Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: As Death Draws Near

Anna Lee Huber
As Death Draws Near (A Lady Darby Mystery, Book 5)
By Anna Lee Huber
Berkley, July 2016

About the Book

July 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England’s Lake District, Kiera and Gage’s seclusion is soon interrupted by a missive from her new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that Kiera and Gage look into the matter.

Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travel to Rathfarnham Abbey School. Soon a second nun is slain in broad daylight near a classroom full of young girls. With the sinful killer growing bolder, the mother superior would like to send the students home, but the growing civil unrest in Ireland would make the journey treacherous.

Before long, Kiera starts to suspect that some of the girls may be hiding a sinister secret. With the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend, before their matrimonial bliss comes to an untimely end.

My Review

Kiera and Gage are newly married, but their relaxing honeymoon in the Lake District is rudely interrupted by Gage’s disapproving father. Lord Gage asks the newlyweds to journey to Ireland where a distant cousin of Lord Wellington’s, a novice at an abbey outside of Dublin, has recently been killed. With nothing to go on but the few facts in Lord Gage’s note, Kiera and Gage make their way to the abbey.

Once they arrive, Kiera and Gage get a sharp and sudden reminder that religious differences in Ireland are at a fever pitch and members of the English aristocracy are not welcomed with open arms. Many on both sides resort to violence and intimidation to settle the differences between the largely Catholic public and their English Protestant overlords. What a girl from a prominent, English Protestant family is now doing as a Catholic convert in an Irish abbey, Kiera and Gage can only guess. When another woman is murdered and tensions begin to boil over, however, Kiera and Gage must solve the murder before they need to fear for their own lives.

Readers get to experience Ireland through Kiera and Gage’s eyes, and it’s a welcome change of pace for these two now-familiar detectives. Kiera must reconcile her role as investigator with her newfound role of wife and, one day, mother. She also gains a fresh perspective on just how fraught the religious situation is in Ireland and how the Catholics she comes to know there are not the villains she was always told they were. This investigation proves to be a whole new playing field for both Kiera and Gage, and it’s a wonderful journey to see them work through this new phase of their lives as a team in both work and life.

1 comment:

Susan @ Reading World said...

I'm reading this now! It's a great series.