The Gilded Shroud
Berkley, Sep 6 2011, $15.00
Lady Emily Fanshawe’s personal maid Mary Huntshaw walks to her mistress’ bedroom with a hot chocolate only to smell a horrific odur and the room in disarray. Mary starts screaming as she realizes someone strangled Lady Emily and her husband Randal is missing.
Randal’s mother the Marchioness of Polbrook fears her son the marquis killed his wife. Her other son Francis struggles to control his nausea as he takes charge. The Marchioness’ temporary companion Widow Ottilia Draycott offers to investigate the homicide. Though she has doubts the Marchioness agrees as she hopes to keep her oldest son out of gaol. Tillie quickly learns a theft of a valuable family heirloom occurred also. Asking questions of those at the estate, Tillie seeks the motives and opportunities of a house of strangers; while her attraction to Francis helps and hinders her inquiry.
The Gilded Shroud is a charming Regency romantic amateur sleuth starring a wonderful intelligent heroine. The story line engages the reader in the mystery while the romance between “Fan” and “Tillie” enhances the investigation. Sub-genre readers will want Tillie and Fan working future inquiries.