Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

A Deceptive Composition

Friday, June 28, 2024

A Deceptive Composition (2024) Anna Lee Huber (Lady Darby Mystery)

A Deceptive CompositionSet in England in 1832

Lord Gage has received a letter from his aunt Amelia, informing him that his Uncle Branok Roscarrock, is dead, she believes it was murder, and asks Lord Gage to come investigate–even though Lord Gage hasn’t spoken to his relatives since he was a child.

“My aunt,” Lord Gage finally replied. His eyes when they lifted to meet ours shimmered with repressed emotions. “Her maiden name was Roscarrock.”

I straightened in realization. For Roscarrock was Lord Gage’s mother’s maiden name. He had long described them as smugglers and rogues, but two months prior he had elaborated upon this report. Not only were they smugglers and rogues in truth, but Lord Gage had been arrested at the tender age of eleven for taking part in their free trading. The magistrate overseeing his case had given him three options—go to prison, pay a hefty fine, or purchase a commission in the Royal Navy. His father had washed his hands of him, but his Grandfather Roscarrock had chosen the latter.

Kiera and Sebastian convince Sebastian’s father to travel to Cornwall to investigate, not only for the possibility of murder, but because Sebastian is curious about the family he knows almost nothing about.

“?’Tis always sad when the opportunity to mend one’s differences—nay matter hoo small—closes forever. ’Tis something to be lamented.”

how do you mourn someone you never really knew? Perhaps you merely mourn the space in your life they should have occupied, the void their absence left behind. Like an echo of pain rather than the ache itself.

The mystery was good, however, the story again chose the dramatic bit I saw coming from a mile away. It’s not that it was a bad choice, it was just glaringly obvious, much like when it came time for Kiera to give birth and I KNEW something terrible was going to happen so she had to give birth in some strange place.

I just prefer it when stories don’t take the obvious route.

It was good to see Lord Gage’s family, and how what happened in his childhood shaped who he became and how he raised Sebastian. I’m still not sure how much I believe the reconciliation between Sebastian and his father, but at least it wasn’t unrealistic, with both men still prickly and uncomfortable with each other.

It wasn’t a bad book–not at all–I just wish she didn’t always take the obvious and dramatic route for the resolution of every mystery.

Characters: Stephen Lord Gage, Emma Gage, Amelia Killigrew, Branok Roscarrock, Bree, Anderly, Tristam Killigrew, Dolly Killigrew, Morgan Knill, Anne Wolcott, Imogen Trewhella, Jago, Pasca Grenville, Dr. Wolcott, Meryasek Roscarrock, Bevil Killigrew, Joan

Cover art by Larry Rostant

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: 7.5/10


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