FIRST IN A NEW MYSTERY SERIES
BY ELIZABETH BAILEY
ABOUT THE BOOK:
First in a new series that has the perfect mix of Regency murder and mystery.
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.
PRAISE/REVIEWS FOR THE GILDED SHROUD:A light upstairs-downstairs affair with clever dialog. Georgette Heyer is a strong influence on Bailey, and Bailey does it well, deftly mixing her detecting with a gentle romance. Terrific crossover appeal for Georgian romance readers who crave a corpse with their love stories.
--THE LIBRARY JOURNAL
Fans of romantic historicals will welcome Bailey's solid debut, a Regency mystery. Sharp-witted Ottilia Draycott, who's just taken a temporary position as companion to the dowager marchioness of Polbrook, finds herself in the midst of a baffling murder puzzle after the discovery of the strangled corpse of the dowager's daughter-in-law, Emily Fanshawe, sprawled on her four-poster bed. Even more alarmingly, Emily's heavy-drinking husband, Randal, has vanished, making him the obvious suspect. Despite the skepticism of her new employer and the dowager's attractive, and available, other son, Francis, Ottilia proves herself an adept investigator, whose nose for clues might enable resolution of the mystery before the law gets involved. She must weigh varying motives for the murder, including a theft turned violent and a crime of passion committed by the dead woman's lover. A satisfying solution and well-chosen period detail will leave readers eager for the sequel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
An avid reader from an early age, Elizabeth Bailey grew up in colonial Africa under unconventional parentage and with theatre in the blood. Back in England, she trod the boards until discovering her true métier as a writer in her thirties, when she fulfilled an early addiction to Georgette Heyer by launching into historical romance. Eight years and eight books later, Elizabeth joined the Harlequin Mills & Boon stable, fuelling her writing with a secondary career teaching and directing drama, and writing plays into the bargain.
With 18 historicals published, she began to concentrate on the mainstream and in 2005, Elizabeth’s novel Fly the Wild Echoes was released in both the UK and the US simultaneously by Unlimited Publishing. The novel was a contender in the Booker list for that year. A mystery – a whodunit of the mind, as one reader has it – the book explores the interwoven lives of three women and investigates the possibility of past lives.
Now retired from teaching, Elizabeth directs for a local theatre group where she lives in West Sussex. Recently, however, even this foray into drama has had to take a back seat as she changed direction to enter the world of crime.
Still thoroughly involved in her favourite historical period, Elizabeth placed her female sleuth in the late Georgian world of intrigue, elegance, aristocrats and rogues, where privilege rubbed shoulders with the harsh realities of making ends meet. While Ottilia moves into the upper echelon, she is thoroughly at ease in the lower, which allows Elizabeth to cross boundaries with impunity.
Not content with mere authorship, Elizabeth launched as an independent publisher with Timeless Books created on the Lulu website. She also runs an assessment critique service for writers.
THANKS TO KAITLYN AND THE GOOD FOLKS
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