The Hummingbird Dagger Review: an okay historical mystery

June 20, 2022 by Bec | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

The Hummingbird Dagger Review: an okay historical mysteryThe Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey
Published by Swoon Reads on April 16th, 2019
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn't think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family's manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.

The Good Things

  • A YA historical mystery and my first Cindy Anstey book.
  • An interesting mystery and the type of amnesia trope I enjoy.
  • I really liked the overall structure of the mystery. There were some fantastic red herrings scattered throughout the story.
  • I loved the side characters a lot! They were entertaining and had more character growth than I was expecting.


The Not-So-Good Things

  • This book fell a bit flat overall for me, unfortunately. I liked it but didn’t love it. I just didn’t get all that attached to the story and characters.
  • The pacing was really slow. Which is fine, but I was in the mood for something with a bit more suspense and danger.
  • I also wasn’t all that surprised by the villain reveal. I predicted the true culprit fairly early on, though it did take longer to uncover the motive.
  • I wasn’t all too fussed about the main romance subplot. In fact, I shipped two side characters (who don’t even end up in a relationship) more than I did the main couple.


This was the first book I’ve read by Cindy Anstey and it was… well, it was alright. I enjoyed it overall but wanted more. More suspense, more of the side characters, and more romance. I’m hoping Anstey’s other books fit my mood a bit better.

Rating: 3 out of 5

The following two tabs change content below.
Bec is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves all types of novels. Fantasy, sci fi, and historical are my usual go-to genres. If I’m not binge reading, I’m usually gaming, trying to take decent photos for bookstagram, or freaking out about silly things.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge