Series: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel, 12
Publication Date: 13 April 2021
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Meet Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn, private enquiry agents residing in London where the novel begins in the year 1893. Follow these two interesting characters around London as they attempt to keep the high strung Tsarevich Nicholas safe as he attends a royal wedding. Please do not refer to them as detectives; remember they are private enquiry agents!
The investigation into the mysterious La Sylphide, the mysterious person shadowing the Nicholas, takes the pair through all walks of Victorian life. Walk in the Palace Gardens, ride in Hyde Park, attend a masquerade ball and step into the seamy side of night life as the men investigate the identity of the mysterious La Sylphide and what harm might befall the Tsarevich.
A blend of mystery and intrigue as Barker and Llewelyn work to solve the mystery of La Sylphide. All is not what it seems when the men finally solve the mysterious person behind La Sylphide. The resolution of the mystery brings major turmoil to the life of one of the men. Read this intriguing nineteenth century historical mystery to find out who La Sylphide is and what exactly this person is after.
This ARC copy was received from Minotaur Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Series: Victorian Ladies #1
Publication Date: October 15, 2018
Tyndale House Publishers
ARC copy from Tyndale House and Netgalley.com
What an interesting story! The plot in this novel drew me into the story immediately. The novel opens in the fall of 1866 at Watchfield House in Oxfordshire, England, home of the late Lord Lydney. Eleanor Sheffield, a lovely young woman who loves all things antique, is handed an intriguing assignment which will take her years of experience as the daughter of a conservator and evaluator of antiquities and her personal knowledge and judgment to assess and unravel. To complicate matters the new Lord Lydney, a potential heir, is home from abroad bringing heartbreak and uncertainty with him.
Eleanor loves her work in dealing with antiquities. However, she struggles with her own difficult personal life since her father’s death facing great uncertainty during this time when women were not expected to be knowledgeable or capable of working. As she deals with an ailing uncle and an employee with too much interest in the business, Eleanor will have to work hard to maintain her integrity and hold on to her business. As she strives to hold her family’s life and business together, she must also sort out the affairs of her heart.
So many questions trouble her as she seeks to unravel the mysteries that keep cropping up. Who can she trust? Where can she turn for help? Who should she believe? The intricate twists and turns will pull you right into the story. The historical components of the book are very detailed and interesting. Sandra Byrd does an excellent job of incorporating real historical elements into the story. The characters are intriguing and well developed. I personally love books with strong women and this story certainly delivers. Readers of historical fiction and romance will definitely enjoy this book.
This ARC copy was received from Tyndale House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: July 2014
St. Martin’s Press
ARC copy from Netgalley.com and St. Martin’s Press
Daisy Goodwin takes on a cast of interesting historical characters in this novel set in 1875 in Victorian England. The three primary characters in the novel are Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as “Sisi”, Charlotte Baird, and Bay Middleton. The three form a very complex love triangle in the story; and as in most love triangles, someone will get hurt. Interestingly enough, all three characters are based on real people.
The storyline is very loosely based on Sisi’s time in England hunting with the British upper crust. Several important events in Sisi’s life have been incorporated in to the tale, including her time hunting with Bay Middleton. As in all historical fiction, the character’s lives have been embellished to add to the story.
The book is an interesting read, but there were times I really did not like the characters. They all displayed some traits that were just annoying; Bay couldn’t be faithful nor make up his mind; Charlotte accepted pitiable treatment from Bay and her annoying prospective sister-in-law; and Sisi acted like the spoiled drama queen that she was. Even though the characters had aggravating behavior, I still finished the book and enjoyed the core story.
This book will appeal to readers of historical fiction, particularly to those who enjoy the Victorian era and royalty.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.