cover image A Wicked Conceit

A Wicked Conceit

Anna Lee Huber. Berkley Prime Crime, $17 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-5931-9844-5

As Huber’s artful ninth Lady Darby mystery (after 2020’s A Stroke of Malice) opens in early 1832, Kiera Gage, Lady Darby, has finally found happiness through her marriage to aristocratic inquiry agent Sebastian Gage. The couple are looking forward to the impending birth of their first child, but their brief period of domesticity is shattered by the release of an anonymous fictional account of scandalous exploits by Edinburgh’s real-life thief Bonnie Brock Kincaid and a married couple obviously based on Kiera and Sebastian. The Gages make their displeasure known to the book’s publisher, who refuses to name the author, but their ire can’t hold a candle to Kincaid’s. When the publisher is murdered and the police put both Kincaid and the Gages squarely in their sights, Kiera and Sebastian have no choice but to throw in with Kincaid to find the real killer. Huber provides plenty of depth and detail about social conditions and mores in 19th-century Edinburgh, but the human relationships are the heart of the story. Historical fans will be well satisfied. [em]Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Apr.) [/em]