The Gilded Shroud

( 6 )

Overview

First in a new series that has the perfect mix of Regency murder and mystery.

When the marchioness is found murdered at Polbrook mansion, the Dowager Lady Polbrook's new companion, Ottilia Draycott, finds herself in a house of strangers and every one of them a suspect. Only she can unmask and outwit a desperate killer and keep a Polbrook family secret buried.

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The Gilded Shroud

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Overview

First in a new series that has the perfect mix of Regency murder and mystery.

When the marchioness is found murdered at Polbrook mansion, the Dowager Lady Polbrook's new companion, Ottilia Draycott, finds herself in a house of strangers and every one of them a suspect. Only she can unmask and outwit a desperate killer and keep a Polbrook family secret buried.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of romantic historicals will welcome Bailey's solid debut, a Regency mystery. Sharp-witted Ottilia Draycott, who's just taken a temporary position as companion to the dowager marchioness of Polbrook, finds herself in the midst of a baffling murder puzzle after the discovery of the strangled corpse of the dowager's daughter-in-law, Emily Fanshawe, sprawled on her four-poster bed. Even more alarmingly, Emily's heavy-drinking husband, Randal, has vanished, making him the obvious suspect. Despite the skepticism of her new employer and the dowager's attractive, and available, other son, Francis, Ottilia proves herself an adept investigator, whose nose for clues might enable resolution of the mystery before the law gets involved. She must weigh varying motives for the murder, including a theft turned violent and a crime of passion committed by the dead woman's lover. A satisfying solution and well-chosen period detail will leave readers eager for the sequel. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Perhaps if she had been more discreet about her lovers, Emily, the marchioness of Polbrook, wouldn't have been murdered in her own bed. The prime suspect, her rogue husband, Randal, is on the lam. Veteran romance author Bailey debuts a sparkling new mystery series, introducing readers to Ottilia Draycott, an amateur sleuth who stoops to no man in this Georgian England delight. Ottilia, a lady's companion to the victim's mother-in-law, jumps in as if detective work was second nature to her. Gaining the confidence of a crusty dowager, a handsome lord, and the household staff, Ottilia teases out with whom Emily might have been rendezvousing when she met her demise. There may be hope for Randal yet, and perhaps a more permanent place in this household for the smart and spunky Ottilia. VERDICT A light upstairs-downstairs affair with clever dialog. Georgette Heyer is a strong influence on Bailey, and Bailey does it well, deftly mixing her detecting with a gentle romance. Terrific crossover appeal for Georgian romance readers who crave a corpse with their love stories.
Kirkus Reviews
A Dowager's companion and a second son join forces to uncover a murderer.

Emily, the licentious Marchioness of Polbrook, lies strangled in her bedchamber. Her husband the Marquis saddled up and left in the early-morning hours, perhaps, as it's suspected, on his way to France. The household is mostly in disarray. The butler, the footman, the lady's maid, the housekeeper, the cook, even the Dowager herself, are at sixes and sevens. The Dowager's new companion, widowed Ottilia (Tillie) Draycott, who's rather pleased with all the excitement, steps right up to settle everyone down. Lord Francis, second son and Emily's brother-in-law, is dispatched to find his brother while Tillie noses about the estate. On the Lord's return, he's bemused then enchanted by Tillie, who's discovered that a fan, a Polbrook treasured heirloom last in Emily's possession, has gone missing, along with her jewel box and her silk stockings. But what to make of that extra key found in her dressing-table drawer? Suspicion falls on Emily's many lovers; the Bow Street Runners favor the Marquis instead. Despite the difference in their stations, Tillie and Lord Francis are attracted to one another, but it's Tillie who solves the crimes before their first kiss.

First in a Regency suspense series from newcomer Bailey, who's a trifle long-winded but has the scenery and the upstairs-downstairs characters down pat.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425242896
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Series: A Lady Fan Mystery Series, #1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,109,671
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Bailey is the author of more than a dozen Regency novels. She lives in England.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 1, 2011

    Excellent first book in a new series!

    This book caught my attention while looking for other books. I noticed first the cover which is attractive and then the title which definitely caught my interest. Then the synopsis on the back sold me. I was engaged from the first page to the last with no lagging in between. The main characters were interesting and likable. The story flowed from one sentence to another to another, and I just kept reading. This is the first book in a new series, and I will be watching for the next one. I only wish like many readers do that writers could write faster. It always seems such a long wait for the next book from a favorite author, or as in this case a new author, to come out. Especially now that so many books are going from hardback to paperback and then finally to mass market. And so many now never get to mass market. And in this economy it gets expensive to buy trade-size paperbacks. Plus with arthritic hands the larger books are too heavy to hold. I apologize for getting side tracked into pet peeves. I would definitely recommend this book for those readers who like historical mysteries with some light romance included. Maybe she's a fast writer!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Gilded Shroud is a charming Regency romantic amateur sleuth

    Lady Emily Fanshawe's personal maid Mary Huntshaw walks to her mistress' bedroom with a hot chocolate only to smell a horrific odur and the room in disarray. Mary starts screaming as she realizes someone strangled Lady Emily and her husband Randal is missing.

    Randal's mother the Marchioness of Polbrook fears her son the marquis killed his wife. Her other son Francis struggles to control his nausea as he takes charge. The Marchioness' temporary companion Widow Ottilia Draycott offers to investigate the homicide. Though she has doubts the Marchioness agrees as she hopes to keep her oldest son out of gaol. Tillie quickly learns a theft of a valuable family heirloom occurred also. Asking questions of those at the estate, Tillie seeks the motives and opportunities of a house of strangers; while her attraction to Francis helps and hinders her inquiry.

    The Gilded Shroud is a charming Regency romantic amateur sleuth starring a wonderful intelligent heroine. The story line engages the reader in the mystery while the romance between "Fan" and "Tillie" enhances the investigation. Sub-genre readers will want Tillie and Fan working future inquiries.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Good mystery and I loved the characters however, could use with

    Good mystery and I loved the characters however, could use with a little more of the romance piece. I know it's Regency England but come on!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 3, 2013

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    Posted May 13, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

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