Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd, © 2017

Daughters of Hampshire Series, Book 3
A lady in disguise 9781476717937 hr
My Review:
I thoroughly enjoy reading Sandra Byrd's historical fiction novels! In this story the protagonist will be solving a mystery close to her heart ~ what is behind the death of her father and... henceforth uncovering circumstances revealing a hidden life?

England ~ early-spring 1883
Miss Gillian Young and her attendant stand graveside at the burial of her Papa at the chapel in the village near Winton next to her Mamma with none in attendance beyond the vicar. Andrew Young had been an Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Chelsea division. Upon the late night arrival at Cheyne Gardens in Chelsea at her townhouse, they find there has been a break-in ~ and the interloper is still there rummaging through their house and goods. Questions loom as Gillian sets out on an adventure of her own to tie up the loose ends. Where it will carry her is unknown to find truth of dubious activities that has escaped all of them.
Image result for theatre royal drury lane london
Theatre Royal Drury Lane ~ London
Image result for theatre royal drury lane london As the newly appointed principal costume designer for the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and individual seamstress of designer gowns for a titled lady of merit for the April-to-mid-August Season, Gillian has access within the theatre and society. Her mother had been an actress here in past golden days. She aspires to deem clues to solve the mysterious happenings before the officials and those wanting secret substances to remain hidden.
   I took a deep breath and forced my mind to recall the joy of seeing my latest creations on that stage. What a pleasure that had been!
   --A Lady in Disguise, 32.
In her search for seamstresses to assist with her theatrical wardrobe for the upcoming show, Gillian knows just where to begin her search: The Theatrical Mission.
Like herbs in a pestle, life steadily ground out the essence of those who did not have access to comforts.
   --Ibid., 62.
Her mother had spoken of the Cause in notes Gillian uncovered and instead of rejecting them, she indeed cared to include those no longer needed in pantomimes because of their advancing ages beyond being "cute."
Bits, Pieces & Slices of Life: Enters Lord Lockwood whom Gillian had gazed on horseback afar at the graveyard. He soon came to deliver a hamper from his mother with tea and delicacies. As heiress of Winton Park, her mother's childhood home, he offered to assemble a list of attentions needed for the large country home and estate.

Upon returning to London to her work obligations, he stated he too was frequently in attendance to his investments and other concerns. A perfect opportunity for arrival it seems.

Gillian first saw Thomas Lockwood's image again in her sketches that seemed to surface unbidden in her drawings.
Until his carriage arrives at their London townhouse with a messenger requesting if he might call and bring his mother in attendance? Thus, begins an informal acquisition of the needs of Winton, and an open door to friendship.

Warnings come to not interfere with the past and her visit to King Street where her father met his untimely death.

As you likely will know, Gillian is not one to be set aside. Sandra Byrd is a tremendous author with detailed characters, which I love, and a firm story surrounding a past and a future. A hope attained!
Isn't this awesomely beautiful!!!?
You may read this book as a stand-alone, but you will love books 1 and 2 in the series too!!

The publisher shares the first 46 pages here ~ you will not want the intrigue to stop... March 21, 2017, release day!!

Sandra Byrd
Photograph © Studio B Portraits

Award-winning and bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including Mist of Midnight, Bride of a Distant Isle (A Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick), and her most recent, A Lady in Disguise. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.
Books 1, 2, and 3 ~ Daughters of Hampshire Series by author Sandra Byrd
I was provided a copy of A Lady in Disguise by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
March 21-29, 2017
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