"[An] outstanding series launch. ... Hamilton expertly balances the page-turning detection with the story of a hypocritical society where women, whether they are scullery maids or orphans, rarely get to make their own decisions."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Scandal and slayings among Regency London's elite
The shocking murder of Sir Henry Claybourne leaves Regency London shaken and horror-struck. But for genteel spinster Miss Emmeline St. Germaine, the crime slices far too close to home. Just hours before the knight's death she held a dagger to him, threatening him to stay silent as she rescued a scullery maid he had procured for his pleasure.
Did the manor womanwho murdered the knight know of her visit? Her secret identity at risk, her reputation and life in jeopardy, Emmeline must solve the crime or face scandalous exposure and ruination, or worsethe hangman's noosefor a crime she did not commit.
"Hamilton's novel will appeal to fans of Anne Perry's Charlotte and Pitt mysteries."Booklist
"A simply riveting and compulsive page-turner of a read from cover to cover. A deftly scripted mystery with more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster."Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Victoria Hamilton is the nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, the Merry Muffin Mysteries, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries. In addition to her mysteries, she has written twenty regency romance novels as Amanda Cooper and Donna Lea Simpson.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the first non-cozy mystery that I’ve read by this author, and I was not disappointed. I love her cozy mysteries; this is written with the same care and fine eye for details that Victoria Hamilton’s other novels share. It took a few minutes to become accustomed to the narrator, and there were times I wasn’t sure who the speaker was. Overall, however, it was clear and easily. Emmeline is one of a group of ladies who work together to rescue young girls who are working in homes where the man of the house makes unreasonable demands. We get to watch her rescue a girl from Sir Henry Claybourne’s home and catches him a breath away from harming the girl. Emmeline then delivered the girl to where she would have a better, safer position, then went home. The next morning brought the news that some crazed woman entered the Claybourne home, grabbed the young girl, then disappeared with her and the silver. It is also thought that the woman is responsible for the bloody death of Sir Henry later that night. Emmeline and her friends are horrified at the murder, and she is equally horrified that she could be discovered as the woman who made the first trip but didn’t steal the silver. Nor did she return and murder Sir Henry. She began to investigate on her own to protect herself and learned just how heinous the current conditions for working-class women were. I was stunned when I realized – and it was confirmed – who one of the bad guys was and how deeply rooted the effects and betrayal were and just how he minimized his behavior. The end was stunning, and even though I rarely like cliffhangers, it leads skillfully into the next novel. The author deals with very sensitive subjects in a manner giving dignity to those effected by the crimes. I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy Regency-era mysteries set in England. From a thankful heart: I won an audiobook of this novel from the author; a review was not required.
Well done. With so much in the news recently about human trafficking, this is a very timely story. We have a group of (somewhat) privileged woman who want to help those less fortunate. The social restrictions of the time allow them little autonomy, so they have to act clandestinely . The insights into the lack of control over ones life if they are born femail, is brought home clearly. The clever ways to work around it are inspiring. Sadly, even the seemingly supportive males show their ingrained attitudes while trying to help.
a smart historical mystery that isn't afraid to deal with difficult subject matter A GENTLEWOMAN'S GUIDE TO MURDER by Victoria Hamilton The First Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder Regency England may be remembered for its romances and lovely people living a life of frivolity and indulgence. But, that was the life of members of the ton. In reality, life was harder and much darker, especially for those on the lowest rungs of the service ladder. Miss Emmeline St. Germaine is a woman with a mission, as well as a double, if not triple, life. In public she's a proper, if unmarried woman. As The Rogue, she writes articles for a newspaper, bringing light to scandalous gossip and social injustices. But her most dangerous role is that of The Avengeress, who ventures out to save young girls and boys from abuse. After rescuing a young maid about to be raped by her employer, she's stunned when the man is found brutally slaughtered the next morning. With the majority of the public blaming The Avengeress, Emmeline determines to find the real killer, before she's exposed...and found guilty of murder! Victoria Hamilton does not shy away from the gritty reality of life tackling sexual assault and pedophilia in her first Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder mystery! Yet these atrocities are dealt with tact and not sensationalized. I enjoyed my first entry into Regency England with Miss Emmeline St. Germaine. She's doing what she can to be a free and independent woman, fighting for the betterment of society at a time when upperclass women were thought of as nothing more than adornments while women of lower classes were meant to be used and abused. Sadly, this remains somewhat of a reality even today, 200 years later! The author has a firm grasp of life during this time period, providing a myriad of small details that are intrinsic to the mood and spirit of the novel and not extraneous fluff or an overt history lesson. Emmaline's work as the Rogue, sharing gossip and rumours with broad hints as to the real people involved, was a standard practice of the time. Clothing details showing class distinction as well as how the different classes met and mingled are all integral particulars to the story. The characters are all multidimentional with deep backstories simmering under the surface. Vivid descriptions are haunting, especially the subtle changes seen in those being abused. A GENTLEWOMAN'S GUIDE TO MURDER is a smart historical mystery that isn't afraid to deal with difficult subject matter. A truly heroic heroine graces its pages engaging in a fight to be her own person, a fight that women continue to this day. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the hopes I would review it.