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Nocturne for a Widow

(Sybil Ingram #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,465 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Vivacious actress Sybil Ingram looks forward to a life of security when she leaves the theater to marry a wealthy American. But when he dies on their wedding night, she finds herself a penniless widow. Her only legacy is Brooke House, a Gothic revival manor in the wilds of the Hudson River Valley. However, the eerie mansion comes with two tenants. One is a hostile ghost. T ...more
Published 2014
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,465 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Jul 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was willing to bite my tongue and ignore the fact that the mystery in this book makes the Hardy Boys look like Hercule Poirot. I was willing to ignore the fact that a ghost practically shoving the answer down the heroine's throat ignores every rule of good mystery writing. I was even willing to ignore how predictable and uninteresting most of these characters were.
Until the romance decided to kick it up a notch.
Up until that point, the heroine and hero enjoyed the slight romantic tension that
Julia Sarene
I found this author by stumbling across a Christmas novella and a short story in an anthology.
I fell in love with her tone and style, and the main character Sybil right away! So I ran off and bought the first book in the actual series.

And I can now say I did not regret it!

Nocturne for a Widow had me hooked right from the start. I'm always a sucker for a strong willed and slightly sarcastic female main character who goes her own way. And Sybil does just that! She knows her strengths, and she lik
Linda Baker
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you like old-fashioned gothic romance in the style of Mary Stewart or Victoria Holt them Amanda DeWees is the author for you. Nocturne for a Widow is a sort of spin-off from With This Curse, in which we briefly met Sybil Ingram. Sybil is the toast of the London stage but is rapidly aging out of the sort of ingenue roles she is famous for; at the age of 29, no less. The troupe she has been with throughout her career is not doing well and when she meets with the manager she gets very bad news i ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved it and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good love story with a bit of paranormal and a murder mystery.

Nothing more to say!

Although the mystery wasn't hugely mysterious (which, in all fairness, may be due to that weird Victorian poisons research I did last summer), the book is delightfully readable and just generally a good time. If you like your mysteries on the cozier side with a light supernatural element, this is worth a read.
Sarah Booth
Ghost story and romance

3.5 stars. This gothic romance has both ghosts and ne’er do wells. Our heroine is an actress who sees the writing on the wall and decides it’s time to bow out gracefully, but her mentor gets her to take the blame for his gambling away the theatre proceeds when she heads of to the US to get married. Upon arriving she discovers her fortunes have changed for the ill. Her new husband dies on her before she can get started so she ends up in a gothic country house north of NYC.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only briefly scanned the synopsis before I picked up this kindle freebie. Still, I don't feel it's too much to expect a mystery novel to have a heroine who actually cares about investigating said mystery (rather than relying on the ghost of the victim shoving clues down her gullet until she finally gets it), or to hope that a romance at least attempts to make the love interest palatable.

I get that the fantasy of a rake who misbehaves in shocking ways so the heroine can have the pleasure of fe
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
All the World's a Stage (Audiobook)
Amanda DeWees has penned a well written story with entertaining characters. At its heart Nocturne for a Widow is a romance with a dash of mystery, deceit, and humor. It can be read as a standalone or as part of the With This Curse series.

As much as I enjoyed the book I was so disgusted with the deceit, disdain and heartlessness coming from some of the characters at the beginning of the book that I almost did not continue BUT that would have been a huge mistake
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Here I am again getting sucked into a book because of the cover. Thankfully the story was able to deliver. Big time.

How is this not a more popular book?! It needs to be. It's a beautiful story! I loved how the main character stayed strong with her beliefs and didn't let anyone bring her spirits down. She was very clever and quick witted.

It had that eerie suspenseful feel and it was well done indeed. The paranormal bits really set the mood for a great story.

I never read a romance before and thi
The entertaining Nocturne for a Widow, which has been well-described as a humorous gothic, plus Elizabeth Klett's excellent narration made my afternoon of grading fly by! It's fitting that I'm reading Amanda DeWees's books while also reading Jane Eyre---a non-humorous, weighty gothic---with some of my students. I enjoyed Sybil & Roderick & their banter, and aspects of this novel reminded me of what I liked best in Georgette Heyer books. What a good find for me! (No strong language. No gratuitous ...more
May 30, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
2.5 stars

I both liked and didn't like this book. It had many things I usually like, and some traits I don't like at all. So it was a mixed bag.

The heroine is both annoying and really strong. Sometimes I like her, sometimes I just want to wack her with something hard.

The love interest is an insta-attraction that develops from "hate" to "love" within the blink of an eye. I'm really not a fan of the sudden "Oh, gosh, I love this man!" realisation that hits like a lightning bolt. Even if there had
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In January 1873 London, Sybil Ingram leaves her theatre group and travels to the States to marry. But nothing goes to plan and she finds herself at Brooke House, in the Hudson Bay aiming to be a guardian to young Roderick Brooke.
This romance with a bit of a gothic mystery is a fun and enjoyable read.
Julia Bell
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm giving Nocturne for a Widow four stars simply because I enjoyed it. I liked the way it was written in the first person emphasising the feelings of Sybil and all she endured after 'retiring' from the theatre. There were some interesting characters and the plot kept me turning the pages. ...more
Danielle Miller
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A guilty pleasure of a read.
Melissa Hedal
Couldn't get through it due to the predictable romance. ...more
3.5 stars. A quick read influenced by the gothic romance genre (think Rebecca or Jane Eyre but much less sophisticated). I liked this one, but solved the mystery pretty much from day one. It was super predictable. I liked the characters and the setting but wished there was a little more mystery.
Pat Raab
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Intrigue and mystery, with a touch of the supernatural, plus a battle of wills and some romantic interest. Totally engrossing.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Try this one on for size: What if Daphne du Maurier wrote a romantic comedy?

That's essentially the angle that Amanda DeWees takes in her newest gothic, "Nocturne for a Widow." Actress Sybil Ingram (who you may remember as a minor character in the previous novel from Amanda DeWees, "With This Curse") journeys to New York City to marry a wealthy tycoon, but arrives to find her fiancée ruined - financially and healthwise. When he dies shortly after their marriage, Sybil sets about establishing hers
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Amanda DeWees' stories! I didn't like this one as much as the others I've read - With This Curse, Cursed Once More: The Sequel to With This Curse, and Upon a Ghostly Yule: A Victorian Christmas Short Story - but it was a lovely little historical romance. I really don't understand why Ms. DeWees' books aren't more popular! They're little guilty pleasures - perfect for when you need an easy read. 3.5 stars ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the second novel I have read by this author. It will not be my last. Her leading lady Sybil is a talented actress in the theater, and has been a top draw for over ten years . She is,also what keeps the troupe together, and pays the bills. Worrying over finances, she speaks with her mentor and friend about cutting costs, and soon finds she has resigned to allow a younger star to replace her, as well as allowed her to take suspicion ,upon her own character, because the books are short. Her ...more
Sandi aka Maudley
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A very entertaining beginning to what I hope will be an interesting series. The characters are drawn with care, humanity and some complexity. Looking forward to the second one.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who enjoys romance and the gothic genre
Shelves: ahdieu
This is a review for the audio book.

Nocturne for a Widow is a gothic romance by Amanda DeWees following the footsteps of her Curse series. In this book, Sybil Ingram leaves the Victorian stages in London to marry an American admirer and begin a new life in New Your City. Of course, all her plans go sour and she finds herself in a haunted house disputing its ownership with her stepson, besides dealing with colorful neighbors and a possible ghost. The main female character had actually appeared br
Valerie Mcqueen
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nocturne for a Widow
by Amanda DeWees

rating 5 stars*****

I have to say I went in to this novel a little nervous. I am a huge fan of the Ash Grove series by the same author, and well this is nothing like those books. In fact to me it was better. I was immediately taken with Sybil. She is a beautiful leading lady with an egually beautiful soul. She sacrifices so much for everyone around her, even if it means her own happiness. Her strength is both refreshing and inspiring. Her journey is one that
Eskimo Princess Jenkins
I love this author and I usually love her books. But I will be very honest with this review. It took me forever to read this book. I just had no interest, the book/story did not hold my interest at all.
Ms. DeWees is an excellent author, and writes extremely well. This book however felt like it drug on and on, I felt that there was some unnecessary descriptions and rambling on.
The story is complicated. Sybil was a very strong character, and I loved her. I enjoyed the banter between her and Roderi
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of Victorian Gothic mystery/romance, and this satisfied my need for an atmospheric read with wicked characters challenging Sybil every step of the way. Although some of the protagonist's decisions made me question her thought process, she was compelling enough to entice me to purchase the second book in the series. ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, fiction
This is the best of Ms. DeWees' gothic novels so far! The mood is eerie and perfect the whole way through, and the touches of humor made her characters charmingly realistic. I devoured the whole thing in one afternoon, with much delight all the way through. ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was a bit too much of a Victorian romance novel and less of a mystery. I enjoyed reading it and it moved along well. There was too much foreshadowing, which made it fairly easy to unravel the mystery early on in the book, without wanting to.
Michelle | michelledevoursbooks
This is one of those books that is defined as a "guilty pleasure." Amanda DeWees' Nocturne for a Widow is a fun but rather predictable read. Sybil Ingram is an actress past her prime (a.k.a. almost 30). She has decided to settle down with a hotel mogul... who she soon finds out is completely bankrupt... and he also dies on their wedding night. She leaves to stake a claim to his country estate and has a battle of wills with her late husband's step son for the property. Oh yeah... it's also haunte ...more
Janet Mahlum
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This very gothic, highly melodramatic, mystery, romance is a delightful romp through the snow-covered, deserted countryside of New York. Every melodrama needs a virilely, manly, masculine superhero and we have one with black curls longing to be tousled, dark brooding eyes that hint of a deeply tragic past, and skin that glows golden in the lamp light. Not to be outdone, our heroine is a badly maligned former actress in her virginal white camisole, corset, pantaloons, and stockings with her angel ...more
Nellie Kampmann
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 I had mixed feelings about this book. First the bad:

1. It seemed to take forever for the background information to be given to set the stage for the mystery. If the mystery doesn't start within the first 20% of a mystery novel, I lose interest.
2. Minor spoiler (view spoiler)
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Amanda DeWees received her PhD in English from the University of Georgia and wrote her dissertation on 19th-century vampire literature—the perfect training, although she didn’t know it at the time, for writing Victorian gothic romance novels. Her books include With This Curse, winner of the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award in historical mystery/suspense. Her other passions include costuming, movies, C ...more

Other books in the series

Sybil Ingram (5 books)
  • The Last Serenade (Sybil Ingram, #2)
  • Christmas at Gravesend: A Sybil Ingram Victorian Mystery Short Story (Sybil Ingram Victorian Mysteries)
  • A Haunting Reprise (Sybil Ingram Victorian Mysteries #3)
  • Spectral Strains: A Sybil Ingram Victorian Christmas Short Story (Sybil Ingram Victorian Mysteries)

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35 likes · 6 comments
“The ability to lie persuasively is one of the greatest gifts a woman can possess in this life. Some critics, principally men, will argue that deception in women is inherently evil; but having spent the last fifteen years of my life in the theater, I can attest that lying not only is sometimes expedient but can save one's career.” 3 likes
“If I were to die on this spot, I realized, the snow might cover me in mere hours, and I might never” 0 likes
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