

  15. Kathy Gonzales

    I absolutely love this series , and so does my daughter ! Thanks for a chance to win the newest installment !

  16. elainehroberson

    Another new-to-me author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  17. This looks like an interesting mystery. It touches me in a way since Mommy Dearest was a Juried Artist who also taught at K.B.C.C. here in Brooklyn. I also tried my hand at art as a teen taking classes at B’k College on Sat mornings. Toss my name into your magic hat please Dru and let’s see if it pops out as the lucky winner.

  18. I have read the first four books in the series and can’t wait to dig into this one!

  19. I find any book that is written in a historical setting to be interesting. Anna Lee Huber’s book As Death Draws Near is added to my need to read list. I am also checking out the previous books by Ms. Huber to my list. Thanks for including this book on your blog and for giving us a chance to win a copy of the book. robeader53@yahoo.com

  20. I love period mysteries. It’s so much fun to be transported back in time and be part of a different era. This one sounds exciting. Can’t wait to read it.

  21. Kirsten Yenser

    I just reread books 1-4 and I’m super excited to read book #5! I’ve met this author and she is really as sweet and congenial and caring of her readers and she seems to be!

  22. I love her books. My husband and I both read them and compare when we figured it out, to see who guessed it first. 🙂

  23. Lynn Pernezny

    I really enjoy the Lady Darby series. She is one of my favorite characters.

  24. Soooooooooo excited to read the next chapter of Kiera’s life!!

  25. Wonderful series. Thanks for this captivating mystery.

  26. Barb Bristol Wiesmann

    I’m just starting to discover historical mysteries.

  27. Celia Fowler

    This book looks very intriguing and I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. I can’t wait to read this next book in a great series. I love the characters!

  29. This is a new author to me and I really enjoyed the review. I look forward to reading it. I enjoy reading books set in this time period and love the cover.

  30. I love the concept. New author but I am anxious to try her work.

  31. I would love to start reading this series. I enjoy historical mysteries. Thank you!

  32. Mary Jane H.

    Sounds like a fun series and I need to get caught up! Thanks for the chance.

  33. I’ve only just become aware of this series recently and I’m already hooked. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the latest.

  34. Vicki Highley

    I love this series.

  35. Marilyn Watson

    The Cover is gorgeous. This is another new Author and sounds wonderful. Thank you for the above and please enter me.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  36. Prabhanie Manu

    I love Anna Lee Huber’s books. I have read all the books in Lady Darby mystery series and can’t wait to dig into the new book. As always it will be an amazing story from an amazing author.

  37. a new-to-me author and the series sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the chance!

  38. I haven’t read this series, but I sure like the sound of the setting and the era. Thanks for the chance to win!

  39. Karlene Barger

    I’d be delighted to win this latest Lady Darby mystery!

  40. LOVE the cover!!
    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  41. Love this series and excited for the next book!

  42. Jeanie Dannheim

    Lady Darby has a new fan, cemented not by the first mystery I read about her but the second. While I still have a couple to catch up on, I would love to read this one, having just read the one immediately preceding it. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win!

  43. Jeanie Dannheim

    So sorry, please change email address on prior comment to jeaniedannheim@gmail.com. Yahoo has blocked many favorite bloggers so I had to change. Thanks!

  44. New series/new author really appreciate the introduction. It looks like a great read. It is sad the Kiera faced that horrid gossip. But nice she found a champion in her family and then new husband. Thanks for a chance to get the book Della

  45. I’ve started to get into historical mysteries, and I’ve heard good things about this series. Thanks for the intro and giveaway!

  46. Nancy Stodgel

    Can’t wait to read the whole thing!

  47. Cynthia Powers

    This sounds so good! I’ll be checking this series out even if I don’t win.

  48. I love the Lady Darby series. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. raquel36m(at)gmail(dot)com

  49. Allison Zimmerman

    As Death Draws Near is by far my favorite on this series so far!! Anna Lee Huber captured so many thoughts of a second marriage like Kiera’s so well! I continue to identify with Kiera as her character developes. Awesome job!!

  50. This book looks fabulous! I have loved her other books and am so anxious to read this one. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  51. I love listening to this series! Thank you, for the chance. silhouettesinscale@ yahoo . com

  52. Christy Mathis

    LOVE these books! Thanks for the giveaway.

  53. Karleen Mauldin

    LOVE this mystery series!!

  54. Thank you so much for your kind comments, everyone! And thank you, Dru Ann, for inviting me to guest post on your blog! I had so much fun writing A Day in the Life for Kiera.