A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder (A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder #1)
"[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 man—or woman—who 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 worse—the hangman's noose—for a crime she did not commit.

A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder (A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder #1) Details

TitleA Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder (A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 8th, 2019
PublisherMidnight Ink
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery

A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder (A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder #1) Review

  • N.N. Light
    January 1, 1970
    This was so delicious, I savored every word. If you like historical mystery, pick this up right now!Highly recommend!My Rating: 5 startsReviewed by: Mrs. N
  • Ashley Cate
    January 1, 1970
    A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder is the first book in a new historical mystery series by Victoria Hamilton. Previous books that I read by Victoria Hamilton were all cozy mysteries (some of the Vintage Kitchen mysteries and the Merry Muffin mystery series) and I really enjoyed those books so I thought I would give her new historical mystery series a shot. I am a big fan of historical mysteries usually, with Victoria Thompson and Rhys Bowen as two of my favorite authors, so I thought I would probab A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder is the first book in a new historical mystery series by Victoria Hamilton. Previous books that I read by Victoria Hamilton were all cozy mysteries (some of the Vintage Kitchen mysteries and the Merry Muffin mystery series) and I really enjoyed those books so I thought I would give her new historical mystery series a shot. I am a big fan of historical mysteries usually, with Victoria Thompson and Rhys Bowen as two of my favorite authors, so I thought I would probably enjoy A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder. I did enjoy the book but not as well as I expected I would. The book starts off strong with Emmeline donning her Avengeress role and rescuing a scullery maid that is about to be raped by the Head of the Household Sir Henry Claybourne. After threatening Sir Henry, Emmeline takes the scullery maid and leaves with the knight very much still alive. Shockingly, Sir Henry is found murdered the next morning and the press quickly latches on to the idea that the Avengeress was the one that killed him. In order to save herself from being found guilty of a murder she did not commit, Emmeline begins investigating. The premise behind the story was fascinating and I got really invested in the story very quickly. However, I felt that the plot really slowed down midway through the book and it made for some difficult reading at times. It also grew tiring to hear repeatedly about the main character's anti monarchist sentiments, her fury at having to hide her true thoughts and feelings when she is polite company, and her seeming distrust of any male that came into contact with her. I understand that the author wanted to stress how women were treated during the Regency period in London and how different her main character was from most other noble women of that time period, but it grew a bit tiring to be reminded continually of this throughout the story. I thought the mystery overall was well done and I was happy with the way the author resolved the mystery and the niggling doubts that both Emmeline and her maid Gillies had about the resolution. I am interested to see where the author takes this series in the next book. I recommend this book if you enjoy a good historical mystery. A note of warning that this book is not a cozy mystery in that it deals with violence, rape, and prostitution of children. The mature themes did not bother me but I would not advise reading the book if you think you would be bothered by these themes.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up. I came across this book on Twitter at a time when I was looking for a new historical mystery author/series to try and I'm glad I read it. Overall I enjoyed it, though a few things didn't quite work for me.What I liked:- Emmeline had a strong motivation for investigating the murder. I've DNF'd a few books because the only reason the heroine investigated a crime was nosiness or a vague feeling of "being compelled".- Large cast of characters from different social classes.- Fem 3.5 stars rounded up. I came across this book on Twitter at a time when I was looking for a new historical mystery author/series to try and I'm glad I read it. Overall I enjoyed it, though a few things didn't quite work for me.What I liked:- Emmeline had a strong motivation for investigating the murder. I've DNF'd a few books because the only reason the heroine investigated a crime was nosiness or a vague feeling of "being compelled".- Large cast of characters from different social classes.- Feminism!- Though I figured out some of the plot, I didn't mind because I was very interested in how it would play out.What I didn't like:- Infodumping in the first few chapters, especially about many of the female characters' sad backstories.- A couple key developments in the mystery happened "off screen" and were therefore a little anticlimatic. I think they could have been more dramatic.- The final revelation of the murderer was kind of unsatisfying - it was messy and I think it just sort of happened to the Emmeline. She has so much agency in the rest of the book but didn't have a really strong role in actually solving the murder and bringing the villains to justice. That's what knocked the book from a 4 star to 3.5 star read to me.Also I should mention trigger warnings for child abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual assault.
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  • Joshua Ian
    January 1, 1970
    Not only a fun historical read but very timely as well. I don't like to give plot away in my reviews but it does center around a woman working to right wrongs done by men of the time. Wrongs ignored because of class, position, or just plain old misogyny. So it's great to see a female "superhero," flaws and all, in a great historical setting. This is a little less cozy than Hamilton's contemporary mysteries with more of a gothic edginess to it, and I personally love that. Reminds me, in tone, of Not only a fun historical read but very timely as well. I don't like to give plot away in my reviews but it does center around a woman working to right wrongs done by men of the time. Wrongs ignored because of class, position, or just plain old misogyny. So it's great to see a female "superhero," flaws and all, in a great historical setting. This is a little less cozy than Hamilton's contemporary mysteries with more of a gothic edginess to it, and I personally love that. Reminds me, in tone, of the Lady Anne mysteries, which are also recommended.
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  • Patti
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't like the subject matter of this book, but got too far before I realized how much the orphan girls being set-up to work for the wealthy, but for wealthy homes that had wealthy men who wanted to rape them. I finished it, but maybe I shouldn't have.As a historical, one could tell that it was set in the past, but there was not enough information (for me) to establish it as Regency, or even post Regency.
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  • Brenda Freeman
    January 1, 1970
    I love women who break out of the box society puts them in, especially during historical periods. In this case the main character leaves three different lives.
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