Set in Georgian England, Otillia Draycott accepts a
temporary position as a paid companion to the Dowager Lady
Polbrook. Soon after Otillia's employment, Lady Polbrook
discovers that her daughter-in-law, Emily the Marchioness
of Polbrook, was brutally murdered in her own bed. Much to
Lady Polbrook's distress, her son, Randal, the Marquis of
Polbrook, is considered the prime suspect. His tumultuous
relationship with the Marchioness and his abrupt departure
on the morning of her death lead the authorities to believe
he is guilty. But Otillia's astute observations not only
cast doubt on Randal's guilt, but also impress Lady
Polbrook and her son Francis Fanshawe, who gives Otillia
full reign to investigate and solve the murder of the
Otillia arrives at Hanover Square armed with a firm
conviction that the Marquis is innocent. However, the
facts contradict Otillia's instincts. The deteriorating
marriage of the Marquis and Marchioness was common
knowledge to anyone intimately acquainted with the couple.
A servant also overhead a heated argument the night the
Marchioness was found dead by a maid. Randal also
disappeared the morning of Emily's death. The stable boy is
adamant that the Marquis awoke his groom in a hurry and
asked for a speedy departure from Hanover Square. When word
reaches Randal's family that he has fled to France, his
guilt is practically written in stone.
Otillia is determined to solve the murder by interviewing
the household staff at Hanover Square. Her curious and
perceptive mind convinces her that the murderer has left
clues waiting to be discovered. Otillia's clever manner of
deciphering clues begins to shed light on the Marchioness'
THE GILDED SHROUD will impress the most discriminating
reader of period novels. Elizabeth Bailey's accurate and
delightful way of bringing Georgian England to life will
charm readers who demand their Regency novels whisk them
away to a bygone era. Otillia Draycott's insatiable
curiosity and wit is reminiscent of Jane Marple. Otillia
may not fit the bill of the typical Georgian female, but
her determination to exonerate the Marquis wins the heart
not only of her employer, but the readers as well. I
especially loved Otillia's interaction with Francis
Fanshawe, who marvels at Otillia's seemingly effortless way
of uncovering clues. Ms. Bailey delivers an exceptionally
written mystery with an impeccably described and lively
Georgian setting. THE GILDED SHROUD is sure to become a
favorite among Regency novel lovers.
When the marchioness is found murdered
at Polbrook mansion, the Dowager Lady Polbrook's new
companion, Ottilia Draycott, finds herself in a house of
strangers and every one of them a suspect. Only she can
unmask and outwit a desperate killer and keep a Polbrook
family secret buried.
Never underestimate the resolve of a lady’s companion.
She’s a woman of incomparable cunning, insatiable curiosity,
and as unfailingly attentive to her duties, as she is to the
intricacies of murder in… The Gilded Shroud
Pity the chambermaid who found the body—sprawled across a
disheveled four-poster bed with a bruised neck revealing a
grim truth: poor Emily, wife of the Marquis of Polbrook, had
been strangled in the night. The last thing Emily’s
brother-in-law, Lord Francis Fanshawe, expects to find so
soon after the crime is an adept investigator already
settled comfortably in the Polbrook mansion.
She is Ottilia Draycott, the Dowager Lady Polbrook’s new
young companion, intelligent, resourceful, observant, and
the family’s hope in establishing the innocence of the
Marquis, despite a motive: he wished Emily gone. But as
Ottilia pieces together a picture of Emily’s death,
complications arise: the Marquis has gone missing, along
with the theft of a priceless heirloom.
Now Ottilia has found herself in a house of strangers and
every one of them a suspect. And only she can unmask and
outwit a killer too desperate not to replay the murderous
events of that fateful night to keep a family secret buried.