Book Review: This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber (A Verity Kent Mystery, 1)

This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber is the first book in the Verity Kent mystery series. Set in post-World War I England, the novel follows the story of Verity Kent, a former Secret Service agent who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of her husband in the war. When she receives an invitation to a party at the estate of a friend of her late husband, she sees it as an opportunity to try to uncover the truth about her husband’s death. However, when one of the other guests is murdered, Verity finds herself drawn into a dangerous web of secrets and lies that threatens to destroy everything she holds dear.

The novel is a well-written and engaging mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Huber does an excellent job of creating a sense of time and place, and the post-war setting is vividly depicted. The novel is also notable for its strong female protagonist, Verity Kent, who is both intelligent and resourceful.

One of the strengths of the novel is its complex and well-developed characters. Verity Kent is a fascinating protagonist, with a complex past and a strong sense of justice. She is haunted by the death of her husband, and this tragedy has left her emotionally scarred. However, she is also determined to find the truth and to bring justice to those who have been wronged. Huber does an excellent job of showing the conflicting emotions that Verity feels, as she struggles to come to terms with her own grief while also pursuing her investigation.

The supporting cast of characters is also well-drawn. The other guests at the estate are all suspects in the murder, and each one is given a distinct personality and motive. Huber does an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing as to who the real killer is, and the twists and turns of the plot are both unexpected and satisfying.

The writing in the novel is strong, with a clear and concise style that is easy to read. Huber has a talent for creating a sense of tension and suspense, and the pacing of the novel is well-managed. The murder itself is not revealed until about halfway through the book, but the buildup to the crime is expertly handled, with clues and hints scattered throughout the narrative.

One of the most interesting aspects of the novel is its exploration of the aftermath of World War I. The impact of the war on the characters is evident, with many of them suffering from emotional and physical scars. The political and social upheaval of the period is also reflected in the novel, with tensions between the classes and the fear of communism and socialism lurking in the background.

The historical setting of the novel is well-researched and is depicted with accuracy and detail. Huber does an excellent job of immersing the reader in the time period, with descriptions of the clothing, architecture, and customs of the era. The novel is a fascinating glimpse into a period of history that is often overlooked in literature.

This Side of Murder is a well-written and engaging mystery that is sure to appeal to fans of the genre. The complex characters, engaging plot, and vivid setting all combine to create a novel that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The book is the first in a series, and it sets up a number of intriguing threads that are sure to be explored in future installments. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a well-crafted and engaging mystery. You can get a copy of this thrilling series entry from Amazon here.


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