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The Gilded Shroud
Lady Fan Mystery – Book I
BY Elizabeth Bailey

Sapere Books
21 June 2018/ ASIN: B07BR5YLXF

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde 

When Sybilla, the Dowager Marchioness of Polbrook’s companion breaks her leg, the post is given to Otillia Draycott. Otillia is a widow whose young nephews are now away at school so the temporary position is ideal. But her first duty is more unusual than she imagined – discovering who killed Marchioness Emily Fanshawe, and why her husband has left so suddenly.

This is the first book in a series of romantic mysteries set in 1789. With the revolution brewing in France, there is a sense of upheaval and change in the air, something that colors the action even within the Polbrook’s town house. Otillia instantly takes charge and is aided and encouraged by her employers and the authorities in a way that seems a little far-fetched at times. She is outspoken, cool headed and very organized in the manner of a late 18th century Mary Poppins and most characters succumb easily to her questioning. Something is clearly amiss amongst the staff and the Polbrooks and bit by bit the truth is revealed. This makes for an enjoyable and highly readable novel but one that could stand some editing. Also in the offing is a romance between Otillia and the younger son Francis which makes this a tale that will appeal to both romance and mystery readers, particularly those who prefer their reading on the clean and cozy side. Guessing whodunit is not too difficult but there is plenty more to enjoy in this novel than just a mystery and I would certainly be keen to read further entries.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Guilded Shroud #1 [review 1]
The Guilded Shroud #1 [review 2]
The Deathly Portent #2

Reviewed 2018