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A Dreadful Splendor

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In this spectacularly imaginative and ghoulishly fun Gothic murder mystery brimming with romance, betrayals, and chills, a fake spiritualist is summoned to hold a séance for a bride who died on the eve before her wedding, but as nefarious secrets are revealed, the line between hoax and haunting blurs.

Be careful what you conjure...

In Victorian London, Genevieve Timmons poses as a spiritualist to swindle wealthy mourners--until one misstep lands her in a jail cell awaiting the noose. Then a stranger arrives to make her a peculiar offer. The Lord he serves, Mr. Pemberton, has been inconsolable since the tragic death of his beautiful bride-to-be. If Genevieve can perform a séance persuasive enough to bring the young Lord peace, she will win her freedom.

Soothing a grieving nobleman should be easy for someone of Genevieve's skill, but when she arrives at the grand Somerset Park estate, Mr. Pemberton is not the heartbroken lover she expected. The surly--yet exceedingly handsome--gentleman is certain that his fiancée was murdered, even though there is no evidence. Only a confession can bring justice now, and Mr. Pemberton decides Genevieve will help him get it. With his knowledge of the household and her talent for illusion, they can stage a haunting so convincing it will coax the killer into the light. However, when frightful incidents befall the manor, Genevieve realizes her tricks aren't required after all. She may be a fake, but Somerset's ghost could be all too real...

A Dreadful Splendor is a wickedly whimsical brew of mystery, spooky thrills, and intoxicating romance that makes for an irresistibly fun and page-turning read.

416 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 12, 2022

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About the author

B.R. Myers

12 books284 followers
Always in the mood for a good scare, B.R. Myers spent most of her teen years behind the covers of Lois Duncan, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King. Her YA contemporary coming of age novel, GIRL ON THE RUN, was chosen by the Canadian Children's Book Centre as a BEST BOOK for TEENS for 2016.

When she's not putting her characters in awkward situations, she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Halifax with her husband and two children—and there is still a stack of books on her bedside table.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 800 reviews
Profile Image for B.R. Myers.
Author 12 books284 followers
November 24, 2021
Why yes, I am giving my own book 5 stars. I read it over a million times during revisions and I still love it.
Profile Image for Julie .
4,077 reviews59k followers
November 19, 2022
A Dreadful Splendor by B.R. Meyers is a 2022 William Morrow publication.

Genevieve Timmons is a fake spiritualist, having learned the trade from her mother. Unfortunately, a slip up gets her arrested and now her fate appears to be sealed. Miraculously, she is temporarily saved from the gallows by a gentleman who wishes her to perform a séance for a man, a Mr. Pemberton, who recently lost, Audra, his intended bride, to an apparent suicide. If she can convince the man that his finance has moved on peacefully, Genevieve will be properly represented in court.

The plot thickens when Genevieve arrives at the estate in question to find that Mr. Pemberton has other plans. He’s quite aware of Genevieve’s lack of authenticity, and blackmails her into changing the context of her séance to prove that Audra met with foul play.

Trapped in a horrible position, Genevieve proceeds to work on her performance, learning dark secrets along the way, making it impossible to fully trust anyone on the estate. She will have to put on the performance of her life to find out what really happened to Audra and save her own neck at the same time!

This book reminded me so much of some the Gothic romantic suspense novels written in the early 1970s. Many of those novels appealed to an adult audience, but they were also devoured voraciously by YA readers, too. This book has that vibe, as well. It had a solid, dramatic Gothic elements, good mystery, atmosphere and suspense, well placed thrills and chills, and just a touch of romance. The only small quibble I had was that it might have been just a wee bit too long. Other than that, this is a terrific fall/winter read!

4 stars
Profile Image for Brend.
345 reviews435 followers
December 22, 2022
She girlbossed a bit too close to the sun and he was manipulated into malewifing. A tale as old as time; a gemini and a capricorn in a haunted manor.
Profile Image for Kasia.
207 reviews21 followers
August 31, 2022
**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Dark, gothic murder mystery with elements of romance set in England in Victorian era - sounds like a perfect read for September, right? Unfortunately this one is more of a briefly spooky, YA-y murder mystery sprinkled with insta-love that made me start yawning around page 150.

Our main protagonist, Genevieve, is an 18 year old, recently orphaned girl that is working as a spiritualist - or a con artist that makes people believe she is capable of contacting spirits of the deceased. We are meeting her when she is busted by the police while fleeing the house of one of her clients with all the jewellery she could get and I was really intrigued. Morally gray, street smart characters are usually fun to read about right? Unfortunately author was dead set on absolving her of everything suggesting that Genevieve can only lie and steal (aka be a spiritualist) or become a sex worker (which is shown as a job that will make you morally buncrupt). There is never a third option like, I don't know, honest work? There is even a part of the book when someone calls Genevieve an angel because she was offering grieving families comfort so it actually doesn't matter that she was cheating since everyone is happy. I love flawed characters but I hate when author excuse every bad thing. That makes the protagonist come across as arrogant and full of oneself. I didn't like Genevieve even a bit.

The murder mystery itself was pretty solid but very slow and every time it started picking up the pace it was interrupted by Genevieve backstory of how she "murdered her mother". Here is a riddle for you: if you know that the author will go out of her way to make sure that her main heroine is excused of everything and is the best person in the world do you really believe for even one second that Jenny killed her mother? Well, I didn't. However the explanation of what happen was so nonsensical that I decided to give this book 2 stars instead of the 3. Author was really trying to reanimate my interest by rising the stakes couple times and introducing intriguing plot elements (like sleepwalking) but in the end it all backfired because it only slowed down the already glacial pace of this novel.

Romance is of the insta-love variety and have couple moments that made me cringe really bad. You see, it starts as an enemies-to-lovers of sorts when he finds out that hired spiritualist is trying to leave the manor prematurely with a collection of stolen silver candelabras. As every sensible human being he then decides to blackmail her into staying in the manor and performing promised seance instead of immediately calling the police. Then Genevieve is like "Crap! Now I absolutely need to stay here!" and I just couldn't take it. If she is so street smart why she is not even thinking about trying to escape for the second time? Nobody is watching her!!!! So enemies-to-lovers abruptly ends when he sees her sleepwalking and thinks to himself that there is much more to discover about Genevieve. Yes, thats it. Barely tolerated thief -> sleepwalking episode -> intriguing, beautiful, mysterious. Here is your romance.

If it was only boring I would give it 3 stars but since it was also annoying I am not going to recommend it.
Profile Image for Kelly.
336 reviews23 followers
June 2, 2022
Jenny Timmons has been surviving by being a con artist for as long as she can remember, "inheriting" her mother's once-thriving seance "business" upon her death. Unfortunately, she also inherited Miss Crane her landlady, who gave her an ultimatum; Jenny either steals from her wealthy clients or can become one of her girls. But Jenny had a plan, one last heist and she could leave Miss Crane's behind, unfortunately, Miss Crane set her up and as she's leaving her final victim's home she's arrested. Facing the gallows for a murder she didn't commit she knows she has no options left so is more than a little surprised when an elderly gentleman, Mr. Lockhart, pays her bail and hires her to perform a fake seance to calm the nerves of his distraught employer Mr. Pemberton who recently lost his bride to an apparent suicide. When Jenny arrives at Somerset a sprawling estate on the coast she quickly realizes she may have bitten off more than she can chew as the handsome Mr. Pemberton wants to "hire" her services himself to find out who murdered his bride. The longer Jenny is at Somerset the more she is certain that Lady Audra was murdered and that everyone at Somerset had a reason to want her dead.

I read a lot of murder mysteries, especially period mysteries. Over time I've really stopped reading them outside of a handful of authors because it began to feel like every single solitary book was the same plot with different characters. And to be honest for the vast majority of this book I was going to write it off as just another mass-produced period mystery with a romance. Up until the last maybe ten chapters this review was going to be very short and sweet and essentially say "highly entertaining if you need something to do for a few hours but I wouldn't actually pay for it." And then those last ten chapters hit and Myers pulled the rug straight out from under me!

As I said for the most part this really is a cookie-cutter period mystery. Girl has a crappy life, but she's tough and resilient and even though she finds herself way out of her normal realm she is completely capable of handling this situation because if we've learned anything adversity breeds clever capable women, and if clever and capable isn't enough she also has the hot, rich guy who is falling in love with her. Like I said most of this book is standard fare for this genre. It's not until you get to the reveal of the killer that this goes from absolutely predictable to "Holy hell what!?" Myers created the perfect game of Clue and just when you are positive you've narrowed down your six players to just one and you are sure it was Col. Mustard in the dining room with the candle stick you find out that there was a seventh player there the whole time that you never even saw. And the thing is Myers somehow juggles all of these players brilliantly. Everyone in Somerset has a reason for wanting Lady Audra dead, so you've got multiple lines of inquiry and these little side dramas that really all play into the actual killer's motive without feeling confusing or overwhelming. Which is in my opinion the mark of a good mystery writer.

The romance in this doesn't overwhelm the main story either which I was truly grateful for. It's also a believable and gradual building of mutual trust and respect over the course of the book.

Jenny is a great character as well. She has her hang-ups and insecurities but given her life story and her young age they are overlooked, understood or forgiven. Gareth (Mr. Pemberton) is a great love interest as well as an interesting character. His background is explained just enough so we can understand him but his story never overpowers Jenny's.

One kind of odd compliment but I think it needs to be said; you absolutely feel the passage of time when reading this. A huge pet peeve for me is when a book is supposed to take place over the course of a week but it feels like it was only a day or vice versa. It's a weird thing to nit-pick I know but I appreciated how she found ways to incorporate the passage of time.

The only reason this is four stars instead of five is I've read three or maybe four books in the last six months or so that had a similar premise. This is the best one out of those books for certain but there are only so many times you can read about a young girl in London during the spiritualist movement who somehow gets tangled up in a murder and ends up marrying a Baron, Earl, Rich Guy. Actually, it would be quite nice to read a book where the girl doesn't marry the Baron, Earl, Rich Guy. Especially since this book centers around women having virtually no rights during this time frame whether they were rich or poor.

Overall, while appearing to be a very generic period murder mystery Myers throws out a completely unpredictable twist at the end. Even without the twist though the book sucks you in from page one and keeps you interested with a complicated plot of long-lost heirs, unrequited love, and the complete lack of control women had over their lives. This would be perfect for fans of the Sebastian St. Cyr series.

And as always thanks to Netgalley and William Morrow Paperbacks for the eArc, this review has been left voluntarily.



Profile Image for Lollita .
211 reviews74 followers
August 27, 2022
Wasn't bad, but not sure why its marked as adult definitely read as YA
Profile Image for abi.
708 reviews31 followers
May 3, 2023

I unfortunately, didn’t enjoy this one as much as I thought I would. I think the only thing I really liked about this book was the gothic style and tone of the writing (which is what I came for, so at least I received lol). Set in the background of Victorian England, a fake spiritualist in an old, supposedly-haunted manor by the sea is told the only way she can stay out of jail is if she’ll perform a fake séance for the grieving Lord of the manor. A dead lady of the house, secrets & family drama galore, a suspicious house staff, and a desperate Lord. The style of the writing was great; the vibes were all there. But the way the mystery was written made this book a no for me.

The main issue with the writing was the younger way it was written. You could immediately tell from chapter one that this book was marketed for the wrong audience, and should have have been marketed for younger readers instead. A Dreadful Splendor reads glaringly like a YA or even a middle grade mystery novel. And with that said, I don’t think I would have read this if it was marketed for the age range it truly is for: YA. I don’t usually like YA mysteries for their often juvenile themes & characters, lackluster build-up, and obvious twists. Sometimes they’re fun to read to pass the time, but I find they never satisfy me the way I want them to by the end (excluding AGGTM & Truly Devious). By the end of this story, I was beyond tired of the predictable plot, easy mystery, and annoying amount of telling instead of showing. The murderer(s) (no spoilers for y’all) was very easy to guess, and some of the plot twists were even downright funny at times.

It felt really like the author was trying to write a mashup of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights for the plot—however B.R. Myers execution felt lackluster. A Dreadful Splendor has both nudges and similar ideas to both stories, sort of like B.R. was making her own twist? There were so many plot-points that reminded me exactly of the two stories.

Was this book bad? Ehh not necessarily. The concept was great, but the execution was greatly lacking. I think the first mistake was marketing this book as adult when it’s very obviously not. It was just irritating how juvenile and simple this book felt when it could have been so much more had it been written a little older. Overall, I found this one severely underwhelming.


My Gothic Book Playlist
Profile Image for Jen.
291 reviews19 followers
April 4, 2022
Unfortunately I did not enjoy this one. The premise sounded like something I'd love and I was drawn to the cover, but the execution did not work for me. The writing style just wasn't my cup of tea. It felt very juvenile, definitely read more like YA or even middle grade than adult. Many elements of the mystery felt glaringly obvious, others just seemed silly to me. There were some twists and turns I didn't see, but I didn't really care about any of the characters or feel any chemistry in the romance. I was bored most of the way through and never really connected with the book. I'd have DNF'd early on, but it was an ARC so I finished it, but it just was not a good match for my reading tastes.

*Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC
Profile Image for Merry.
636 reviews82 followers
August 31, 2022
Good ideas, but too many of them. Another book that is highly rated that I found to be just OK. The book starts out with Genevieve being written as an unlikable character and I never recovered from that. There is really no one that I was rooting for as the hero. The cast of characters each have a book size history and storyline since it comes in at almost 400 pages. I guessed a good part of the plot.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,632 reviews34k followers
May 12, 2023
This book is gothic Victorian catnip, and I am a blissed-out kitty rubbing my entire body ecstatically against it.

I did think for a time this rating would be even higher, in part because Olivia Vinall’s narration is perfection, but I wasn’t entirely convinced by the resolution, and I thought I would be a little more swept away by the romance. Still, so very enjoyable on audio.
Profile Image for Andi.
1,235 reviews
April 12, 2022
I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me a chance to read this early!

I enjoy gothic romances mixed with mystery. So when I saw the blurb for this I knew I just had to grab it.

What makes it different than previous gothic romances is that the main character is a sham, a pretender who claims to be clairvoyant. After being caught at her last house, she is courted by the lawyer of a recently-widowed male. His bride to be was rumored to have gone insane and thrown herself off a cliff to her watery death. Yet, there is talk of ghosts of previous heirs in the family haunting the estate, they too also died due to a curse.

I love when you get all those elements mixed in with a character who has secrets of her own and is semi on-the-run from cops.

Then the romance. I thought the romance was a well done slow build and the way the story was written I was unsure as to who was behind the death of the wife and what was going on at the estate.

The reason I marked it down a star is that while I enjoyed it I got a YA feel from it? I don't think the author meant for it to be YA but it came off very YA for me.

All in all, if you enjoy gothic romances mixed with mystery this is a great one to grab!
Profile Image for Lacy.
691 reviews45 followers
July 16, 2022
My Nancy Drew loving heart is absolutely so full after finishing A Dreadful Splendor! The CW's Nancy Drew. Specifically, season 1 vibes. iykyk. But let's be honest. (Especially because nobody in this book knows how be.) I was always going to pick up this book up because B.R. Myers is one of my all-time favorite authors.


Genevieve Timmons is a spiritualist struggling to survive in the 1850s of Victorian London. A job gone wrong leads to her being summoned to hold a séance for a bride who died on the eve before her wedding. But for someone who can speak to dead, the line between what's real and not real aren't always so clear.

I lied for a living, but in all those private gatherings, one thing remained the same— my truth. I craved to belong to a family. During a séance, when I was the conduit for a loved one, the family would look at me like I was the most important person in their lives. I felt loved. Among all that death was the only time I was truly alive— that was my dreadful splendor.

A Dreadful Splendor is a hauntingly gothic atmospheric murder mystery. Those are not my usual genres to read. And it took me a little bit to get into the story. But before I realized it, I was sucked in this universe that I could completely picture in my mind. I read and finished the last sixty(ish) percent in a single afternoon. I didn't want the book to end but I kept flipping pages to find out 'whodunit'. Everytime I thought I had figured out the murderer, I was wrong. Of course, there are betrayals, shocking twists, and a little romance along the way. And now I'm left with a terrible but delicious book hangover.

Death had been courting me all my life; I was ready to accept him with open arms. I didn’t know how to waltz, but I would dance with death tonight.



If you love a good rainy day Gothic murder mystery, Nancy Drew, Clue, Dickinson, the movie Redeeming Love, or Truly Devious then I highly recommend picking up A Dreadful Splendor.

***Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy.***
Profile Image for PlotTrysts.
648 reviews215 followers
August 21, 2022
A Dreadful Splendor is a delightfully gothic and pulpy historical mystery. Genevieve is a young spiritualist who is coerced into performing a séance. The man who engages her services has promised to represent her in court (because, oh yeah, she's also wanted for quite a few crimes), but he has requested a specific outcome of the séance. He would like Genevieve to indicate that the dead lady of the manor is at peace.

After her arrival, she is soon approached by the lord of the manor, who also has an interest in a specific outcome of the séance - but he doesn't want a message of peace in the afterlife. Rather, he is convinced that the dead woman was the victim of foul play, and he is hoping that the séance can help identify the killer. Genevieve has to figure out the mystery of who killed the lady so that she can figure out how to satisfy both men's demands and get out of the manor alive. In the meantime, she's experiencing all sorts of otherworldly activities that she has NOT been directing.

The mystery has plenty of clues and red herrings that make the book fun to read, while the Victorian setting and spiritualist background add a bit of a Sherlockian flavor. There's also an understated romance - but can Genevieve trust her newfound flame? If you like Deanna Rayburn's or Sherry Thomas's Victorian mysteries, this is definitely one you'll want to check out.

This objective review is based on a complimentary copy of the novel.
Profile Image for Tami (Books Bengals and Coffee).
273 reviews10 followers
August 29, 2022
Author B. R. Myers has spun a slow burning mystery/thriller/romance that has me wanting more.

From the book blurb: Be careful what you conjure... In Victorian London, Genevieve Timmons poses as a spiritualist to swindle wealthy mourners—until one misstep lands her in a jail cell awaiting the noose. Then a stranger arrives to make her a peculiar offer. The lord he serves, Mr. Pemberton, has been inconsolable since the tragic death of his beautiful bride-to-be. If Genevieve can perform a séance persuasive enough to bring the young lord peace, she will win her freedom.

Narrator Olivia Vinall's reading was absolutely perfect for this locked in mystery at a creepy Victorian mansion. I could hear the floorboards creeping and smell the salty air. There were plenty of roller coaster moments and red herrings, leaving me wondering “Who isn’t a suspect?” I was guessing up until the final reveal.

For me, this is more of a period piece than a gothic story. A Dreadful Splendor focuses on the mystery and a cast of finely crafted characters instead of gore. Myers balances supernatural and interpersonal elements in this fast-paced, intricately plotted mystery that will have readers eager to find out not only if Jenny will get her happy ending, but if anyone else deserves one.

A ghost story held in a damp 1850s' London gothic home, secret tunnels, a con man, the foreboding housekeeper, betrayals and a multitude of agendas - whats not to love? This book has it all covered!

Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Audio and B.R. Myers for a creepy tale thats a great addition to everyone's spooky fall reads list. If your looking for a well written mystery with some romance woven though, then this book is for you! I look forward to reading more from B.R. Myers.
Profile Image for Sheila.
972 reviews86 followers
February 18, 2023
4 stars--I really liked it. Shallow but fun gothic, with all the tropes on full display. Likable characters and an over-the-top plot contributed to my enjoyment.
Profile Image for Lexi.
512 reviews225 followers
November 16, 2022
Dude I tried so hard but this is boring as hell
Profile Image for Gigi.
406 reviews20 followers
November 5, 2022
2.5 stars

This had the makings of what could have been a really good Murder mystery. Like hello?! Ghosts, fake spiritualist, murder, eerie mansion. Sign me up! This should have knocked it out of the park.

But sadly, this felt like I was dragging my feet through a good chunk of the story. It was dreadfully (pun intended) slow!

Sorry. But it’s a no from me.

Profile Image for Karen Darling.
2,574 reviews17 followers
September 1, 2022
I don't enjoy books with the heroine thinking of herself in the third. Example; I walked out side and saw the cliff. I picked up a rook and dropped in over the cliff. Also the heroine was not as crafty as she was portrayed to be.
Profile Image for Jess.
2,975 reviews5 followers
November 6, 2022
I feel like I SHOULD have anticipated the twist in this novel and I didn't, which is a failing on my own part. Was a fun, atmospheric seasonal read. If you like gothics and aren't afraid of reading them after Halloween ends, worth a try.
Profile Image for Désirée Worrall-B.
36 reviews329 followers
July 29, 2022
I’m crying why is it over🥲🥲

Spookiness, mystery, murder, secrets, secret tunnels in the estate, romance, betrayal, ghosts, slight humour… this was perfect!
Profile Image for Melanie.
556 reviews289 followers
April 13, 2023
Whilst this had lengths, I did really enjoy the mystery. And it managed to surprise me once or twice which is really rare.
Profile Image for Carmen.
502 reviews15 followers
June 7, 2022
I received a copy from William Morrow Paperbacks through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Genevieve Timmons is a spiritualist who provides peace for the mourning people who call on her. Her side business? Robbing the people who call on her so that she can keep herself afloat. When Genevieve’s luck finally runs out, she’s caught red handed as she tries to flee her latest job and finds herself in jail waiting for the gallows. Thankfully, a dying lawyer has offered her freedom in exchange for duping a mourning man into believing his late fiancée is at peace. The only problem is that Mr. Pemberton knows she can’t speak to the spirits, but he does strike a separate deal with her. If Genevieve uses her séance to guilt the person who killed his late fiancée to come clean, he won’t have her arrested for trying to steal from his home.

When I picked up this book, I was not expecting the wild ride that I was in for. We follow Genevieve, a spiritualist who learned everything she knows from her late mother. Spiritualism is hard to get by on, so she’s resorted to stealing so that she isn’t forced to become a lady of the night under her landlord. Watching her unravel a murder mystery at Mr. Pemberton’s seems like it’d be a pretty clear case at first, but that is not the case at all. I had some theories that were totally wrong, but was it fun? Absolutely!

There’s a diary entry from the late Audry between each chapter, which gives us a glimpse into her life. Genevieve believes that Audry killed herself the night before the wedding, and she’s not the only one who thinks that. However, Mr. Pemberton and others believe that she was murdered. I was with Genevieve at first, but the longer that I read the book, the more questions arose and it became clear that not everything was as it appeared. My theories on the matter weren’t on the right track, but when everything was revealed, it certainly made a lot of sense.

One of my favorite parts of the book is watching Genevieve battle with herself about whether or not ghosts are real. At first, it appears that someone is purposely trying to spook her, but then she starts to question if Audry’s spirit is actually trying to contact her. It was so much fun to watch her go back and forth as she faced the possibility that she may be making contact with a spirit for the first time despite not believing in the possibility.

While the plot is a wild read, there are quite a few characters and different plots. Other than Genevieve and Mr. Pembrum, there’s several characters who pop in and out. One of my favorites is Flora, who is a cheerful and naïve member of the staff that Genevieve cozies up to. Through her, we learn a lot of facts as well as the most recent gossip as it happens. There’s also a couple romance plots, and one is a very slow burn that’s not obvious until the pair continue to get to know each other.

All in all, it was a wonderful read and it makes me excited to check out the author’s other works.
Profile Image for Luanne Ollivier.
1,731 reviews91 followers
July 12, 2022
Oh my gosh! I absolutely adored B.R Myers' new novel, A Dreadful Splendor. And you will too!
Why? Where to start!?

A catchy, quirky title. 1850's London, England. Spiritualism. Séances. Con games. Dusty, damp gothic estate. Stern, foreboding housekeeper. A nervous maid. A very handsome Lord of the Manor. A 'cursed' family. Secrets. Danger. Every character with their own agenda. Mysteries, chills and romance.

Whew, what more could you want? Oh, yes, a wonderful lead character. Meet Genevieve Timmons, who makes her living as a spiritualist to the wealthy. And perhaps one or two side gig as a thief. But, she's skated too close to the edge with this last job. The constabulary has her scheduled for the noose, until a lawyer for that estate mentioned above, asks Genevieve to hold a séance at the manor in exchange for getting that appointment cancelled. The reader can't help but like Genevieve, and be beside as she explores, discovers and acts on what she finds.

Myers' descriptions are wonderfully detailed and I had vivid images of the manor in my mind as I read. And the players were just as well drawn and described as well.

Myers keeps the reader guessing as the final aha moments. Perhaps Genevieve is not the con she seems to be? And Myers gifts the reader a lovely, almost at the end of the book, twist. Well done!

A Dreadful Splendor was just so much fun to read! Absolutely recommended and an easy five stars.
Profile Image for Tessa.
116 reviews34 followers
September 17, 2022
3/5 ✨✨✨

I desperately wanted to love this. Gothic mystery? A fake medium? Clue adjacent? GHOSTS? I was so looking forward to seeing how this went down.

Geneieve Timmons is a thief, a fraud, and a murderer – so the story goes. Arrested and betrayed during her last heist, Jenny has no choice but to take up the offer of one Mr. Lockhart, who says he will represent her in court if she can fake her way into consoling his Lord's broken heart. She agrees, of course, only to realize too late that she has been dragged into a mystery that might just be her end as well.

Before anything, I want to say that this has all the makings of a fun, cozy mystery. Definitely would recommend this as a beachy read or just something to take down by the fire and fly through in your spare time. It was certainly spooky, and had some very well done tense moments that drew on the creepy atmosphere.

I love me a spunky, smart-mouthed heroine any day of the week. Geneieve on her own was interesting and I wanted to get to know her story. Unfortunately, the second she lands in Somerset, we lose her in the late Audra's shadow.

She also mentioned, every single time she saw the love interest, that he was handsome. We know girl, we know. It's okay.

This book crammed like, four major plot points into the first 12%. I have to admit the Lockhart-Jenny-Pemberton situation gave me whiplash and that wasn't the last time. The pacing, in general, was distracting and it made everything else around it difficult for me to latch on to.

This wasn't my favorite but I think a lot of people who enjoy light, twisty mysteries will rave about this one.

My thanks to netgalley and the publisher for granting me this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,722 reviews
June 10, 2022
There's been a bit of a trend recently of books about women who pretend to be psychic mediums. I'm really enjoying it, especially when the line between pretend spirits and real ones gets blurred. This was a good murder mystery, with several suspects and reveals that threw me off the trail. The setting was perfect, Victorian England in an old, kind of creepy estate. I definitely felt the atmosphere in this one and it was an overall fun read.

I loved how the mystery played out and the fact that I didn't guess the ending was great. The author really did a good job of laying groundwork and then sweeping the rug out from under the reader. The only downside for me was that it felt slow, like the story should have been months instead of a week. This is because we get diary excerpts spanning years, plus Genevieve's backstory of growing up and learning to be a fake medium. I know these parts were important to the plot, but they really slowed down the excitement and maybe could have been trimmed.

The narrator for the audiobook has a perfect voice to fit the main character and definitely added to the story. I definitely recommend this one!

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Audio for the copy.
Profile Image for E.A..
Author 1 book75 followers
September 16, 2022
I so enjoyed this murder mystery with a hint of pride and prejudice!

I picked up A Dreadful Splendor the minute it arrived at our house. The cover, the concept, everything - it was all there and it sucked me IN! I then got approved for the audiobook version and decided to start from where I left off so that I could finish it faster.⁣

The main character was plucky and creative, the hero was dark and brooding, the atmosphere - perfection! As it neared the end I kept thinking "I wish there was another book". I'm not sure if it's going to be a series, but I would LOVE to read another one in this same world with these characters. I think it would create a long-running and fun series.

I definitely recommend this to fans of historical mystery!

My rating:

Thanks to the publisher for this gifted audio copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Markia (hoesreadtoo).
167 reviews8 followers
May 13, 2022

This was an OK read. The premise really intrigued me and the gorgeous cover drew me to the book, but the execution fell flat. Meyers did a decent job establishing the gothic atmosphere. The mystery was predictable and there was more character development needed. The middle dragged quite a bit. I was happy I was correct about the ending tho!

Overall, it’s a solid quick read for those searching for a gothic mystery with a dash of romance.

Huge thanks to William Morrow & NetGalley for providing this arc in exchange for my honest review!
Profile Image for Ashley.
600 reviews14 followers
April 6, 2022
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. (via Netgalley)

Closer to 4.5 stars. I enjoyed this! It moved at a good pace that made it hard to put down at times. I had some suspicions on the twists but most of my guesses were off the mark. I wouldn't mind seeing more from the characters in future stories.
Profile Image for Scarlett.
149 reviews12 followers
March 18, 2023
This was really good I really liked it! I do recommend it, it is hard to get into but after 50-100 pages I was hooked and couldn’t put it down!! The writing was spectacular but I really was just their for the Victorian vibes!
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