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The Hummingbird Dagger


What she can’t remember could be deadly.

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Full Description

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.


The dark, narrow room was rife with the fetid odors of mold and decaying fish. The only light came from a slit high above her head. Beyond its insipid glow were shadows, some deep and inert, others blurred and in motion.

In this cell of unknowns, only the dagger stood out. It swung from hand to hand, side to side. Words accompanied each movement but the roar of panic obscured them.

All but the dagger ceased to exist.

Her eyes locked on its menacing beauty. The artistry was both simple and inspired, its form a study of opposites. The dark wood hilt gently curved into the shape of a hummingbird. The long bill that nature had fashioned to sip, man had fashioned to drink — to drink the nectar of life. And it was a thirsty bird.

Evidence of its last feed still dripped from the pointed steel beak. Dripped until it formed a red oozing puddle, small at first but growing steadily.

Blood. Her blood. She was going to die.


"A blend of Jane Austen, Jack the Ripper, and your favorite cozy mystery. ... The romance was lovely, and sweet and a perfect subplot to the darker tones of murder, mystery and mayhem." —Isabel Ibañez, author of Woven in Moonlight

"A slow-burning romance and leisurely paced mystery leave plenty of time for character development, and the smallest clues, bits of actions, and moments of chemistry between James and Beth hold more weight than they would otherwise. This novel will appeal to teens who have read and enjoyed actual classics from the era." —Booklist

"A wonderful period mystery with touches of Gothic moodiness." —Gumshoe Review

"Quite fun. ... There is a softness when it comes to Cindy Antsey’s historical novels ... it calms me somewhat while still letting me enjoy the twists and turns." —Whatever You Can Still Betray

"A heart-racing Regency mystery with memory loss, kidnappings, and, of course, a breathtaking romance. Anstey has hit her stride in the Regency rom-com genre, so this change of pace into the slightly macabre was a pleasant and welcome surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed every twist, turn, and scandalous forehead kiss in this daring addition to Antsey's repertoire." —Sami, Goodreads reviewer

Praise for Cindy Anstey:

“It is Jane Austen spiced with action, suspense, and humor. The question is never about their love but how they will overcome society’s demands in order to realize it. Young girls who enjoyed Anstey’s Love, Lies and Spies will snap up this adventure.” —VOYA, starred review on Duels & Deception

"Jane Austen fans in need of a good new book, look no further. Cindy Anstey’s new YA novel, Duels & Deception, is your next regency romance treat." —Entertainment Weekly

"Mystery and romance are delightfully intertwined . . . Taking inspiration from Jane Austen novels, Anstey’s latest is a lighthearted and romantic read." —Booklist on Suitors and Sabotage

"It’s Jane Austen meets Jane Foster in Anstey’s debut novel, which serves up a delightful combination of Regency romance, scientific curiosity, and spy intrigue for a tale that will have readers rooting for love and science." —Entertainment Weekly on Love, Lies and Spies