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A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder

(A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder #1)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  437 ratings  ·  78 reviews

"[An] outstanding series launch. ... Hamilton expertly balances the page-turning detection with the story of a hypocritical society where women, whether they are scullery maids or orphans, rarely get to make their own decisions."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Scandal and slayings among Regency London's elite

The shocking murder of Sir Henry Claybourne leaves Regency

Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published February 8th 2019 by Midnight Ink
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  437 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Barbara Rogers
Series: A Gentlewoman’s Guide To Murder #1
Publication Date: 2/8/19
Number of Pages: 360
** 1.5 stars rounded up **

I love this author’s Vintage Kitchen Mysteries series so I couldn’t wait for this new series to start. The book blurb sounded great – just the new historical mystery series for which I’d been looking. Sadly, it turned into the longest three-hundred-sixty pages I’ve ever read. At several points, I almost marked it as DNF, but I did slog on through to the end.

Historical mysteries are my
N.N. Light
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so delicious, I savored every word. If you like historical mystery, pick this up right now!

Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 starts

Reviewed by: Mrs. N
Ashley Cate
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder is the first book in a new historical mystery series by Victoria Hamilton. Previous books that I read by Victoria Hamilton were all cozy mysteries (some of the Vintage Kitchen mysteries and the Merry Muffin mystery series) and I really enjoyed those books so I thought I would give her new historical mystery series a shot. I am a big fan of historical mysteries usually, with Victoria Thompson and Rhys Bowen as two of my favorite authors, so I thought I would ...more
Barbara Monajem
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This mystery takes place in 1810 and centers around the sexual abuse of young girls. It also deals with the subjugation of women (which I suspect will continue to be a central topic if the heroine, Emmeline St. Germaine, blazes her way through more stories in the series).

She’s incredibly fiery and brave and determined, and she keeps on fighting abuse and injustice through the many twists and turns of the story, as more and more ghastly stuff is revealed. Not an easy read but definitely a
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-provided
This is the first non-cozy mystery that I’ve read by this author, and I was not disappointed. I love her cozy mysteries; this is written with the same care and fine eye for details that Victoria Hamilton’s other novels share. It took a few minutes to become accustomed to the narrator, and there were times I wasn’t sure who the speaker was. Overall, however, it was clear and easily.

Emmeline is one of a group of ladies who work together to rescue young girls who are working in homes where the man
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This pleasing mystery transports readers to London in 1810. While gentle in tone throughout, there is nevertheless a timeless disturbing crime against women at its core, i.e., human trafficking.

Emmeline is part of a secret group of society women who are determined to defend girls as young as 10 who are being removed from orphanages under the guise of being given work as scullery maids. After a successful rescue, the master of the house is found murdered. Thus begins an urgent ever-widening
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book and I got off on the wrong foot right from the start because it turns out that light, cosy-style prose doesn't mix well with the subject of pedophilia.

When Emmeline's POV mentioned (in the opening pages, so this isn't a spoiler) that she thought it helped make her point to catch abusers in the act, but before any real harm had been done, I wanted to throw the damn book against the wall. Intentionally timing a rescue so that a child gets a little bit assaulted but not quite raped is
I didn't like the subject matter of this book, but got too far before I realized how much the orphan girls being set-up to work for the wealthy, but for wealthy homes that had wealthy men who wanted to rape them. I finished it, but maybe I shouldn't have.

As a historical, one could tell that it was set in the past, but there was not enough information (for me) to establish it as Regency, or even post Regency.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An interesting historical mystery. Dealing with some very sensitive subjects with a gentle hand, yet giving it the strength it needs. Not for the faint of heart or too sensitive. Great new series
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this book because I love the author’s cozy mysteries. She is a wonderful writer and storyteller, however, with this book it took me a while to really get into the story. This isn’t a cozy mystery but a historical mystery which deals with some darker issues such as abuse and rape. This isn’t the reason I was slow to warm up the book. For me storyline moved slowly and it took a while to be able to find something I could relate to with the protagonist. She finally grew on me ...more
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A historical mystery where a young woman dresses up as a vigilante and saves young helpless servant girls from getting attacked by the man of the house. A good girl should not be parading around attacking gentleman in their homes so she can't tell anyone that she is the one doing it. One night when she saves a young girl the Sir Henry Claybourne is murdered and now everyone thinks it's the vigilante but of course Emmeline knows better, so she has to try and figure out whodunit before someone ...more
Eileen Lynx
Apr 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
The characters did not act like characters of that time would have acted.
Mary Steinbrink
Mar 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is nothing like the wonderful cozy mysteries this author usually writes. I found it disturbing and wish I hadn't read it. I wish I had known it wasn't a historical cozy.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF at 60%, and not for lack of trying.

The Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder had a slow start, not for a lack of interesting things happening. But because I didn't feel like we got to really know the main character very much I wasn't interested or invested in what was happening to her and the things that were concerning her.

This book focuses on men of the upper classes using their power and money to abuse those vulnerable to them. Mostly pedophilic men raping the young women in their employ. This is
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Miss Emmeline St. Germaine has irritated her brothers by refusing to get married; they don't realize that they have maddened her by trying to control her, only too easy to do in Regency England, where women have no rights. Emmy and some friends of hers are trying to help the helpless--servant girls who are abused by their masters. But Emmy finds some secrets among people she knows well, and narrowly escapes being accused of murder. Of course, murder is wrong, but what redress do the helpless ...more
Nicoline Butler
Jan 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
nope. just nope.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The First Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder

Regency England may be remembered for its romances and lovely people living a life of frivolity and indulgence. But, that was the life of members of the ton. In reality, life was harder and much darker, especially for those on the lowest rungs of the service ladder. Miss Emmeline St. Germaine is a woman with a mission, as well as a double, if not triple, life. In public she's a proper, if unmarried woman.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The writing was clunky and disjointed, the dialogue felt like something written for a high school creative writing class, and the plot was both distasteful and nonsensical. It did not feel at all related to the time it was set in. The women did not behave like women of the time, but rather how a modern woman might behave if transported back two hundred years. This was a rare DNF for me.
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
London, 1810 and Miss Emmeline St. Germaine is doing right in the world!

Along side other lovely ladies, Emmeline is doing her part to saveorphaned children and scullery maids who are being abused by men, for their own disgusting pleasures.

Emmeline pays a visit to knight, Sir Henry Claybourne, holding a knife to his neck. Warning him of his own wrong doing with his scullery maid.

Shortly after Emmeline's visit, Sir Henry was murdered.

Leaving Regency London shaken with fear, knowing a murder or
Jun 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It sounded so interesting when I read the blurb. I was anxious to read it and could hardly wait to pick up the book at the library.
And then I opened the pages. I read the first couple chapter and started skimming. That wasn't fast enough so I ended up skipping a large chunk and trying to read there. Still no, seriously 350 pages never seemed so long, I finally reached the end where she revealed who killed the first man. I'm like finally. Names were thrown around, and I felt no compulsion to
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up. I came across this book on Twitter at a time when I was looking for a new historical mystery author/series to try and I'm glad I read it. Overall I enjoyed it, though a few things didn't quite work for me.

What I liked:
- Emmeline had a strong motivation for investigating the murder. I've DNF'd a few books because the only reason the heroine investigated a crime was nosiness or a vague feeling of "being compelled".
- Large cast of characters from different social classes.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is a period mystery with a female protagonist, Emmeline, set in Regency England. Based on this premise this book should be perfect for me. Sadly, I found this book to be really difficult to read and didn't care for most of the characters.

Emmie spends much of the book speaking of how the rules of society bound her and give control over her life to the men in her family. She is passionately concerned about rights for women of all classes. She is part of a group of women, all of whom have
The Sapphic Nerd
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story starts off with a bang and though there are some sections where things feel a little slow, it's overall quite an entertaining read.

Emmeline is a willful and delightfully feminist protagonist who refreshingly does NOT fall for her male suitor. She wants to carve her own path and challenges the power of men over her, over women in general, and over the working class/servants. Where the world turns a blind eye to rich men preying on poor young women, Emmeline does what she can to expose
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an engrossing, dark mystery set in 1810 London with an interesting protagonist in spinster Emmeline. She is a a woman with many aliases as an avengeress, newspaper columnist and member of a Ladies group. The opening scene as she saves a scullery maid from an attempted rape by her master, is unlike anything I’ve read in the historical mystery genre. Then he is murdered. The story lagged near the middle, with a mounting number of characters in multiple households to keep straight. It was ...more
Joyanna Haggard
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book but I didn't. The audio book was poorly edited and in the first half of the books she forgets her maids name apparently and it also replayed one of the chapters forgivable I suppose what was not forgivable in my opinion is the heroine either she is a strong woman or she's not. It seems like towards the end of the book she does a 180 in personality and becomes the delicate flower. It seems to me that there is a flaw in the writing I just don't understand what happen the ...more
Judith Wolfe
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Man Hating

I would have enjoyed this novel more if the author had not spent so much time belittling and bashing men through her female character. There was on!y one man in the novel, aside from a servant, who had any redeeming qualities. True, the story is about sick, twisted behavior that deserves to be highlighted and condemned. The men deserve the punishment that they receive; however, the female characters who commit evil are allowed to go free. My main objection is the author's choice to use
Kiwi Carlisle
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Although this novel held my interest enough to finish it, I don’t know if I want to read any more in a potential series. There were enough minor, niggling historical errors to annoy me. I am also not happy with the fact that, although the author keeps talking about the lack of freedom of action of women in immediate pre-Regency England, her adult female characters pretty much do as they please and display an enormous amount of agency. They always seem to be able to find ways to handily work ...more
AudioBook Review:
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 1 Story 3

Initially the buzz on this audio production was positive, even with a series of rather mixed reviews on the narrator. But, with a new to me narrator I like to judge for myself because often I’ve found that my impressions contrast dramatically with others. And, that quality will hold true for this title in audio, but there are more that potential listeners or readers should consider. I love Hamilton’s Vintage Kitchen series, and the clever
Kassy Harris
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2-star
This was...thoroughly disappointing. I was really excited to get my hands on this book and was honestly just let down. The cover and description show great promise. I love a good mystery, especially when there's a strong female in the lead, but A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder was not what I wanted. Unfortunately, I found it to be a little preachy. I'm all for feminism in period novels, but I found Emmeline to be suffocating and actually pretty unlikable. Her goals are wonderful and I ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The description on the back cover refers to a shocking murder, intrigue and the introduction of a female character who is not only part of the English upper class but secretly avenges those who are about to be abused.

The premise was intriguing, had lots of promise and didn't (for me) deliver. I had hoped to get something that was more suspenseful, more of a mystery. What I got was something not very well put together, preachy and a slog to get through. I really tried - I pushed myself to read
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Victoria Hamilton is the bestselling author of several mystery series including the national bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She does, indeed, collect vintage kitchenware and bake muffins. She drinks tea and coffee on writing days, and wine other times. It doesn’t do to confuse days. A solitary being, she can be coaxed out of her writing cave for brownies and cat ...more