Book Review: Within These Gilded Halls
After studying art for two years 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 determined to carve a new, happier future and is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation—the first real test of her talent.
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 the detailed trim work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. She finds herself in the perfect position to uncover the answers she craves about her beloved teacher’s death as well as fulfill the promise she made regarding the treasure. If only she can do so before Lt. Burke leases the house.
But dark shadows line the gilded halls of Avonthorpe. Soon enough, Phoebe realizes she’s not the only person with knowledge of the clues—and worse, she’ll need Lt. Burke’s help to stay ahead of whoever is hard on her heels. If only she wasn’t so attracted to the gentleman. And why is she exactly? She’s always had far greater plans for her life than an uncomfortable romance with a former military lieutenant.
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.
I like reading these types of books from this time period. The world that author, Abigail built for this story is lovely. Although, I found myself struggling to form a connection with the characters. Therefore, I found it hard to stay focused on the story. In addition, that it does seem like it moves slowly with not a lot of action. Which I do agree with other readers that the story is the strongest at about the last third of the story. Sadly, I wished that it did not take this long to get to the action. As I did see potential in this book. Despite my feelings towards this book, I would try another by this author.