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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#BookRevew: WITHIN THESE GILDED HALLS by Abigail Wilson
I enjoyed the Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey so much that I didn’t want it to end. This book happened about two years later and focused on Phoebe. She was the youngest daughter of Lord Torrington. She loved art and was good at it.
The story was slow at first with Phoebe’s peaceful stay at Avonthorpe. I would like to see the ballroom where she helped restore. The descriptions were good with all the intricate details. The arrival of Lt. Graham Burke stirred things up and then Miss Drake was murdered.
I enjoyed unravelling the clues. It was quite a journey. There were so many numbers to figure out and late night meet ups. The mystery and suspense kept me on my toes. Countless unexpected things happened like Phoebe’s past catching up with her. I didn’t understand Phoebe’s feelings at first. I wanted to give her a long talk about it. But the revelation and the scene at the beach were shocking.
The enemies to lovers' romance was slow and sweet. They had different personalities and upbringing but Phoebe and Graham could work well together. I liked their easy communication. I enjoyed the change in Graham.
This was another charming and mysterious story that regency readers will surely enjoy.I can’t wait to read the next book by this author.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Pub date: 04 Oct 2022
Thank you Thomas Nelson and #netgalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own.
Within These Gilded Halls is another solid romantic historical mystery from Abigail Wilson. She perfectly captures the atmosphere of the Regency era with a slight Gothic mystery twist. And while she hasn’t followed the expected path of some of her historical romance or Christian fiction peers by writing stories in interconnected series, I love the subtle connection made to one of her previous titles.
Abigail is a compelling protagonist. I like how she’s not perfect, and she’s made some mistakes in her past that she’s working to atone for, and while things are looking up, that quickly changes with the murder of her employer. While she is a little too naïve and too trusting of the wrong people, I could understand her position.
The romance is a sweet slow-burn, and I like how the trust grows between her and Graham, especially as they begin to understand that they are on the same side.
The secondary cast are all largely pretty untrustworthy, and it does make for questions of whodunnit and a compelling puzzle to piece together. It kept me guessing, and I was ultimately satisfied by how it all was resolved.
I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical stories that blend romance and mystery elements.
This is my fourth book by this author. The story started off slow for me. It did get more interesting after the first few chapters. I enjoyed the mystery and the plot twist but felt like the character development could have been a bit better. While this wasn't my favorite book by this author, I would still recommend it for those who like regency romantic mysteries with a faith thread.
Also, I had no idea that this book was connected with Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey or I would have read that one first.
**Thank you to Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.**
Within These Gilded Halls is a lovely historical romance. With mystery, danger and adorable characters this book made a trip back in time an enjoyable read. I highly recommend to all historical fiction fans.
Another great Regency mystery from Abigail Wilson! I love following this family and fino getting to read Phoebe’s story.
How can you not love a well-written murder mystery with a treasure hunt? As Miss Drake is dying, she whispers the location of a clue to Phoebe. This sets off a hunt for the rumored treasure. Phoebe ends up working with Lt. Burke. For me, they had the most satisfying type of relationship. It grew naturally as they were together and took them by surprise. There was even a great beginning to it that reminded me of Pride and Prejudice.
The mystery is complex without being confusing. It's clear others are also looking for the treasure and the race is on. It had some unexpected twists. It was a hard book to put down. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Set in Regency England, Within These Gilded Halls reveals murder and romance. Art student, Phoebe Radcliff, is employed to paint a ballroom in Miss Drake's home. But when Miss Drake reveals to Phoebe with her dying breath a clue to find a treasure within the Avonthorpe Hall, she does not know who she can trust. Thus ensues a treasure hunt and a murder investigation with Lt. Graham Burke, who just happens to be Miss Drake's nephew.
Abigail Wilson is very good at character development. Weaving suspense along with romance, little historic tidbits, and a treasure hunt, the author expertly crafts this mystery even brining in characters from previous books. Although it starts off a little slow, the tale quickly picks up speed. The reader will not want to put this down until they discover the answers to all the riddles and who murdered Miss Drake.
I highly recommend reading this novel as well as Ms. Wilson's other books. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Neslon - Fiction for the digital ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
This was lighter fare for the author. Still a whodunnit, but without the gothic overtones. It was fast paced and I enjoyed it, but so many backstories were lightly mentioned that I feel like I missed a previous book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.