Susan’s Book Talk: Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark


Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a book talk. I’m definitely reading less (again) this year; I need to fix that. All of you who know how big Mt. TBR is, and who know how big my wish list is, will agree.

Anyway, I wanted to check in about a fun book that wasn’t what I expected. AT ALL.

I’d been seeing Donna Lea Simpson’s Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark discussed on many of my book blogging friends’ sites. I was expecting raucous fun, laugh-out-loud humor.

What I got was a mystery with a structure that reminds me of the mysteries of old, down to gathering all the minor characters in one room on a false pretense, only to have the bad guy be revealed. Talk about a traditional structure — and a welcome one. Talk about something old that’s new again, that’s exactly what the structure of this novel becomes. Best of all, it’s well executed.

In fact, this book — about a spinster who is summoned to the side of an old friend (although I have trouble understanding WHY they are friends) and winds up helping solve a mystery, alongside the mysteriously sexy Marquess of Darkefell — is fun. It’s not laugh-out-loud fun, however. This is NOT Stephanie Plum does the Georgian period, and not just because Anne’s far from hapless. She’s not our usual kick-ass heroine, either. She is an unconventional woman for her times — and proud of it. She’s not nearly as irreverent about it as my Trevor is; it makes her immediately more likable. This is the sort of heroine you wish you were, had you lived back then.

Well-written, clever, and with a fresh voice, this is a book that seems to be a romance but is really more of a mystery with the romance tossed in like you toss croutons on a salad. Essential to the mix but not overpowering.

A sequel will be out in August 2009. A definite auto-buy for me, proving once again that while I probably wouldn’t have bought this book if there wasn’t the goodness that is PaperBackSwap, book trading sites DO inspire book sales.

More reviews of this book:
Dar, Peeking Between the Pages

Got one? E-mail it to me and I’ll add it.



  1. Ann

    June 1, 2009 10:13 pm

    Ooh, I’ll have to give it a try. Have you read any of Anne Perry’s Monk books? Very cool. So are her Pitt books too. 🙂
    P.S. See you Friday.

    Ann’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen #???

  2. Carol

    June 2, 2009 1:29 pm

    I’ve got this one on my wish list. I’m gald it’s not “Stephanie Plum does the Georgian period,” since I’m not much of a fan of Plum’s books.

    Carol’s last blog post..Teaser Tuesday

  3. Anne

    June 3, 2009 2:19 pm

    It sounds really good, I will have to check it out. I love mysteries although I am also a fan of laugh-out-loud funny.

    Anne’s last blog post..Where are the Random Tuesday Thoughts?

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