Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey with Giveaway

The Hummingbird Dagger
by Cindy Anstey
Swoon Reads
April 16th 2019
YA Historical / Mystery

From the author of Suitors and Sabotage comes a suspenseful and enthralling new Regency novel, perfect for readers who like their Jane Austen classics with a side of mystery and murder.
1833. A near-fatal carriage accident has deposited an unconscious young woman on the doorstep of Hardwick Manor and into the care of young Lord James Ellerby. But when she finally awakens, it is with no memory of who she is or where she came from.
Beth, as she calls herself, has no identity; the only clue to her circumstances is a recurring nightmare of a hummingbird, blood dripping from its steel beak.
With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth tries to solve the mystery of her own identity and the appalling events that brought her to their door. But nothing could prepare her for the escalating dangers that threaten her and the Ellerby clan. From the hazardous cliffs of Dorset to the hostile streets of London, Beth will fight to reclaim her past, hunted by a secretive foe with murderous intentions.
Fans of Cindy Anstey’s previous novels won’t want to miss The Hummingbird Dagger, a dark and twisty new offering that blends romance, danger and mystery.
Praise for Duels & Deception:

“Delightful … It is Jane Austen spiced with action, suspense, and humor.” —VOYA, starred review
Jane Austen fans in need of a good new book, look no further.” —Entertainment Weekly


Fans of Jane Austen, who enjoy a bit of a spooky mystery, will love diving into this one.

James' reckless younger brother takes a wild ride with his horse and buggy, causing an accident. Luckily, no one seems injured except for a young woman traveling without a chaperone on the carriage to London. As Lord of the nearby manor, the young James rushes to help her and allows her to stay at the manor while she receives medical attention. But she appears to have lost her memory as well. The only thing which repeatedly come to her are horrid nightmares with darkness, captivity, blood and a hummingbird dagger. As no one claims to know her or be searching for her, James and his siblings take it on themselves to help discover who she is. The truth, however, is not what they expected nor easy to find.

The author does a fantastic job at opening up a rich Victorian world with characters who are easy to root for and like. The dialogue, scenes and concerns fit the time period wonderfully and invite the reader to get lost in the historic setting. James, his siblings, and Beth are all kind, despite some quirks, and it's enjoyable to get to know them. When the plot thickens, it's impossible not to hope they make it through and defeat the 'bad' buy.

The first chapter grabs right away and bring along a slightly tense breeze in the background. The feeling that something isn't quite right seeps in gently and increases as the tale continues along. While the first chapters keep the tension high, it reels back as the book continues, taking on a more the more familiar pacing of a novel from that period as conversation outweighs action. It was a little slow for my taste at times, but then, I tend to enjoy more action and adventure in my reads. The twists and turns were also a bit confusing at times, but none of this made me stop reading. Especially the ending chapters pick up the pace again, and finish with a satisfying end. 

Romance is present and as sweet as James and Beth themselves. It's a slow burn, and that's fine with me, especially considering it's a young adult. This is one, however, that adults will also feel at home in and are sure to enjoy the mystery

And here she is...

Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. 



Giselle said...

Great review, T! This sounds very well written and well developped as well. Glad you liked it! :)

Judy Thomas said...

The cover artwork really stands out. Love it!

Mary Preston said...

This sounds amazing and I love the cover.