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 skills. Everyone cooperated with her, so solving the mystery was just a matter of asking the right questions of the right people in order to discover the full picture of what happened.
The characters were interesting and enjoyable. There wasn't much suspense since there were no barriers to the investigation, a lack of danger to anyone (at least, that they knew), and even the romance was a matter of slowly growing to admire the other person and acknowledging that at the end. Despite that, the pacing never felt slow to me. It was a relaxing read, which can be very nice.
Interesting, vivid historical details about everyday life and the wider political events were woven into the story and brought it alive in my imagination.
There was a minor about of explicit bad language that modern readers might be offended by. There were no sex scenes, though sex was vaguely referred to throughout the story. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
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About the reviewer
Debbie White (GenreReviewer)
I review books, do organic gardening (vegetables, fruit trees, etc.), mentor a young lady, and work with inmates at the local jail and state prison units. I live in a passive solar house (with an active … more
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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.