I have been in a 1920's mystery-esque reading binge recently. I had finished The Diviners by Libba Bray and Death by Misadventure by Kerry Greenwood, and decided to pick up This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber. This side of Murder is the first of the Verity Kent Series. Anna Lee Huber also has under her belt the Lady Darby Mystery Series and the Jacobite's Watch Anthology. This Side of Murder was the right story to continue my reading binge. It had 1920's spirit, with awesome descriptions of dresses and hairstyles, handsome men recovering from a war (The Great War), and it had a juicy mystery.
This Side of Murder starts with the heroine, Verity Kent, receiving a letter basically telling her that her dead husband was not who she though he was. Verity's husband had died in the war in the middle of an ambush. Verity herself, had worked as a secret agent decoding messages. The letter instructed her that if she wanted to find out more about what the sender knew about her and her dead husband she would have to attend an engagement party for one of her husbands friends who also served in the war with him. Once Verity gets on the boat that will take her and the other guest to the party, which is on a private island, she discovers that her husband's whole battalion has been invited to this party. She also realizes that many of the men there might not get along, theres constant jabs, indirect comments, and tension, which makes Verity question why the group has been reunited. Things start to get even worst when guest start to disappear and are found dead. Verity realizes she might be in danger and must figure out who lured her to the island and why.
I enjoyed this book a lot, it had all the qualities of a fun read; intrigue, tension between characters, twist, and a savvy heroine. The cast of characters and combination of personalities stranded on this island made for interesting conflicts, and lots of secrets being kept. This story had two really good twist, which when you think about it where hinted at, but there is so much going on that you really don't expect it. I thought the twist were well done and kept me on my toes.
Overall, I would recommend this book to any cozy mystery or historical mystery lover. If you are like me and a sucker for anything 1920's or enjoy a strong female problem solver character, you will enjoy this story.
** I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**