A. manor house sits close to cliffs and the sea, a hidden treasure with hidden clues, murder, and enough suspects to keep the reader guessing. What more could you ask for in a murder mystery? Well, maybe a little romance. That's in there as well. The multiple choices of villains do leave the reader guessing until the very end. Who did it? All in all a very nice read. A first read from this author for me, but I do believe that I will read another.
Within These Gilded Halls" by Abigail Wilson enchants readers with a tale set in the regency era, where hidden treasures and betrayal unfold within the elegant walls of Avonthorpe Hall. Phoebe Radcliff, an aspiring artist, sees an opportunity to move past a youthful mistake when renowned painter Miss Drake offers her a chance to complete a complex ballroom renovation. However, the joy is short-lived as Miss Drake's murder thrusts Phoebe into a world of intrigue. With her dying breath, Miss Drake reveals a clue that points to a rumored treasure within Avonthorpe Hall, setting the stage for a captivating blend of mystery and romance.
As Phoebe strives to uncover the truth behind her mentor's death and the elusive treasure, she is faced with the daunting task of working alongside Lt. Graham Burke, Miss Drake's regimented yet undeniably handsome nephew. The chemistry between Phoebe and Graham adds a layer of tension and allure to the narrative, creating a captivating dynamic. The story unfolds against the backdrop of Avonthorpe Hall's gilded halls, shrouded in dark shadows and inhabited by a cast of unlikable characters. The author skillfully keeps readers on the edge of their seats with shocking twists and turns, leaving us questioning the motives of each resident.
The novel not only explores the thrilling race for answers but also delves into Phoebe's personal journey. Running away from a past that haunts her, Phoebe must confront her fears and navigate the intricate web of lies that surrounds Avonthorpe Hall's residents. The story masterfully balances romance and mystery, offering readers a stand-alone experience filled with clean romance and a villain always one step ahead. Abigail Wilson's "Within These Gilded Halls" is a compelling narrative that seamlessly merges historical romance with a suspenseful mystery, leaving readers eagerly turning the pages to uncover the secrets hidden within the ornate walls of Avonthorpe Hall.
Within These Gilded Halls is the first book by Abigail Wilson that I have read. I enjoyed the Regency era setting with all of the rules, most of which Phoebe ignored. I found the treasure hunt to be quite enjoyable, and I was kept guessing as to who was the good guys and who wasn't. Phoebe and Graham were both intriguing characters. I was not quite as fond of the first person narrative, but that was only a minor issue. I was a bit surprised at the ending which makes for a good book!
If you have a free afternoon, grab a copy of this book, your favorite beverage and curl up for a treasure hunt!
I was given a copy of this book with no expectations. All thought's are my own.
When I hear the word "Gilded" I immediately think of the Gilded Age, which is one of my favorite historical eras and a popular time setting for fiction. In the case of Within These Gilded Halls, however, it refers to the appearance in that everything appears great but it’s all a very deceptive facade. And deception is the key here, because everything - and everyone – at Avonthorpe Hall needs to be questioned.
It's 1813, and England’s most pressing concern is just across the Channel in France. Napoleon is looking to expand his empire, and England and her allies are determined to stop him in any way possible. This includes through commerce, making smuggling a lucrative industry. Could smugglers be behind Miss Drake’s murder? And what about the Egyptian artefacts Miss Drake’s nephew brought home? It’s well known that Napoleon has an interest in Egyptology. Could that be a motive for murder? There are plenty of twists and turns in this romantic mystery.
If I have one gripe, it’s possibly only my opinion. I’d not read anything by Abigail Wilson previously and Thomas Nelson marketed this as a standalone novel. Yet I felt I was missing some of Phoebe’s backstory. There were hints here and there, but not all my confusion was alleviated. I did a little research, and the results made me wonder if I should’ve read Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey first, since there appeared to be a connection between that title and this. I guess I need to add it to my to-read list so I can eventually find out.
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, the opinions above are my own.
Trying to outrun a foolish youthful mistake, Phoebe Ratcliff is studying art under the renowned Mrs. Drake, and she is thrilled to be helping in the estate renovations. Suddenly Mrs. Drake is murdered and with her last breath she sends Phoebe on a treasure hunt that tests her friendships and challenges her wits.
A well written read, this book swept me up into all the intrigue with twist after twist, in this entertaining adventure filled with mystery and romance. I loved how it kept me guessing, with a fast paced plot and wonderful characters.
There is definitely a lot going on, and not everyone is who they appear to be. Perfect for fans of intrigue, adventure and regency romance. This book checks all the boxes!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I thought this was a great mystery with a hint of romance. I loved how all the clues to discover the treasure were there in plain sight and how Graham and Phoebe just had to figure it out. I also liked how as Graham and Phoebe worked together and got to know each other they were able to confide in each other and find healing and love. I also liked how the villain was someone you didn’t expect. I thought the story was well written and was a very entertaining story.
I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors. A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
Not really my cup of tea. I enjoy historical romance/fiction stories, but this was more bland than others. Much of the story felt repetitive and not unique enough to keep my attention. The over-use of descriptions really didn't help either. Wasn't the worst read, but definitely wouldn't pick up to read a second time.
This one was scrumptious! I loved the intense ride and the carefully layered mystery, along with the Gothic feel of the secrets in the story. There's an artist, a forbidden romance, a stack of clues in riddle format, hidden treasure, and much more! Plus enough suspects to keep me guessing the whole way through.
Bottom line is, Abigail Wilson has crafted another perfect mystery novel and I can't wait for her next one!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free reading copy. A favorable review was not required.
I enjoyed the different style of mystery that is in this story! The plot is driven and I enjoyed trying to get to the bottom of what was really going on.
I liked this story along with the mystery and the two leads. I also liked the heroine desire to become a master painter.
Due to a personal difference in beliefs (WITH THE PUBLISHER) I will not be reviewing this book outside of Netgalley nor do I plan to support Thomas Nelson in the future due to their decisions of late and the lack of fiction with good Biblical values.
This does not mean I do or do not like the book, it just means I will not be reviewing books for this publisher anymore as I do not care to support them when I do not agree with the way they have left their former standards.
Abigail Wilson is a master at gothic romance, and Within These Gilded Halls is the perfect example! The Avonthorpe estate is the perfect setting, its opulent decor in contrast to the many secrets it keeps hidden about the Drake family treasure. The hunt for the treasure was thrilling and kept me on my toes until the end.
I loved working through the clues with Phoebe and Graham and watching them form a respect that turned to friendship, and then, to more. Their slow-burn romance was expertly crafted and made for many sighs and swoony scenes. I thought they balanced each other well, Phoebe, with her adventurous spirit, and Graham with his more structured personality.
The characters are so well-written and have such depth to them. You will be drawn to even the vilest characters on the hunt to find the treasure–and a murderer. I found myself going over the treasure hunt clues even when my book was tucked away. It’s such an intriguing mystery.
Overall, this is an excellent book, and I would highly recommend it to any fan of Regency romance. It’s the perfect read on a cozy night with your favorite blanket and cup of tea! You won’t be disappointed you chose to follow Phoebe and Graham along on this dangerous and thrilling adventure.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.
2.5 stars rounded up
This one missed the mark with me.
There is a good, promising start but then things settle down and nothing much happens. There are too many chapters of introspection and light conversation.
I guess another aspect was that I never really connected with the male character. On the contrary i may say.
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson--FICTION for allowing me to read this book!
Sweet historical romance with mystery, a treasure hunt, murder and of course romance. It took me a little while to get into the book but once it started getting more into the treasure hunt I was hooked. I enjoyed this book and trying to figure out the whodunnit it felt like a historical game if clue.
A beautifully written story that is rich in historical detail. Filled with romance and mystery.
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Fiction and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This novel combines a Regency romance with artistry, smuggling, a murder, and a treasure hunt! What an intriguing combination. When Phoebe gains employment as an artist, tasked with restoring Miss Drake's ballroom decorations, she never imagines she will become embroiled in searching for clues and seeking buried treasure. While this novel might be considered a romance, it is much more than that.
Readers who enjoy a novel of romantic suspense will no doubt find this a welcome addition to their reading repertoire.
I received this novel from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
I was so excited to read this one when I realised it was Pheobe’s story and I was not disappointed!! I love how Abigail Wilson links all her stories together and this one had all the right elements! Just the right amount of mystery, suspense, and romance, and of course all the Regency vibes. I’m yet to not absolutely adore any of her books and this is no exception! The perfect mix of sweet and gothic!!!
Wilson’s latest novel was an utter delight. It takes place in Regency England and includes murder, mystery, romance, and a ballroom. Our protagonist, Phoebe Radcliff, is studying under the esteemed artist Miss Drake, who, unfortunately, is murdered early in the novel. Phoebe sets out to find Miss Drake’s killer while finishing her last assignment from Miss Drake to finish painting the ballroom.
Enter Miss Drake’s handsome and brooding nephew, Lt. Graham Burke, who, like Phoebe, has secrets of his own. Phoebe and Burke must work together to discover the killer before someone else meets an untimely end.
Wilson’s writing was engaging and descriptive, and the characters were nuanced and complex. The story was a bit predictable, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel.
Thank you to NetGalley and Thoman Nelson Publishers for the ARC! I look forward to reading more of Wilson’s work.
Ashamed because of a foolish mistake, Phoebe Radcliff fled home to study art under the renowned Miss Drake. When her mentor employs her to renovate a ballroom, Phoebe is thrilled to prove she has outgrown her errors. But before she can barely begin, Miss Drake is murdered.
With her dying breath, Miss Drake reveals the clue to a treasure rumored to be hidden within Avonthorpe Hall. With the help of Lt. Graham Burke, Phoebe must unravel the clue and find the treasure before she completes the renovation, and her time at the hall runs out. However, they aren’t the only ones searching. Others also want the treasure, and some have gone so far as to kill for it.
Within These Gilded Halls delivers puzzling clues and a cast full of suspicious characters bound to keep the reader guessing. Abigail Wilson once again transports us to Regency life far from the London ballrooms and society.
Return readers will recognize Phoebe as the now grown-up girl from Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey. In her youth, she made a mistake that she has been running from and attempting to atone for ever since. A large part of her motivation stems from proving she is not that girl anymore. Despite this, she remains very naïve, impulsive, and immature. This fits what we know of her. I suspect the author did this on purpose as nothing is more unbelievable than a returning character who does a one eighty the moment they become a protagonist. Phoebe and Burke suited each other as he grounded her while she loosened him up a bit.
I love how Wilson intertwines her story worlds and characters throughout her books. While all are standalone novels and a newcomer wouldn’t know the difference, the experience is that much richer for readers who have followed Wilson from the start. It’s like our own treasure hunt as we search for little ways the characters and stories connect. I recommend Within These Gilded Halls to fans of Regency mysteries.
Wow! Another beautifully written mystery/suspense that takes place during the regency period by Ms Wilson. It has characters from a previous book (Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey) but is still a stand alone book. There’s murder, mystery, a treasure hunt, but still time for a sweet romance as well. Lovely book!