The English Wife

The English Wife

eBook - 2018
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"Brings to life old world New York City and London with all the splendor of two of my favorite novels, The Age of Innocence and The Crimson Petal and the White . Mystery, murder, mistaken identity, romance—Lauren Willig weaves each strand into a page-turning tapestry." -Sally Koslow, author of The Widow Waltz "Her best yet...A dark and scintillating tale of betrayal, secrets and a marriage gone wrong that will have readers on the edge of their seats until the final breathtaking twist." -Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale From New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig, comes this scandalous novel set in the Gilded Age, full of family secrets, affairs, and murder. Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he's the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairytale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dote, and he's recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she's having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay's sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to try to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?
Publisher: [S.I.] : St. Martin's Press, 2018.
ISBN: 9781466860216
Branch Call Number: OverDrive eBook
Additional Contributors: Overdrive Inc


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DBRL_ANNEG Jan 10, 2020

Although the initial chapters are a bit slow as characters are introduced and the story line's beginning is laid out, I found this book to be very hard to put down. Lauren Willig does an incredible job of setting the scene and making you feel like you're smack dab in the middle of the Gilded Age. There's a scene set in a newspaper office that Willig captured so vividly, with men in rolled shirt sleeves, smoking and sharing their rough-around-the-edges, "manly" humor as they put together the news of the day. I felt like I was in the room with them. She also created characters who I enjoyed spending time with. Janie is a bit of an outsider in her world and time period and I can't help but feel drawn to those types of folks when I read. And the book's namesake, Georgie, is also an enigma who I just felt compelled to know more about.

Willig also did a really nice job of weaving together two narratives and bringing them together in the climactic moment when the truth of just "whodunnit" becomes clear. The ending managed to surprise me a bit, and yet it did not feel like it came out of left field.

Readers of historical fiction who enjoy a little mystery and suspense mixed in will want to check this book out.

Jun 13, 2019

Excellent read! Engrossing, clever, just enough detail of the times....I loved this book.

Apr 21, 2019

I have to 'second' what Ambermagee said about this book. I really enjoy historical fiction, and was surprised at the secrets and mystery at the heart of this book, but it was really enjoyable. I particularly like strong female characters, and those who overcome obstacles in their path to becoming independent women, and there was more than one in this book. Having not looked ahead, I was wrapped in the mystery until the end.

Jan 14, 2019

I don’t read many mysteries as I usually find myself allured by historical romance or drama but this has a taste of everything. The writing was a touch confusing at first as I found a hard time unwinding whom was whom but after a few chapters, I couldn’t put the book down. Great character dialogue and lots of nice details with surrounding atmosphere, outfits and location but I longed to hear more details about the smells or sounds of that era. Small
Detail to worry about really.
Storyline is rich with twists and heart wrenching realities that can easily be relatable today. Lovely book and I sense a second will come.

Sep 06, 2018

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy mysteries, historical fiction, and strong female characters.

When Janie finds her brother, murdered, at his mansion's opening costume party she knows there is more to the story that meets the eye. Her family, one of the richest in the United States, is very proud and suddenly has a ruined reputation. When no one else will seek to investigate her brother's murder more fully, she teams up with Mr. Burke, a journalist, in hopes of discovering the truth, and getting justice. The story shifts back and forth between Janie and Mr. Burke solving the murder, and her brother Bay and his wife Annabelle's past. Both plots reach their apex at once in an exciting revelation.

I haven't read a ton of mysteries, and I had not read any of Willig's other books (though The Pink Carnation has been on my shelf for OVER 10 YEARS!), so I didn't know quite what to expect. I was immediately swept up in the intertwined stories. I loved Bay and Annabelle, I loved Janie as she sought to find her place in the world. I loved that there were so many layers to this mystery, so many people involved, so many moving pieces. There were several twists and turns in this story, which I appreciated, and did not see coming. I did guess the murderer, but only toward the end (about 70% through). The climax of the story kind of blew me away though, and I enjoyed the resolution. Overall, if you enjoy mysteries and historical fiction, I think that you will enjoy this book!


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