When Kiera, Lady Darby’s, husband died suddenly, her role in his work on an anatomy text was discovered. She is vilified as unnatural and shunned from polite society. She returns to Scotland to live with her sister and her family and to continue to paint portraits, although now she must sell them under a pseudonym. During a house party at her brother-in-law’s estate Kiera is reluctantly drawn into the investigation for the hideous murder of one of the guests.
Lady Darby is an interesting, complex character. The mystery is well plotted, with Victorian manners and society woven through the suspense. Enough background information about the history of anatomy study and painting is offered to make the story interesting, but not enough to bog down the novel.