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Mortal Arts

(Lady Darby Mystery #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  6,260 ratings  ·  602 reviews
Scotland, 1830. Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes. 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 fell ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Andrea Seaver
Well. What to say. Let's start with the good. Lady Kiera Darby is a heroine with an interesting backstory. She views the world in which she inhabits with a bit of an outsiders eye, and since the novel is written first person, hers is the only viewpoint we have. The setting (rambling family manse in Scotland) is interesting for the time period. No London high society setting, very different. The storyline/mystery: very high promise. What depravities might Kiera's tortured past art instructor be c ...more

Once again Lady Kiera Darby is thrown into another inquiry this time dealing with her old friend and art teacher William Darby. William was thrown into an insane asylum by his evil father. The situation become even more dire when a local girl is killed and eyes turn to the still healing and troubled William.
With the aid of Sebastian Gage, Kiera set out to fight for the innocence of her beloved friend and find the turn killer.

As sequels go, this just blew the first book away. The story never slowed
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: Scotland 1830

Summary: In the second book by Anna Lee Huber, Lady Kiera Darby accompanies her pregnant sister Alanna to Edinburgh for a much needed medical care for her. And although Kiera would never admit it, she is excited to be in the same city that she know's investigator Sebastian Gage is in as well. While there, she plans to attend the wedding of an old family friend. But when a local girl goes missing and the groom's brother becomes a suspect, Kiera once again must us
3.5 stars

Since most of us don't read the author's notes until the book is done, I found some info that I would have loved to have known at the start. Would have helped with the imagery of the two houses.

The Dalmay House in Mortal arts was based on Dalmeny House, and the crumbling abandoned castle was based on Barnbougle Castle. There's also a short video taken of the old castle here on Youtube.

Now for the review. You'll have to mosey on over to Booklikes and read it here.
Very creepy, with a master of an insane asylum gone rogue and a man who suffers from severe PTSD in the same area when a young lady disappears. It's a mostly clean mystery, with some mild period curses and some innuendo, along with moderate violence. I'll definitely be moving along to the third book in the series to see what else Kiera and Gage will be solving.
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading The Anatomist's Wife, I couldn’t wait to rejoin Kiera and see what happened next to her. Naturally, another mystery presents itself to be uncovered, involving her childhood art tutor, who had been missing for nearly ten years.

I must admit I didn’t expect this but I appreciated Huber’s choice of dealing with mental illness (PTSD from war experience) in a time when it was totally misunderstood, and the horrors of quite a few contemporary insane asylum. The resulting narrative
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Mortal Arts is Anna Lee Huber’s second in the Lady Darby Historical Mystery series published by Berkley Prime Crime, September 2013

If you have not read the first in this new series, The Anatomist’s Wife, run out and get a copy, download a copy, whatever you have to do, and then get ready for Mortal Arts. Find a quiet place, get a glass of wine or fresh brewed coffee or tea, and let the Victorian atmosphere and careful narration take you away to another time and share with you the sounds and scents tha
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
This is definitely a series that I'll be sticking out, if only in hopes of seeing Kiera and Gage make it to the altar one day. :D I love their banter and how protective Gage is and how Kiera still won't let that stop her from solving the mystery at hand. She's plucky and courageous and one day, I'm sure she'll get that gun she's been meaning to purchase. ;) Lord knows she's gonna need it if she keeps on her current path. I do wish there was more of an on-going mystery and not just a new case wit ...more
3.5 stars.

This was a heartbreaking mystery (which, again, wasn’t very mysterious) featuring a strong h and a well developed cast of secondary characters. The suspense was good and the development of the relationship between the MCs continued to draw me in. There was no sex in this book (yay!) and no OP drama at all. The thing I probably appreciated the most about this book was that the h didn’t chase the H. She didn’t apologize for anything that wasn’t her fault and she wasn’t a doormat. I’m lo
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kiera and Gage are once again involved in solving another mystery, but this one is far more personal to Kiera, giving us a great chance to learn more about her beyond her past with her brute of an anatomist husband. It says a lot for how sympathetic an heroine Kiera is that the enormous pain she experienced due to the events in The Mortal Arts soured my mood as much as hers. Although I liked her healthy, loving relationships with her sister and brother-in-law, it was even better seeing her stand on ...more
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An unconventional female heroine, paired with an enigmatic and charming male lead; whispers of a brewing attraction between them; set in 1830 on the rocky coast of the Firth of Forth in Scotland; a mystery involving betrayal and a creepy lunatic asylum and the disappearance of two young girls-- this historical mystery has everything a reader of my tastes could want, and indeed, I was prepared to devour it with singular enjoyment. The trouble is, it fell short on all of these elements. The heroin ...more
The Lit Bitch
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After rapidly finishing the first Lady Darby book, I knew that I would need the next one. I didn’t care that the book cost $14.00 on my Kindle and I had tons of other books I could read….I had to know what happened to Gage and Kiera next!

This book was much different than the first one and I think I liked it even more than the first book! I loved all the Gothic elements that this one had. The first book lacked some of my favorite elements but this one did NOT disappoint!

Mortal Arts
4 Stars

Lady Kiera Darby travels with her sister and brother-in-law to Edinburgh, but is detoured to Dalmay by an urgent missive from Phillip’s aunt. It seems that Michael Dalmay, an old family friend, is soon to be wed to Phillip’s cousin. Unfortunately, the return of Michael’s older brother and the disappearance of a local girl put a pall on the wedding plans, and Kiera is forced to join forces once again with the enigmatic Sebastian Gage to uncover the truth.

An enjoyable
I'd enjoyed Book 1 in this series SO much (despite some nitpicks) that I immediately bought Book 2; with this one, Book 2, I had no nitpicks at all. I just loved it! This is such a binge-worthy series. The mystery was much stronger in this volume, and I really, really love the way the relationships are developing through the books - not only Kiera's relationship with her romantic interest, but also with her family members and old friends and in the way she's learning to re-enter larger society a ...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
The mystery and suspense weaved into the plot of Mortal Arts is far superior to the first book of the series, in my opinion. You guys, it is impossible not to become emotionally involved in the story. William, who has been locked away, is a former soldier suffering from PTSD in a time before it was recognized or understood. The combination of watching him suffer as well as seeing everyone around him at a total loss as to how to help? Heart wrenching, seriously. PTSD is still so misunderstood eve ...more
Heather Gilbert
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
At this point, I am fairly confident to say I'm going to like every book in this series. Although this one is setup differently from a traditional mystery (ie: we don't have a body at the beginning), Huber once again makes me feel invested in the characters and the setting right from the get-go. This novel delves into PTSD in a time when it wasn't recognized as such, and I couldn't put the book down until I knew what had happened.

I truly admire Huber's smooth writing style. Both nove
Abandoned on page 47, after several weeks where I was not able to sustain interest in the story. Might come back to the series later... but probably not.
Lady Kiera Darby is enroute to Edinburgh with her sister's family when they are sidetracked at the behest of a family friend. Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but when his fiancée's family learns that Michael's older brother William - Lady Darby's beloved childhood painting tutor - has been released from a nine-year stint in a mental institution, they no longer approve of the marriage. Lady Darby having believed that William was dead is both overjoyed to see him and shocked by his frail me ...more
Reread rating: 3/5

There were a couple of obvious irregularities that Kiera chose not to investigate, which was out of character for her, especially the time when they appeared.

Original rating: 4/5

Awesome sequel to The Anatomist's Wife. I finished it in one sitting! The plot is tighter, more complicated with greater consequences and an incredible setting. Keira's character development is a welcome to read as she becomes more confidant. But most of all, I appreciate the au
Elliot A
Feb 03, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stopping at 119 pages. I don't think I'm in the mood for this story at the present moment. Speaking purely from my own point of view; I found the protagonist has changed from the first instalment to this one. She seems more subdued and centred too much on her own plights, which are still the same as in the first book. I was looking forward to a murder mystery set in Scotland during the 1800's, but instead it felt like recycled internal conflicts and social commentary.
Again, this is how I felt w
Lupinus Texensis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The 2nd book in the Lady Darby series kept me just as enthralled as the first one did. While I did figure out the whodunit and why pretty early in the book, it was the relationship aspects that kept me turning the pages until the end. Darn it Sebastian is still such a mysterious character. Keira and I both wanted to bash him over the head for not just kissing the stuffing out of us a time or two. :-) I wish that I had the 3rd book in the series in my hot hand so I could find out where this roman ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Mortal Arts is the second offering in the Lady Darby series. I liked it even better than the first book, The Anatomist's Wife.

Anna Lee Huber offers mysteries set in 1800s Scotland. She paints a clear picture of what life was like during the time period and location. In addition to the mystery, there is a budding romance between the two main characters.

I recommend the Lady Darby mysteries for those that enjoy Charles Todd and/or Regency Mysteries. I do recommend starting with The Anatomist's Wi
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
This was just excellent! I liked the first one, but this one just hit all the right notes for me. The mystery almost felt like an afterthought to me with this book. It was more about mental illness, most especially what we now call PTSD, and how people were treated at the time. The horrors they were often subjected to were unspeakable. I have a personal interest in the treatment of depression, what was referred to as simply melancholy during the time period these books are set in, and a book lik ...more
Absolutely bloody brilliant. Great story, fabulous, intense characters but a real ensemble piece lead by the best hero and heroine and superbly written.

The thought of having to wait for the next installment is physically painful, it's that good.

5 stars. All time favorites list. Absolutely loved it.
Susan Snodgrass
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished the second Lady Darby mystery and loved it very much. Anna Lee Huber is a master at crafting a great mystery. This one deals with some seriously painful situations, and in a great addition to the series. Kept me guessing, to be sure.
Now I must wait till Amazon delivers the third Lady Darby mystery.
Donna Weaver
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scotland, 1830. Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes. 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. ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Lady Darby series has caught my attention and I want to read all the books now. The cost of the ebooks will slow me down. The Books I have read remind me of Victoria Holt's gothic mysteries. This book covers the treatment of a mental health patient and PDTS.
Lord Cromarty is moving his family from the Castle to Edinburgh so that Alana, Keira sister can have excellent physician care during her pregnancy. A stop at Michael Dalmay home they learned that that is brother William is alive and
Rachel McMillan
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd read
This second installment was exactly what I had been anticipating after all the recommendations. I adore Gage and his banter/chemistry with Kiera. I can't wait to learn more about their pasts.

On to book 3!

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Lady Darby Mystery (8 books)
  • The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby Mystery, #1)
  • 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)
  • A Stroke of Malice (Lady Darby Mystery, #8)
“If all else fails, proceed with unbending civility.” 2 likes
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