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The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  329 ratings  ·  55 reviews
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.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Berkley Trade (first published January 10th 1992)
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Idril Celebrindal
I was severely not a fan of this. The author was quite fluent with the period language, and that's about where my tolerance ceased.

When we meet out heroine, she is eating breakfast with her new employer, a dowager marchioness she first laid eyes on for a mere five minutes the night before. Trusted and long-standing friend and adviser she is not. Then the dowager's younger son bursts in, with the news that the current marchioness has been violently murdered in her bed.

In the scene that follows,
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. In general plot it was nothing out of the ordinary. 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 ...more
"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 myst
As either this volume or its sequel mentions the storming of the Bastille and beginning of the Terror and the Battle of Monmouth in the American colonies, the date is approximate 1778 or shortly thereafter. I read this the second time after a hiatus of 2 years and did not guess the murderer until towards the end, so well are the clues given and hidden. The author has replicated accurately enough for me what it was like to live in an aristocracy secure in its position and in a time when the class ...more
Story sounded so promising- widowed companion helps handsome lord solve mystery and they fall in love.
Very poorly executed.
Ottilia is was annoying- a murder has been committed and she smiles and orders coffee?
Dialogue is trite.
No chemistry with the hero, who has the crazy nick name of "Fan- fan"
Mystery component was uninteresting as well.

Brenda Hawley
The front back cover made me think this might be a fun series to read. However, it was pretty much the same old thing. Lady's companion solves mysery in the house, saves the family and marries the son. A lot of stilted dialogue, coincidences not to be believed and ridiculous deducing made me want to put it down half way through. Not really worth the time.
Nicola Cornick
This was a page-turner for me. I couldn't put it down. Great characters. Loved the mixture of romance and crime in a Georgian setting. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.
Bleh. 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 1811, 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
Written in the style of Georgette Heyer, this is a blend of Victorian Romance and mystery. It is set in late 1700's London.

The main character, Ottilia Draycott is on the first day of her service as a companion to the Dowager Lady Polbrook. Accustomed to the lively antics of her nephews, she is certain she will be bored with the new job, but she has no choice. To her surprise, her first day starts out with the murder of the Dowager's daughter-in-law with the prime suspect being the missing Marqu
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 take ...more
Ottilia Draycott finds herself in a rare situation first day on the job as a companion. She supposed she would be bored to death when taking on the task of amusing the Dowager, but it turns out she is investigating a death the first day on the job. Not one to shy from others, Ottilia immediately forges herself into the family dramas and attempts to become a private detective of sorts. The Dowager's daughter-in-law is murdered in her bed, and her son the Missing Marquis is the prime suspect. The ...more
Tamora Pierce
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 ...more
I did enjoy this book despite the ridiculously easy solution to the "mystery," but I am not a romance fan, and this was definitely more romance than mystery. Also, while the historical setting and language appeared to be accurate, the characters seemed to me to be modern people put in front of an 18th-century backdrop. The trampling of class barriers might have been more believable if the hero had been a "mere" gentleman on the order of a Mr. Darcy, rather than the brother of a Marquis with (at ...more
Throughout the reading of this book I kept thinking that it was leaning toward being a romance historical mystery. And then, I read the "about the author" blurb and discovered that, yes, Elizabeth Bailey started out writing romance novels. She hasn't given up that genre yet. The culprit of this novel glared out from very near the beginning of the book, it was just to predictable. The dialogue seemed stilted, like the author was working very hard to make the characters sound like they stepped out ...more
Perhaps I read too many mysteries, but I was able to pinpoint the killer as soon as the character was introduced. Nevertheless, this was an enjoyable read and Bailey's use of eighteenth-century language and phrasing was delightful. More fun as a historical novel than a mystery, really.
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. "Look a woman with an analytical mind -- how utterly amazing!!!" I thought I'd be able to get all the way through it regardless but about 100 pages from the end I gave up and skipped to the end. 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 ...more
I did not realize this was a romance. Picked it up at the library because it had been recommended. This would surely be suitable for fans of the historical romance genre, I was looking for a historical mystery in the vein of Anne Perry etc and this did not fit.
We knew who the culprit was mid- book. Nevertheless the story was engaging, the writing good and Francis and Ottilia likeable characters. Looking forward to the next book.
Widowed Ottilia Draycott has just accepted a temporary position as companion to the Dowager Lady Polbrook. On her first morning in the London townhouse, Lady Polbrook's younger son, Sir Francis Fanshaw, bursts in with the horrid news that his sister-in-law, wife of the Marquis, has been brutally murdered and that the Marquis has disappeared. Naturally, Sir Francis wants to keep the women out of the scandal, but Ottilia, backed by the domineering Lady Polbrook, is sure that they can help prove th ...more
D.F. Jules
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.
Donna Church
When Emily Polbrook s maid finds her strangled in her own bed while her husband has vanished, the Polbrook family finds itself in a mystery and scandal. However, the companion of the Dowager Polbrook, Otilla Draycott proves both astute and brave as she faces the death scene, questions the staff, and provides comfort and human insight like a younger Miss Marple. As the mystery progresses, Lord Francis Fanshawe, the younger brother, finds himself relying more heavily on Otilla and enjoying her pre ...more
Krista Mercer
A Georgian mystery, introducing Ottilia Draycott as a "paid companion" turned sleuth. When her employer's daughter-in-law, Lady Emily Fanshawe, is found murdered in her own bed, Ottilia must join forces with Lord Francis Fanshawe to discover the killer.

Much lighter in tone than C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries, and with perhaps a touch more emphasis on the romance that builds between Ottilia and Francis. This was a solid read, with excellent period details. Looking forward to the sequel
A pleasant addition to my shelf of historical widows-turned-investigators, with the added bonus of the lady in question not being young and naive. Georgian London is nicely drawn and I appreciated that Ottilia was not forced into companionship by an uncaring family. The romance was understated, though I'm happy the two in question found their way to each other, and the mystery was not all that mysterious, but both were enjoyable enough that I'll find the next in the series.
This was a very enjoyable Georgian romance/mystery starring the plucky new companion Ottilia, her male interested Lord Francis Fanshawe, whose brother has disappeared in the middle of the night and whose sister-in-law has been founded strangled in her bed. The characters go through the typical back-and-forthing. But the mystery is pretty good, and the banter is enjoyable. I would definitely check out another one in the series!
Cute and Regency-period murder mystery probably shouldnt go together, but that's the first word that came to mind as I finished this slightly plotted period piece. I hated knowing the culprit from the beginning and the overwrought period conversation remained annoying throughout. On the other hand, I was totally transported back in time and the historical aspect was spot on! I just prefer a meatier mystery with my historical tales!
OK. OK. I did know the perpetrator almost from the beginning, which is not such a good thing in a mystery book, now is it? Also, the names (Ottillia? Candia?) were clearly an attempt to recall the historical period of the book, but they were a tad annoying. That said and nonetheless, I will read the next one in the series because I love mysteries and I love the Regency time period. Only for the most dedicated.
Kelli Nielsen
Nicely written little mystery/entertainment read. I especially enjoyed following a strong female protagonist--logical, intuitive, considerate and while she was an unassuming character, she didn't play second fiddle to anyone.
Luann Dillon
New mystery series set in post American Revolution England. Widow Otillia is a companion to dowager Lady Polbrook. The current lady Polbrook is found strangled in her bed. Otillia uses Sherlock Holmes techniques to find the murderer. Lord Francis, brother-in-law to the victim works with Otillia and in the end proposes marriage and she accepts. More books to come.
A good first novel in this genre. The mystery plot is good as are the characters. The dialogue is somewhat pompous and full of innuendos because of the time period the novel is set. Can certainly tell Bailey's background is historical romance.
There are very few Georgian/Regency mystery series.

The names Ottilia, Sybilla, Dorothea, and Candia seemed too similar and it was confusing at first.

This was a good start and I'm willing to read the next ones to see if it gets better.
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An avid reader from an early age, Elizabeth Bailey grew up in colonial Africa under unconventional parentage and with theatre in the blood. Back in England, she trod the boards until discovering her true métier as a writer in her thirties, when she fulfilled an early addiction to Georgette Heyer by launching into historical romance. Eight years and eight books later, Elizabeth joined the Harlequin ...more
More about Elizabeth Bailey...

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