cover image Within These Gilded Halls

Within These Gilded Halls

Abigail Wilson. Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7852-5330-3

Wilson (Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey) delivers a stimulating romantic mystery set in 1819 Regency England. Aspiring painter Phoebe Radcliff works under the tutelage of artist Miss Drake restoring the ballroom at Drake’s Avonthorpe estate. Drake’s great-nephew Lt. Graham Burke, an artifact dealer, visits and Phoebe overhears him discussing, with skepticism, the treasure of King John rumored to be hidden on the estate. Then, Drake is murdered, and with her dying breath she tells Phoebe a clue to the whereabouts of the treasure, and Phoebe realizes she and Graham aren’t the only ones on the hunt for it. Phoebe and Graham join forces, and though Phoebe had planned to lead an independent life and never marry, she falls for her handsome partner in spite of herself. However, she fears that a secret from her past will ruin her newfound romance. Meanwhile, Phoebe learns that a friend has betrayed her confidence, leading Phoebe to realize that God had used her trials to humble her, and she forgives her friend. Wilson elegantly weaves together the treasure hunt, romance, and murder mystery threads, and a colorful supporting cast—including the steadfast butler, Arnold, money-strapped Mrs. Fagean, and prying Miss Chant—will keep readers wondering whom to trust. This edge-of-the-seat mystery satisfies. (Oct.)