Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Corpse Played Dead” as Want to Read:
The Corpse Played Dead
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Corpse Played Dead

(Lizzie Hardwicke #2)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  77 reviews
‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…’

When an undercover assignment for the Bow Street magistrate sees prostitute Lizzie Hardwicke trade Ma Farley’s Bawdy House in Soho for life as a seamstress the theatre on Drury Lane, it becomes clear quite quickly - what goes on in the wings is much more intriguing than the theatrics being played out

Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published August 19th 2019 by Canelo
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Corpse Played Dead, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Corpse Played Dead

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  218 ratings  ·  77 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Corpse Played Dead
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lizzie Hardwicke is back in Georgina Clarke's second historical fiction novel, The Corpse Played Dead. Lizzie is a prostitute, originally from a privileged past, now fortunate to earn a comfortable living from the wealthy customers that frequent the exclusive brothel she’s employed in. Since the first book, Lizzie has earned notoriety having been instrumental in solving a murder. Mr Fielding, the magistrate, and his men, particularly William Davenport, recognise her resourcefulness and
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The second offering by Ms Clarke is as enjoyable as Book 1. Lizzie Hardwicke, a young woman of ill repute, is again engaged by Inspector Davenport on behalf of Mr Fielding, the chief of Bow Street runners in the 1750s London, to act as a unprofessional spy and explain a series of incidents in the Drury Lane Theatre run by famous Mr Garrick. Quite unexpectedly, somebody is murdered on the stage, and Lizzie finds herself in the middle of turmoil connected with this murder.
Ms Clarke takes us this
Whispering Stories
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lizzie Hardwicke is back in the second book in the series by Georgina Clarke, the first book ‘Death and the Harlot‘ I reviewed back in May.

In ‘The Corpse Played Dead’, prostitute Lizzie is once again helping Inspector Will Davenport this time working undercover in Theatre Royal where a series of serious accidents have happened and the owner Mr. Garrick believes someone is trying to ruin him.

Lizzie is now working as a seamstress in the theatre so that she can keep an eye on what is happening and
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
4.5 Stars!
I loved this, so much more than the first. While the first wasn't bad by any means, it was more crude at times and felt rough in places. This was so much more polished and the mystery was harder to figure out and just everything about it was just that little bit more, that little bit extra that made it so much more fun and stand out.
I can not wait for the next book!
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
An unlikely heroine, Lizzie Hardwicke is a prostitute working at Mrs. Farley's brothel in Soho in the year 1759 or possibly 1760. Ma Farley runs a relatively respectable brothel that caters to wealthy gentlemen and she treats her girls well. Lizzie, the disgraced and disowned daughter of a gentleman country vicar, is well aware that "respectable" though the brothel is, she needs to save up most of her earnings for an early retirement to escape that life.

In the first book of what I hope becomes a
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
The Corpse Played Dead is the second book in this series and it's just as good as the first. In this story, Davenport, the Bow Street Runner, recruits the courtesan, Lizzie Hardwicke, to work undercover in a theater on Drury Lane to find out what's really going on there. The theater has been plagued with mysterious incidents which eventually escalates into murder and Lizzie is right there in the thick of it....

I love everything about this series- the setting, the characters, the humorous dialogu
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Georgina Clarke has a winners with the two novels Death of a Harlot and The Corpse Played Dead. Lizzie Hardwicke a prostitute who lives in London among murderous events. These two books work hand in hand and would suggest reading them in order. The characters are interesting as is the story and the gallop to find out who done it. Of course on the case is Acting Inspector Will Davenport who is also a mysterious and reserved chap that adds color and some hints of romance. A copy of this book was p ...more
*The Angry Reader*
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought it was better than the first one. But was it? Or was I more used to it?

I love that this author doesn’t shy away from the more difficult aspects of Lizzie’s life - while at the same time not reveling in them. The violence. The same dirty dress. What happens to Lizzie when she loses her protection. When I began the first book I thought Lizzie would be some kind of “prostitute light.” She’d reform or be rescued or wouldn’t really have to do what a prostitute does. I’ve enjoyed grappling w
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it

My little Christmas present to myself. It was so hard to save it until January 1st, because I liked the first book so much. I knew this one would be good, so I saved it for a strong beginning to a new reading year. A great decision, definitely. I thought The Corpse Played Dead was even stronger than Death and the Harlot, so the anticipation for book three is intense.

Lizzie, the heroine of the series, is a Georgian London sex worker, so she's somewhat of an unlikely heroine. Honestly, I can'
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2019; Canelo
(Review Not on Blog)

Bow Street magistrate, Fielding looks to his Inspector Davenport and sex worker, Lizzie Harwicke to solve another case! After gaining fame for capturing a killer, this time Lizzie is to go undercover at a theater play house. As a seamstress she could observe all the ongoing activities of the cast, crew and benefactors. This is the second novel in the series, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as good as book one. Surprisingly, I did not care about wh
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, arc-netgalley
I received this from for a review.

Second in the series Lizzie Hardwicke, Lizzie is once again thrown together with the handsome Inspector Will Davenport when a high profile investor is brutally hanged at centre stage and Lizzie discovers the body.

I think the first book was just a titch better.
Caitlyn Lynch
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Before I even start reviewing this book, I just want to comment on how utterly stunning the cover for it is. It was one of the rare cases where I looked at the cover and just had to read the book. And I must say, the book really does live up to that fantastic cover, because it’s an excellent and genuinely different read, with a sex worker heroine helping Bow Street investigators solve crimes in the Georgian era. While the date isn’t stated, two real historical figures who appear place it sometim ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been eagerly awaiting this book which is the second in the series and was thrilled to have received an ARC from netgalley. It did not disappoint. I am amazed at how good the writing is. The characters are fully fleshed out, even the secondary characters. The mystery is intriguing and kept me guessing. And I love that the heroine is a prostitute. She’s not perfect but does what she has to to survive. She is tough and resilient and a truly fabulous heroine. This book picks up two months aft ...more
Georgian London was vibrant and colorful and I love when I can get a gruesome murder and a clever cast of characters in such a setting. A courtesan and a Bow Street Runner make up the detecting team of this series and its an interesting a dynamic as you would suppose.

The Corpse Played Dead is the second entry in the series. I missed the first book in the series (but will be going back for it, now) and had no trouble jumping in since the mystery and situation are standalone.

Lizzie Hardwicke, cour
Aleen ~Lampshade Reader
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy, via NetGalley of this book.

The Corpse Played Dead by Georgina Clarke doesn't release until August, but I just couldn't wait to tell everyone how much this series is impacting me so far. Book 2 in the Lizzie Hardwicke series and it's already shaping up to be one of my favorites. Below is the Top 5 Reasons why I loved The Corpse Played Dead.

Shady Talk Banner Top 5 Reasons The Corpse Played Dead

1. Lizzie Hardwick is a harlot.

I'm a
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was another very good read in this series. This time the theatre was the scene for the action, with all the back stage activities. There were the jealousies between the actors and the treatment of the servants. Lizzie finds herself in this situation as a spy for the magistrate. There is a murderer to uncover and involvement of the aristocracy. Lizzie is the shining light in this series and it is written in a way that the story just flows along. Also, there is the relationship between Lizzie ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, favorites
The Corpse Played Dead is the second book in Georgina Clarke's Lizzie Hardwicke series. I loved the first book, Death and the Harlot; could lightning strike twice? Let me answer it this way... When is the next book coming out?! I want it nowwwwwwwwwwwww! Don't make me wait, else I'll whine! Yes, that good.

Lizzie Hardwicke, a high-end prostitute in Georgian London, is once again approached by Inspector Will Davenport to help the Magistrate's office solve another crime. The theater, run by a good
Marguerite Kaye
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second in the Lizzie Hardwicke series, featuring the bizarre sleuthing duo of a high class courtesan and one of Fielding’s early Bow Street detectives, and I enjoyed it as much as the first one.
Lizzie was once a respectable young woman from a well-to-do family whose lust for life, and seduction by her uncle, forced her to quit her home and take up earning a living on her back. What I really like about the way Lizzie is portrayed is that there’s no faffing about when it comes to how
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Riding on the notoriety from her previous case, Lizzie is in high demand as a consort. But a night out at the theatre where some strange incidents are taking place, leads to Lizzie being asked to work undercover as a seamstress. Of course, where Lizzie goes, murder is not too far away.

I have really enjoyed the Lizzie Hardwick series. I find the main character really engaging - she is not perfect but she is quick and intelligent and that is what I enjoy. I can only hope that the author writes mo
Joanna Park
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Review coming soon!
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I didn’t read the first book, but man this second one was good. You really don’t need the first one to follow along (in case you are like me and are now planning to read them out of order! 🤣) the author and Lizzie drop enough comments that you understand what her life has been like.
Cathy Geha
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Corpse Played Dead by Georgina Clarke
Lizzie Hardwicke #2

Intriguing premise for a book set in 1759 London sees Lizzie Hardwicke helping what will one be the Bow Street Runners solve a case in Drury Lane Theater. Mischief has been occurring and the theater manager has asked for help so the Magistrate requests Lizzie’s undercover assistance posing as a seamstress to spy on the situation. Little does Lizzie realize that there will be more than mischief to deal with. There will be scoundrels, abu
Theresa Larson
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lizzie Hardwicke is a prostitute at a high end brothel. In exchange for some extra money, she has agreed to work on occasion for Mr. Fielding, the chief of the Bow Street Runners. He had found her useful on a recent case, and thought she might also be helpful in the future. Her main contact is inspector Davenport. Davenport is impressed with Lizzie’s attention to detail and her logical thinking. He calls her in to help with a case at the theater on Drury Lane. Many unexplained accidents have hap ...more
Jennifer Young
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was different. And I mean that in a good way.

Georgina Clarke’s The Corpse Played Dead is set in Regency London and begins with notorious prostitute Lizzie Hardwick on the way to the theatre, dressed up in her finery, travelling the streets in company of her employer and to the jeers of the crowd — because Lizzie is a woman who (in a previous book in the series) sent a murderer to the gallows and he died cursing her. What a start!

This is the second in the Lizzie Hardwick series and I
Jane Hunt
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another eighteenth-century adventure with the irrepressible Lizzie Hardwicke and the self-contained detective Davenport.

If you haven't read the first book in the series, 'Death and the Harlot', there is enough backstory in this to enjoy this standalone story, but you're missing out if you don't read book one.

Lizzie remains a believable historical character, with flaws, a clever mind, courage and compassion. The tentative friendship between her and Davenport develops in this story, the opposites
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was really excited to read this, the second book starring Lizzie Hardwicke, since I enjoyed the first one, Death and the Harlot, so much.

Lizzie is once again assisting the magistrate Mr Fielding and his men, especially Mr Davenport. There are strange things happening at a local theatre - things going missing, damage, and people being injured. Lizzie is sent in undercover as a seamstress to snoop around and see if she can find out what's going on. Unfortunately, where Lizzie goes, trouble usual
Julia Bell
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I first met Lizzie Hardwicke in the first of the series Death and the Harlot and I enjoyed the story so much I had to buy the next one. The Corpse Played Dead didn't disappoint and I was happy to join LIzzie's world again. I love the idea of an eighteenth century prostitute working for the Bow Street Runners and being the sidekick for Davenport, who fits the idea of a modern day police inspector.
Descriptions of the seedy side of eighteenth century life is well described and I was immersed in a w
Kathy Randol
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I found this book by accident and I’m glad I did!! Wonderful characters that leave no stone unturned. I absolutely enjoyed Liz, the main character. She’s a kind, warm, gentlewoman. Plus she’s smart.....Her father disowned her she had to turn to prostitution to earn a living.

A man has been murdered she goes undercover as a seamstress for a play writer. Davenport from the magistrate has asked this of her to help find the killer or killers of a wealthy aristocrat. Why? Because she’s smar
Rekha O'Sullivan
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this series. Lizzie Hardwicke goes undercover in the theatre to help the handsome Bow Street Runner William Davenport to find out the reason behind some strange happenings. She becomes entangled in something far more sinister and uses her significant charm, intelligence and compassion to solve the mystery. She's a much better investigator than any of the Runners - perhaps her life as a high-end courtesan may be drawing to a close. I wonder what William Davenport will do if Lizzie becomes ...more
Pippa Beecheno
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly researched historical murder mystery, full of wit, suspense and intrigue. I found myself immediately drawn into the murky, riotous world of Drury Lane with a cast of colourful characters to love and hate and a plotline with as many turns and twists as the back alleys of Soho. This novel is great fun to read. It is a page-turning thriller with a dynamic heroine whose resilience, good-humour and sharp-sighted comments carry you along from the eye-catching start to the grand finale. Hig ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Murder at Queen's Landing (A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery #4)
  • No Stone Unturned (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, #1)
  • The Business of Blood (The Fiona Mahoney Mysteries, #1)
  • A Treacherous Performance (Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries #5)
  • Who Speaks for the Damned (Sebastian St. Cyr, #15)
  • Murder at the Opera (Atlas Catesby, #3)
  • Murder at Kensington Palace (Wrexford & Sloane, #3)
  • The Body in the Garden (Lily Adler Mystery #1)
  • Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace (Felicity Carrol Mystery #2)
  • Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark (Lady Anne Addison Mysteries, #1)
  • A Royal Affair (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery #2)
  • Vanity and Vampyres (Manners and Monsters, #4)
  • Once Dishonored (Rogues Redeemed, #5)
  • City of Schemes (A Counterfeit Lady #4)
  • Your Deepest Fear (DS Nathan Cody #4)
  • A Lady Compromised (Rosalind Thorne, #4)
  • The Custom House Murders (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 15)
  • Blood of a Gladiator (Leonidas the Gladiator Mysteries, #1)
See similar books…
Georgina Clarke has a degree in theology and a PhD in history but has only recently started to combine her love of the past with a desire to write stories. Her Lizzie Hardwicke series is set in the mid-eighteenth century, an underrated and often neglected period, but one that is rich in possibility for a crime novelist.
She enjoys running along the banks of the River Severn and is sometimes to be f

Other books in the series

Lizzie Hardwicke (2 books)
  • Death and the Harlot (Lizzie Hardwicke, #1)

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
57 likes · 30 comments