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

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  4,817 Ratings  ·  780 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2012)
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Feb 13, 2014 Bee rated it it was ok
I'm going to be the bad guy here and leave a 2-star review amidst all the 5-star ones that motivated me to read this book in the first place. THE ANATOMIST'S WIFE had such good potential, plot-wise. Murder mystery set in a castle? Check. 1830s Scotland? Yes, please. Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations at all. The characters were predictable and their speech and actions reminded me too much of a cheesy romance novel. (a side point: any main character who refers to her own hair, in ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Rane rated it really liked it

I found myself completely immersed within this story- that I was surprised when I reached the end. I was stuck between being at awed and disappointed that it was over! (Lucky for for I still had two books to look forward)

While dealing with subject matters, Anna Lee Huber kept the reader going with a strong mystery that prompt you to continue even when at times the story did tend to slow. You along with Lady Darby and Gage pick up small clues that may lead to one thing or another.

Lady Kiera D
Feb 09, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Can someone please explain why it took me so long to read Anna Lee Huber's The Anatomist's Wife? I'm trying to come up an excuse, an amazing alibi that would explain such an egregious oversight, but I've got nothing. You know, besides a tbr list that is fast approaching the three thousand mark and really, who doesn't have one of those?

In stark contrast to the myriad of atypical heroines that plague this genre, Kiera isn't a
This was a great book! I whizzed through it in no time (always sign of being sucked into a good story), and absolutely can't wait for the next one. It was very similar to the Lady Julia Grey books by
Deanna Raybourn, which I also love, but the heroine, in particular, is a very different type of person than in Lady Julia.

In choosing this particular heroine, the author has a really interesting character. She is considered extremely eccentric by the standards of her time. However, her eccentricitie
Oct 09, 2016 ❀⊱Rory⊰❀ rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

When Lady Darby's husband, an anatomist, dies she goes to live with her sister and brother-in-law at their castle in the Scottish Highlands. This is 1830 and Lady Darby is now a social outcast, considered unnatural, because her husband forced her to assist in his human dissections, using her talents as an artist to help him create a fully illustrated anatomy book.

After a guest is murdered during a house party, Lady Darby is asked to assist Sebastian Gage,
Dec 22, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Angie by: Allison (The Allure of Books)
Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

I have Allison over at The Allure of Books to thank for this recommendation. I believe I had heard the title of this Victorian mystery bandied about some and never did chase it down on account of the title itself. Something to do with a proliferation of the so-and-so's wife titles at the time, I would imagine. But. I'm so very glad I listened to Allie and gave it a shot. Anna Lee Huber's series (which stands at three novels at the present time with a fourth d
Jan 03, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
Where I got the book: purchased at indie bookstore at an author event. Signed. I know Anna Lee Huber in person.

I enjoy the historical mystery sub-genre, and I'd place this book in company with Tasha Alexander's or Lauren Willis's; a fairly fluffy, enjoyable escapist read. I say "fairly fluffy" because Huber has given her heroine, Lady Keira Darby, a darker background than most; her late husband was an anatomist who married her for her artistic skills and then obliged her to make drawings of the
Oct 28, 2012 Audrey rated it really liked it
The Anatomist's Wife (Berkley Prime Crime, $15.00) is a love story masquerading as a historical crime novel - and it's a good one!

Lady Kiera Darby came to the Gairloch estate in an attempt to hide from London's nobility. Her sister, the countess of Gairloch, welcomed her with open arms following the death -- and resulting mess -- of Kiera's husband, a respected anatomist living in the shadow of the great Burke and Hare scandal.

A painter by trade, Kiera takes refuge in Scotland and removes hersel
Mar 04, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I have been trying to get to Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby series for some time, and I'm so glad that I have finally started it. The Anatomist's Wife, set in the Scottish Highlands in the 1830s, delivers mystery, intrigue, and personal demons. Oh, and the atmosphere. Huber masterfully creates just the right amount of shadows, candle light, and lonely passages throughout the castle, with the relentless rain of the season and a nearby loch, where waters do indeed run deep. It is, in short, an atmosp ...more
Jina Howell-Forbes
Jun 06, 2016 Jina Howell-Forbes rated it it was ok
Shelves: o-k-but-ho-hum
A good enough book...likable characters, some mystery. But it was impossible to care even one fig about the murder victim. At the end of the book, the murder is solved, but the love interest was unrequited and strung out to the next book, and Lady Darby is still being shunned by society for the sins of her dead husband. That meant to me that there wasn't much point to the story. The protagonists (both male and female) needed to be a lot more compelling to overcome the general ho-hum of the plot. ...more
I truly enjoyed following this mystery to its close. Yes, I guessed who the killer was at about the halfway point, but the character development drew me on to the close. I also really enjoyed the Scottish setting. An excellent book for a debut.

*18+ for occasional strong language and for mentions (not descriptions) of affairs/bedding/child out of wedlock
Dec 10, 2012 Misfit rated it really liked it
Shelves: scotland
I can't wait for more with Lady Darby and Gage. Excellent historical mystery.
Jan 05, 2016 Andree rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Pretty, pretty, pretty book.

I love everything about this. I think this might be the historical I've always wanted? Just YES. I just think this is so well written. This book features, in no particular order:

1. Lady Darby. I love her. She's not entirely as I expected her to be, given the description, but she is a fabulous heroine. After the injustices and horrors of her life, she just wants to hide, but her strength and selflessness, and love for her sister and brother-in-law and their family (par
At AudioGals, I've given this an A- for content but the C+ for the narration pulls the grade down a bit and I'm leaving it at 4 stars for the AUDIOBOOK version.

It’s possible that I may have squealed with delight when I learned that Anna Lee Huber’s series of historical mysteries featuring Lady Keira Darby were being released as audiobooks. The books themselves (there are three so far; The Anatomist’s Wife is first in the series) have all proved to be highly entertaining, well-constructed tales f
Olga Godim
Aug 08, 2014 Olga Godim rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, historical
I would’ve never picked up a book with such a Gothic cover if not for the recommendations from my online friends. Thank you, ladies. I really enjoyed this novel.
A historical mystery set in 1830, it starts with a corpse during a house party at a Scottish castle. The protagonist Kiera is the sister of the castle owner’s wife. Her own husband has been dead for over a year, but the repercussions of his nefarious activities before death still haunt Kiera. She is hiding from the society’s scorn in the
Jun 08, 2013 Aoi rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

From the 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, he
Nov 11, 2015 Liz rated it liked it
I liked this book but I didn’t love it. It was fairly well written despite some obvious editing issues throughout (references to the wrong names, titles, etc.). Fortunately someone who had checked the book out before me was kind enough to put corrections in the margins! The mystery is engaging and while I was not overly enamored with Lady Darby, she’s a little wishy-washy and timid for my tastes, I think it leaves room for character development in the rest of the series. Definitely worth continu ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is blurbed by Deanna Raybourn, and that's absolutely spot-on. Which is to say: this novel isn't particularly original either in setting or plot, but it's very well done and a really enjoyable read nevertheless. I can't say it's my favorite because the genre isn't my favorite (though I do enjoy it when it's done well!) but I will definitely be continuing the series.
First Sentence: The scream froze me in my tracks, but the shout that followed propelled me out of my indecision and around the hedge line of the maze.

Lady Kiera Darby is staying with her sister and brother-in-law in order to recover public notoriety heaped on her after her husband’s death. Her peace quickly ends with the murder of a house-party guest, and the request by an enquiry agent, and fellow guest, asking for her to help by employing the skills others deemed unnatural.

There’s no peaceful
Dec 27, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it
Yes, finally another historical mystery series that I can get into! Or lose considerable sleep over, as it stands with this book. It’s mystery-driven, with an intelligent and sympathetic heroine and a male partner-in-detection who actually detects rather than being a convenient knight protector. I should add that there are some anachronisms present, both in speech and definitely in behaviour, but they were nothing so significant that I couldn't ignore them.

As the title The Anatomist’s Wife impli
Aug 11, 2015 Melodie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Period mysteries are not usually my thing, but I decided to give this series a shot based on rave reviews from 2 book friends whose opinions I really trust. They didn't steer me wrong. Lady Darby is quite the interesting character. An artist in a time when "ladies" were seen and not heard. She ended up in a loveless marriage that her father arranged, to a man who made her put her talents to use illustrating his anatomy book. After his death she's accused of all sorts of atrocities and goes to th ...more
Sep 16, 2015 Mei rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This series is very similar to Deanna Raybourn's Lady Grey's series and since I loved that one I must say that Lady Darby's book did not disappont! All the contrary: I loved it!

The story is interesting and the first persone narrative (from Kiera's POV) is very, very, very good!

Kiera is an unusual character and woman of her time. She's almost masculine in some of her reasoning and views of the world, but at the same time she's also very femminine and delicate.

She's an artirs, a painter, but she's
Mar 11, 2015 strayhats rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
What bothered me most was the gross hate-on the main character had for any other women who weren't related to her. Any women who was 'flirty' or 'twittery' were, according to Kiera, vapid and promiscuous. And how dare they be only interested in clothing/beauty/gentlemen/etc.

Also, the main character's attractiveness was shown to the reader by disparaging and putting down other women in the book. Apparently she was just so alluring to all the gentlemen because she wasn't gettin' it on and wasn't o
12/28 - having finished the book, there was background about the near-witch hunt that went on after the husband's death. I still can't make the connection between being forced to draw anatomical bits and murderess; different mores, crowd hysteria.

I think I'll try the sequel, but this isn't more than 3 stars.

12/25 - it isn't obvious to me why Lady Darby is immediately suspected of being the murderer.
Nov 24, 2012 Ariel rated it it was amazing
Kiera's husband died unexpectedly a year and a half ago. Sir Anthony Darby married her for one reason only, to use her artistic ability to illustrate his book. He was an anatomist and surgeon, one of the men who dissected scores bodies to document how the human body functioned back when medicine was getting more scientific. Kiera was forced to do the illustrations of internal organs etc. during the dissections. When her husband suddenly died, the truth was revealed about her husband's work and h ...more
Dec 22, 2013 Cat rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
After her husband's death, Lady Kiera Darby retires to her sister's estate (Gairloch Castle) in the Scottish Highlands. Sir Anthony Darby was an anatomist in London and after their marriage, he forced Kiera to become his assistant, using her artistic talents to make illustrations of his work. When he died, Kiera find herself in the middle of a scandal and was accused and almost tried for taking part on her husband's work; people say she is unnatural. She was acquited of all charges and left Lond ...more
Nov 03, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical mystery lovers
Shelves: favorites
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 polit ...more
Nov 15, 2016 Brianna rated it really liked it
I've wanted to try another historical mystery series ever since I started Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia books. After going through the ones I had, I selected this one because I thought it had an interesting description. While I don't think it rivaled the first Lady Julia book, I am definitely intrigued enough to read more in this series.

I really liked the heroine, Kiera. She was proud, and a little bit traumatized due to her past. Her now-dead husband forced her to sketch dead bodies, because he
Lee Anne - OMG! It's TOOOOO Cold!
This review will appear on November 2 at https://romantichistoricallovers.word...

The Anatomist’s Wife is a fabulous murder mystery with tons of suspense threaded throughout the entire story. It starts off with a scream and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

After having her reputation tarnished by her late husband’s actions, Lady Darby is living in a self-imposed exile at her sister and brother-in-law’s house in Scotland. During a house party, a noblewoman is murdered. Sebastian Gage is asked t
I loved this debut mystery!! I'm not generally a huge fan of mysterious, but the book description of its historical setting and unusual heroine had me picking up this one. I certainly wasn't disappointed.

The Anatomist's Wife is set in 1830 at a house party in Scotland. The novel opens with a murder at Lady Kiera Darby's sister's house. Kiera is one of the first people at the scene and suspicion falls on her because of her scandalous past as an illustrator for her husband, an anatomist. Kiera's
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 04, 2015 09:58AM  
  • A Dissection of Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
  • When Falcons Fall (Sebastian St. Cyr, #11)
  • Silent on the Moor (Lady Julia Grey, #3)
  • India Black and the Widow of Windsor (Madam of Espionage, #2)
  • Death in the Floating City (Lady Emily, #7)
  • Vienna Waltz (Rannoch/Fraser Publication Order, #4)
  • Bellfield Hall (A Dido Kent Mystery, #1)
  • Sweet Revenge (A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery, #1)
  • Deadly Engagement (Alec Halsey Mystery, #1)
  • The Emperor's Conspiracy (Regency London, #1)
Anna Lee Huber is the Daphne award-winning author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, and the Gothic Myths series, as well as the forthcoming Verity Kent Mysteries and the anthology The Jacobite’s Watch. 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 fami ...more
More about Anna Lee Huber...

Other Books in the Series

Lady Darby Mystery (6 books)
  • Mortal Arts (Lady Darby, #2)
  • A Grave Matter (Lady Darby, #3)
  • A Study in Death (Lady Darby, #4)
  • As Death Draws Near (Lady Darby, #5)
  • A Brush with Shadows (Lady Darby, #6)

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“We all must deal with our shadows the best we can. No one can conquer them for us.” 7 likes
“People changed, often for the worse.” 1 likes
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