A gothic series set in 1830s Scotland.
What is the Lady Darby series about?
Written by American author Anna Lee Huber, the Lady Dabry Mysteries is a historical mystery series about Lady Kiera Darby, an artistic sleuth who uses her talent for the macabre to bring murderers to justice in 1830s Scotland.
At the beginning of the series, Lady Darby is the widow of Sir Anthony Darby, a renowned English anatomist awarded a baronetcy for service to the Crown as a surgeon. She is a talented portraitist and used to serve as her late husband’s illustrator, for whom she sketched the cadavers he cut up for the book on anatomy he was writing. When a murder happens, her particular set of skills is put to use…
How to read the Lady Darby Mystery Books in Order:
Every book in the Lady Darby Mystery series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- The Anatomist’s Wife – Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. 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.
- Mortal Arts – After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care. But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator-and romantic entanglement-Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery. Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend-and save the marriage of another…
- A Grave Matter – 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.
- A Study in Death – After she’s commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is shocked to find her client prostrate on the floor. Both a physician and Lord Drummond appear satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit. Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth-no matter what, or who, stands in her way…
- A Pressing Engagement (novella) – With her wedding only a day away, Kiera is counting down the hours. But just when matrimonial jitters threaten to consume her, Kiera receives a welcome distraction in the form of a mysterious gold necklace. The Celtic torc, thought missing for decades, was directly involved in a recent investigation. Now, Kiera feels compelled to uncover the truth behind its sudden reappearance.
- In a Fevered Hour – novella collected in The Deadly Hours, the tale of a priceless and cursed gold watch as it passes through time wreaking havoc from one owner to another.
- As Death Draws Near– Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage get tangled in a dangerous web of religious and political intrigue following a deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland. Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth and with the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend.
- A Brush with Shadows – All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage’s grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage’s cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred’s disappearance. And when Alfred’s brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage’s past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage’s family before the moors claim yet another victim…
- An Artless Demise – A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals, Burke and Hare. And when Kiera receives a letter of blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late anatomist husband’s involvement with the body snatchers and wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how precarious her situation is. Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found murdered a block from his home, and the man’s family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate.
- A Stroke of Malice – Kiera and Sebastian Gage have been invited to the Duchess of Bowmontʼs Twelfth Night party in Traquair, Scotland. But upon their arrival at the opulent estate, it becomes obvious that all is not merry in their hostess’s home. The family appears to be under a great strain, and someone seems determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes. Matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the partygoers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castleʼs crypt. Kiera and Gage soon realize that a ruthless murderer walks among them-and may well be a member of the duchessʼs own family.
- A Wicked Conceit – A rash of crimes break out across the city, seemingly inspired by a play and book featuring some of the roguish criminal Bonnie Brock Kincaid’s daringly heinous exploits. When the publisher is found brutally murdered–in an imitation of a gruesome scene–the finger not only points to Bonnie Brock as the possible culprit, but also the Gages. Now, the Gages are on a hunt to unmask the killer. Between the infamy garnered by the play, the cholera outbreak still wreaking havoc throughout the city, and they will need all the resources they can garner.
- A Perilous Perspective (2022) – 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.
- A Fatal Illusion (2023) – Yorkshire, England. August 1832. Relations between Sebastian Gage and his father have never been easy, especially since the discovery that Lord Gage has been concealing the existence of an illegitimate son. But when Lord Gage is nearly fatally attacked on a journey to Scotland, Sebastian and Kiera race to his side. Given the tumult over the recent passage of the Reform Bill and the Anatomy Act, in which Lord Gage played a part, Sebastian wonders if the attack could be politically motivated.