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

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  6,868 Ratings  ·  1,028 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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Popular Answered Questions
Liz I'm gonna third the suggestion for Lady Julia! I am enjoying Lady Darby but she doesn't compare to Lady Julia. I've enjoyed all of Raybourn's books…moreI'm gonna third the suggestion for Lady Julia! I am enjoying Lady Darby but she doesn't compare to Lady Julia. I've enjoyed all of Raybourn's books and female leads!

Also wanted to throw out a suggestion for C.S. Harris -- love her Sebastion St. Cyr books. (less)
Llewellyn Probably PG-13. Most of the book is pretty tame, but it is about a murder, and Lady Darby has a kind of creepy past.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Oct 03, 2012 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 12, 2014 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
May 2012: Four stars

Started re-reading on April 16, 2018, to remind me of the particulars, before catching up with the series...

4/21/18 Almost finished my second read of this book, and unfortunately not as pleased as I was the first time around. Still an interesting historical mystery, but the characters have a bit less depth than I remembered. I like the setting in 1830s Scotland... but I'm noticing dialogue with anachronistic phrases. This i
Dec 08, 2012 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
Oct 03, 2016 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,
Reread rating: 3.5/5

I honestly want to read it a third time. I just cannot get enough of Kiera and Gage. This was so much fun to read. I loved all the little things hinted at that are revealed later and the murder mystery was really good as well. I disagree with some of my opinions I had made back in 2014, but I didn't feel for this seriesback then the way I feel for it now.

Ratings: 2.5/5
I'm a sucker for murder mysteries where the investigator and an individual related to the mystery form an al
The Lit Bitch
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Anne Lee Huber’s novel Secrets in the Mist, I realized how desperate I was for another Gothic romance novel. I wasn’t really up for a murder mystery but everyone raved about Huber’s Lady Darby mysteries so I thought I would try out her well known mysteries that boast Gothic elements and romance.

The Anatomist’s Wife was on my radar years ago when it released and I recall trying desperately to win a copy when it was published. I obviously didn’t win a copy, but I did try very aggress
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
Jina Howell-Forbes
Jan 10, 2013 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
Shari Kay
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this one quite a bit...but I wanted to mention up front the e-reader price for this older book(2012) is NUTS. I looked ahead to future books in the series and they are all outrageously expensive...soooo, I'm not sure if I enjoyed it QUITE enough to spend the money for the next one. Moving on...

Lady Darby is a widow and an artist. Her husband was a surgeon/anatomist who only married Keira for her illustration skills. He forced her to draw his 'observations' while dissecting cadavers for a
Dec 04, 2013 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
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 29, 2014 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
Oct 28, 2012 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
Feb 20, 2015 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
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, kindle
Alas, another historical detective novel that could have been so good but failed to hit the mark... This one I even told myself I wouldn't like, in the hopes that I would jinx myself and end up with something amazing. There's so many good reviews for it as well! Hell, even Simone St. James rated it 5 stars, and seeing as she's awesome, I thought this book would be great!

Well.... It wasn't. It definitely had a good story and an interesting main character, but it fell down on historical accuracy a
Really enjoyed this! I want to thank Raine for her great review that put me in the path of this book and author. I am late to this book party, so a lot of my friends already have great reviews out there on Keira and Sebastian. I will say that Sebastian fits Ilona Andrew's definition of an "alfahole" to a t. But he is still a likable guy and I can't wait to jump into the next book of the series. If you like Sebastian St. Cyr or the Captain Lacey series, then you might like this.
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scotland
I can't wait for more with Lady Darby and Gage. Excellent historical mystery.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It seems that I've got a new mystery series to obsessively read.
this was an unexpected fast-read. predictable yet still enjoyable. endearing characters. tho sebastian gage was meh. will i pick up the next book? maybe. but im not really in a hurry.
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 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
Nov 03, 2012 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
Dec 27, 2015 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
Heather Gilbert
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
Wow! I'm so thrilled I found this new-to-me author. The historical details in this story are interesting, but are so gently interwoven, I never felt I was being lectured (the hallmark of good historical fiction, in my opinion). The characters were well-developed and interesting, and the pace was just right--I savored the read but was definitely very hooked. The ending was so satisfactory, even without being a "happily ever after," which I also appreciated. I like it when we have a little room fo ...more
Mar 11, 2015 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
Sep 03, 2015 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
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've been hearing friends talk about loving this series for years, but I'd never picked it up because of my totally irrational aversion to the "The So-and-So's wife/daughter/sister" title formula. Well. The downside is that I missed out for a long time on a series I would love - but the upside is that there are now 6 books in the series, so I get to really dive in!

I love Keira, the introverted, anxious, emotionally scarred artist heroine who's thrust into a murder investigation and finds a whole

I liked the characters in here but wasn't all that invested when it comes to the murder mystery. It wasn't as exciting as I was hoping it would be. I liked the Kiera and Gage dynamic though!
This was REALLY good, even if it didn't quite reach Lady Julia Grey levels. I've already started the second novel, and I cannot wait to see what will happen to Kiera next.
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Saucy Wenches Boo...: June - The Anatomist's Wife 29 9 Jun 30, 2017 10:06AM  
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, the Verity Kent Mysteries, the Gothic Myths series, and the forthcoming 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 family and is hard ...more
More about Anna Lee Huber

Other books in the series

Lady Darby Mystery (7 books)
  • Mortal Arts (Lady Darby Mystery, #2)
  • A Grave Matter (Lady Darby Mystery #3)
  • A Study in Death (Lady Darby Mystery #4)
  • As Death Draws Near (Lady Darby Mystery #5)
  • A Brush with Shadows (Lady Darby Mystery #6)
  • An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7)

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“We all must deal with our shadows the best we can. No one can conquer them for us.” 12 likes
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