A maid finds her dead mistress sprawled across a disheveled four-poster bed with a bruised neck. Emily, wife of the Marquis of Polbrook, had been strangled in the night. The last thing Emily's brother-in-law, Lord Francis Fanshawe, expects to find so soon after the crime is an adept investigator newly arrived as a temporary lady's companion to his elderly mother.
Ottilia Draycott is intelligent, resourceful, and observant. She quickly becomes the family's hope for establishing the innocence of the marquis, despite his sudden disappearance that same night and a declared wish that Emily was no longer his wife. Then a priceless heirloom and some jewelry goes missing from the scene of the crime. Only Ottilia can piece together what happened that fateful night and discover the murderer.
The Gilded Shroud is a historical romance set in 1789 in England. There is a puzzle-mystery to solve that brings the romantic pair together, but the story reads primarily like a "clean" romance. The clues were not hidden or obscured, so the "whodunit" was very guessable even from the start of the book. While it was verbally acknowledged that the heroine was unconventional for the time period, everybody loved her unconventional manner and … more