cover image A Pretty Deceit: A Verity Kent Mystery

A Pretty Deceit: A Verity Kent Mystery

Anna Lee Huber. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2848-7

Set in 1919, Huber’s fine fourth Verity Kent mystery (after 2019’s Penny for Your Secrets) finds 23-year-old Verity, who operated as a spy behind enemy lines during WWI, and her husband, Sidney, motoring down from London to her Aunt Ernestine’s estate in Wiltshire. Aunt Ernestine, who’s in dire financial straits after her husband’s recent death, fears a number of paintings and other objets d’art that she was hoping to sell have been replaced by forgeries. Meanwhile, a house maid goes missing and tensions are building between Aunt Ernestine and her son, Reg, the new baronet, who was blinded at Ypres two years earlier. In addition, Verity learns that her nemesis, Lord Ardmore, is plotting some insidious skullduggery. The discovery of a body on the estate complicates an already complex plot involving blackmail, political intrigue, and coded messages. The byplay between Verity and Sidney, whom she believed dead for three years after he was erroneously reported killed in action, lends some romantic heat. Huber elegantly blends espionage and mystery. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Sept.)