Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Thoughts: A Grave Matter

A Grave Matter

by Anna Lee Huber
Book 3 of Lady Darby Mystery

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

Scotland, 1830.  Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven.  Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her.  But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.

While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case.  But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.

When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first—some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom.  Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest…before another victim winds up six feet under.

This is another great installment to the Lady Darby series, and I very much enjoyed it.  Of course, if I had to compare, I DO feel like the previous books were better, and the conclusion to A Grave Matter felt a bit abrupt.  Maybe even too easily concluded.  That was probably my only complaint about this book, as each time a grave is dug up and skeletal remains "kidnapped" and ransomed, the way in which the investigation is handled seemed a bit haphazard.

I was feeling frustrated alongside Mr. Gage and Kiera, but I think I was more so because it almost seems like there was no way to capture the culprits, in a logical enough fashion within the story without the conclusion feeling like an author's decree.

Although, as frustrating as the investigation was, I did like the premise of it--body snatchers stealing the skeletal remains of a deceased loved one and ransoming them for money.  I'm just not sure I cared for the ending very much.

The romance was more prominent in this book, and Sebastian Gage's presence is more felt.  I think I'm starting to see the chemistry between Kiera and Mr. Gage a bit better... although because Kiera persists in calling him "Gage," I sometimes forget that his given name is "Sebastian" and not "Gage."  Even I'm referring to him as "Gage" and feeling a bit awkward about it.  If that makes any sense.

I appreciate how the romance was handled between Kiera and Gage, as the two are actually open with each other, in spite of the fact that Gage still has his secrets.  They talk to each other, and the modicum of respect that Gage has for Kiera in her abilities, both to help with the inquiries as well as to take care of herself, is a breath of fresh air.

There maybe could have been less angst involved on Kiera's end, although I can kind of see where she's coming from, even if she was being kind of silly about it.

As per usual, the writing is descriptive and moody, adding onto the macabre-ness of the crimes being committed in graveyards.  Side characters are excellent, and I'm glad that the books include more than just Kiera and Gage stumbling through investigations.  I'm glad that we still get to see a lot of Phillip and Alana, and that others in the St. Mawr family as well as relations are included.

I loved the inclusion of Kiera's brother, Trevor and hope to see more of him in future.


Booklikes-opoly 2019

Roll #5: (See Also Memorial Day Bonus Rolls Activity)
Square:  European Vacation 35 | Read a book set in Europe, or that was written by an author who was born in Europe, or that involves travel by boat or that has a picture of a ship on the cover.

How it fits:  This book is set in Scotland.
Page Count:  433
Cash:  $5

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