—Alyssa Maxwell, USA Today bestselling author
In 1919 England, in the shadow of The Great War, many look to the spirit world for answers. But it will take an all too earthbound intrigue to draw in the discerning heroine of Anna Lee Huber’s latest mystery . . .
It’s not that Verity Kent doesn’t sympathize with those eager to make contact with lost loved ones. After all, she once believed herself a war widow. But now that she’s discovered Sidney is very much alive, Verity is having enough trouble connecting with her estranged husband, never mind the dead. Still, at a friend’s behest, Verity attends a séance, where she encounters the man who still looms between her and Sidney—and a medium who channels a woman Verity once worked with in the Secret Service. Refusing to believe her former fellow spy is dead, Verity is determined to uncover the source of the spiritualist’s top secret revelation.
Then the medium is murdered—and Verity’s investigation is suddenly thwarted. Even Secret Service agents she once trusted turn their backs on her. Undaunted, Verity heads to war-torn Belgium, with Sidney by her side. But as they draw ever closer to the danger, Verity wonders if she’s about to learn the true meaning of till death do us part . . .
Praise for the debut Verity Kent Mystery
“Sure to please fans of classic whodunits and lovers of historical fiction alike.”
—Jessie Crockett, author of Whispers Beyond the Veil
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Oh, treacherous night! Thou lend'st they ready veil to ev'ry treason, And teeming mischiefs thrive beneath thy shade.
— Aaron Hill, from his adaptation of Voltaire's The Tragedy of Zara
July 1919 London, England
"I've a favor to ask of you," Daphne declared as she plopped down on the emeraldine cushions of the sofa in my drawing room. "Now, hear me out before you say anything," she added, removing her gloves.
I gazed at her in wary amusement. Her enthusiasm was boundless, as was her penchant for stumbling into bizarre circumstances. I could only guess what predicament she'd found herself in this time.
She inhaled swiftly and then leaned toward me. "I want you to attend a séance with me."
My eyebrows arched in surprise before lowering in displeasure.
She held up a hand to forestall me even though I hadn't uttered a word. "I know you don't believe in them. That you think they're poor form."
"I've never said that."
"No, but it's plain to see. Anytime anyone mentions them, your mouth gets all tight. Like it is now."
I relaxed the muscles pursing my lips, taking her point.
"I'm not saying you aren't right. There are a lot of fraudulent mediums about these days shamelessly swindling the bereaved."
This was sadly too true, and what lay at the heart of my objection to such things. It seemed all of England had gone mad for Spiritualism, desperate to speak to their loved ones who had died before their time, lost to the senseless carnage of the war.
This made them all too easy prey for the unscrupulous.
"But I have an appointment with one of the most gifted and attuned Spiritualists in all of London," she hastened to say. "She comes very highly recommended. Surely you don't object to all such things? Only the shams?"
Rather than answer her, I asked a question of my own. "Who recommended her?"
She sat back, plucking at a loose string on her pale pink frock. "Well, my sister for one."
"Your sister?" I couldn't withhold my disdain, for Melanie was not the most astute judge of character.
"Yes, but not just her. Several other ladies have told me how wonderful her manifestations are. I've even been told the Queen Mother and Princess Louise have consulted her."
This did not sway me, for I'd spent enough time with royals to recognize they were as fallible as the rest of us.
I tilted my head, studying her fretful expression. "Why is this so important to you?" I asked more gently. "Who is it you want to make contact with?" I could guess, but I wanted to hear it from her.
Her eyes slid to the side, staring at the pomegranate damask wallpaper. "Gil's birthday would be tomorrow." She swallowed. "His twenty-fifth. And mine is next month, and I can't stop thinking about how I'll be the same age he was when he was killed." Her stark gaze lifted to meet mine. "I ... I just want to know he's well."
I wanted to reassure her. To quote the same assurances I'd been told time and time again by clergymen, by my parents, by friends, and even by strangers over the long years of the war. They readily sprang to my lips, but I did not let them pass. I was as tired of repeating them as I was of hearing them. Daphne already knew them, and my reiterating them yet again would not help. What she really wanted was a connection, a way to reclaim that which war had severed, and I could not give her that.
I grimaced in understanding, allowing her a moment to compose herself again as she dabbed at her eyes. I was finding it very difficult to say no to her. Not only because she was my dearest friend, but also because her petite stature, golden tresses, and limpid blue eyes aroused a protective instinct within one. She might have been just another bland blond beauty, but for the pronounced hook in her nose. She was forever cursing her imperfect beak, never recognizing it saved her from being a cliché, and instead elevated her into the stratum of arresting.
It wasn't that I didn't sympathize with her desire to contact her brother. Many times, I'd contemplated what it would be like to be able to speak to one of the dozens of loved ones and friends I'd cared for — who had become casualties of the war and the outbreaks of Spanish influenza that followed. But for my part, I was having more than enough trouble dealing with the living.
As if summoned by my thoughts, my husband strode into the drawing room of our Berkeley Square flat. As always of late, my heart beat a little faster at the sight of him. Until a month ago, I'd believed Sidney was dead, killed in France during the Germans' brutal final push in the spring of 1918. But although he'd been critically injured, he'd managed to survive, using his reported death to clandestinely search for evidence that would uncover the traitor working amidst the fellow officers in his battalion. The same man who had shot Sidney and left him for dead.
Although we had worked together to unravel the nest of traitors, I was still coming to grips with his return. Still trying to reconcile myself to the fact that he'd allowed me to believe him dead for fifteen months. Still trying to bridge the distance four and a half years of war had built between us. Our five-year wedding anniversary would be in October, and yet these four weeks since his reappearance were the longest we'd ever spent together.
Correctly sensing that my conversation with Daphne was somewhat delicate, he nodded a greeting to my friend and then settled in a chair on the opposite side of the room, screening himself from our view with his newspaper.
"Can't you take George?" I asked Daphne, feeling only a small twinge of guilt for suggesting she plague our mutual friend with her request.
Daphne's mouth pursed. "He's even more against it than you are. Thinks it's all hogwash, you know that. And he's twice as vocal." She crossed her arms over her chest. "He'd probably tell Madame Zozza to her face."
I well knew George's thoughts on the matter. A brilliant cryptologist and mathematician, George's mind worked along strictly logical lines, and Spiritualism did not fit those. He and Daphne seemed the unlikeliest of friends. He with his stoic logic and calm precision, and she with her wide-eyed naïveté and vibrant enthusiasm. But though Daphne might be a bit thick at times, she was unfailingly, unflinchingly loyal, and George and I both valued that quality almost above all others. As for Daphne, I'd long suspected she'd taken to George because he reminded her of her older brother, Gil, lost early to the war. The same brother she hoped to contact.
"Madame Zozza?" I queried.
"Yes! Quite dramatic, isn't it? I'm sure it's merely her stage name, so to speak."
Her brow lowered. "Yes, but don't let that dissuade you. After all, one hardly wants to visit a medium named Betty Smith."
Perhaps she didn't, but I would feel better about her consulting a woman without such pretensions. Sadly, I knew I was in the minority. After all, the number of séances being conducted across London was nearly as abundant as the number of dances. Those mediums who were most popular performed sessions that were often more spectacular than they were accurate, and consequently were able to book as far in advance as the tickets for a popular revue at one of the theaters.
I had only ever attended one séance — an amateur bit of table-turning at a country house party — and I hadn't found it to be the least entertaining or enlightening. It had all seemed like nothing more than a ridiculous bit of theatrics, even before the ladies involved decided it would be capital fun to channel my still-believed-dead husband. Now that I knew my husband was very much alive, their cruel trick did not bother me over much. But the memory of that night still made my jaw tight with anger and my skin prickle with unease.
To Daphne's credit, she didn't know about what I'd endured at that house party. Otherwise, she would never have asked me to attend this séance with her. And if I told her now, she would be horrified. So I kept the matter to myself.
Torn between my desire to protect Daphne from her own gullibility that would make her an easy mark and my own revulsion at the practice, I tapped my fingers against the arm of my bergère chair. "When is this séance?"
She pressed her lips together, hesitating before she admitted, "Tonight."
I narrowed my eyes in suspicion. "If this Madame Zozza is as gifted as you claim she is, how long have you had this session booked?"
"I know, I know. I should have asked you sooner. But ... I was afraid you'd say no."
I scowled, furious at this bit of manipulation. "It would serve you right if I did. Let the woman bilk you of all your money. See if I care."
I folded my arms over my chest and turned to stare out the tall Georgian-style windows where a light summer rain fell. Sidney's newspaper rattled, and I was certain he'd heard at least this outburst. That is, if he wasn't already remorselessly listening to the entire conversation.
Daphne's eyes flicked toward him before she shifted forward on the sofa, leaning across the distance toward me. "You have every right to be furious with me. I would be cross, too, if I were in your shoes. I know how you feel about these sorts of things. Which is precisely why I need you to be the one who comes with me." She pressed a hand to the powder blue serge of my skirt. "Please, Ver. I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't extremely important. You know I can't go alone."
She was right about that, and I was relieved to hear her admit it. A good con woman would recognize how much she'd loved her brother, how terribly she missed him. And she would also quickly realize how naïve and trusting she was. After all, the success of her scams depended upon that knowledge. She would twist that to her advantage if someone wasn't there to shield her.
I turned to look at her and then wished I hadn't. Then I wouldn't have seen that cursed gleam of hope shining in her eyes. Or watched it dim as I remained silent.
She heaved a sigh. "I suppose I shall just have to take my sister then. Though she'll make the entire session about her. Who knows if I'll even be able to slide in a word edgewise?" She frowned. "She'll probably wish to summon Humphrey, and you know how tiresome her husband was in life. Well, to hear Melanie talk, he's even more so in death."
I couldn't help but crack a smile. Not that I believed a medium had actually ever summoned Humphrey. But if she was skilled enough, she would read Melanie's clues and respond appropriately.
However, I sobered quickly at the preposterous idea of Melanie being trusted to protect Daphne. Melanie was enough of a spendthrift that no matter how deeply she was taken in by a medium, such a person would never be able to defraud her of all her money. But Daphne was much more impressionable, and her heart bruised easily. I'd seen it often enough. The walls I'd been able to erect around myself during the war, to shield me from the full impact of hearing of yet another death, seemed nonexistent for her. She felt it all. Perhaps in the end, that meant she was better off than the stilted, jumbled mess I'd become, but it also meant she was vulnerable.
I swallowed my affront, reaching across to clutch her hand. "You're determined to see this medium? I can't sway you to let it go?"
She shook her head. "I know you mean well, Ver, but I'm going, no matter what you say." Her mouth set with stubborn determination.
I glanced up at the ceiling, just knowing I would regret this. "Then, I'll go."
Her eyes widened. "Truly?"
She gasped in delight and sprung forward to embrace me, enveloping me in the scent of lavender. "Oh, thank you, thank you! You'll see. There won't be any shenanigans."
I smiled tightly, wishing I could believe that.
She gathered up her hat and gloves, and hurried toward the door, lest I change my mind.
Sidney lowered his newspaper as she approached. "Good morning, Miss Merrick."
"Hullo, Sidney. And remember, I told you to call me Daphne. I'm not about to stand on ceremony with my dearest friend's long-lost husband." She grinned at me over her shoulder, though the wattage was a shade too bright. I could tell she was somewhat unnerved by Sidney. Since his return, he was more reserved, more intense, and combined with his brooding, dark good looks, it was difficult not to feel off-balance. But nonetheless, I appreciated the concerted effort she was making to befriend him. Even if it was a tad too relentless in its cheer.
His answering smile was polite. "Of course. Shall I ring down to ask the doorman to hail you a cab?"
"No, I've brought my umbrella, so I think I shall walk," she replied breezily, already bustling out into our entry hall. "Goodbye!"
At the click of the door to our flat closing, Sidney dropped all pretense of reading the newspaper. "What was all that about?"
I crossed the room to the matching sofa closest to his chair, folding my legs underneath me as I leaned against the arm. He was turned out quite impeccably today in a crisp white shirt and deep blue suit that offset his eyes. His dark hair was once again cut neat and trim, the curls smoothed flat, save for that one stubborn lock that insisted on falling over his brow — as if to tip off unwary strangers that his interior was not quite so ruthlessly set in order.
"She wants me to attend a séance with her tonight after our dinner at the Langham's."
"Well, I suppose she at least shows some sense in taking you along with her." He dropped the newspaper on the table and reached over to remove one of the Turkish cigarettes he preferred from its silver box. "I suspect if you sent her off to sell a cow, she'd return with a handful of beans."
I sighed at his derisive tone of voice. He'd yet to warm to Daphne. He thought her flighty and ingenuous, both counts I couldn't entirely dispute. His wit was darker, more sardonic since his return, but on this matter he usually kept his opinions to himself. Especially after I'd explained what a boon she'd been to me during the war.
"She's not quite so foolish as that," I retorted.
His expression as he lit his fag was doubtful. "I still have difficulty imagining her working for the Secret Service." He exhaled a stream of smoke, tilting his head in consideration. "Unless it's all a charade."
"I told you she worked for counterespionage, managing the Registry." A massive filing system that kept track of every foreigner or suspicious person on British soil. "And artless as Daphne might seem, she's not stupid, and very good at minding her tongue."
I still found it odd to be sharing such information with him after I'd spent the entire war hiding it. I'd been forbidden to reveal my part in the Secret Service to anyone. Very few people even knew of the agency's existence, particularly the branch in which I worked, handling the military intelligence from overseas. Later in the war, Sidney had grown suspicious about the true nature of my war work, and uncovered the truth by getting a colleague of mine drunk, a man who also happened to be an old school chum of his. However, he'd not revealed to me that he knew what my real war work was until after he returned from the dead.
It still irked me that he wouldn't tell me who had betrayed me. Loose lips were extremely dangerous in that line of work. I could only hope the fellow hadn't shared sensitive information with someone less honorable than Sidney.
"Regardless, she doesn't work there anymore," I added, uncomfortable with this turn in our conversation. Just as I had been let go a few months after the armistice, my services no longer needed, what with the men returning from overseas.
I still didn't know what Sidney thought of my having worked for the Secret Service, and part of me was afraid to ask. After all, there were many who thought of spies, particularly women ones, as sordid, licentious, and untrustworthy. The manner in which they were portrayed in books and in films at the cinema did not help, for they usually fit the mold of the infamous Mata Hari rather than the more realistic portrait of the vast majority of the women I had known in the service.
I resisted the urge to squirm under his regard, uncertain what he was thinking. Whatever it was, it wasn't light or frivolous.
He exhaled again. "So you're attending a séance at this ... Madame Zozza's."
So he had been listening, at least to part of our conversation. I rested my chin on my hands. "It appears so. What of you?" A sudden thought occurred to me. "Will you be all right?" I hadn't ventured far from his side in the past four weeks, and the few times I had gone out in the evening without him, I'd returned home to find him staring morosely into the fire while he nursed a glass of whiskey.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Treacherous Is the Night"
Copyright © 2018 Anna Aycock.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Anticipation of where this new beginning will lead . . . How does one pick up life as a couple when you've believed yourself, and lived as, one widowed? The second entry in the Verity Kent series seeks to sort this through. Until... murder follows the morning after Verity accepts an invitation to spend a questionable evening at a woman's home. Now the complexities compound... relational and life threatening. Verity's former Secret Service employer and automatic go to doesn't offer the outcome she anticipates, yet intuition leads her back across the channel in search of clues. Tension mounts as sleuthing returns Verity and newly found husband to battle zones literally and figuratively. A multi-layered novel of conflicts and resolution allowing readers the inside look at who the characters of this Verity Kent series have been and are becoming. Prowess of author Anna Lee Huber in creating and offering insights of their tragedies and tenderness draws readers into understanding of the past and anticipation of where this new beginning will lead them. Suspense is rising as my interest is piqued in who Verity and Sidney will become as a couple. Ground work is well laid and possibilities wide open. I await book 3 with high anticipation . . .
I have read all of Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby series as well as her debut Verity Kent book. I think that this one is my favorite of them all. She is a wonderful writer and her books are meticulously researched. I am looking forward to reading more of both series!
Treacherous is the Night is the second tale in A Verity Kent Mystery series. If you have not read This Side of Murder, you will not be lost. Everything a reader needs to know is included. Verity Kent is a strong and intelligent woman who served her country during the World War I. She believed her husband, Sidney was dead until he recently returned to the living (it is a long story). Sidney has not been forthcoming with Verity and she still resents what he put her through. Verity and Sidney have been changed by the war. Their marriage is suffering, and they need to communicate. Of course, they married in haste and have spent little time together since they said I do. Then there is the dashing Max Westfield who is attracted to Verity (if only Sidney had really been dead). I admit to not liking Sidney. He is a bully with a quick temper, and there is a lot of Sidney in this book. Anna Lee Huber is a detailed oriented writer which makes for a slow paced story. I found it challenging to wade through this historical mystery. I thought Treacherous is the Night lacked an ease to it. It seemed formal and stilted. The mystery is overly complex and the plot farfetched. There are a number of officers introduced and it is impossible to keep them all straight (they just blend together). I liked the clever clues left for Verity to find which she amazingly solves quickly. I enjoyed the Kent’s trip through Belgium with the descriptions of how the country looked after the war. I also liked how the author incorporated historical information into the story. I am giving Treacherous is the Night 3 out of 5 stars. While there are some interesting sections, I felt the book was a miss. I will let Verity continue on with her adventures without me.
I love all the books by this author. This is the second in the Verity Kent series. I loved the first book, and think the second is great. I loved the fact that it gives insight into the period immediately after the end of WWII. Excellent story. I was caught up in the story from the very first page, and couldn't read fast enough to see what would happen next.
How war can change people Verity had become an Agent in the war and had just had the return of her husband Sidney after believing him dead. Verity’s visit to a séance and a message given to her about a past secret service mission in the war will take her and Sidney on a journey back to the fields of Belgium. They have a journey of there own to achieve to find the love and trust that has temporarily deserted them. The pace of this mystery picks up after reaching the shores of Europe. The journey is left open to follow Verity and Sidney into the next story. I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is a good follow up on the first book. The main characters are developing and working at their precarious relationship. It takes Verity mentioning her shift is life style from before to after Sidney's "death" to begin to really get through to him what she's been through. A good mystery with the ever-present question of who can be trusted
I actually reread the first Verity Kent novel before starting this one and I am glad I did. I had forgotten a lot of what happened in the first book and rereading the first one helped me understand the second one. However I must confess that I hoped Max would have been the winner in the battle for Verity's affections
4 stars Netgalley advance copy Really good second entry to a great series. So enjoy reading about life/events surrounding WW1. Seemed to be well researched. Hope to read lots more about these characters.
This second Verity Kent mystery is evocative of and sensitive to the post World War One atmosphere in Europe and the anguish of many of the returning soldiers. Part romance, part mystery and part war story, it's a great read. Former intelligence operative Verity Kent believed her husband Sidney died in battle. She lost herself in wartime work to forget, and was impervious to danger because after his death she didn't care whether she lived or died. But (see book #1) he did return. Much of the strength of this book lies in the couple's struggle to regain the intimacy they once shared and for each of them to forget the trauma of the war and to build a new life together. Meanwhile an odd mystery challenges them. Verity reluctantly attends a seance with a friend, only to have the medium mention an old intelligence ally that no one should have known about, and to mention that she needed help. Verity begins tracing back through the years to find this woman. Her journey, which takes them to battle-scarred France and Belgium, makes the couple both confront old ghosts and past fears. Terrific setting and great characterizations set this apart. Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review.
“Treacherous Is the Night” by Anna Lee Huber is a thrilling mystery set during 1919 England just after the war, when many who are grieving seek solace from spiritualists. Atmospheric and engaging, it features Verity Kent, once a member of the Secret Service who sets out to uncover the truth about the supposed death of a female spy. Then the medium who channels the lost spy is murdered, and Verity is blocked by her former spook colleagues in discovering what truly happened — and finds her own life in danger. Highly recommended! Pub Date 25 Sep 2018 Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TreacherousIsTheNight #NetGalley
The second book in this great series picks up shortly after This Side of Murder ends. Verity and newly-returned-from-the-dead husband Sidney leave post-first-world-war England and journey to Belgium to find a former colleague of Verity's from her days in the Secret Service who may be in danger. Verity and Sidney aren't sure what, if anything, is left of their marriage, and they try to come to terms with their relationship as they navigate an increasingly dangerous situation that might see one or both of them killed. Anna Lee Huber does a masterful job of weaving history and fiction together in a fascinating plot that leaves us anxiously awaiting the next book in this series.
Dollycas’s Thoughts In this follow up to This Side of Murder, Ex-Secret Service Agent Verity Kent is doing her best to reconnect with the husband she believed was killed in the war. His surprising return happened in the last book just as she started to have feelings for another man. It is difficult to curb those new feelings when the man seems to pop up everywhere as he did to a séance her friend had dragged her too. In This Side of Murder a Quija board upset Verity greatly and this time a séance sends her into a tizzy when the medium singles her out and reveals secret information about one of the other agents Verity has worked with. Before Verity has a chance to question the medium is suspiciously killed. Unsure who she can trust Verity starts her own investigation and she and her husband Sidney travel to Belgium. They know they have been followed but she needs to find the truth no matter how dangerous her mission seems. Verity Kent is a complex woman who has had quite a life for her young years. Working as a Secret Service Agent during the war took her to dangerous places and put her in dangerous situations. Her husband quickly sees this is not the same woman he left behind when he went into battle. She has become confident and almost fearless. It makes him see his own service in a different light too. Their relationship had become stunted because they both held everything in. While he wants to escape to the country she can’t back away from the search for her compatriot. This could be the final straw that breaks their marriage. In addition to the relationship struggles of our protagonist, the author delivers an excellent mystery. Verity’s quest to find her cohort takes us deeply into La Dame Blanche (Belgian underground intelligence). She knows her friend needs her help and the path we follow with her is absolutely captivating and at times scary. Each twist, each turn, a breadcrumb here, a breadcrumb there, she doesn’t give up. As a reader, I enjoyed following this strong, smart. woman wherever she went. Anna Lee Huber gives us a look at England and beyond after World War I in rich detail. She describes the places and the people so vividly. This author knows how to build a story that is full of intrigue. She has done her research and I always feel like I learn something while reading her books. The detail while great did slow down the pace just a bit in places, but when the pace picked up I was glued to the pages to the very end. The book leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I really like Max, the other man in Verity’s life, but I should want her to be with her husband, right. Sidney may have had his reasons for what he did, but it just toasts me that he just thinks Verity should welcome him with open arms. I am very interested to see what the author has planned for Verity. This book can be read all on its own, but I recommend reading them in order to fully understand Verity and the situations that occur within this story.
I so do love complicated mysteries. Verity and Sydney sure do have their hands full and I loved every minute of it.
It is 1919, and the shadows of World War I still loom in this superb second installment in the Verity Kent Mystery Series. TREACHEROUS IS THE NIGHT follows Verity and her “resurrected” husband Sydney as they face ghosts from the war in an attempt to save their marriage and decipher the message that one of Verity’s friends from her time in the Secret Service is trying to send. Readers follow along on the pair’s complex quest to find Emile, survive the dangers presented, and solve a murder mystery while they’re at it. Verity is not the woman she was five years ago, and she fears that time and experiences have taken a toll on her marriage to Sydney. Though she is a strong, self-sufficient woman, her insecurities about her war service and indiscretion weigh heavily on her, and she fears that she and Sydney cannot get past them. Of course, Sydney is on rocky ground himself having to face the repercussions of his actions during the war. Not having spent much time together during the war, they do not know each other well, and one wonders if they can ever trust each other and move on. Should they not, Max Westfield is standing in the wings ready to explore the attraction he and Verity felt in THIS SIDE OF MURDER. There is a lot of character development and growth within these pages. These are relatively heavy circumstances to circumvent, but Huber seamlessly weaves the domestic plot thread with intrigue, history, and murder mystery. The author’s eloquent and elegant prose and vivid descriptions of the landscape, people, and thoughts paint striking images of a post-WWI world that drew me into the story. The history is obviously well researched, and I can always count on learning something from reading Huber’s books. There is plenty of peril and tension, with twists, turns, and clues, to keep me reading past my bedtime. All of the various threads come together to make a most satisfying read. TREACHEROUS IS THE NIGHT is one of my best reads of the year. I highly recommend this intelligent historical mystery to any reader. I received an ARC of this title from the author and publisher and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
Anna Lee Huber began a new series last year when This Side of Murder was published. In Treacherous is the Night, the second novel featuring Verity Kent, the author hits her stride. The reader learns early on that Verity was an agent in La Dame Blanche, a resistance and intelligence group, during WWI. This story has to do with events that had their origin in that time. At the beginning of the novel, Verity, although not a believer, attends a seance with a friend who hopes to contact her brother. For those who don't know, attending seances was common after the war. The medium appears to channel an agent with whom Verity worked during the war. From this point on, the novel is a hunt for clues to find Emilie and to prevent a tragedy. While the reader assumes that, since this is a series, Verity will survive, the author should be credited for creating suspense in her narrative. There is a reason to read the books in order. SPOILER: This has to do with what happened to Verity's husband, something the reader learns in the first novel. However, if the reader is willing to move forward, there is no reason that this novel cannot be read first. I gave This Side of Murder three *** and am happy to give the new novel four. I enjoyed spending time with the main characters in this book and look forward to meeting up with Verity, Sidney and the rest of the crew in the future. Thanks NetGalley and the publisher.
What a wonderful second entry in this series! It is hard to understand that both world wars separated husbands and wives for years. Imagine getting married days before your husband goes off to war and seeing him for a few days at a time once or twice a year until the war's end. This is Verity Kent's reality until she receives word of her husband Sidney's death. And then Sidney comes back from the dead 15 months later. She resents his not contacting her despite his reasons. They have both been changed by the war. Neither is entirely open with the other. This story begins as they've been back together for four weeks. A wartime mystery from Verity's Secret Service work has cropped up, threatening lives and her tenuous marriage. She is compelled to find and warn a woman from her past, even knowing it may damage her shaky marriage beyond repair. The historical details of this time, 1919, are well researched and heartbreaking.
Treacherous In The Night is the second book in the Verity Kent Mystery series. I find this historical mystery to be a very enjoyable, well researched and written series. Ms. Huber gives the reader an interesting look at post-WWI Europe. The story begins a few months after the conclusion of This Side Of Murder. Verity and Sidney are still walking on egg-shells around each other. Verity hasn’t completely forgiven Sidney for letting her believe he was dead for 15 months. She wants to make their marriage work, but at the same knows that Sidney is also carrying the scars of war. Verity reluctantly agrees to attend a seance with Daphne Merrick, a friend, and former co-worker at the War Office. Verity feels that these seances are a sham, but as it proceeds, she is singled out by Madame Zozza who has a message from Emilie. Emilie had been a member of La Dame Blanche, an intelligent-gathering network and had served as a courier for Verity during the war. First, Verity does not believe that Emilie is dead since she never knew Verity’ s real name and if she did there was a breach of security somewhere in the War Office. Verity meets with some of her former colleagues at the War Office and with Max Westfield, the Earl of Ryde. The War Office isn’t willing to help very much, so Verity and Sydney set off for Flanders to begin a search for what happened to or where she might be. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see what adventures Verity and Sydney are off on
Treacherous Is the Night by Anna Lee Huber is the second book in the series A Verity Kent Mystery. This book and series are set In 1919 just after World War I in England and Europe. I love the well researched historical details of life and the effects of this war on the people that lived during this time. The author has written realistic historical fiction with romance, spys, thrills, suspense and mystery. I have enjoyed every book written by this author and recommend them all no matter the time period. My thanks to the author, the publisher and netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.
I enjoyed this second in series but maybe not quite as much as the first. This one resolved the love triangle from the first one (a “dead” husband and a new interest) and had Verity back home in London after her first adventure at Umbersea Island. While this one provided some in-depth looks at WW1/Secret Service (including a more intimate background view of Verity) and a locale change to Belgium, it was not quite as interesting as meeting Verity and solving the subsequent mystery of the first. However, let me just say that I adore Huber’s writing. She’s on my auto-buy list for historical mysteries. She’s one of my favorites for her exhaustive research, her character development and her original plot lines. Thanks to #NetGalley , #Kensington and the author for the ARC. The opinions are strictly my own.
Armistice Day, the formal end of The Great War was November 11, 1918. This November will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of that war. Treacherous Is The Night is a great book to read to remember those who fought and helped in the war and to learn a little more about a time 100 years ago. Treacherous Is The Night is the newest Anna Lee Huber book. I have loved her Lady Darby series and I loved her first book, This Side of Murder, in her new Verity Kent series. Treacherous Is The Night is the second book in that series. During the war Verity worked as a spy in the Secret Service. She often worked with La Dame Blanche, also a spy collecting information organization and often consisting of women. Verity learns that someone knows of her work in the Secret Service, which was suppose to be a secret. A woman who worked with the La Dame Blanche may also be dead which Verity won’t believe. Though her marriage is struggling she leaves for Belgium to try and discover who knows about her secret work and to help her friend. Treacherous Is The Night did a great job is showing how war affects people. Those who fight and must come to terms with the things they had to do and the things they saw. Those who stayed behind but still had to put their lives on hold as they also found ways to help and as they waited for soldiers to hopefully return home to them. I really like Verity. She learned to be strong during the war as she gathered information for Britain. She has learned to stand up for herself and what she wants. But she is also vulnerable. With the return of her husband Sidney she finds herself working for her marriage. They must both discover the new person each other has become and the heartbreak and forgiveness that follows. I really enjoyed Treacherous Is The Night. I was as caught up in whether or not Sidney and Verity work out their problems as I was about the mystery. I loved learning more about World War I and especially the La Dame Blanche and the great strong women who found a way to take part in fighting for what they loved.
I haven't ever really thought about what effect war would have on a newly married couple until this book, and Anna Lee Huber does a tremendous job of making us realize that there was so much to deal with even after a war ended. Along with this, the mystery that she's given the protagonist to solve, while she's trying to repair her marriage, is also a war aftermath. This is another insightful, amazing book in this series, and I highly recommend it.
Ms. Huber has penned another fabulous mystery in this series. She has demonstrated great skill as she writes in a new setting that is roughly 90 years later than her popular Lady Darby series. Many authors are not able to adapt from one setting to another as successfully as she. With lyrical prose that appeals to the senses, Ms. Huber adeptly draws her readers into the setting of post-war Europe that is filled with danger and intrigue. The shadow of the Great War continues to haunt Verity and Sidney as they travel to Belgium to uncover secrets that threaten the lives of many who worked undercover for the British Secret Service and the Allies. After believing that Sidney was dead for 15 months, Verity finds that the years of the war have changed both of them. As they work together, Verity and Sidney find that the secrets they reveal not only have the power to uncover a murderer, the secrets of Verity's role in the war have the power to either destroy or strengthen their fragile relationship as well. Huber gives us a heroine that is compelling with her courage, strength and independence. But she is also fragile and endearing in her insecurities. This exquisite story will appeal to fans of historical fiction and mysteries alike, providing a lyrical tale filled with danger, intrigue, endearing characters and a little bit of romance to satisfy the reader's heart. I look forward to reading more of Verity's exploits in the future. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.