Blog Tour/Book Review: The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey

Elizabeth Bailey is a popular author of Georgian romances. The Gilded Shroud is the first book in her Lady Fan Mystery series also set in the Georgian era.

Publication Date: June 21, 2018
Publisher: Sapere Books
Genre:Historical Fiction, Mystery, romance


1789, London

When Emily Fanshawe, Marchioness of Polbrook, is found strangled in her bedchamber, suspicion immediately falls on those residing in the grand house in Hanover Square.

Emily’s husband - Randal Fanshawe, Lord Polbrook

- fled in the night and is chief suspect – much to the dismay of his family.

Ottilia Draycott is brought in as the new lady’s companion to Sybilla, Dowager Marchioness and soon finds herself assisting younger son, Lord Francis Fanshawe in his investigations.

Can Ottilia help clear the family name? Does the killer still reside in the house?

Or could there be more to the mystery than meets the eye…?

My Thoughts

Ottilia Draycott, on her first day as companion to the Dowager Marchioness of Polbrook, agrees to assist Lord Francis Fanshawe with his investigation into the murder of his sister-in-law, Emily. When Emily’s husband, Lord Polbrook, cannot be found, he becomes the prime suspect, but as more of Emily's secrets are revealed the list of suspects begins to grow.

Ottilia is a very unconventional lady. Her behaviour seems a little too forward for a companion, but the other characters, once they’d recovered from the initial shock of her outspokenness (after all they were used to the timidity of the older, previous companion), were won over by her charm, good sense and honesty, and explains why they readily accept her theories. I did find her behaviour odd to begin with, but as I came to like Ottilia over the course of the story conceded this was a quick and clever way to establish the nature of her character from the start.

Most of the action is confined to the house where the murder took place, but the story doesn't stagnate because of it. Ottilia's knack for gaining the trust of the servants and for asking the right questions proves invaluable in moving the story along, as do the conversations between the other characters involved in the investigation as they analyse and piece together each bit of information uncovered. News from the outside is brought to the house by visitors, invited and uninvited. Additional drama is provided by the arrival of an irate Lord Harbisher, Emily's elder brother, who is convinced that her husband is the murderer and wants the world to know it. While Ottilia continues with her task of interviewing the staff and familiarising herself with the layout of the large house, Lord Fanshawe isn't idle. Accompanied by his friend Colonel Tretower of the Militia, he ventures out to places that Ottilia, being a female, is barred from; thus following up all leads.

The romance between Ottilia and Lord Francis develops slowly. I enjoyed the way it progressed from a look and a smile through various other stages such as the dropping of formal titles and the use of first names, to Lord Francis shortening Ottilia's name to the more endearing Tillie and her use of his nickname. The way the romance is written into the story gives an indication of why Elizabeth Bailey is a popular romance author.

The Gilded Shroud is a very entertaining mixture of mystery and romance. I liked its fast pace and colourful characters. The plot was good and even though I had my suspicions who it was, I still enjoyed the process by which the murderer was unmasked and apprehended. This is an excellent start to a new series.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Bailey feels lucky to have found several paths that have given her immense satisfaction – acting, directing, teaching and, by no means least, writing. Through the years, each path has crossed the other, honing and deepening her abilities in each sphere.
She has been privileged to work with some wonderful artistic people, and been fortunate enough to find publishers who believed in her and set her on the road.
To invent a world and persuade others to believe in it, live in it for a while, is the sole aim of the novelist.
Elizabeth’s own love of reading has never abated, and if she can give a tithe of the pleasure to others as she has received herself, it’s worth all the effort.

You can check out Elizabeth’s website here

Elizabeth’s Twitter: @LizBWrites

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  1. Thanks, I'll keep a note of this one, although I don't usually read mysteries.

    1. This book was an easy read with a touch of romance,with many suspects to keep you guessing.

  2. I like mysteries set in England in Georgian and Victorian times.

  3. Sounds wonderful. I love to see how days gone by solved murder mysteries.

    1. I prefer historical mysteries to modern ones for the methods used to catch the culprits - a little bit of science, legwork and brainpower!