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Editorial Reviews

He's been raised in children's homes and foster homes after his mother abandoned him as a child. He has a desperate need to belong and yet is always on the outside. Being alone is his greatest fear, yet he is alone.


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Compelling, multi-layered, gripping, a great read for mystery lovers. The DI Andy Horton books in order Reviews "A great read for mystery lovers with plenty to keep you guessing until the last moment. Full of twists and turns, colourful characters and hints of disharmony and mistrust between colleagues in the police force. Search Site:. Also available as an e book, on Kindle, Nook and Kobo from October It was remarkably well put together and I enjoyed all of the characters that Elizabeth Bailey created, but I can't say I was entirely surprised at the ending because I saw it coming from a long way off.

However, there is something about this book that just captivated me. I have literally just finished it and here I am writing t Okay, so it takes a lot for me to pick up a book and label it amazing after having read it, but this book was special. I have literally just finished it and here I am writing this review. What is more I only picked it up on an idle whim when I was at work today. It was sitting on a book cart and after reading the back I thought that I would check it out seeing as I kinda wanted a good mystery with a hint of romance. Unusually for me, I have been completely unable to put it down!

I loved how Elizabeth Baily was able to balance a myriad of characters without making it too overwhelming or too difficult to keep track of who everyone was. The romantic element was played off very well and wasn't too sappy, but definitely made my heart flutter and made me give the happy sigh that always comes at the end of a good love story. And although I say that the plot was not unusual, I would by no means want to imply that it was a bad or badly thought out plot.

It was a well put together plot that managed to keep my attention very well. So, overall a very good book, a pleasant surprise for me. I would recommend it to people who enjoy the Victoria Thompson Gaslight Mysteries series, though it works just as well if you're looking for something on the lighter side of the mystery genre. Dec 17, Tamora Pierce rated it liked it Shelves: historical , adult , thrillers-mysteries , graphic-novel.

This was great fun, a mystery with touches of romance written much in the style of a Georgette Heyer Georgian romance. Ottilia is companion to the dowager Lady Draycott when the younger Lady Draycott is found strangled. Her husband, with whom she was frequently at daggers' drawn, was known to have fled the house at about the same time his wife was killed. Now the Bow Street Runners are after him, and his younger brother Francis is trying to find out what happened while pulling the family togethe This was great fun, a mystery with touches of romance written much in the style of a Georgette Heyer Georgian romance.

Now the Bow Street Runners are after him, and his younger brother Francis is trying to find out what happened while pulling the family together. Fortunately he's got Ottilia to help: she's sharp, observant, objective, and intuitive. When the dowager learns how quick she is, she gives Ottilia carte blanche to help Francis investigate though a forest of secondary thefts, Lady Emily's unsavory history of affairs, the Earl's secretive trips to Francis, and a bevy of suspects.

It's great fun, with plenty of interesting characters upstairs and downstairs. Mar 15, D. Jules rated it it was ok. The story is pretty clever, but I was kind of tired of everyone admiring the main character "oh she's a genius, she's so smart". And although I finished the book, it didn't really suck me in, all I did was read the story. I wasn't in it, if you know what I mean. Not going to pick up the second book. Mrs Ottilia Draycott has just arrived as a temporary companion to the Dowager Lady Polbrook when news reaches them that the Lady Emily is dead.

Having a lively inquisitive mind Ottilia starts to investigate as only an outsider can do. I enjoyed this historical murder mystery with its likeable characters. Jan 23, Barbara Rogers rated it liked it Shelves: iblog , audiobook , read. I loved the mystery itself, but the rest seemed more like a script for an over-the-top stage play with cardboard characters than it did anything representing real life.

The relationships and conversations between servants and upper classes were so far off base that it was more fantasy than reality. Then — the view of the Bow Street Runners — absolutely ridiculous. Members of the peerage would be tried before the House of Lords and they almost never, ever convicted each other of anything. The book opens with the discovery of the murdered body of Lady Emily Fanshawe, Marchioness of Polbrook.

Her husband is nowhere to be found and the only family member in residence is his brother Francis. Therefore, it is up to Francis to take charge and one of the most onerous things he has to do is to tell his mother that Emily has been murdered and Randal is missing. Ottilia Draycott that she has only met late the night before. Ottilia offers to withdraw, but Francis invites her to stay since it will soon be all over town anyway. As Francis is telling his mother this distressing news, Ottilia is constantly interrupting with questions that are clearly none of her business.

Instead of rebuking her, both the Dowager Marchioness and Francis let her continue, tell her how clever she is, and then she goes with them to the crime scene and she actually examines the scene and the body, etc. Francis immediately gives Ottilia carte blanche to conduct the investigation because she is so smart, intuitive, and clever and he and his mother are just so dumb. Then she does really clever things like determining that someone could have entered the house through one of the doors — duh! Given that criteria, I should be a genius!

Ottilia rocks along with her investigation and ropes Francis into helping with parts of it until the mystery is solved and the murderer is revealed. In the meantime, everyone is constantly telling Ottilia how very clever she is and allowing her to ask the most intimate questions. The servants have the most casual of interchanges and relationships with the Dowager, Francis and everybody else. It is all just so very period inappropriate. Then, there is the relationship that develops with Francis and Ottilia. There were times when I was thinking that someone ought to give her a slap to show her that things were serious.

It is my intention to read another book in this series because the later ones have been released in the last few years and the author has had some time to grow in her craft. Jun 22, Tom Williams rated it really liked it. The Gilded Shroud is a classic Agatha Christie type murder mystery. Emily, Marchioness of Polbrook, has been strangled in her bed. Her husband, who has apparently fled the scene? Her lover? One of her ex-lovers? The family closes ranks but, numbed by the horror of events, they struggle to cope with the situation. Fortunately for them the Dowager Marchioness, acerbic but with a heart of gold, has just acquired a new companion, Ottilia, who is a veritable Sherlock Holmes.

P. D. James: The Skull Beneath the Skin (1982) - detective novel

The mechanics of the story work smoothly enough. There are clues to be found and suspects to be identified. There is a love story, too, and that also ticks along smoothly, although after chapters full of quickening pulses, rueful glances and warm smiles, this reader wished they would just, as the young folk say, get a room. The position of companion and its ambiguous status in households of the time allows Ottilia licence to cross social class divides and the exceptional state of the household allows the possibility of normal conventions being disregarded to an extent.

Bailey takes full advantage of the possibilities here but, I felt, never pushes my suspension of disbelief too far. I suspect it may worry readers with more interest in social history. I can see that this book could well appeal to Jane Austen fans, classical romance enthusiasts, historical fiction buffs and people who enjoy a nice Agatha Christie. I found that the mechanics of the plot came between me and the characters. We know, almost from the beginning, that the Dowager Marchioness may seem like a dragon but will be truly kind.

Shroud of Evil, number eleven in DI Andy Horton series by Pauline Rowson

We know that Otillia and Lord Francis will be engaged by the end of the book. We have a fair idea whodunnit, although the details of the how and why take a while to come out. I like some bite in my stories and this is more Pavlova then any substantial food. Introducing so many characters and making them credible, which Bailey by and large does, and then making the mechanics work so well leaves limited space for any deeper layering. The next book may well appeal to me more. After reading even a short review like this, most people will know whether or not this is the kind of thing that will appeal to them.

Those who like it will like it a lot. Ottilia Draycott has only just taken on the temporary position as companion to the Dowager Marchioness of Polbrook when a murder occurs. Emily Fanshawe, Marchioness of Polbrook is found strangled in her bed, and her husband Randal Fanshawe, Lord Polbrook apparently flees the house before the body is discovered. All finger point to him murdering his wife. Ottilia is a straight thinking, calm woman and hearing about the death, and fathoming that it can't have been Randal who committed the murder, ingratiates herself into the family's confidences.

They encourage her and give free rein to look into the circumstances of the murder and believe her capable of finding the real criminal.

The Death Shroud: A Novel of Suspense

One person who is more than grateful for Ottilia's help is Lord Francis Fanshawe, Randal's younger brother. He is thankful that Ottilia's calm seems to rub off on everybody and he is even brought to laughter sometimes at the ways she goes about her investigations. She brings a lightness to the situation that he desperately needs. Francis and Ottilia are attracted to each other but their feelings very much take a back seat to all that is going on with the murder investigation. Will Randal be exonerated of his wife's murder, if not him, then who murdered her, and why?

Ottilia will be the catalyst to the criminal's downfall and I for one was surprised not by who was the murderer, but just what happened on that fateful night. This book was very much a murder mystery with just a tad of romance. Personally, I would have liked more romance, but I can understand why there couldn't be any more. A murder investigation is hardly the time or place to be having passionate romance occurring.

When the romance did take off for Francis and Ottilia it was sweet and moving. I loved how the author used words I had never even heard of from the era, I had to look many of them up and was thoroughly pleased to be learning their meanings. I love a book that can be entertaining whilst also teaching me something new. I haven't read any of this author's books before, but if nothing else I will hopefully have the chance to read the next books in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book. Aug 23, Jess Milner rated it liked it Shelves: , ebook. I love a nice historical mystery - Was this doing anything that different? But it was actually very endearing. I really liked Ottilia. She was confident without being unbelievable for the time period. Sure it was a bit far fetched that no one else put any clues together but I can overlook that because it actually works in the books favour by the end. The other characters like Fan and Sybilla also gave the story a lot of life. I think the romance really stood out for me.

There's this trope in historical mystery where you get this broody investigator being patronizing to the peppy heroine until she and her trust parasol turned weapon melt his cold dead heart. We've seen it. Its been done. This book subverts that trope and it's honestly lovely. Right from the start, there's friendship, respect and communication. Fan immediately realises how clever Ottilia is and he needs her help. There's no macho pride. He likes how smart she is, he's grateful. And you can see why she falls for him - He's decent and funny and he listens to her.

They are a seriously refreshing, sweet couple in this genre. Overall this book is fun and charming. The dialogue is great and the romance is adorable. Sure, some of it is predictable. But frankly I don't care! It's a nice escape and I would read the sequel! Shelves: british-mysteries. The Gilded Shroud is set in London, At the opening of the story we meet our soon to be sleuth, Ottilia Draycott. She has recently been hired as a lady companion to the Dowager Marchioness.

Right away, Ottilia engrains herself into the family affair. I love a good British mystery, and this book falls into the category. We have a fun and clever sleuth in Ottilia Draycott. Some of her deductions seem a bit far fetched, but most of the time, they are very logical. She is able to leave tantalizing morsels of clues for the reader to follow along with her. At first the budding romance between Lord Francis Fanshawe and Ottilia seems a bit forced.

However, as the story progresses so too do the relationships between the characters, and their development becomes more natural. A terrific mystery, the first of the Lady Fan series, which really kept me on my toes! I had my suspicions as to "whodunnit," and I was right, but the certainty didn't come until the reveal at the end. The future Lady Fan is an amazing character: curious, highly intelligent and logical, with a propensity to find humor at the oddest times and in the weirdest places.

The widowed Mrs. Ottavia Draycott starts as a "substitute" companion to the Dowager Marchioness of Polbrook, but when the Marchiones A terrific mystery, the first of the Lady Fan series, which really kept me on my toes! Ottavia Draycott starts as a "substitute" companion to the Dowager Marchioness of Polbrook, but when the Marchioness is found strangled in her bed, the Marquis, son to the dowager, who had left for France in the night, was suspected by all.

Ottavia supports the family through the tragedy, revealing her keen insight into human nature and her sharp sense of humor. The Marquis' younger brother, Lord Francis Fanshawe, becomes Ottavia's partner-in-crime-solving as they seek to clear the absent Marquis.


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A terrific mystery, steeped in the vagaries of human nature and the keen mind and compassionate heart of a new heroine who is to be admired by mystery-loving readers. Mar 20, Lynne rated it it was amazing. Sometimes revisiting a book you read years before is not so great. But sometimes - this time, to be specific - I was so glad a did! It helps that I could not remember a thing so I had no preconceived ideas! Elizabeth Bailey has delivered a solid murder mystery - circa late 's - with some intriguing characters and a wonderful, modern thinking heroine who, by her own admission, is annoyingly curious and resourceful.

Ottlia Draycott is widow, hired as a ladies companion for the Dowager Lady Fan Sometimes revisiting a book you read years before is not so great. Ottlia Draycott is widow, hired as a ladies companion for the Dowager Lady Fanshaw. What she expects is a slightly cranky older woman and a certain amount of boredom. What she gets is murder and mayhem and a whole new set of friends, as well as a bit of romance as well.

This really became a page turner and is well crafted and I'm anxious to begin the next in her series. Recommended for any lover of good historical mysteries! Oct 28, Brandy rated it really liked it. A fun read with a clever heroine, although I was a little disappointed with how she acts in the last chapter. Aug 27, Debbie rated it really liked it. 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.

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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 myst "The Gilded Shroud" is a historical romance set in in England. 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. Oct 11, Dorie rated it did not like it Shelves: historical-mysteries , first-of-a-series. This one disappointed me, I'll admit. I'm still trying to figure out why.

The dialogue used seemed wrong somehow. And everyone fawning over Ottilia started to get on my nerves. When I found out who had done it I wasn't the least surprised. And the romance struck me as forced -- I had no idea why these tw This one disappointed me, I'll admit. And the romance struck me as forced -- I had no idea why these two people would come to care about one another. Overall, very disappointed in a book I thought I would enjoy. If you like historical mysteries with romance, I highly recommend the 'Gilded Age Mystery' series by P.

Ryan instead. Jun 19, Sarah rated it it was ok. If there weren't a couple references to a character recently having fought the Americans, and, more importantly, the growing unpleasantness for aristocrats in France, this has very little period detail and could as well have been set in the Regency or Victorian period the Regency didn't start 'til , so nice try, book description, but no.

It did cause me to look up the etymology of the word "flippant" the better to, as it turns out, falsely accuse the book of anachronism on that fron Bleh.

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It did cause me to look up the etymology of the word "flippant" the better to, as it turns out, falsely accuse the book of anachronism on that front , so I at least learned something. Oct 07, Kat rated it liked it. A fun mystery if a bit unlikely. The main character is set up as something of a Sherlock Holmes. She is likable but overly loved and accepted. A woman in her position would not have been accepted as an equal or had her every sentence applauded. Apart from that it was an interesting plot with a smooth writing style. I enjoyed it and will read more of this author but take the Historical details with a bit of salt.