by Anna Lee Huber
Series: Verity Kent #5
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Mystery
I think this book ended up with a 4 star rating because I liked the ending. Looking back as I write this there were several things that probably put this more at 3.5 stars.
There were some editing issues; I’m pretty sure the German Aunt central to this plot started out being on Verity’s mother’s side (references to her mother’s German family) and then suddenly, she’s Verity’s father’s Aunt.
But mostly the story was just so melancholy. It fits with the time period – post WWI – and all the books have been tinged with an appropriate air of pain, confusion and recovery, but Huber just piled on in this book. We have the veterans trying to adjust to life after the trenches, we have Lord Ryder wallowing, passed-out drunk in the uncertainty that his father might not have been a loyal peer of the realm before his death, we have the culmination of a 5 year breach between Verity and her family, and Verity’s inability to confront her grief over the loss of one of her brothers during the war. It’s all very heavy.
Buried underneath all this depressiveness is, actually, a really good mystery, albeit a very slow moving one under the weight of all the above, about the murder of her German Aunt’s personal maid, during a holiday gathering at the family estate in the Yorkshire Dales. Huber touches on the bigotry in the aftermath of war, and the inability for some to differentiate between a person and a government. It was a well-crafted plot, too, in that I should have seen the killer before I did, but missed it.
So, really probably a 3.5 star read, but laziness will keep it at 4. A good story bogged down by what would be normally be compelling side lines on their own, but taken together felt altogether too depressing for a cozy mystery.
I read this for Halloween Bingo 2021 and it fits the Country House Mystery square, as it’s set at the family estate in the Yorkshire Dales.