Within These Gilded Walls
By Abigail Wilson
What it’s about?
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.
What I think:
This is a Regency romance with a twist – there’s also some treasure hunting adventures to be had.
Phoebe is a great character. Confident and independent, she is artistic and training to paint and restore under the tutelage of Miss Drake, the owner of Avonthorpe Hall. Despite her insecurities and fears that a past mistake will have a long term effect on her future, she is sparky and determined to to find happiness in her own terms.
Her relationship with Lt. Burke develops through the book as they are brought together to solve tge mysteries hidden in the house.
The treasure hunt clues are clever and fun. As tge treasure hunt was set with a specific person in mind the clues are hard to decipher. While some can be researched, some answers are stumbled upon.
There’s lots of fun and lots of twists. Altogether a great read. Thank you Netgalley for my gifted digital copy.