Mortal Arts (Lady Darby Mystery # 2) - Wow

Mortal Arts - Anna Lee Huber

When I checked out the first book from the library, I was unhappy to see they only had Vols. 1 and 3. Murder by Death told me I had to read them in order (and you can see how much I wanted to move on because I NEVER read out of order), I didn't know what to do. Fortunately, we were meeting MbD at book paradise (aka McKay's) and luck was with me for Vols. 1 and 2 were there. That night I devoured the second book and was glad I waited, while chronologically the book takes place over a few days, it really changes where I saw this series going.

 

Kiera is finally leaving her sister and brother-in-law's estate and the sanctuary it represented for Edinburgh with its society which snubs her and good doctors for her sister's latest pregnancy. Philips's family's command of their presence at the Dalmay estate, which are old family friends of Kiera and Alana. What they find is a ghost has returned, one that turns everyone's lives upside down.

 

The characters continue to impress; not just Kiera and Gage but the old and new people we encounter. Even the ones who are given little "screen" time come across as...human.

 

The mystery was almost Gothic in nature, the setting adding to this sense, and I figured most of it out rather quickly. I enjoyed it, though parts of it were very dark, but it did not surprise me as the first one had. What truly made this book was the difficult and emotional look at what we know today as PTSD. Mental health during this time was...not at its best, particularly the system which was solely set up to keep "these people" separate. The author dealt with this difficult subject with such decency and depth, the story and mystery would have been overwhelmed if they weren't intertwined with Will's fight with his inner demons.

 

I knew, I knew Will's fate, it was foreshadowed almost from the beginning. However, even preparing myself, his death - how it came about and the meaning behind it - absolutely gutted me. As it did Kiera.

(show spoiler)

 

This is a good book on many levels, an amazing book on a couple, and a worthy sequel to The Anatomist's Wife. I was very glad I checked out the third one before knowing I'd get this one though. They flow right into each other.