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The Dagger Dance

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I appreciate the publisher allowing me to read this book. I really enjoyed this one the plot kept me interested until the end which is not easy, and the characters were engaging and believable. I highly recommend this book.

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Lady Ottilia Fanshawe has a reputation for solving murders in Georgian England.
She will embroil herself in murder yet again to help Dorote a past friend of Hemp her footman. She and her husband will hotfoot it to Bristol and find herself moving in the dark underworld of the city. The story moves at a fast pace with plenty of suspects you will find it hard to choose a culprit.
Book 7 in the Lady Fan series keeps the series rolling along apace.
Thank you NetGalley and (publisher Sapere Books) for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

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I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Bailey. I think she is a talented mystery writer. This novel did not disappoint. This novel is very well-written and meticulously researched. The mystery is very compelling and is full of twists and turns. The setting is dark and eerie! Thus, I recommend for fans of Tessa Harris, Anna Lee Huber, and Verity Swift!

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The Dagger Dance by Elizabeth Bailey is set in eighteenth-century London and Bristol. Bristol is about a 2 1/2 hour west of London. In the 18th century, it would have taken at approximately 40 hours to walk from London to Bristol.

Lady Fan has some notoriety for solving crimes. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would like Lady Fan. Wealthy people have a different mindset from those who are not rich. She doesn’t seem to give a fig for social conventions and treats people fairly so I like her. If Jane Austen wrote mysteries, she might have written about a character like Lady Fan.

Lord Fanshawe goes along with whatever keeps Lady Fan happy even when it gets dangerous. Lady Ottilia and Lord Francis Fanshawe are fairly wealthy but they seem like they are decent people. They are definitely not walking or biking to Bristol.

Hemp Roy is employed by the Fanshawes as a footman. He meets a woman from his past, Dorote. Soon after they meet again, Dorote is accused of murdering the husband of her employer. Hemp is desperate to prove that Dorote is innocent so he asks Lady Fan for help. He is hoping to rekindle their romance or at least help her start a new life. She might have ghosted him but he still loves her and cannot stand to see her imprisoned. Lady Fan doesn’t hesitate to help Hemp and begins her investigation with Lord Fanshawe in tow.

There is another storyline involving Pretty, an orphan girl that they have taken into their care. Her grandfather shows up on the doorstep wanting to take Pretty away. Although the Fanshawes don’t want to leave Pretty at this time, they must help Hemp and Dorote.

If you like historical fiction with some mystery or might like a Jane Austen-esque mystery, then The Dagger Dance could be your new favorite book.

If you are a dastardly villain or a perfectly wicked henchman, then this book could keep you company in the hoosegow.

I received this ebook from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

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Thanks to Sapere Books, the author and Netgalley for an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All hail Lady Fan and her enormous brain. In this instalment of the series Lady Fan has to help her friend Hemp save his first love from the gallows. All the while she is feeling a little pique with her wonderful husband as he throws himself too willingly into danger. She has to think about Pretty, the little girl who has come to live with them, and reconcile her feelings for the child with the loneliness she feels after the loss of her own. And why doesn't she feel like drinking coffee anymore?

This book was the most fun to read out of the whole series because, whilst it tackles the serious subject of slavery, the author's talent for dialogue and humour lightens it. I'm also thrilled to see more of Hemp, who truly is a lovely character.

I cannot wait for the next book as this one ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and I am excited to see how it all turns out.

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First read of this author and it was brilliant. Truly immersive and atmospheric which made the entire read pure joy. I recommended it to my reading group.

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The book started off following on quite directly from the previous book in the series (which I hadn't read) but it was quite easy to catch up with what had happened - and it did not matter that much anyway as after a couple of chapters, this element of the story was dropped abruptly to focus on a murder investigation, and the home situation wasn't returned to until the very last chapter. It's a shame really because I much preferred the interactions between Lord and Lady Fanshawe at home rather than when they ventured out to solve crime. I couldn't really warm to Lady Fan, who comes across as a somewhat smug Sherlock Holmes figure who knows it all and is amused you haven't figured it out yet. I liked the period detail of the story and it seemed to capture the time setting very well. But I couldn't really get into the plot of the murder mystery. I liked the premise of working to save a slave who has been set up for a crime she did not do, but as the story wore on, it got more convoluted and I struggled to give it my full attention.

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1793 England. The Lady Fanshawe alias Tillie. On the way to solving another murder/s. Nothing I like more. Vintage mystery murder detection, add to that the English aristocracy yes to all that.

Lady Fan has been unwittingly drawn into an investigation. A enslaved woman, beloved of Hemp (very close to Lady Fan) appeals to her as his love Doro has been detained in the murder of a rather unpleasant Lord. His wife, upto the date of his murder who detested him, wanted him out of the way, and was on the verge of leaving him for another younger man - now professes distraught at his death. She deliberately leaves Doro her slave to the fate of imprisonment and hanging and pretends that nothing has happened.

It is upto Lady Fan along with her husband who ably supports her to find out the ramifications of why the man was killed, by whom and to get Doro out of the clutches of the law.

Beautifully told, very descriptive of both life in London - the slums of London at the time seem horrible and unimaginable and how people survived there is totally unreal. It however gives one an idea of what people did to survive and survive they did.

A side story in this which was interesting but only added a bit of variation was the story of orphan Pretty and the position in the Fanshawe household.

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This latest in the lady Fan mystery series has the Fanshawes coming to the aid of their major domo, Hemp, Hemp loved and lost a beautiful slave woman named Dorote, who he knew in Barbados. She is now in England and has been accused of murdering her master. The Fanshawes are still emotionally recovering from Lady Fan's miscarriage, and they welcome the distraction to help Hemp. and get a change of scenery. I thought this story was more predictable than the the previous ones and guessed much of the ending early on but I liked the characters and setting., These books should be read in order for best enjoyment but can probably be read as standalones.

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Thank you to Net Galley and Sapere Books for the chance to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are my own.
This is the seventh installment in the Lady Fan series. I have read all of them, and really enjoy these mysteries. In this story Lady Fan helps their footman Hemp Roy. He has become reacquainted with a past love, Dorote. Unfortunately, she has been arrested for a murder in Bristol. He calls on Lady Fan to help him prove Dorote's innocence. Another great story in this series-I recommend the whole series!

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The Dagger Dance is a cozy mystery set in 1793 England with lots of twists that will keep you guessing until the end of the book. It is the seventh book in the series with Lady Fan, Tillie, and her husband. There are two storylines running in this book, the mystery and the lives of Tillie and her family. Well written and enjoyable, with historical tidbits thrown in to enhance the story. Thank you #NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to give my voluntary and honest opinion of #TheDaggerDance.

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On a visit to Bristol, Hemp unexpectedly meets Doro, the woman he loves, who betrayed him years ago in Barbados. Still a slave in the house of Marcus Scalloway, the man she left him for, she is obviously unhappy, but reluctant to speak to him. But when he visits her master's house the next day to see her, he finds that she's in prison, accused of Scalloway's murder after being found with the murder weapon, a dagger, in her hand at his tavern bedside. Hemp immediately calls in Lady Fan to clear Doro's name and find the murderer - but with so many potential suspects to choose from, it won't be an easy task. It seems that no one liked Scalloway, from the wife who was planning to leave him, to the man she plans to leave with, to the partner he owes money to or even the captain who claims he double-crossed him. Will Lady Fan be able to prove Doro's innocence?

I think I've missed a couple of books in the series, so I wasn't quite up to date with Lady Fan's life, but that in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The mystery itself stands alone, but reading the stories in order follows the happenings of Lady Fan's life in the background. This story focuses a little more on Hemp, and it was interesting to see more of him. The mystery was well managed and carefully and neatly unfolded, and the background really brought the characters to life, as always. Obviously the story involves murder, but there's nothing too graphic, and while there is adultery/prostitution, there is nothing explicit. I look forward to (hopefully) seeing more of Doro and Hemp in future stories, as well as Lord Francis and Lady Fan.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.

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"The Dagger Dance" is a mystery set in 1793 in England. This novel is the 7th in the series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one. This story didn't spoil the whodunit of the previous books, but it did spoil some of the events in the previous book.

This was a clue-based mystery. Lady Fan and her husband asked plenty of questions of potential witnesses and suspects to sort out what had happened. The actual murderer seemed extremely obvious to me, but it took all of the clues to figure out exactly what had happened and prove whodunit for various crimes. Historical details were woven into the story to create the feeling of a specific time and place.

The characters were interesting, but Lady Fan is getting increasingly arrogant and high-handed in her dealings with other people. She's right (even in a case where she's just being selfish). Everyone else is wrong and anything (threats, blackmail, etc.) is justifiable to force them to do what she wants. I didn't care for this behavior, but her husband just cheered her on. Despite her much lauded observational skills, she and her husband were completely blind to the fact that she was pregnant. They were constantly making jokes about her odd eating behavior and erratic emotions to the point it became unbelievable that they simply didn't make the connection.

There was a couple of uses of bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.

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The Dagger Dance kept me guessing until the end! This beautifully written book has an intriguing plot and wonderful characters. This is my first book I’ve read by Elizabeth Bailey. I am certain I will read more, and I look forward to her next book!

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Number 7 in this fun, entertaining series finds Ottilia and Francis rushing to Bristol when they are summoned by a mysterious urgent request from their steward Hemp. They find themselves working to free a slave girl from Hemp’s past in Barbados. Doro, a maid in the deceased man’s house has become a convenient scapegoat when she discovers his body and in shock, removes the murder weapon (dagger).

There are a plethora of suspects (disgruntled business partners, a disgusted spouse, greedy house staff, a frustrated suitor and even a pirate) which were a bit confusing and convoluted at times. But Ottilia, with her usual quick wit and intelligence, sorts out the villain while also helping Doro to secure her future. And the story ends on an upbeat personal note as well.

While there was a noticeable absence of assorted relatives who normally provide much humor/strife to their adventures, I did not miss them overly much as I always enjoy the Fanshawe’s one-on-one scenes and Hemp’s loyal friendship/service.

Overall another satisfying adventure, and I look forward to their next outing.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Sapere for providing the early ARC for review. The opinions are strictly my own.

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Will they be able to clear a slave’s name by revealing the true culprit...

Yesterday after reading the three first chapters, I had to switch this book for the first one in this series, to get to know the main characters as the beginning of my reading gave me a first wrong impression about Ottilia.
So now that I have gripped some insights about the heroine’s characters, I can come back to this book.
I still have to determine who is who in the many side characters, but I now have a global picture with some holes to fill.
And while at first I was prejudicial about Ottilia, after reading the first book, I appreciated her much more. There is no more bragging about how remarkable and incredible she is, which was a relief and to be welcomed.
I liked the quiet wit full and easily understood relationship she shares with her husband, it is one of mutual respect and appreciation. Together they are for better and for worse.

I won’t say much about the murder investigation, but for this one, I did not see coming the culprit, but I should have. Yet Ottilia is someone who cares, perhaps too much, still it is because of her deep empathy she jumps immediately to the rescue of her employee turned friend Hemp.
And determined she is once she ascertains the designed culprit is in fact an other victim.
However my mind was more focused on the many interactions between the main characters, the changes rightly occurring in Ottilia and Francis’s life and those to come soon as my suspicions were priced right, and also what about Hemp and his ladylove Doro.

In all, it was much entertaining to follow this study as it showed the various colors of the involved protagonists from the lowly to the lofty, the enslaved to those walking free.
A great paint of the period, right before a new lengthy war takes its toll.
It was much diverting to watch the characters interacting, the lively description of the seedy parts of city, the detailed menus as the heroes love their food, and to put clue with clue.
5 stars

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 some embraces

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher, here is my true and unbiased opinion.

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Enjoyable, fascinating and injected with historical bits all over the place, The Dagger Dance is a splendid novel about love, loss and hope. Secrets and mysteries abound, including murder, of course! The cover and title are perfection.

Set in England in 1793, Lady Ottilia (Tillie) and Lord Francis Fanshawe (Fan) have found themselves smack dab in the middle of murder solving. Not only that but darling little Pretty has been orphaned and is living with the Fanshawes, delighting the young couple. I can just picture her and her sweet curls! But her biological grandfather appears out of nowhere on their doorstep to claim her and life inevitably changes.

The footman, Hemp, is entrenched with troubles of his own. Doro is accused of murder and he is desperate to clear her reputation and name. The Fanshawes are able to help and inveigle by "using" their titles and cleverness. The upstairs/downstairs juxtaposition is beautifully done. The chasm between classes is very deep. The addition of history at the time is fabulous, too, such as the mention of Louis XVI's execution. Food descriptions are scrumptious! Plus the author's notes at the end provide personal glimpses into her inspirations for characters and place. Elizabeth Bailey truly is a superb writer.

Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Mystery and General Fiction fans ought to read this and other books by Bailey.

My sincere thank you to Sapere Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading the e-ARC of this delightful book! I read it on a blizzardy April evening whilst sipping hot chocolate. Pure joy. Well, except for the blizzard.

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