Cover Image: The Lace Widow

The Lace Widow

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Mollie Cox has written a historical murder mystery about the widow of Alexander Hamilton who died in a duel and was suspected untruly of taking treasury money. Eliza Hamilton is trying to defend her son from a murder charge and find out who conspired against her family and others who are dying. A good story for the reader, but the author took liberties with the actual historical record at times.

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"The Lace Widow" weaves a spellbinding tale of mystery, intrigue, and romance against the backdrop of 19th-century England. With its lush prose and well-crafted plot, this historical novel transports readers to a world of secrets and scandal, where the protagonist's journey to uncover the truth behind her husband's death leads to unexpected revelations and dangerous alliances. Filled with vivid characters and atmospheric settings, "The Lace Widow" is a gripping read that will keep you guessing until the very end.

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Although this novel purports to tell the story of Eliza Hamilton and her children after her husband was killed at 47 in a duel with the sitting Vice President, it deviates from historical facts in ways that make me uncomfortable. It is a romanticized retelling rather than accurate.

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While I was initially intrigued by the premise, the book left me with mixed feelings, ultimately earning a 2.5-star rating out of 5.

The story unfolds in the aftermath of Alexander Hamilton's murder, with Eliza Hamilton thrust into a murder mystery in her town. For those unfamiliar with the historical figures, such as Alexander and Eliza Hamilton, navigating the narrative might be challenging. The author assumes a certain level of familiarity, referencing events and relationships that could be confusing for readers with limited knowledge.

As a fan of Hamilton the musical and having read Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton," I appreciated the portrayal of Eliza, capturing her remarkable personality accurately. However, the plot fell short of my expectations. The mystery lacked the desired twists and turns, and the dialogue occasionally felt repetitive, leaving the overall narrative somewhat bland.

While the book felt worth my time, I would approach recommending it with caution, considering the need for a solid understanding of Hamilton's history to fully appreciate the story. Despite its shortcomings, "The Lace Widow" succeeds in portraying Eliza Hamilton as the amazing woman she was.

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This was an interesting historical cozy mystery. I liked the plot and the characters were a lot of fun. Very much recommend this book.

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Fairly predictable rom com but it was still a good read that I enjoyed it. It was also a quick read.

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This is one of those mysteries in which a real historical figure solves crimes. Here, it's feisty Eliza Hamilton, the widow of Alexander Hamilton, whose son Alexander is falsely accused of murder. However, there is a whole series of murders in the book, possibly connected somehow to a scandal concerning Eliza's late husband. She eventually solves these murders with the help of some unusual women.

Molly Ann Cox obviously researched Eliza Hamilton's life thoroughly, and the historical setting is very authentic. I enjoyed the story, although I thought that one murder would have been enough, and Eliza is a captivating heroine. However, I am still puzzled by the ending. The murders were solved very quickly at the end, and the resolution was really not explained well at all. I would still recommend this for lovers of historical mysteries, however.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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This novel is up to what is promised by the blurb as it's a well plotted and gripping. A mix of historical fiction and history, a great main character.
It kept me enthralled and I read it as fast as I could.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Highly recommend. This book really held my attention. I was hooked right up until the last page.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an arc of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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If you love historical mysteries with a strong and well written main character then this one is for you. It is evident that the author researched the people she wrote about and then brought them to life. The historical details and well-planned mystery made for a 5 star read.

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Alexander Hamilton is dead, killed in a duel with Aaron Burr. His widow, Eliza, is doing her best to put her life back together. She has no choice. She has eight children to raise by herself.

One night, her carriage is stopped on the street and she witnesses a murdered man's body being dragged out of the river. Later, her son becomes a suspect in the killing because he was seen arguing with the man. Then another man dies. Eliza sees a pattern and believes the deaths are tied to her husband's death. Eliza jumps into investigating the deaths to prove her son isn't a murderer and to clear her late husband's name.

This was an interesting read and a good historical mystery story. I had a bit of a rough time reading, as I don't like the way women were treated in that era.

The mystery moves along at a good pace, the historical aspects are very interesting, and the story is well-written.

Definitely a book I would recommend to those who enjoy historical mysteries.

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

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As someone who’s a HUGE fan of Hamilton, this was a must read for me. I was thrilled when I saw this pop on NetGalley, a cozy where Eliza Hamilton is the sleuth? Yes, please! I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy. The fact that the mystery ties in to the duel where Alexander Hamilton lost his life was one that I was all in for. The mystery was fantastic and the supporting characters were perfect for the story. I can’t wait for another case with Eliza and her friends.

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This is the first book by this author that I have read. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I found it a very enjoyable read. The characters were well developed and the story line flowed nicely. I am not sure if there was a book before as there was a lot of reference to past events but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the book. I found it a little long, but I couldn’t put it down once I got into it. I received this as an Arc from Netgalley and freely give my review.

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3.5 Stars
One Liner: A decent read inspired by true events (I'm not the target audience)

1804 New York City
America’s beloved Alexander Hamilton dies after a duel with Aaron Burr. His son, Alexander Jr., is a suspect in the murder of a witness of the duel. Eliza is grieving but trying her best to get justice for her dead husband and save her eighteen-year-old son from life in prison (or death). She needs to dig out the truth, save the family from debts, and protect the family.
With eight children to support, Eliza decides to sell homemade lace and is drawn into the mysterious network of widowed lacemakers. She also realizes that the women can help her find the truth about her dead husband. Of course, it’s easier said than done with a killer intent on doing anything to keep secrets safe.
The book comes in the third-person POV of Eliza Hamilton and Alice Rhodes.

Disclaimer: I had no idea this was a retelling of a real-life story with famous people when I requested the book. I did wonder if it was inspired by something when I began reading. The author’s note at the end provided more information and mentioned what was fiction and what was real. Then, I read Eliza’s Wikipedia page. The book makes a little more sense now.

My Thoughts:
A new window managing her family affairs and investigating her influential husband’s death felt like a great premise to read, especially when set in the early 19th century. We see the constant restriction she has to face for being a woman. The book gets the male condensing tone spot on.
The women here are quite competent and have the means to gather information and get things done. We also see the differences in lives between the rich and working class. Of course, privilege doesn’t always help, and Eliza learns how to navigate both worlds.
There are many characters, some mentioned without much information or backstory. The network of widowed women is a great addition. I wouldn’t have minded if they had a bit more focus.
The pacing is quite slow. I expected it in the beginning but soon realized it would be the same throughout. I also started to lose interest. Eliza, despite everything, didn’t make me root for her. It’s more of an issue with the writing rather than the character (or person).
Then, I began to speed read, and that did the job. I enjoyed the book a lot more without missing a single clue or development. Either the pacing has to be improved, or the filler has to be trimmed.
The mystery was okay and kept me interested. The plot development to solving the mystery wasn’t great (not my favorite trope). The resolution happened quite fast and easily, almost like the story needed to end in limited pages afterward.

To summarize, The Lace Widow is a decent read for me, but I am not the target audience. People who know the Hamiltons and the musical will enjoy this more. The author is a fan of the musical, so the book might appeal to like-minded people.
Thank you, NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books, for the eARC. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.
***
the rating has been rounded up to 4 stars on Amazon

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My thanks for the ARC goes to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books. I'm voluntarily leaving a review without compensation.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Violence Level: Low

I was entranced with THE LACE WIDOW.

Eliza Hamilton (yes—Alexander Hamilton's wife) is barely surviving after the murder of her husband. Then her son is the prime suspect in a second murder. No one is going to investigate to find the real culprit, not with the testimonies leveled against her son. It's up to her to save her husband's name and her family.

I love books where women band together. When women do things that are unexpected for their time in history. And women who don't back down in the face of adversity. In the back material, the author said that Eliza was easy to give modern ideals to because she was ahead of her time.

Any one who loves mysteries and especially historical work, will eat up this novel. It's excellently executed.

Happy reading!

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An intriguing historical fiction inspired by death of Alexander Hamilton. Mystery was compelling with good background clues related to Mrs. General Hamilton and family. Would read other books by this author.. Thanks to #NetGalley and #TheLaceWidow for advanced digital copy.

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I love Historical Mysteries and also "Hamilton" so I could not resist reading this story!

So glad I did because it was very interesting, pulling in Historical facts with fiction, which is a gift in itself. When Eliza is left after the death of her husband and her son being accused of a murder, she is determined to find out the truth.

With a unique twist on finding out information, I was pulled in and could not stop reading until the end!

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I did not realise when requesting this that it was based on a real life person as British person she was not familiar to me and I did feel things were not explained as plainly as they could have been as it seemed to be assumed you knew who they were. However it is a well written and intriguing mystery that kept my interest. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review

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The Lace Widow is the first book in the An Eliza Hamilton Mystery series by Mollie Ann Cox.

This series deals with the life of Eliza Hamilton, the widow of Alexander Hamilton. Read the Author’s Note to learn the author’s approach to the series.

The story starts shortly after the Hamilton-Burr duel. Eliza Hamilton is on her way home when her carriage is stopped. Eliza gets out to see what the problem is and sees that the body of John Van Der Gloss is being dragged from the river. She knows he was murdered as she sees that Van Der Gloss's throat has been cut. It hits her hard as he was a good friend of Alexander and to be murdered so soon after her husband's death. Arriving at home, Eliza finds that a constable brought Alexander Jr. home, saying Alexander had been in a fight with Van Der Gloss the previous evening. Alexander claims he only hit him once and ran from the tavern. The constable will take Alexander, Jr. into custody for the murder of Van Der Gloss. When another of Alexander’s friends dies from hanging, Eliza suspects that someone or a group is trying to discredit Alexander and get rid of those who know the truth.

Eliza will start asking questions to clear her late husband’s and her son's names. She will work with the Widow’s Society, a group of widows who need help and live in a home on Pearl Street. When Eliza experiences a rock thrown through her bedroom window, she feels this is a threat to her life and takes up residency at the Widow’s Society home. From there, she will go undercover in search of the people who are trying to frame her son for murder.

The book is well-written, plotted, historically accurate, and moves at a good pace. The author does an excellent job showing how men treated their wives and women in the 1800s. The characters are well-developed, believable, and engaging. There were enough twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.

I’m looking forward to seeing what adventures Eliza will have next.

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The Lace Widow by Mollie Ann Cox is a gorgeously-written Historical Fiction peppered with mystery, intrigue, heartache and hope.

The author (do read her notes) bases her story on the incomparable Eliza Hamilton, an intrepid and compassionate widow with eight children in 1804 New York who finds herself in financial trouble. She must rely on herself to earn money for her family and discovers economic and emotional help in a lace-making network. Meanwhile, one of her sons is accused of a murder and a daughter often believes her beloved father is still alive. Eliza goes to unusual measures to prove her son's Innocence. Her strength and fortitude are incredible and the otyer characters are realistic.

My favourite aspect is the focus on a real-life heroine who, in the midst of her own agony, comforts others. The story is vividly drawn and very believable with flaws and hardships.

If you seek a unique perspective during a fascinating era in history, do prioritize this book. Immerse yourself completely.

My sincere thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this engrossing novel.

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