Cover Image: Within These Gilded Halls

Within These Gilded Halls

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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An intriguing mystery with a sweet romance. Very enjoyable book for those who love regency romance. A slight gothic feel with a touch of international intrigue.
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Phoebe Radcliff regrets the decisions of her past. So much so that she hasn’t returned home in two long years. If her family knew all the truth about her misdeeds, Phoebe knows they would never forgive her. Her self-exile at Avonthorpe Hall has helped her in more ways than one.

The owner, a renowned artist named Miss Drake, has taught Phoebe all she knows about painting. In the process, she has become Phoebe’s dear friend. Miss Drake hires Phoebe and her childhood friend, Daniel, to paint over the old artwork in Avonthorpe’s ballroom. Before they complete their task, Miss Drake’s nephew and heir, Lt. Graham Burke, shows up with a friend. The two men seem to unsettle everyone—most especially Miss Drake.

The very evening the men arrive, someone murders Miss Drake. As she dies in Phoebe’s arms, she gives Phoebe a clue to a hidden treasure and urges her to take care and find it first. Perhaps the rumored fortune does exist. And if it does, can Phoebe find it before Miss Drake’s murderer solves the clues?

With the help of her companion Miss Chant and Avonthorpe’s able butler, Arnold, Phoebe sets out on a race to solve a decade’s-old treasure hunt and bring a murderer to justice. But who can she trust? The handsome (although somewhat rigid) Lt. Burke? Daniel, her childhood friend? Or any of the other residents at Aventhorpe Hall who would benefit from riches.

The deeper she finds herself in the mystery, the more she questions her initial judgments of who is safe.

Why I Loved this Book

If you love spine-tingling gothic suspense set in the Regency era, you’ll love the latest in Abigail Wilson’s lineup of novels. Phoebe Radcliff, a minor antagonist from A Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey, redeems herself as she struggles to discern her purpose in life. Along the way, she learns the importance of extending grace—to both herself and those who sin against her. Readers can enjoy Within These Gilded Halls as a standalone novel or first read Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey.
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Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson is a Regency romance and mystery that is a stand alone novel though I recognized a few characters from past novels. I am a huge fan of Abigail Wilson, and  I have been anxiously waiting to read Within These Gilded Halls.  In our story  Phoebe Radcliff is currently working with Miss Drake, a renowned painter, to complete a ballroom renovation at Avonthorpe Hall.   Lt. Graham Burke, Miss Drake’s nephew, will inherit the house and has come to visit.  

I felt the story had a perfect blend of romance and mystery.   I enjoyed following Phoebe and Lt. Burke’s love story as they searched for hidden treasure and solved a murder.   There were many great secondary characters who kept me wondering who was the murderer, who was innocent and  who was truly on team Phoebe/Graham.  I stayed up too late reading the ending and have no regrets! 

The story had themes of redemption, forgiving yourself, and remembering people are not always who they seem.   I highly recommend this Within These Gilded Halls.  

I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write  a positive review
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This my first book by this author and I have to say I loved it. Having read historical for a few years now I can get bored with the same old same old, so I love it when it's mixed with a mystery to liven things up. This therefore was right up my street, and both the mystery and romance were great very well written. Highly recommended I'm off to find more books by this author now. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Within These Gilded Halls is the story of Phoebe Radcliff who has studied art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter. Miss Drake employs her to complete a ballroom renovation in Aventhorpe. The assignment is to repaint it exactly as it was painted originally, changing nothing. Having been reproducing the ballroom for the past two years, Phoebe has become fond of Miss Drake and worried that something is off about the people spending time at the house. Phoebe learns that money is an issue when Lt. Burke arrives. When he finds Phoebe has been hired to paint, he wonders why when there is little money for such endeavor. 

One evening, on her way to her room, Phoebe hears a noise and finds Miss Drake on the floor dying. She tells her about a treasure that has been hidden and a clue is in her jewelry box. Knowing she is dying; Miss Drake asks Phoebe to continue the search.

Phoebe not knowing who she can trust shares what she has learned with her paid companion. But the more Phoebe learns the less she trusts the people of Avonthorpe. As items around the house turn out to be forgeries Phoebe has no choice to keep searching for the clues in order to help Lt. Burke, Miss Drake's nephew, find the treasure which has been hidden for generations.

It becomes clear to Phoebe and Lt. Burke that there is someone else searching for the lost treasure when an attempt to harm Phoebe is revealed. But will she uncover all of the truth and the treasure before it is too late.

This was a fun mystery to read. I enjoyed the story of a long-hidden treasure. Many people love the idea of finding treasure and this is wonderfully woven into a mystery with romance.
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As with all of Wilson's books, I was riveted. This one combines all the Gothic goodness - a spooky setting on the sea cliffs of England, murder, a treasure hunt and a page-turning romance.

With an Abigail Wilson book, you know you're going to get a swoony, alpha male leading man, a headstrong feminist heroine and a high stakes mystery that brings them together. Plus a slew of other super "sus" secondary characters whose motives you try to unravel before the end. HA! Good luck! 

These are sweet historical gothic romances. I love how Wilson slowly ratchets up the chemistry to create compelling romance. The only book of hers I haven't yet read is, funnily enough, the one this book is a sequel to "Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey." If you haven't read that one, and have time, read it first for a deeper level of enjoyment with "Gilded Halls." It's certainly not necessary though, as the backstory is well explained, and it didn't hinder my enjoyment of this book one bit. 

When I say riveted, I mean I picked this book up at 8 am and was finished by 3 pm. A perfect sick day read! Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson fiction for this ARC! Wilson should be an auto-buy for any gothic romance enthusiast!
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
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Abigail Wilson has such a talent for Historical Mystery that is brimming with intrigue and atmosphere.  Within These Gilded Halls delivered a plot that was mysterious and kept me guessing until the very conclusion! This story unfolds but by bit, drawing the reader in to a plot layered with danger, deceit, and one very intriguing treasure hunt.  It was exciting to journey along with Phoebe and Graham as they uncovered each clue, all the while not knowing who they could trust.  Honestly, I would have tossed all of the house guests out after the murder, bc they all seemed quite sketchy! So many things came together to culminate into a very intense and shocking conclusion! It was definitely worth the wait! I also love a good happily every after.
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I wanted to like this book, as I do generally like Regency Romances.  Unfortunately, this one did not do it for me.  The story and the characters were a bit too predictable.  I received an arc, and am under no pressure for a negative review.

Ramona Thompson
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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Abigail Wilson for providing me with a complimentary digital ARC for Within These Gilded Halls coming out October 4, 2022.  The honest opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

I will upload my review to Goodreads. I’ll also add it to Amazon when the book is released on October 4th. 

Phoebe Radcliffe leaves home to study art under Miss Drake. She made a childish mistake and hopes she can soon move on from it and return home. Miss Drake hires her to complete a ballroom renovation. However, everything changes when Miss Drake is murdered. Before she dies, she tells Phoebe there may be treasure at Avonthorpe Hall. 

Phoebe is given work by Miss Drake’s infuriating nephew Lt. Graham Burke. She decides to finish the ballroom and works to find out what happened to her beloved teacher. In her work, she finds out she may not be the only person who knows about the treasure.  She begrudgingly enlists the help of Lt. Burke, knowing she’ll have a greater chance of solving the case, all the while trying not to fall for him. 

First of all, I have all of Abigail Wilson’s books. I love her writing and her stories! Regency England is definitely a favorite topic of mine. I loved this story! Graham and Phoebe were so fun together! They were both strong characters. I loved the mystery and murder aspects of it. There were definitely some twists. I also loved Graham had a dog named Creature and he used a dog voice to talk for him, haha. The dog also brought Graham and Phoebe closer together. The romance was so sweet. It felt real. There was suspense and drama. I loved the ending!

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys regency romances and cozy mysteries! 

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Thanks to the publisher for the eARC and Netgalley, all my opinions are my own.

Historical mystery clean romance. The mystery is complex without being confusing, the romance is sweet and slow, a lot of twists and turns without being predictable, the plot twist was on point, well-written character development. The beginning was too slow, and all the twists and surprises happened at the end. And because there was so much happening the characters will get distracted or behave inconsistently, and that will pull me out of the story; overall was a very enjoyable read.
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This another great story by Abigail Wilson set in Regency England. Suspense and mystery with a bit of romance kept me turning pages. Phoebe Radcliff is refurbishing the paint trim in the ballroom of Avonthorpe Manor for the owner, Miss Drake, and her childhood friend Daniel is helping. Someone in the manor killed Miss Drake but before she died, she told Phoebe where to find a clue to finding the infamous Drake treasure and that she didn't want "him" to find it. Could this be her nephew Lt. Graham Burke? He is in residence at the time. But there are many more possible suspects and Lt. Burke is very charming. In fact, Phoebe and Graham unite to solve the mystery. Someone else is looking too. Maybe Phoebe has a confidant that is not a true friend. Afterall, she has a couple more she lets in on the clues. I really liked Phoebe and Graham and really wanted him to be a trustworthy person. This is an interesting mystery to solve and nice setting with some angst and danger but a lovely ending. Highly recommend to Regency and historical fiction lovers.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. All thoughts are mine only.
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Whew! My head is still spinning after finishing this book. In one book you get a romance, a murderer, a thief, a spy, a smuggler, revenge, treason, blackmail, treasure hunts, and a really strange household where deep dark secrets reside. Yes, it is very busy! It is also fast-paced, well-written, interesting, and filled with characters you either want to get to know better – or you want to slap them (or worse). The main focus of the story is the mystery, but the romance dovetails nicely into it. Those of you who like steamy romances will be disappointed because there is no steam, but there is a very honorable hero who treats his lady with trust, honor, and respect. I say that is a well done.

Phoebe Radcliff, a gifted artist, is the daughter of Lord Torrington who is a spymaster. She left home in disgrace two years ago and is now studying under the tutelage of a renowned artist, Miss Drake. Phoebe and her friend Daniel are making good progress on their art project, but she’s not so focused that she doesn’t wonder about some of the goings-on. Why are Mr. and Mrs. Fagean there as permanent guests? They are odd people and Mr. Fagean is practically running the estate.

Lt. Graham Burke unexpectedly arrives at his aunt’s home with a load of antiquities he plans to sell to a neighbor and isn’t exactly welcomed with open arms. When his aunt, Miss Drake, is murdered things really start popping. The weapon used would tend to implicate Graham, but he loves his aunt. As she lay dying, she whispered a final message to Phoebe and that sets off a major treasure hunt.

Graham and Phoebe are trying to solve the riddles that will lead them to the treasure and solve Miss Drake’s murder at the same time. Are the two things connected? What about the strange behavior of Mr. and Mrs. Fagean? Daniel is also acting strangely. Secrets – secrets-within-secrets – how will they ever untangle this can of worms?

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but I would have liked it just as well (or better) if some of the sub-plots were left out. It was just a very busy book. There was some very modern phraseology – like “How is that working for you”, but other than that it was a great mystery and a sweet love story combined. Goodness – I don’t think you can go wrong with that. The story also alluded to Phoebe’s parentage a couple of times, but never really finished it – so why include it at all?

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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