Friday, October 16, 2020

A Pretty Deceit (Verity Kent #4)


A Pretty Deceit is the fourth Verity Kent mystery by Anna Lee Huber. Released 6th Oct 2020 by Kensington, it's 304 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a tightly written and entertaining British mystery series with a strong espionage element set in the early interwar period. Since the books have an overarching plotline, the individual books don't work very well as standalones in my opinion. It's worth reading them in order, which happily isn't an onerous job; the author is adept at her craft.

In this installment the multi-book espionage plot threads are counterbalanced by thefts and forgeries at the estate and manor house of Verity's Aunt Ernestine. The murder of a local handyman soon results in the arrest of his alcoholic wife, but Verity and Sidney are unconvinced of her guilt and set about investigating the crimes with the distinct disapproval of the local constabulary.

There's quite a lot of scenery changing and traveling in this book - they come and go at a breakneck pace charging around (in Sidney's Pierce Arrow) trying to solve a dizzying array of crimes and skullduggery. The characterizations are well done and I liked that the dialogue is urbane and witty (despite Aunt Ernestine being a rampaging pain in the backside - I spent most of the book wanting to throw a shoe at her).

Entertaining and well written with a satisfying denouement. I recommend it to readers of historical mystery, classic golden age British mystery, and period espionage. Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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