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Guest Review: A DECEPTIVE COMPOSITION by Anna Lee Huber


Lady Kiera Darby and her dashing husband, Sebastian Gage, hope they’ve finally found peace

after a tumultuous summer, but long-buried family secrets soon threaten to unravel their lives. . .

October 1832. Kiera is enjoying the slower pace of the English countryside. She, Sebastian, and

their infant daughter have accompanied her father-in-law, Lord Gage, home so that he can

recuperate from the injuries he sustained in a foiled attempt on his life. But as the chill of autumn sweeps across the land, they receive a summons from an unexpected quarter. Lord Gage’s estranged uncle—a member of the notorious Roscarrock family—has been murdered, and his family is desperate for answers. Despite Lord Gage’s protests, Kiera and Sebastian press on to Cornwall to assist. It isn’t long before they discover that almost nothing is as it seems among the Roscarrocks, and they’ve been lured to their isolated cove under false pretenses. There are whispers of a lost treasure and frightening allusions to a series of murders stretching back decades that touch the lives of the family personally. Kiera and Sebastian are left with no choice but to uncover the truth before the secrets of the past threaten to destroy them all.


“Come see who I found wandering the corridors.” I looked up from the sheet music at the sound of my father-in-law’s voice, my fingers trailing to a stop along the pianoforte keys.

GUEST REVIEW by Sophia Rose

The harsh and beautiful Cornish coast and estranged family with a dark past are the setting for the latest Lady Darby mystery. And, as in the past, Anna Lee Huber can captivate her reader with a mysterious, dangerous plot and make one feel the characters with their personal secrets, motives, and emotions so one is reluctant to set the book aside. A Deceptive Composition brings Kiera and Gage into contact with smuggling and shipwrecked treasure and a family with a dark legacy with plenty of motives to see off the family patriarch.

A Deceptive Composition is the twelfth installment in the brilliant, atmospheric early Victorian era mystery series that is best when read in order. Kiera has arrived at the point where she has come into her own and really starting to shed the darkness of her past- wife, mother, artist, and detecting partner with her husband. Being socially awkward, an abuse survivor, and having unwanted skills with anatomist work are elements that make her sensitive, inwardly strong, and observant. These hold her in good stead now that she and Gage are accompanying his stubborn and sometimes temperamental father back to a place he never planned to return to his mother’s people on the Cornish coast.

The family and the neighborhood are secretive, and no one is entirely trustworthy. The past feels very present, with a history of smuggling and wrecking and hints at a lost treasure, though they are unsure if this has bearing on their investigation. The investigation paces out slowly but steadily, introducing people, few facts, and lots of speculation. This was one I cottoned to and in its entirety around the halfway point. That said, the suspense didn’t diminish, and there was a grand, dangerous climax scene.

All in all, I was satisfied to be back in the historically well-drawn world with Kiera and Sebastian on the trail of murder. Those who want strong character and relationship development, vivid backdrops, and arresting historical mystery need to delve into the Lady Darby series.


smiling white woman with brown hair
USA Today bestselling author Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the USA Today bestselling and Daphne award-winning author of the "Lady Darby Mysteries," the "Verity Kent Mysteries," and the "Gothic Myths" series, as well as Sisters of Fortune: A Novel of the Titanic and the 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 her website.


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