I could not get past the first quarter of the book. The beginning was to slow for me. I loved the concept, the plot, I just did not connect with this one. As much as I tried my interest kept straying, I couldn't pay attention. I would put it down for a while and come back to it days later hoping it was just the time wasn'
t right, but no matter what I tried this one just didn't work for me. I am sorry.
Thank you to Thomas-Nelson Fiction and to Net Galley for the free ARC, I am leaving my honest review in return.
This is a new to me author, and I will definitely be looking for more of her works. I love historical fiction and when you add mystery and suspense that makes it that much more thrilling to read. I also like the fact that the author can pull you into the story and not let you go till the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
"...then I heard the ghostly sound again- a gasping sob hidden in the folds of the wind gusts."
With hauntingly beautiful prose Abigail Wilson deftly transports readers to the atmospheric setting of Avonthorpe Hall. Her vivid descriptions will captivate the imagination as Phoebe and Lt. Burke seek to uncover clues to a legendary treasure.
Artfully woven through the mystery is a story of hope. One of the things I love about Abigail Wilson's books is the well- rounded characters with strengths and weaknesses, who face past mistakes and learn to find forgiveness and peace.
As with all her books, Ms. Wilson can be counted on to pen a wonderfully diverse cast of characters with a well-paced plot, the perfect blend of mystery and romance that will delight readers.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
England - 1819
Phoebe Radcliffe has been painting the walls to freshen the ballroom at Avonthorpe Hall. An artistic woman, she has offered her services for free to Miss Sally Drake to help increase her experience.
Miss Drake’s nephew and heir, Lieutenant Graham Drake has arrived to sell and donate some antiquities he has recently acquired. When Miss Drake is found shot in the chest with bow, the woman whispers to Phoebe about clues to jewels lost by King John in 1216.
With the help of her companion, Phoebe begins a hunt for the jewels. Before long, she joins forces with Graham and they both follow some confusing clues in search of the treasure. They soon realize that others may be searching as well. There are some hangers-on living at Avonthorpe who appear to be suspect. Will Phoebe and Graham be first to find the treasure?
I really wanted to like this book and was looking forward to reading it. However, It turned out to be very tedious reading and was positively boring at times as it dragged along. It got close to the end before anything started to come together and some action started. I have to say that I was disappointed with the pace of the book. I’m hope other readers will enjoy it more that I did.
Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
A stupendous Regency histfic tale with clues galore but a mystery I could not guess, and an endearing romance between Phoebe (who's updating the ballroom of her art teacher, Miss Drake), and Lt. Graham (who helps her investigate Drake's death.) I've not read author Abigail Wilson's mysteries before, but after this gripping story, her novels are now must-reads for me. Highly recommended!
I love reading about treasure hunts and with the added suspense and romance it was a fun read. It was a mix of finding “who done it” along with tried to decipher clues of the hidden treasure. While I wasn’t able to put any of the clues together, I enjoyed watching the romance blossom as Phoebe and Burke got closer and closer. The settings were descriptive bringing not only Avonthrope Hall to life but also the characters. I had no trouble keeping everyone straight. There was a information dump at the end while Phoebe was making all the connections after the reveal but that did not bother me.
Thank you : @tnzfiction @acwilsonbooks @tlcbooktours for the gifted copy. (less)
BOOK REVIEW - Within these Gilded Halls - 5/5 Stars
Who likes Regency mysteries? This girl does! If you do too then you've definitely got to read Abigail Wilson's latest as it's her best yet!
I'm generally not a fan of first person books but I always make an exception for Abigail Wilson as I just love her mysteries. This one was exceptional, the treasure hunt and clues added a delicious layer of mystery onto an already mysterious plot of murder, smuggling and French spies. I love a 'whodunit' where I can't figure it out on my own, I swear every single character was a likely suspect! And what an exciting ending!
I really, really loved Phoebe and Graham! They were so opposite but complimented each other so well and brought out the best in each other. I loved Phoebe's impetuousness and adventurous spirit. And honestly, is there anything more attractive and romantic than a quiet controlled man losing a bit of control in order to gain a kiss?!
This book sounded interesting... I mean art a treasure romance and a murder mystery... what’s not to like?
Phoebe Radcliff has been helping to redo some paint work in her art teacher’s house. All is well until Miss Drake’s nephew Lt. Graham Burke and his friend arrive unexpectedly. She hopes to just focus on her work with Daniel her friend and assistant of sorts. Things quickly go awry when Miss Drake is murdered and with her dying breath sets Phoebe to find a treasure her family had been searching for many years. At first Phoebe is reluctant to involve Graham as she doesn’t initially trust him but eventually they agree to work together and follow the various clues to find the treasure. Except its pretty clear that they are not the only ones looking for the treasure.
The level of obliviousness in this book is insane. I get it Phoebe wants to believe the best in everyone but it seems like everybody in the house is lying and keeping secrets about things. I do get that Phoebe believes she knows what everyone thinks about things including her and yes she had her one past secret indiscretion so shes weary about things. But all the secret keeping and bad decisions and not speaking up is annoying. Why is it always so hard for people just to talk to each other?
Though things happen... like the world’s most tedious treasure hunt. But at the same time it feels like nothing happens for a long time. Its not a bad story but following only Phoebe with her nonsense filled thoughts makes everything seem to take forever. She is just so full of unnecessary drama and sooo oblivious to obvious things. It was by far not the worst thing I’ve read this year Iguess it could have been better but I’ll still read the author’s next book. Maybe Juliana can finally get a happy ending?
Absolutely love historical mysteries and this one is set in Regency times!
Secrets abound when the hunt for a hidden treasure leads Phoebe to ask for the aid of Lt Graham.
Murder, suspense and a growing attraction makes this story a page turning enjoyable read!
Cannot wait for more....
Phoebe took on the job of restoring Miss Drake's ballroom in an attempt to escape her past. The only problem is that before the restoration can be completed, Miss Drake is murdered, and Phoebe's past begins to catch up with her - just as she finds herself falling for Miss Drake's heir, Lt. Graham Burke. And not only do they have to find the murderer, in her last breaths, Miss Drake leaves Phoebe with a second mystery to solve - that of a missing treasure. Will Phoebe and Graham find the treasure before the shadowy figure who seems always ahead of them? Will they solve the murder before someone else dies? And when Phoebe is finally forced to confront her past, will it destroy her future?
This book was an 'I wanted to like it' one for me. I've read and enjoyed the author's books in the past (her last one was my favourite), but somehow I struggled to get into this. The writing was quite good (though the odd wrong word didn't help), but I never came to care in the least about the characters. The mystery was interesting, but overall I found the book relatively easy to put down - never a good sign. I think my summary has to be that it wasn't really what I was looking for, but I'm sure others will enjoy it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Within These Gilded Halls is the newest historical suspense by Abigail Wilson. Historical has never been my genre of choice, but I have enjoyed all the books I have read by this author because she sucks the reader into the intrigue and the mystery and you just want to read to the end to find out who is behind everything. This book was no exception. In addition to solving a murder, Phoebe and Graham were also on a treasure hunt and I was totally there for the adventure. There was quite a long suspect list and the author kept me guessing until the thrilling conclusion.
I did not know until after starting this book that it connects to Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey. You don't have to read that book to understand what happens in this one, but if you have the chance I would read that one first in order to get background on some situations presented in this story.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Lovers of regency romance mystery stories will really enjoy Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson! I had a fun time reading this new regency story all about Phoebe Radcliff and her renovation of a beautiful ballroom for her art teacher, Miss Drake. But when Miss Drake ends up being murdered and provides a clue to Phoebe with her last breath, things get crazy fast in Avonthrope Hall. So many questions. Who killed Miss Drake? Is this rumored treasure within these halls real? Who can we trust? Will Miss Drake’s charming nephew Lt. Graham Burke and Phoebe be able to work together to get all the answers to their burning questions?
This was such a fun time! A clean, regency read with romance, mystery and all the historical aspects we love. I loved Abigail’s The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, and this gave me that same feel.
For me personally, I am rating this 3.5 stars but rounding up to 4 on Goodreads. It was so close to a 4-star read for me. I really enjoyed the overall story, the mystery was intriguing and kept you wondering, but I wasn’t as drawn to the romance as in other similar reads. I also wished we had some faith content here, but it was an overall clean regency, historical romance.
I feel like we have some great Jane Austen, Julie Klassen, and Agatha Christie vibes throughout this story! Loved the descriptions of the area, the ballroom and throughout Avonthrope Hall. I was loving searching and finding all the clues and putting the pieces together for the mystery. Phoebe and Graham working together were great and while I wasn’t as involved in their romance story – I do agree with other reviewers that we have some great Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy vibes with this couple!
I liked our main character of Phoebe the most, she struggles with regret of making past mistakes – she seemed like such a realistic and relatable character.
Overall, enjoyable regency read and will definitely be picking up more of Abigail Wilson’s books in the future.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Thomas Nelson for this copy! I will also talk about this book on my YouTube channel BookLoverAmanda.
Now, I am all for a Regency romance - I find them easy to escape into with the repressed emotions, unrequited love, and misunderstandings over accidental eavesdropping - it's all great. And while Within These Gilded Halls has a lot of this, it gets a little muddled with the addition of the murder mystery and treasure hunt.
And after quite a meandering narrative for most of the book, a lot happens in the last 25% that wasn't particularly unexpected. All of the twists and surprises happened at the end, although I don't think it was supposed to feel like that. Because there was so much going on, Phoebe and Graham would get excited to tell each other about one development but then get distracted by another aspect of the story - 'hey, I found the next clue in the treasure hunt, oh wow you're carrying a pistol, yes I'm worried about your safety with a killer on the loose do you know how to shoot? Quick shooting demonstration, oh he's so close to me, oh yeah, I have feelings for him - oh yeah, forgot about the treasure hunt clue I was going to tell you about.' That's not me being hyperbolic, it's a synopsis of an actual scene in the book.
The characters are interesting, but there's little growth or development. Most of them are as they appear, yet Phoebe always seems so surprised when someone she didn't trust does something untrustworthy. Besides this, I couldn't get behind the romance - while it wasn't instalove, it went from zero to a hundred very quickly.
Within These Gilded Halls didn't entirely transport me to the regency era, and the narrative was a little messy, leading to an overall average read.
Phoebe Radcliff is searching for a way to forget her past mistakes, and she believes she’s found it studying art under renowned painter Miss Drake. But the sudden return of Miss Drakes’ nephew, Lt. Graham Drake, throws a shadow over her new life. Before Phoebe can right herself, murder, a ghost from her past, and a hunt for long-lost treasure threaten to put an end not only to her new beginning, but her life!
Within These Gilded walls captured my attention from the first page. I found myself puzzling out the clues to the treasure right along with Phoebe. With just the right touch of mystery and a dash of romance, this is the perfect Regency read. I highly recommend!
*Thank you to Netgalley and TNZ Fiction for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Abigail Wilson writes wonderful Regency England romantic suspense mysteries. Within These Gilded Halls, her most current release, is filled with a treasure hunt that is driven by a complex set of clues and a wide range of coincidences that reveal the answers our protagonists seek, answers that only lead to more questions. Wilson has populated the Avonthorpe estate with intriguing characters, most of whom end up as suspects in a case of theft, assault, and murder. Reading Within These Gilded Halls was a most enjoyable reading experience, one I hope you will take the time to enjoy yourself. I recommend it along with Wilson's previous novels.
I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.
A treasure hunt and an unlikely companionship; murder and mystery; characters from the past and new characters - this book has it all!
Within These Gilded Halls is a stellar read and, most assuredly, one of my favorite reads of the year!
If you enjoy Julie Klassen or Roseanna M. White, you're sure to adore Abigail Wilson's latest, Within These Gilded Halls!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I really enjoy Ms. Wilson's books. They always have a strong woman and a great mystery to solve. Phoebe was such a great character. At times she seemed reckless, but at the same time so full of spirit and excitement. I really enjoyed following her and Graham as they solved the clues and tried to solve several mysteries at once. There were moments of peril and suspense, but also sweet romantic moments as their relationship bloomed. It kept me captivated the whole time.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley and this is my honest review.
Phoebe Radcliff is an artist working to restore the artwork in Avonthorpe Hall. Her friend and patron, Miss Drake, is the murder victim in this story, but before she dies, Miss Drake gives Phoebe a mission – find the lost treasure of Avonthorpe, through a series of cryptic clues. But Phoebe is not the only one hunting the treasure. Along with several others, Lt. Graham Burke, heir to Avonthorpe, is also pursuing the clues. Several secondary characters (also treasure hunting), some good guys and some bad guys, mean that there is much more than a treasure hunt going on at Avonthorpe Hall, adding confusion to the mystery and complexity to the story.
Within These Gilded Halls is connected to the author’s Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey. This book features a young heroine who is searching for redemption while trying to find her own way. The hero has a strong sense of right and wrong. I feel that these two complement each other making for an effective treasure hunting team and a happy couple.
Within These Gilded Halls is the latest historical mystery/romance from Abigail Wilson. Her Regency romances feature smart and kind heroines and heroes, mystery, murder, and betrayal; all topped off with a lovely bit of romance. I always enjoy Ms. Wilson’s books!
Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book. My review is my honest opinion.
After studying art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter, Phoebe Radcliff daughter of Lord Torrington is certain she can finally move beyond the childish mistake that’s kept her away from home. She is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation at Avonthorpe Hall. Everything changes, however, the moment Miss Drake is murdered. With her last breath she imparts the location of a clue to Phoebe. Phoebe is tasked to finish her work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. Phoebe also works to uncover the truth about Miss Drake’s death and she must do so before Graham leases the house.
An intriguing read, which I felt was more mystery than romance. I really liked both Phoebe & Graham & enjoyed their slow burn romance. I also enjoyed the mystery & the treasure hunt. There was a lot going on in the book so it is fast paced & it kept my interest all the way through. The characters whether you love them or hate them have depth
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
Gothic regency romance!
I wondered where this was going and was prepared for the insipid. But curiously, as I delved deeper, I was given the story of a young woman, Phoebe Radcliffe, daughter of the spymaster Lord Torrington, foolishly thought herself in love with a seductive Frenchman, an enemy of the state. After all this is the time of the Napoleonic Wars. When her girlish infatuation was revealed she fled to the Avonthorpe Manor to work for the renowned artist Miss Sally Drake, refurbishing a painted ballroom. Her lifelong friend Daniel accompanies her.
It is a strange house she’s come into. There’s some dodgy personalities, but she has a companion to chaperone her, the friendship of the Butler and her joy with her work.
That is until murder raises its foul head. Miss Drake is dead and her nephew the uptight Lt. Graham Burke rides into the household.
That’s not all, there’s treasure to be had and the dying Miss Drake gives Phoebe the clue. Now she finds herself joining forces with the Lt. Burke in the chase.
This enemy to lovers story is complex, intriguing, dangerous, and made more so when Phoebe’s past raises its head.
A Thomas Nelson ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.