Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Anna Lee Huber Interview - An Artless Demise

Photo Content from Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the Daphne award-winning and national bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mystery series. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. From a young age, her imagination was boundless. She spent her summers with her four brothers and one sister playing Star Wars, wearing snow boots and her mother's old nightgowns while swinging plastic bats as light-sabers, and The A-Team hanging off the riding lawn mower (what else were they supposed to use for the van?). In the fourth grade, she penned her first story and asked her teacher to read it to the class. Sure, it was titled Prom Duty, and a ten-year-old doesn't really know much about high school dances, but she chalked it up as her first success. She went on to write several more stories, including a series featuring her own gang of mystery-solving teens, keeping her pen moving despite teenage hormones and a cross-country move to South Carolina.

Having dreamed of becoming a Rock Star, more along the lines of Amy Grant than Britney Spears, Anna attended college in Music City USA-Nashville, Tennessee. There, she met her husband while acting in a school production of Our Town. They married just before she graduated summa cum laude from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. Discovering she was better trained to sing opera than Top 40, and uncertain where her future lay, she found work as an administrative assistant while she tried to find herself again.

While pondering her choices, Anna rediscovered her need for creative expression. She began arranging music, and returned to her love of writing fiction. She now pens the national bestselling Lady Darby historical mystery series for Berkley Publishing; the Verity Kent historical mystery series for Kensington Publishing; the Gothic Myths series for Brightstone Media; and is also part of the forthcoming The Deadly Hours anthology with fellow authors Susanna Kearsley, C.S. Harris, and Christine Trent, published by Sourcebooks.

Anna is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Historical Novel Society. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, two young daughters, and a troublemaking tabby cat named Pita. When not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family.

What inspired you to pen your first novel? 
The inspiration for The Anatomist’s Wife came from the protagonist herself. I’d been toying with the idea of trying to write a historical mystery, and I had a vague idea who I wanted the heroine to be. I could hear her stirring in my brain, and one day, I decided to simply let her talk to me and tell me who she was. That’s how the Lady Darby series came to life.

Tell us your latest news. 

An Artless Demise, the seventh Lady Darby novel, will be released on April 2nd. I’ve been building the series to this particular moment in history since the very beginning, knowing that with Kiera’s backstory she simply had to be part of it.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? 

I’ve definitely been influenced by a number of mystery authors, both from the past and present. Especially the authors behind the mask of Carolyn Keene and the Nancy Drew novels, which were my first real foray into the genre. As a girl, I would scour my local library’s shelves every week for entries I hadn’t yet read. Mary Stewart has also had a remarkable impact on my writing. Her romantic suspense novels are some of my favorite books, and her style and craft is illuminating.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process? 

Absolutely. It forms most people’s first impression of the words within, and you want that to be favorable. I’ve been tremendously fortunate that the art departments at my publishers have done such brilliant work on my covers.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel? 

“I can’t put this down. I have to know what happens next.” And, “Interesting. I didn’t know that.”

Did you learn anything from writing AN ARTLESS DEMISE and what was it? 

I learned a tremendous amount about the infamous London Burkers. Many people are familiar with Burke and Hare, who murdered people from the streets of Edinburgh and sold their bodies to the anatomists, but few know about the copycat case uncovered in London three years later, and the uproar that followed. Combined with political turmoil and the squalid conditions suffered by a large part of the city in late 1831, London was a powder keg waiting to explode.

  • 1. “I say, now, he looks much to jolly to torch.”
  • 2. “Far be it for me to disobey such an order. If I’ve learned anything in the last three months, it’s never to stand between a woman who is increasing and her food.”
  • 3. I wanted to rail at the injustice, the unfairness, but I’d learned long ago how useless that was. Among society, it was not so much the truth of the matter, but the appearance of it.
  • 4. Someone had once said I would have a terrible influence on her. It appeared they were right.
  • 5. It was the earl’s disagreeable son. Except he would no longer be making himself disagreeable to anyone. He was dead.
  • 6. His gaze then caught on the blood staining the fingertips of one of my white evening gloves as I rolled it down my arm, wrapping the offending stains inside as I removed it. I destroyed an alarming amount of gloves this way.
  • 7. I turned into his shoulder, both relieved and touched that he still saw me as someone who needed shelter when so many others thought I hadn’t a heart or normal human feelings to be considered.
  • 8. “London is a simmering pot waiting to boil over. If this matter is not handled with utmost care, we could have a full-fledged rebellion on our hands.”
  • 9. She frowned at the cat’s back. “He’s a canny one. He’s been whining all day. I thought perhaps he had a stomachache from something he ate. Nothing would satisfy him. But apparently he was simply waiting for you.”
  • 10. “If you want their respect, if you want it for your husband and your children, then you have to demand it. So you have a difficult past.” She shrugged one shoulder. “You are not the only one, pet.”
For those who are unfamiliar with Kiera, how would you introduce her? 
Kiera is a gifted portrait artist with a macabre reputation and a talent for detection. She is observant, intensely loyal, awkward, and kind.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 

I love Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and I’ve always imagined Kiera and Gage would get along famously with Anne and Captain Wentworth.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

Susanna Kearsley. She is so incredibly gracious and kind, and a brilliant author. I’ve learned a great deal in interacting with and observing her.

How many books have you written? 

An Artless Demise will be my eleventh published book.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be? 

To approach every person and situation with kindness and love. Try to discard all your preconceived notions and remember that rarely is something as simple as it may seem. There are always layers upon layers of reasons and motivations why people behave the way they do. Examine every angle before responding.

What are you most passionate about today? 

Protecting children’s privacy

What song always makes you happy when you hear it? 

“Little Black Raincloud.” I have some lovely memories of singing that song to my daughters, and it’s dashed hard not to smile at the thought of Winnie the Pooh.

Who has had the most influence in your life? 


Lady Darby returns to London with her new husband, Sebastian Gage, but newlywed bliss won’t last for long when her past comes back to haunt her in the latest exciting installment in this national bestselling series.

November 1831. After fleeing London in infamy more than two years prior, Lady Kiera Darby’s return to the city is anything but mundane, though not for the reasons she expected. A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals, Burke and Hare–killing people from the streets and selling their bodies to medical schools. Then Kiera’s past–a past she thought she’d finally made peace with–rises up to haunt her.

All of London is horrified by the evidence that “burkers” are, indeed, at work in their city. The terrified populace hovers on a knife’s edge, ready to take their enmity out on any likely suspect. And when Kiera receives a letter of blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late anatomist husband’s involvement with the body snatchers and wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how precarious her situation is. Not only for herself, but also her new husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, and their unborn child.

Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found murdered a block from his home, and the man’s family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate. Is it a failed attempt by the London burkers, having left the body behind, or the crime of someone much closer to home? Someone who stalks the privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his own dark deeds?eone who stalks the privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his own dark deeds?


“Anna Lee Huber has done it again! An Artless Demise is an unputdownable story, with an indomitable heroine, a great supporting cast, and a gripping, propulsive narrative with real history at its core.” —USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas

“Anna Lee Huber keeps upping her game–An Artless Demise is the perfect blend of history, mystery, and one of my favorite sleuthing couples!” —Susanna Kearsley, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Intriguing, captivating and well-crafted…An Artless Demise immediately captures the imagination.” —Susann Calkins, award-winning author of the Lucy Campion Mysteries and the Speakeasy Murders

You can purchase An Artless Demise at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ANNA LEE HUBER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7) by Anna Lee Huber. 


  1. "What's your favorite thing to do?" Reading about politics and hoping the future will be better!

  2. Spending time with friends is one of my favorite things to do.

  3. The cover is beautiful. My favourite things to do are reading and crafting mosaics using different mediums

  4. I love to read, cook and bake! Thank you

  5. My favorite thing to do is brew a cup of tea, sit down and read.