Such a slow and tedious read
The Gilded Shroud (Lady Fan Mystery Book 1)
By: Elizabeth Bailey
Rating: 2 of 5
I had read and enjoyed a Georgian romance novel by Ms. Bailey, so I was looking forward to a period mystery series by the same author. To say the book did not meet my expectations is putting it mildly.
While the historical period is portrayed nicely as is the language (for the most part), the book became quickly tedious as it was overly long and I solved the whodunnit within very few pages.
It felt, to me, that a lot of the story was filler. The intrepid widowed companion turned sleuth, Mrs. Ottila Draycott could not do anything spontaneous. She would think of something, then think about it again, spending pages in doing so. She would then do the thing she had thought about and then think about it. Then she would tell someone, generally Lord Francis Fanshawe, about what she had done. Then they would discuss it. Next, they would tell someone else. Then another discussion would ensue.
This happened repeatedly throughout the entire book. It was funny to note that when time was of the essence, the characters would stop and have prolonged discussions about what they needed to do immediately. It felt like they must have spent at least ten minutes each time this happened. I guess time of the essence didn’t mean the same back then.
The mystery was not much to read. It became apparent to me almost as soon as the characters involved were introduced. It was annoying to look into Ottilla’s mind and yet have the author stop just short of telling what she was thinking when it came to the guilty party. Everything else she was thinking was readily available.
The romance seemed unlikely and traveled the speed of mud as we looked into both parties thoughts over and over again. I still can’t figure out what they saw in the other that attracted them.
I will read other romances by this author but I think that the mystery genre does not present her work at its best.
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