Title: The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, and Romance
Expected publication: 1992
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my unbiased opinion)
When the marchioness is found murdered at Polbrook mansion, the Dowager Lady Polbrook's new companion, Ottilia Draycott, finds herself in a house of strangers and every one of them a suspect. Only she can unmask and outwit a desperate killer and keep a Polbrook family secret buried.
Mysteries are so fun especially a good one like this!
The story follows Ottilia who is the new companion for the Dowager Lady Polbrook. The first morning after she arrives, Emily (the daughter-in-law) is murdered and her husband disappears around the same time. Chaos indeed! However, this family is in luck because Ottilia enjoys good mysteries and decides to help them solve this murder.
I am very surprised this family was so kind to allow Ottilia to help. She is a virtual stranger and is a woman. She makes some good points so I guess it makes sense to let her loose. What is the worst that could happen?
Ottilia was an interesting character. She was smart, but she had her moments of silliness. There were times I was surprised they kept her on.
The romance aspect was done well I feel. It didn't at all take over the story. It was SOOO slow and took a back seat when it had to. It also felt real for these two characters because they have more important things to worry about. I do wish there had been a couple of other moments to feel the chemistry. There was chemistry missing between the two. Maybe the next book will show this more.
The mystery was good. I guessed who it was but I was not confident in my guess. Much like our heroine. The hints were there, but I was unsure until a certain scene. When it was revealed I huzzahed. I was happy I got it.
In the end, I really did enjoy this. I wanted more chemistry between Ottilia and Francis, but I liked how the romance was mixed in with this murder mystery. I am curious to read the next one. I'll stamp this with 4 stars.