Cover Image: The Lace Widow

The Lace Widow

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It helps, I think, to be somewhat familiar with the Hamilton family to most enjoy this entertaining mystery featuring Eliza Hamilton. Eliza was amazing on so many levels but here, in fiction she's also solving a murder in the hope of exonerating her son Alexander Hamilton, Jr. She goes undercover to reveal the truth about a cabal of bad guys (for want of another word) and a scheme that impacted her husband before his death. Then there's the lace. The mystery is slender but the atmospherics are great- and it's great to see Eliza as the lead. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC, A good read for fans of historical fiction.

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The Lace Widow by Millie Ann Cox was a solid historical mystery featuring Eliza Hamilton in the weeks following the duel that took her husband Alexander's life.

The mystery (about who murdered several witnesses to the Hamilton/Burr duel) took center stage and the plot moved along quickly. The resolution was satisfying. I appreciated the author's note that explained that while the characters were based on the real Hamilton family, the mystery itself was completely fictional.

As I began the book, I felt like I was picking up midstream. I think the author assumed a lot of previous knowledge about the Hamiltons. Of course, their family history is well known, but I would have appreciated more context surrounding Eliza's upbringing, for example, because it was referenced but not completely explained, and the actual duel was only alluded to.

I will call this 3.5 stars rounded up.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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In 1804 New York, Alexander Hamilton is dead after his duel with Aaron Burr, and Eliza Hamilton's son, Alexander Jr., is suspected of murder. As Eliza searches for ways to clear her son's name, she uncovers evidence of a plot to steal money from the government during her husband's time as secretary of state. Struggling with debt and mourning, she turns to selling handmade lace and discovers a network of widow lacemakers with connections to high-society families, leading her to unravel a dark plot related to the duel and a series of murders.

I am always interested in real life historical figures taking on mysteries. I don’t know much about Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, so I was curious how the book would portray her. It was difficult to pinpoint the tone of the book. Eliza waffled between concern, worry, and then making some remark whoever she was with found amusing and they all would laugh.

At times, the phrases and manner of speaking were more modern than I was expecting. The mystery did keep me guessing to the end, though I can't say I really understood it with mentions of Iluminati and secret organizations.

Overall, it was an alright read. I wouldn’t classify it as an instant favorite but I might read the second book if it crossed my path.

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The Lace Widow by Mollie Ann Cox is a meticulously researched and beautifully crafted historical mystery set in 1804 New York, shortly after Alexander Hamilton's death. The story revolves around Eliza Hamilton, a strong and defiant widow, who, grappling with grief and debt, is determined to clear her son's name of a murder accusation and uncover the secrets behind her husband's legacy. Cox's attention to historical details and vivid descriptions immerse readers in the bygone era, creating a rich and engrossing atmosphere. The novel skillfully combines mystery, societal issues, and well-developed characters, making it a must-read for fans of historical fiction and mystery, even though it's a slower-paced narrative, offering a compelling and immersive experience into the world of the Hamilton family and New York's high-society widows.

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This book is so an interesting way to look at Eliza Hamelton after Hamilton’s death. I love this view that she is a sleuth working with other strong woman around her to try and clear not only her husbands name, but her son’s as well who gets swept up in drama right after his father’s passing. Watching Eliza navigate a world post her husbands death is a treat. I enjoy how she tries to figure out what she might be able to do to help her family in any way possible. I also enjoyed having Ann’s perspective. I think it adds a lovely layer to the story, since realistically Eliza can’t go to all the places she might need to without being recognized. I think readers will really enjoy this book if they realize this is not historical fiction, more of a historical mystery.
Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book.

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Fans of “Hamilton” will gravitate to this clever, gripping mystery featuring Eliza Hamilton. We find Mrs. Hamilton just weeks after Hamilton’s death at the hands of Aaron Burr. As one might expect, she is not your typical widow, and is thrust immediately into a mysterious sitiuation that threatens her family. She easily rises to the occasion.

Recommended for fans of Hamilton specifically but also for historical mystery fans. Well written.

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Thank you NetGalley, Mollie Ann Cox, and Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Lace Widow. I received an advanced reader copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The mystery element in this book was great. The characters were interesting and developed well. The historical descriptions had a strong visual impact. The chapters were very short, which made for a quick read through. All in all, would recommend for anyone interested in this time period.

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The women in this book were very progressive during this time in history. They understood the concepts of looking after one another without the support of men and the importance of being self sufficient. The duel episode and the subsequent events that followed was hard to follow with so many individuals involved and it really was never explained why it all happened . The book was an okay read as it seemed to lack intrigue and real substance at times.

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I’m not the biggest fan of historical romance, but I love Hamilton so I thought I would give this a shot. Enjoyable story, great writing, and stuck pretty close to the history! Would definitely recommend to historical fiction fans.

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A lover of anything "Hamilton" related, I highly recommend this book! While it's fiction, the courage and determination of Eliza Hamilton is no doubt a reflection of her true character. It's an intriguing easy read. The author does a great job of keeping the pace even. I will definitely recommend this book to friends and family!

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In 1804’s New York, the only thing harder than being a woman is being a widow. Still reeling from Alexander Hamilton’s death, his widow Eliza must clear her son of suspected murder while caring for her other children and household. As she unravels the mystery of her husband’s death and the scandal that overshadowed his life, Eliza discovers that those who know too much are killed – and she might be next.

Mysteries were my staple fare as a child. It’s been ages since I last read one, and I thought a historical page-turner (with a convenient crash course about the Hamiltons) would be a wonderful combination.

At face value, there is nothing wrong with The Lace Widow – yet I found it so underwhelming. I took a month to read this book, but I never wondered about it between reads, or itched to get back into the story. It was far too easy to slip out of, and I’m of the opinion that a good mystery should keep you up all night. The plot was too slow for my liking, and many of the difficulties were resolved very easily. Towards the end I felt things were finally starting to happen – we even got some plot twists! But even that fizzled out as everything wrapped up nicely, neatly, and above all, quickly.

Like the plot, the characters also fell flat. The protagonists were good and kind, but (except perhaps for Eliza and Alice) not layered or particularly well-drawn. And let’s just say Jafar and Mother Gothel shamed the antagonists where complexity and scariness was concerned.

I can’t even say The Lace Widow is worth reading for its prose, as I found the writing very ordinary and unmemorable. The frequent use of rhetorical questions or stating the obvious hampered the book, and sometimes bordered on preachy and clumsy. In my opinion, reading Eliza’s unfiltered thoughts would have been far more authentic and gripping. Instead, I felt I was reading a children’s novel – one where the author is too keen on befriending the reader or driving home a point.

Squeaky-clean and unoffensive, The Lace Widow offers interesting insight into Eliza Hamilton’s life and times. The picture of the Pearl Street widows is fascinating, and a beautiful testimony to the strength of women. However, I don’t feel this novel is worth reading just for that. Neither the characters, plot or prose were memorable or enjoyable. I didn’t lose or gain anything through this reading. It was unfortunately a big disappointment, which is why I won’t give it a star rating.

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own, and I was in no way pressured to write a positive review.

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Wow, what a great book about a great woman who was courageous, strong and never gave up. This is historical fiction at its best and I truly enjoyed and loved reading it.

Eliza is a great character (and real to life as well) and the book is full of history, mystery and intrigue. It is so well written it flows so well and it paced just perfectly to keep me reading and keep me interested. It is a book I would highly recommend to any historical fiction lover.

The strength of Eliza and her widow friend will make your heart melt and their kinship is amazing. I just couldn't put this one down and even want to read it again. Loved it.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Historically I knew nothing of `Mrs General Hamilton ( Eliza) but I loved this woman's strong defiant character as she searched all avenues to clear her Husbands & her Children's Surname, I also fell in love with all the Widow's of Pearl Street especially Alice & Rene who as Widows & Lace Makers , Weavers & Embroiderers made & sold their wares to maintain theirs & their families without having to re - marry . So I am happy & delighted to recommend this wonderful book to some family members but mostly to lots of my friends #NetGalley, #GoodReads,,#FB, #Instagram, #<img src="" width="80" height="80" alt="200 Book Reviews" title="200 Book Reviews"/>, #<img src="" width="80" height="80" alt="Reviews Published" title="Reviews Published"/>, #<img src="" width="80" height="80" alt="Professional Reader" title="Professional Reader"/>.

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Eliza Hamilton is mourning the death of her beloved husband, General Alexander Hamilton, who was killed by the Vice President, Aaron Burr. When she is on her way home from the city to her home, The Grange, one of her husbands friends, John Van Der Gloss, is pulled from the river and his throat has been slashed. When another friend's husband died in mysterious Eliza begins to ask questions. With the help of a group of ladies from the Widows society who have their own house on Pearl Street and make and sell lace to support themselves, decides to see what she can find out and how its connected tp framing her son who is named after his father. Eliza uncovers not only a group of ruthless men but also a thief from when her husband was Secretary of the Treasury. I have always loved Eliza Hamilton since I worked at Schuyler Mansion in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was pleased to have an opportunity to read this book. The author really made New York City and those times there come alive for me and I felt the mystery was very well done. Great characters, great editing and a Great story. Enjoyed every page of this one.

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The Lace Widow is one of my all-time Net Galley favorites. This is the story of Eliza Hamilton and her quest to clear her husband's name. Her husband was Alexander Hamilton and he was accused of stealing money from the treasury, which he did not do. He was killed in a duel. There had also been three murders, two of which were friends of his. Eliza knew the murders had something to do with Alexander. She's expected the two men knew who stole the money from the treasury. So she wanted to solve the murder mystery as well. As it turns out, it was a house full of widows who helped her solve the mystery. Also, her son, Alexander Jr, had been accused of murdering the two men that were his father's friends. This was something else Eliza needed to clear up. With the help of her friends, all was resolved.

While this book was not exactly historically sound, Eliza and Alexander Hamilton were real people in history. And I believe the book truly captured who Eliza really was. The characters were very well developed and the plot was an easy one to follow. I gave this book five stars.

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I absolutely adored The Lace Widow historical mystery by Mollie Ann Cox! It is a fascinating, riveting story with Eliza Hamilton as its lead character. Like many, I have seen and loved the Hamilton musical so it was a delight to read a book that focuses on Eliza and the amazing woman she truly was. Although this is fiction, from what I have read of her, Mollie has captured her essence extremely well. It is easy to believe she was fiercely protective of her family and the lengths she would go to keep them safe. It is also understandable why she would work hard to restore the Hamilton name to good standing.

This novel also shows the enduring love Eliza had for her late husband and the grief she experienced in losing him in the crazy duel. It was evident she knew Alexander was not perfect, yet we sympathise with her realisation that he did not prepare for the possibility he might die. He left his wife and children with debts and no funds to sustain them through the trials ahead. But Eliza was a resourceful woman and despite the ugly facts, her faith and love gave her the grace, forgiveness and courage to find solutions and to overlook any imperfections. I found her portrayal both realistic and enlightening. It made me think how I would react in such a situation.

Part of Eliza’s solution to remedy her financial loss was in using the lace she had inherited from her wealthy grandmother. The title The Lace Widow hints at this. I found this an ingenious and unselfish plan on her part. She was always caring for others, providing for those in need, putting others ahead of herself—even giving up something so dear to her—for the greater good. Her faith was part of her inspiration, even though there were times when her beliefs were shaken. This is a realistic human view. As even the most solid Christian will have moments of doubt. But she never lingered on these thoughts long and charged forward with the best of intentions. Love was always at heart of her actions. Her motto: “To help others any time ‘she’ could—it was the Christian thing to do.”

The Lace Widow provides a clear depiction of women’s roles in the early 1800s and the attitudes toward the female mind. The weak thinking of the time is certainly heard in the men’s responses to Eliza’s brilliant observations. More than once when she has made astute suggestions, we see her state of mind questioned. Is she ill or overcome by grief? Did she need to lie down, see a doctor or take medicine? Yes, she was heartbroken over losing her husband but it certainly never hindered her decision making ability! In reality, she was smarter than most and their demeaning attitudes were challenged and proven wrong in the course of the novel’s events.

Everything about this novel is accomplished and rendered by an experienced hand. The plot moves at a thoughtful pace. The mysteries are carefully rolled out and solved at appropriate times. It is well written with excellent dialogue, atmospheric settings and meticulous descriptions. I was completely transported to New York of 1804. I could even imagine the heat waves that Eliza found challenging! The characters are distinct and brilliantly fleshed out. I felt as though I knew Eliza, her sister Angelica, her friend Alice and many of the other women who assisted her. There are a few admirable supportive male figures, too, and quite a daring lot of villains! A good mix of surprises and twists in the plot to keep interest high. I comfortably slipped into this story and followed the journey of justice led by the marvellous Eliza. She sought to clear her son of the false murder charge and find the real person behind it and the other deaths. Plus, she needed to expose the real thief who stole the government funds of which her husband was wrongly accused. Our heroine never gave up until the real culprits were exposed and she defied convention in doing it. Yes, she put herself in danger but her quick thinking and nimble actions brought down their vicious plots.

I will say it again, I loved The Lace Widow! It was everything I hoped and more. And now it has joined the ranks of one of my all-time favourite historical mysteries! I highly recommend this novel and give it a Bold 5 Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for such a fabulous review copy.

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The Lace Widow by Mollie Ann Cox
Publisher Crooked Lane Books
Release Date December 12, 2023
Genre Historical Fiction

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Pace: 4/5
Overall Enjoyment: 5/5

The first thing about this book that I enjoyed was the historical descriptions that the author was able to include in order to make the book more appealing to its readers. Cox has an uncanny ability to take a era and write as though we were in that time period. This book contains murder, grief, and the tenacity to fight for a son. I was intrigued by the way that the author pulled me into the story and did not let go. I love historical fiction and mystery and I was blessed with both in this book. The build up to the main premise is done expertly as is with the characters. They are very well developed and flawed. I will say that this is a slower paced book though. You will not be disappointed at all.

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historical-fiction, historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, duel, widow, grieving, grief, threats, multiple-murder, amateur-sleuth, suspense, suspicion, framed, misogynistic-era****

The daughter of a prominent New York family, the widow of Alexander Hamilton found herself in debt and worse. The witnesses to the fatal duel are being murdered and answers need to be found. To support herself and her eight children she is selling the very valuable labor intensive beautiful lace made by her elders (tatted, pillow, crochet, and woven as kitted lace was not done at that time). She is also trying to find answers with the help of those whom she has helped during the course of her life.
The story is well crafted and the characters are very clearly brought to life as are the civil liberty problems of the day and the unfair advantages of the wealthy. A good read with intensive research evident.
I requested and received an EARC from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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This book was different that what I am used to. It has a historical background that I found pleasing. This is a new to me author and I found the book interesting.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. All words are my own.

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I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened this book. I almost didn't finish it but I don't like leaving a book unfinished.
For the most part, it was ok. I enjoyed the historical descriptions and Hamilton was an interesting figure. He helped create many things in his lifetime.
I enjoyed getting to know his wife Eliza a little bit more too. I sympathized with her because of Hamilton's death and because I hated how other men treated her by saying asking her if she felt well whenever she was onto something.
The more I read her story the more I loved and admired her but I'm questioning a few things I'm this story because some seem unbelievable.
But I guess that's what fiction is all about.
Burr is also a huge figure in history. I didn't much care for him at all.
Cox did well with this story. I will be looking for more by her in the future. I always love trying new authors.
I'm still giving this book 5 stars simply because I love historical fiction and the events that took place. They were described so well that I felt like I was in the story right along with Eliza, Alice, and the rest of the characters.
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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