Friday, January 3, 2020

Sophia Rose Reviews The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber, Narrated by Heather Wilds

Happy New Year Everyone! I can't think of a better way to start this year than with another fantastic historical mystery review by my friend Sophia Rose.

The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber, Narrated by Heather Wilds
#1 Lady Darby
Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley
Published:  11.6.12
ISBN:  0425253287
Pages:  357
Rating: 4.5
Format: Trade Paperback
Source:  Purchased
Sellers:  AmazonBarnes& NobleKobo
Add To: GoodReads

GoodReads Blurb:
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...

Sophia Rose's Review

I already enjoyed the author's Verity Kent series so I thought it was high time I returned for her debut historical mystery series set in 1830 with an unusual lady detective facing her first murder in at an atmospheric castle in the Highlands.

The Anatomist's Wife opens with a gruesome murder and the introduction to Kiera, Lady Darby, whom everyone whispers about in lurid details because she is the unnatural female who was discovered to have participated in her husband's anatomy activities as his illustrator.  Kiera was cleared of any illegal activities, but damned in society so that she has hidden away the sixteen months since her husband's death.  Now, her sanctuary at her brother in law's castle home has been invaded, first, by a house party, and next by the murder of one of them.  Kiera has the unenviable joy of being both suspect and the assistant to Sebastian Gage the investigator.

Kiera felt antagonism for Gage from the start because of his handsome looks and rakish flirting and ways with the ladies.  She privately worries he isn't up to the task when they set out on their inquiries, but soon sees there are many facets to this man who takes her seriously and heeds her observations.  But, the killer is among them and doesn't want to be found causing Kiera to peer into every shadow and wonder if she might be next.

I was hooked from page one into the story which started with a vicious killing and a woman emerges as this tantalizing bad girl, shunned by guests who are titillated to speculate about her.  The author established this series as remarkable right there in the first chapter of the debut book.  I think I was fangirling both Kiera and Gage along with Philip and Alanna, Kiera's family right from their opening scenes, too.  I already was drawn to the book because of it being a historical mystery, but the author took my anticipation and gave me so much more.

The time period was interesting as it is the transition from Regency to Victorian periods.  I loved the interests of Kiera's art, her understanding of anatomy, and Gage's knowledge of investigation were placed beside Scottish and English society and manners.

The mystery was dark and twisting.  I didn't catch on until pretty much when Kiera did so I had all the surprises along the way.  The partnering of Kiera and Gage had good chemistry as they both respected and antagonized each other in their turn.  This carried over into the glimmers of a romance that looks to develop through the series.

I ended up enjoying this book in both paperback and audio edition because I swapped back and forth.  Heather Wilds was a superb narrator and delivered the story so that the atmosphere, tension, and emotions as well as the cast of characters came alive for me.  Her Scottish accent was a decent effort though I think the book was shy on Scottish turns of phrase, too.

All in all, I thought this was abso-fab and can't wait to press forward to the next installment.  Those who appreciate a good atmospheric, character-driven historical mystery should definitely pick this up.

Author Bio:
Anna Lee Huber is the Daphne award-winning author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, the Verity Kent Mysteries, the Gothic Myths series, and the forthcoming anthology The Deadly Hours. 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 her next novel. Visit her online at

Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:


  1. Ooo I always love these type of reads. I will add this one to my list!

  2. Replies
    1. You sure could. Right up your alley and its on audio. :)

  3. This is a new one to me and it sure sounds good!

  4. Set in Scotland too, while macabre murders it does sound so very readable.

    1. It's whispering temptations to pick it up, Kathryn. LOL

  5. This is going on my wish list Sophia Rose. Great review!

    1. Always happy to load down your groaning list with one more, Debbie. :)

  6. That sounds good, glad to hear you liked it. Not sure it's a book for me but it does sound good.