Friday, December 9, 2022

WITHIN THESE GILDED HALLS by Abigail Wilson, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

With an air of elegant mystique, this story wraps the known and unknown around and around into a coil of unanswered questions. Where to start, where will it end, or has the entire affair been an old woman's proverbial "wild goose chase" . . . except that Miss Drake's murder was very real indeed.

"'Promise me you'll follow the clues. That you'll find it for me. If you don't . . .' A second of motionless silence ticked away as her eyes slid shut, her final two breaths so terribly long and slow."

Artist Phoebe Ratcliff has just witnessed the breath of life slip away from a beloved mentor. As a guest in the woman's home, she has spent months completing a massive restoration project; the walls of Avonthorpe Hall's glorious ballroom. Deep down Phoebe has to admit that she fled to the once grand estate to renovate more than just a room; she needed a fresh start . . . away from family, away from misjudgments . . . away.

So why does meeting the mysterious Lt. Graham Burke, Miss Drake's nephew, generate such a flurry of mixed emotions? Apparently there's a treasure to be found and Graham has inherited the same clues as Phoebe was given. Will they be partners or competitors; they have nothing but time . . . or do they?

Enjoy the setting, enjoy the characters, enjoy the swirling aroma of romance, enjoy the restoration . . .  within, as well as without. (and like a good game of Clue, enjoy the "who done it", because you going to be mighty surprised).

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  3.5stars


BackCover Blurb:

Hidden treasure and betrayal mingle with unexpected love within the walls of Avonthorpe Hall.

After studying art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter, Phoebe Radcliff is certain she can finally move beyond the childish mistake that’s kept her away from home. She is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation.

Everything changes, however, the moment Miss Drake is murdered. With her last breath she imparts the location of a clue to Phoebe. Can the biggest secret of Avonthorpe Hall be true—the rumored treasure real? Phoebe is tasked to finish her work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. Determined to fulfill the promise she made to her beloved teacher to find the treasure, Phoebe also works to uncover the truth about Miss Drake’s death—and she must do so before Lt. Burke leases the house.

But dark shadows line the gilded halls of Avonthorpe, and soon enough Phoebe realizes she’s not the only person who knows about the clues. What’s worse, she needs Lt. Burke’s help to stay ahead of whoever is hard on her heels. If only she weren’t so attracted to him.

Caught up in a deadly race for answers, Phoebe must find a way to breach the shroud of lies that surrounds every last resident in the house and, more importantly, face a past she’s been running away from for far too long.

Thomas Nelson Publishing, October 4, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook:
Buy WITHIN THESE GILDED WALLS at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House




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