Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: England, 1919
***I received an eARC copy of This Side of Murder from the publisher, Kensington Books, via NetGalley***
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Review: Thoroughly engaging and fun! I really enjoyed this historical mystery. This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber, a new mystery set after the end of WWI, is full of information about the war, and has a compelling lead character in Verity Kent. I really liked Verity, as she was quick thinking and logical, and always seemed one step ahead of everyone else. She had a cool vibe, and while I didn’t necessarily agree with every action she made, she was engaging and spirited with a bit of mystery to her.
Verity heads to a house party on an island, and this setting is where the mystery starts really moving along. This Side of Murder has plenty of interesting characters. You’ve got Verity, whom I really enjoyed, and I also liked Max Westfield, Sidney’s commanding officer, and one of the men invited to the house party who Verity has an instant connection with. The party was filled with tension, as the men were all men who fought together in the war, and knew Sidney. There is also tension between the women, as there is past history between Verity and the wife of one of Verity’s good friends. Not a romantic history, but rather a long, strained friendship turned enemies history.
I really got sucked into this story and the characters. I couldn’t put this book down, and I loved all of the talk about ciphers and codes, and learning different ways coding was done during WWI. There were some minor issues I had with various plots, some things were just a little too convenient, but as a whole I really loved this mystery, and think that this series has great promise. There will no doubt be similarities mentioned between this and Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series. Both are set after WWI, but the heroines of each series are very different. Maisie is more serious, while Verity has more of a fun side. I think fans of Maisie will enjoy Verity! I know I did!
Bottom Line: Excellent mystery with a fun heroine. I’m looking forward to future books in the series!
Does this sound like a fun read? Do you enjoy historical mysteries? Which mysteries are your favorites?