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The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery) Paperback – September 6, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: A Lady Fan Mystery (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425242897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425242896
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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

More About the Author

Elizabeth Bailey grew up in Africa with unconventional parents, where she loved reading and drama. On returning to England, she developed her career in acting, theatre directing and finally writing.

Elizabeth has 18 novels published by Harlequin Mills & Boon and two Georgian crimes, The Gilded Shroud and The Deathly Portent, with Berkley Books (Penguin US). Her dual time novel Fly The Wild Echoes (a contender for the Booker Prize in 2005) is now followed by For One More Tomorrow, where the ghost of the real Macbeth returns, protesting his villainous portrayal by Shakespeare.

Elizabeth is also publishing new historical romances, of which Mademoiselle at Arms and The Conqueror's Dilemma are currently available in digital format.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
The characters were interesting and enjoyable.
Debbie
Descriptive language such as "...she was a flighty piece with a butterfly mind" puts you into the period as well as entertains.
CJ-MO
Sub-genre readers will want Tillie and Fan working future inquiries.
Harriet Klausner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Debbie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Gilded Shroud" is a historical romance set in 1789 in England. There is a puzzle-mystery to solve that brings the romantic pair together, but the story reads primarily like a "clean" romance. The clues were not hidden or obscured, so the "whodunit" was very guessable even from the start of the book.

While it was verbally acknowledged that the heroine was unconventional for the time period, everybody loved her unconventional manner and skills. Everyone cooperated with her, so solving the mystery was just a matter of asking the right questions of the right people in order to discover the full picture of what happened.

The characters were interesting and enjoyable. There wasn't much suspense since there were no barriers to the investigation, a lack of danger to anyone (at least, that they knew), and even the romance was a matter of slowly growing to admire the other person and acknowledging that at the end. Despite that, the pacing never felt slow to me. It was a relaxing read, which can be very nice.

Interesting, vivid historical details about everyday life and the wider political events were woven into the story and brought it alive in my imagination.

There was a minor amount of explicit bad language that modern readers might be offended by. There were no sex scenes, though sex was vaguely referred to throughout the story. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Anne on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
The reader of this book will not be surprised to find out that its author, Elizabeth Bailey began her career as a writer of historical romance. "The Gilded Shroud" is a blend of intrigue and flirtation, illicit romance and moral constraint. The heroine, Ottilia Draycott, takes on a position as a lady's companion for the indomitable Dowager Lady Pollbrook and within hours of starting her duties finds herself embroiled in murder and scandal. The Dowager's daughter-in-law Emily is found strangled in her bed and Emily's husband, the Dowager's son Randal, the Marquis of Pollbrook is quickly identified as the prime suspect. To make matters worse, Randal has secretly left the country, leaving his younger brother Francis and the cunning Ottilia to try and clear his name. As they work together to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding Emily's death, Ottilia and Francis find themselves drawn to one another and romance begins to bloom through shared glances and secret smiles.

The book is lengthy and driven by Baily's fascinating cast of characters. Some are a little stereotypical -- the plump and outspoken head housekeeper, the proud butler who puts duty above all else, the token chambermaid named Sukey with her cockney accent -- but others, such as the Dowager Lady Pollbrook with her acerbic personality, come alive on the page. Ottilia herself is a force in her own right and readers will find themselves cheering on this unconventional woman whose quick mind and subtle tongue allow her to run circles around those in her company.

At times the interactions between the characters seems at odds with the atmosphere that Bailey is trying to create, particularly when she tries to insert romance into some fairly unromantic situations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By CJ-MO VINE VOICE on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
When Mrs. Ottilia Draycott takes a temporary position as the Dowager Lady Polbrook's companion, she never dreams that "amateur sleuth" will be part of her job description! However, Ottilia finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when Lady Polbrook's daughter-in-law Emily is murdered and the Dowager's older son Randal is the prime suspect. Ottilia takes her job as companion seriously and when the murder and the suspicion surrounding Randal begin to distress the Dowager, Otillia takes on the investigation as just another one of her daily chores.

"The Gilded Shroud" is an excellent, fast-paced novel. The reader is given a sense of the period in history in which the book is set through descriptions of dress and customs of the times as opposed to long, plodding passages that would have slowed down the pace of the book. For example, comments are made regarding Randal's unusually strong feelings of concern over the safety of aristocrats in France. This gives the reader information about the timeframe of the book, as well as a clue to Randal's disappearance, without detracting from the flow of the story.

The book is filled with intriguing characters and strong women in spite of the Georgian England setting. Ottilia and The Dowager are both extremely likeable and when they join forces with Lord Francis, I was involved in the story and rooting for them to solve the mystery. Sometimes the investigation seemed to go a little too well. For example, I find it strange the authorities, especially during this time in history, would listen to Ottilia and her theories so readily. However, this is a small criticism of a wonderful and well-written book. Descriptive language such as "...she was a flighty piece with a butterfly mind" puts you into the period as well as entertains.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book and will look for more by this author. The plot was routine, but the use of observation was well done.
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