Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

As Death Draws Near

Thursday, January 4, 2018

As Death Draws Near (2016) Anna Lee Huber

Set in Ireland in 1831

Kiera and Sebastian are on their honeymoon when Gage receives a letter from his father, ordering him to Ireland.

(A) nun at the Loretto Abbey there, has gotten herself murdered. The matter is of some importance to His Grace, the Duke of Wellington, seeing as the chit is his distant cousin. We cannot allow the murder of his relative, foolish and disgraceful papist though she may be, to go unchecked.

On the journey Lord Marsdale, a rake who attaches himself to them, claiming he wants to escape an angry father. Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of him.

“Oh, come now,” he wheedled. “I’m quite capable of behaving myself when the situation warrants it. In fact, I’ve been very well mannered this entire carriage ride. You know I have.” I rolled my eyes heavenward. He sounded like nothing so much as a little boy trying to persuade us he deserved a special treat.

I actually came to like Marsdale in this story. He’s still kind of a jerk, but he very obviously cared for Harriet, and may be a rake, but clearly isn’t a complete cad.

We also slowly learn more about Bree, the young woman who became Kiera’s maid. She’s another character I very much like, and I appreciate that they two of them are still working out the kinks in their relationships–something that was always going to be complicated, despite Kiera’s habit of familiarity with her servants.

I was well aware that I had always been a bit too familiar with servants, too concerned with their opinions, but it was a difficult habit to break, especially when I did not care to do so.

Although the murder is the center of the story, the Irish conflict takes a very large part in this story.

I’d seen the old cottages and mud daub homes of the lower classes of Irish society, a large majority of which were Catholic. They didn’t appear to have an abundance of extra income, nor did I believe they were burying it and saving it for a rainy day, or the moment they finally kicked the English off their island.

How could these men not see it? How could they not hear how ridiculous they sounded? They were wealthy Anglicans, part of the small majority controlling the island. Most of these men protesting the tithes were poor Catholic farmers.

No matter how much things change, they still remain the same. People have been fighting over religion for as long as history, and will create discord and disagreement where none should truly exist.

Sometimes it was difficult to accept the terrible lengths people would go to for their beliefs, particularly when they fooled themselves into thinking they were acting in the Lord’s name or for the public’s good when they were truly reacting out of hatred and fear.

The mystery is interesting, and the history is well-researched, which I deeply appreciate.

In the end, we are only responsible for ourselves, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

This is an enjoyable series, and now I’m all caught up until the next book comes out.
Rating: 8/10

Publisher: Berkley

Categories: 8/10, British, Female, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    

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