Synopsis and Details:
Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage are looking forward to relaxing with new friends at an exciting yearly soiree, but they soon learn that murder never takes a holiday in the latest riveting installment in this national bestselling series.
Scotland 1832. After enjoying a delightful holiday with her family, Lady Kiera Darby is looking forward to finishing her new friend, the Duchess of Bowmont’s portrait, as well as attending the duchess’ annual Twelfth Night party. Though she normally avoids such fashionable events, Kiera trusts the attention will not be focused on her, but rather her notorious hostess and her family. But upon their arrival at the opulent Scottish estate, Kiera and her husband and fellow investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, swiftly deduce that all is not merry in the duke’s household. The family appears to be under a great strain, and someone seems determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes.
However, matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the merrymakers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castle’s crypt. This corpse is certainly no laughing matter, especially when it is identified as the duchess’ son-in-law, the Earl of Helmsdale, who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. It is evident the man met with foul play, and Kiera and Gage step in to investigate, at the duchess’ insistence. Kiera and Gage must swiftly reexamine the facts, for a ruthless murderer walks among them and may well be a member of the duchess’ own family. Kiera soon discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.
Series: Lady Darby Mystery #8 | Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery | Release Date: April 07, 2020 | Publisher: Berkley | Pages: 384 | ISBN: 978-0451491381 | ASIN: B07V111W1F | Format: ARC | Source: Netgalley
Review with Rating:
A Stroke of Malice was a wonderful addition to the Lady Darby Mystery series! Although this book could be read as a standalone, this would be a series best enjoyed from starting at book one, The Anatomist’s Wife. Although, if you want to dive right in to a smashing mystery, I wouldn’t blame you. This was a nice whodunit that examined two very different relationships as well as explored other characters that we have known before. The story also showed the depth of love that has developed between Gage and Kiera and it was really sweet.
If you are a fan of dramatic tension, there was plenty of drama in A Stroke of Malice. Unfortunately, it was not exactly the kind that I enjoy. I am never a big fan of relationship drama, especially when it involves lies and betrayal. I will say that the details involving the personal lives of a few of the characters will have you pondering the morality of it all and secrets will come tumbling out in this story, so be prepared. There was never a dull moment and there were quite a few points where I was worried for the main characters.
The mystery itself was interesting and I loved that it was woven around a Twelfth Night party that was a little naughty in nature, not religious. The roles at the party muddied the investigative waters so to speak for Gage and Kiera and there were a few great twists that were a bit of a doozy. From the discovery of the body to the conclusion of the case, the clues kept on coming but the danger also escalated and A Stroke of Malice is one historical mystery that I would definitely recommend.
*Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group & NetGalley for this eARC of A Stroke of Malice*
This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.