Anna Lee Huber, "A Fatal Illusion" (Berkley Books, 2023)


A Fatal Illusion (Berkley Books, 2023)—the eleventh installment in Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby Mysteries featuring Kiera and Sebastian Gage—opens in Yorkshire in 1832. The two of them have come a long way since their first acrimonious meeting two years earlier; in fact, they have married and produced an infant daughter. Yet Kiera, Lady Darby, is still known by her detested first husband’s title—a courtesy extended by society that she would much rather forgo in favor of being plain Mrs. Gage.

On this occasion, Gage has received word that his father has been attacked and left for dead on the Great North Road. Despite years of neglect and mistreatment, Gage rushes to his father’s side, bringing his family with him. After discovering his father alive, if not well, Gage and Kiera set out to discover who attacked him and why, but they have to contend with both the victim’s refusal to share all he knows and resistance from the locals, who are determined to protect a group of highwaymen (or is it a group of smugglers?) whom they believe to be the nineteenth-century equivalent of Robin Hood.

As always in these mysteries, the setting comes vividly to life, the problems unknot themselves in satisfying but not always predictable ways, and the characters slowly move toward greater understanding of themselves and others. If you haven’t encountered Kiera and Gage before, you should certainly seek out their adventures. But do yourself a favor and start with book 1, The Anatomist’s Wife. Although you can tackle the books in any order, you will enjoy them more if you read them as I did, from start to finish.

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 the anthology The Deadly Hours. A Fatal Illusion is her most recent novel.

C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and three other novels. Her latest book, Song of the Storyteller, appeared in January 2023.

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C. P. Lesley

C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and four other novels. Her latest book, The Merchant's Tale, co-written with P.K. Adams, appeared in November 2023.

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