Read The English Wife by Lauren Willig Online


From the New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig, comes this scandalous New York Gilded Age novel full of family secrets, affairs, and even murder.Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind romance in London, they have three year old twins on whomFrom the New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig, comes this scandalous New York Gilded Age novel full of family secrets, affairs, and even murder.Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind 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 renamed 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 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?...

Title : The English Wife
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781250056276
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 376 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The English Wife Reviews

  • HollyB
    2019-05-07 03:37

    I found the characters confusing and the plot was hard to follow. I liked the premise of a gothic mystery set in the New York gilded age, but it didn't live up to my expectations. I enjoyed some parts, but the flow was not working for me.It begins with Bayard Van Duyvil found with a knife in his chest on the night of a Ball at his family home. I thought this mystery would be center in the plot and that suspects would be drawn out and examined, but there were too many side stories and discussions of how family members met years before. It felt disconnected and the big reveal at the end was disappointing and honestly not at all worth reading nearly 400 pages to get too.The book was too long, too confusing, too many side stories and had too many characters with similar names...George, Georgiana, Georgie, Giles, Georgina....honestly.I was hoping for a gothic mystery with a historic setting, but was ultimately disappointed. The book has some very high ratings, so you might want to read those if you are interested in giving it a go!Thanks to St. Martins Press and Netgalley for my ARC. Pub. date is Jan.9,2018

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    2019-05-19 03:35

    4 scandalous, intriguing stars to The English Wife 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 The English Wife was off to a slow start for me, but once it picked up, I was glued to it. The Gilded Age is one of my favorite time periods, and instantly this book reminded me of a favorite book that Lauren Willig co-authored with Karen White and Beatriz Williams, The Forgotten Room. Bay and Annabelle Van Duyvil appear to have it all, but when one of them is found murdered and the other is missing, all bets are off. Janie, Bay’s sister, sought the truth about what happened and befriended an unlikely ally, a news reporter. Janie was, in fact, my favorite character, as I watched her grow into her own, despite an overbearing and cold mother. While the ending wasn’t what I wanted to happen, it suited the storyline. Overall, a tantalizingly suspenseful historical! I binge read this one! Thank you to Lauren Willig, St. Martins Press, and Netgalley, for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. The English Wife will be published on January 9, 2018.

  • Carrie
    2019-05-26 02:48

    Bayard Van Duyvil and his wife Annabelle seemed to be living such a charmed life when one night Bay is found dead with a knife in his chest and Annabelle is nowhere to be found. With Annabelle thought to be drowned and a murderer to be found the press is all over the story of how this privileged couple ended up the way that they did on that fateful night. Bay's sister Janie is convinced that someone out there killed her brother and did harm to his wife and is determined to find out what happened. Janie forms an alliance with a reporter to uncover the truth of that night. With rumors flying all around of affairs and murder everything Janie thinks she knew starts to unravel. The English Wife by Lauren Willig is a historical fiction novel with a bit of a mystery and a touch of romance within the pages. The story is told by alternating looks into the past to build the charactrers and their story that led to that night along with keeping up with the events in their current time of 1899. For me this was one that I really wanted to love but unfortunately found myself struggling to connect and enjoy leaving me rating this at 2.5 stars. The biggest problem in my mind was simply the pacing was so incredibly slow with a lot of randomness added in that didn't feel necessary in my opinion. Also it was a bit tough to connect to characters when struggling to remember who was who with a lot of them similarly named. This one just ended up not my cup of tea unfortunately but others just may enjoy the slow burn mystery. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

  • Lindsay
    2019-05-14 09:29

    2.5 stars I had high hopes for this novel, but it fell flat for me. This genre is usually one of my favourites, but I had a hard time staying focused as I found my mind wandering between all of the side stories and different characters involved. I did enjoy the atmosphere and gothic tone, but the story itself felt quite drawn out and I wasn't pulled into the mystery. This is my first novel by this author and I would be interested to try another one out as I do tend to enjoy these type of stories. Unfortunately, this one in particular just didn't work for me.A big thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Lauren Willig for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  • Heidi The Hippie Reader
    2019-05-25 04:48

    The year is 1899. The Van Duyvils are an extraordinarily wealthy and established family in New York. One night, at a holiday party, there is a murder... or is it a suicide?The newspapers whip the public into a fury with their sensational headlines. They ask, 'Who are the Van Duyvils and who is the new English wife?'And there, our story begins.Lauren Willig has created a lovely mystery/historical fiction with snappy dialogue and enough layers to keep readers guessing to the very end.I loved Janie Van Duyvil, one of the main characters in this tale "There were times when she wished she had been born a male, that she might make her own way, that she might marry as she pleased and live as she would." loc 45, ebook.As she desperately tries to piece together the clues to find the murderer, Janie also comes into her own and begins to stand up to her tyrannical mother."It is her marriage," Georgie pointed out drily. "Surely, she has some say." "If you can think that, you haven't met my mother." loc 1179, ebookI also enjoyed the role of the press in this story. James Burke is a reporter for 'The News of the World.' He wants to get the scoop on the murders. But, part of his job, is to sell papers. "The man had the gall to widen his eyes in innocence. "We prefer to call it investigative reporting, Miss Van Duyvil." "I call it scandal-mongering, pure and simple." loc 252, ebook.My favorite scene is when Janie goes to 'The News of the World' building and readers get a glimpse into the crazy newsroom. "There was an undeniable energy to the room, the clacking typewriters, the shouting voices, that put energy into her step and color in her cheek." What fun.Willig seems to have a handle on what makes reporters tick. She even captures the gallow's humor that they use to maintain their sanity. "Will it appear in an illustrated supplement in The World?" "Not unless there's a body hidden there." Mr. Bruke grimaced. "Sorry. In the newsroom, we... well, the worse it is, the more of a joke we make it. It's a way to get through the day without being sick." loc 2765, ebook.Recommended for readers who want to lose themselves in a mystery with some romance along the way, The English Wife may just fit the bill.Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advance digital copy of this book. Reminder: the brief quotations in this review may vary from the final printed form.

  • Marialyce
    2019-05-14 02:47

    It is the gilded age where money, power and prestige reign. Called such by the author Mark Twain, it was a period that dated from the 1870's until about the early 1900's. It was a time of amassing great wealth and the people who populated this age had last names like Astor, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt.In all this luxury and unlimited money live Bayard and Annabelle VanDuyvil. They seem to have it all, he being part of an old Dutch family and she growing up in an English Manor in England. They met in London, fall in love, and marry returning to New York and the VanDuyvil way of life. Twins are born to the couple and though there are rumors of an affair between Annabelle and an architect hired to design a home just like the one Annabelle grew up in, things seem to be tense but life seems to be going forward. As we know in life what seems to be is not always what is true.Bayard, at the coming out ball for the new home, is found murdered and Annabelle is the likely culprit since she is missing. This is high society and of course the newspapers go nuts with the headlines and stories, many of which are not true. Bayard's sister, Janie meets and starts to confide in a newspaper reporter. They pledge to one another to speak only what is the truth and a friendship forms between these two separated by society views. As his investigation continues, Janie learns more and more about her brother and the woman he married. Janie is constantly thwarted by her mother, a denizen of high society who never permits anything that she considers untoward occurring and has a cold nature. The mother is not bendable, clearly believing in herself and her moral ways. She imposes her views and her stringent ways on all her family including a niece, Anne who lives with them. Who really are Bayard and Annabelle? Are things really as they seem to be? This family carries secrets, deep ones, that will eventually bring them to ruin and death and be the headline grabbers that Mrs VanDuyvil fears. This was a riveting story told with a Gothic flair that keep the reader quite engaged as the truth is finally revealed and the killer brought to poetic justice.Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • JanB
    2019-05-26 08:49

    2.5 starsThe description of the book as a gothic murder mystery set in the Gilded Age piqued my interest. The first pages start off with a bang with a murder on the night of a grand ball. From there the story is told in a dual storyline, alternating between the recent past and the present as the murder victim’s sister, Janie, teams up with a reporter to discover what really happened to her brother Bay and his missing wife. There are plenty of family secrets and intrigue to uncover. The ending had a surprising twist, and it was satisfying to see one character in particular get her comeuppance, even if the method didn't quite work for me. Janie was my favorite character and I enjoyed seeing her gain confidence as the story progressed.Unfortunately, after such a strong beginning, the pacing was off and I found the story slow and often confusing. I found myself skimming parts of it. This was my first book by this author and the writing style and the tone often read like a romance novel, which is a genre I dislike, so this is a case of it's me, not the book.Recommended for fans of the author and those who like their mysteries melodramatic and slow burning, with a very large dose of romance.*I received an e-galley of this book from Netgalley

  • Jonetta
    2019-05-15 07:21

    Something terrible happens on the night of Annabelle and Bayard (Bay) Van Duyvil’s Twelfth Night ball celebrating the completion of their new family home in Cold Spring, New York. Bay is found dead with a knife in his chest and Annabelle is missing, feared drowned. Janie, Bay’s sister finds herself trusting and teaming up with a reporter to seek the truth about what happened and why. At first I thought this story moved a bit slowly, almost plodding along as it shifted immediately from the night of the ball to five years earlier when Bay and Annabelle first met in London. Without context, it was a little confusing. However, I trusted the author knew what she was doing and she did. It’s a slow build to developing these characters and that was brilliant because near halfway, that intimate knowledge of these two becomes vital to feeling their story, connecting with their emotions when so much more is revealed. From that point forward, I literally could not put this book down, finishing it in one day. There are hosts of surprises, twists and subterfuge embedded in an historically authentic prose and background. The matriarch of the Van Duyvil family sets the tone from which everyone revolves, maddenly so. The intrigue is almost palpable through the stunning conclusion. It’s my first experience with this author and now I’ll read the other books of hers that are languishing on my shelf. This was not an easy read but well worth the journey. Loved it. (I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)

  • Melisa
    2019-05-15 04:48


  • Rachel
    2019-04-30 08:30

    If I were prone to feeling guilt over enjoying the things I enjoy, I would classify this as a guilty pleasure book. This is more a nineteenth century soap opera of a novel than a literary gothic mystery, so you'll do well to check those expectations of a second coming of Rebecca at the door before starting The English Wife. But I have no reservations at all saying that I loved this. Sure, the writing is occasionally sophomoric; characters let out breaths they didn't realize they'd been holding; the word 'belied' is used approximately eight thousand times; the dialogue is often trite and heavy-handed, but for whatever reason, I found myself not caring. I was swept away by this incredibly well-crafted mystery that blends suspense and romance with the vibrant atmospheres of Victorian England and Gilded Age New York.The novel begins at a ball in upstate New York in 1899, when wealthy socialite Bayard van Duyvil is found with a knife in his chest, and his wife, Annabelle, has vanished, presumed dead. There are two point of views in this book - that of Bay's wife, in flashbacks, and his sister, Janie, in the present. Both were compelling heroines who I found myself rooting for wholeheartedly. This is the kind of book where every character has secrets, and uncovering them all is a highly entertaining process. Some of the twists are excellent, others are rather predictable, but it's an undeniably twisty ride from start to finish. And getting to the bottom of the identity of the novel's central character, Annabelle, was the most compelling element for me.Bottom line: this book was fun and enthralling enough to compensate for its many flaws. Highly recommended for anyone looking for somewhat mindless Victorian escapism.

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    2019-05-13 07:47

    A murder in an aristocratic household? Unheard of and especially during a ball with hundreds of guests in attendance.Bay, Annabelle's husband and Janie's brother, could not have killed his wife and then killed himself. Janie was determined to find out who the real killer was.We follow the family as the book goes back and forth in time making the connections for us about who was who and what the circumstances were.And what marvelous connections and secrets this family has.The biggest bomb shell came right after Bay and Annabelle were killed.A family member of Annabelle arrived at the house to give his condolences, but also gave some unsettling information about Annabelle.THE ENGLISH WIFE was very proper, and the characters were portrayed as very proper as was expected in the 1800's, but were some who they said they were?THE ENGLISH WIFE was difficult to connect with at first, but then the book became difficult to put down.The ending revelations will be "burning" in your thoughts and have you wanting to talk about the book with everyone.If you enjoy the 1800's, drama of privileged families, mystery, and secrets, THE ENGLISH WIFE will be a late-into-the-night read. 4/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  • Sheila
    2019-04-27 03:27

    4 stars--I really liked it.This is a gothic romance in the vein of Rebecca--lots of atmosphere, human cruelty, and family secrets, but no supernatural happenings. It's also quite sad.It's been a long time since I read a historical novel, and this really brought the Gilded Age to life. Characters were finely drawn (and not static!), and I especially liked doomed Annabelle and clever Janie. The plot kept me reading (and guessing) until the end.There are lots of allusions to Shakespeare's comedies in this book--ironic since it's a tragedy. I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!

  • Karen White
    2019-05-17 05:25

    With gorgeous writing, complex characters and a twisty plot to keep the reader guessing—this book is a must-read!

  • Lyuda
    2019-05-15 03:31

    The best way to keep someone was to let him go. Riveting mystery that left me guessing up until the end. Compelling and heartbreaking love story(s). The book should come with the warning: “Consumption of the product can lead to sleep deprivation”. My kindle is full of highlights. My eyes are full of what feels like sand from reading almost all night. You know the feeling: “one more chapter, one more chapter”. Marvelous writing, masterful characterization, beautifully constructed dialogue brings to life what already is a fascinating time period- the Gilded Age. The only reason it’s not a 5-star for me is the ending which left couple of storylines unresolved. I hope the author writes a follow-up.January 1899. Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil are throwing a “Twelfth Night”-inspired ball for New York's 400 society celebrating their newly built home. The festive evening takes a tragic turn when Bayard (Bay) is discovered stabbed in the garden and Annabelle is missing. Bay’s last word was “George".KNICKERBOCKER MURDERS WIFE AND KILLS HIMSELF! MURDER AND SUICIDE ON THE HUDSON!While the scandal sheets can’t seem to decide if it was a murder-suicide by Bay (as revenge for his wife’s alleged affair with an architect), or a murder and escape by Annabelle (as revenge for her husband discovering said alleged affair), Bay’s sister, Janie, determined to find the truth. Nothing would bring her brother back but couldn’t she rescue the memory of him? The story alternates between two timelines that end up converging: 1899, as Janie seeks to find the truth behind the murders and the past, starting five years before, when Bay and Annabelle first met. I’m not a fan of dual stories/timelines as usually one story overpowers the other and leaves it in a dust as a placeholder. Not the case here. Both stories are compelling, interesting and ended up reinforcing each other.The story of Bay and Annabelle is beautiful, heartbreaking, shrouded with secrets revealing which would be major spoilers. Janie’s story is not only a story of uncovering these secrets but most importantly it is a discovery of self-worth for a woman who slowly comes in to her own from the pawns of her domineering mother and becomes a woman worthy of love and admiration.Highly recommended for historical fiction fans.Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  • Amy
    2019-05-26 02:20

    The cover for The English Wife is absolutely stunning, I just had to get that out of the way because I’ve looked at it a gazillion times! This was the perfect book to be my first review of the new year as I’m hoping to add more historical fiction to my TBR and I had heard wonderful things about Willig’s books so this was an easy pick for me. This was a beautifully rendered tale of love, betrayal and sacrifice all shrouded in a dark gothic mystery that swept me away to the gilded age.This is told via dual timelines, but there isn’t a huge gap between them, one is in 1899 and the other begins just a few years before and details the events that lead to the murder of Bayard. Janie is his sister and she narrates the parts after his death and I really connected to her. She was an outsider in her own family, always just on the fringes of society despite being part of a prominent family and her insecurities made her easy to relate to.This was so well written, Willig is a gifted writer who uses rich details to conjure up images that really came to life. There was drama and scandal aplenty, especially for the era, there were some taboo topics and surprising turns that I didn’t predict. I do want to add that it moved at a slow pace at times but I believe your patience will be rewarded if you keep reading, part of the charm is the attention to detail but it can be slightly verbose.

  • Book of the Month
    2019-05-08 06:22

    Murder and Scandal in the Gilded AgeBy Judge Dana SchwartzA dazzling journey through the New York high society of the Gilded Age, where dresses and rumors are more important than politics, The English Wife drips with both Shakespeare references and near-pornographic descriptions of flapper-era fashion and well-appointed townhomes. It’s tempting to call this novel a mystery, but its scope is far wider than a whodunit: It’s a broad examination of culture and class at the turn of the twentieth century.Brayard Van Duyvil is the impressively-named prodigal son of a prominent New York family and heir to its massive fortune. After his scandalous death and the disappearance of his new young bride, Brayard’s sister, Janie, tries to uncover the truth. Was it a murder/suicide? A stranger who killed them both and ran off into the night? Or neither? Janie aligns herself with a young reporter and discovers secrets about her family that she never would have expected. Janie’s story alternates with another, five years earlier and told from the perspective of an actress who had befriended Brayard on a trip long ago. As the reader jumps back and forth between the stories, we become privy to a gradual drip of information that unfurls the central mystery.What makes this book truly unputdownable is Willig’s prose: clean and sharp, as if every sentence has been carved from a block of ice. Willig conjures a mood of candlelight and cobblestones, of heavy velvet dresses and newspapers with smeared print. It’s a bonbon of a book in the best way; in which every page feels like a secret indulgence, best read alone, curled up while wearing your most luxurious pajamas, or else while traveling by train to somewhere very far away.Read more at

  • ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
    2019-05-24 03:33

     I loved the premise of this story and there was some great unexpected twists. This book had enjoyable characters and a good mystery. I also loved the romance.Now to the things I disliked; this book was really slow to me and super sad at points. Maybe it’s just because I am in a difficult place but this book could not hold my attention at times and just kind of made me feel down. I liked this book overall, I just wish it wasn’t so drawn out.I think some people who enjoy a nice historical read would enjoy this book and I am interested in the author’s future works.

  • The Lit Bitch
    2019-05-12 03:42

    I first fell in love with Lauren Willig with her Pink Carnation series but I never ventured into her other stand alone books because I simply liked her where she belonged—in the Pink Carnation series.Her Pink Carnation series was so fantastic and I didn’t want to spoil it with a stand alone book that was subpar, so I avoided anything by her that wasn’t the Pink Carnation series.That was until this stunning cover screamed READ ME! Just looking at this book promised something fantastic, especially for fall. I needed this book more than I knew and I was reminded exactly why I love Lauren Willig and why I need to get back to the Pink Carnation series!Admittedly, the prologue started off a little blah, until the last paragraph. I put it down and tried to go read something else but I kept going back to this book. That final paragraph of the prologue hooked me and I just needed to read the book already. So I abandoned the book I was going to read, in favor of this one.I was immediately sucked into a story about the rich and famous, family secrets, the promise of love, and of course murder. This book felt a little like Rebecca or some other gothic romance novel in the vein of Victoria Holt.There was something decidedly uneasy about the story from the get go. Clearly there were lies and family secrets that were probably best left unsaid and there was a sense of unease as some of the characters weren’t what they seemed….literally.I loved discovering this book. The character development was outstanding. I loved watching Janie slowly come in to her own and stand up to her mother. I also loved watching how Bay and Annabelle’s marriage changed and evolved. The secondary characters were equally scandalous and intriguing.This book had so much to recommend itself. Romance, murder, family secrets…..everything that make it the perfect fall read. I found myself reading late into the night and not anticipating all the little twists and turns in the story. I was so hooked by about 30% through and I found annoyed when I had to put it down for something as trivial as sleep!Willig’s writing is witty, charming, and captivating. I loved this book on so many levels and just reading her words made me remember why I love her novels. I left off on the Pink Carnation series after the 5th book because I felt a little underwhelmed but now that I have read this I am inspired to continue the series and possibly her other stand alone books.While this book was an easy 5 star for me, it wasn’t without it’s little flaws. Without giving too much away, I found that Annabelle’s plot rather unfinished and a big question mark. The last few chapters just left the audience hanging and I felt a little disappointed in that. I also didn’t like that Giles kind of became this ‘hero’ of sorts when so much had been put into casting him as the villain.As I said, this was the perfect fall read for me. Even though it’s not coming out until January 2018, you need to go pre order this book. You won’t be sorry! It was captivating and alluring, calling my name from my nightstand all hours of the day and night. Pre order it now….you’re welcome!See my full review here

  • Sarah
    2019-05-20 08:46

    Ah the Gilded Age, a time when everything glittered gold but underneath that thin layer of gold corruption and deception ran supreme. In a sense that’s what this book was about. The deception of a good family the Van Duyvils. They had the family name, fortune, honor and homes in multiple places. Beneath it all though there was unhappiness, jealousy, and even a loss of self because here was always that need to uphold the family name. At its core the English Wife was a mystery. It starts with a party held by Bayard Van Duyvil and his wife Annabelle and ends with Bay’s death and Annabelle disappearing without a trace. Thus starts the mystery; who killed Bay? What happened to Annabelle? Will the family ever get over the loss? Into the story is thrust Bay’s sister Janie. She will stop at nothing to learn the truth of her brother and missing wife. Instead what she finds is that she didn’t really know her brother or sister in law at all. Cloaked in deception and secrets The English Wife was an enjoyable read. There were many instances of foreshadowing as well as red herrings that kept me wanting to find out what truly happened. Recommended for someone who wants a quick but entertaining mystery novel.

  • Susan Peterson
    2019-05-18 02:43

    The English Wife is a tantalizing, scandalous story; a masterful blend of suspense and historical fiction. I was completely engrossed from the very first page, completely and utterly surprised along the way! The characters in this book were so interesting, so full of life; they were fully-fleshed out, complex and multi-layered. My favorite character was Janie, a mousey and demure character at the start who finds her voice through the twists and turns of this story. A gasp-out-loud heart-pounding book!

  • Barbara
    2019-05-19 06:27

    It has been a few years since I read a book by Ms. Willig, but The English Wife reminds me of why I enjoyed her books so much. I love mysteries and historical fiction and this is both with a spot of romance too. The setting is Gilded Age in New York City, but the story starts out in London with Georgie a young actress struggling to get by on her own where she meets a charming American named Bay, short for Bayard. Fast forward a bit and we find Bay married to Annabelle a young English woman struggling to be accepted by New York society, tongues gossiping about her and an affair they claim she's having with the architect building the replica of her childhood home, commissioned by her loving husband, Bay. When Bay ends up dead with a dagger in his chest at the ball to introduce society to their new home, Illyria, Annabelle is nowhere to be found. Bay's sister Janie takes it upon herself to find Bay's killer. I found myself transported to another era of parlors, poverty, betrayal, and secrets. I received an advance review copy of this book from the Great Thought's Ninja Review Team. All opinions are my own.

  • Karen
    2019-04-29 07:32

    I received this from in exchange for a review. The book opens with Bayard Van Duyvil found murdered on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball and his English wife Annabelle is missing, presumed drowned. Bay's sister, Janie, is instrumental in solving the murder.Although the story had a nice 'gilt age' flavor, the book moved with ebbs and flows as the story is told, surging forward and then dragging back. 2.75☆ rounded up to 3☆

  • Judy Collins
    2019-04-30 06:23

    From the New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig brings the glitz, glamour, and scandal of the Gilded Age to life in her latest THE ENGLISH WIFE– Rich in history, a mix of a gothic murder mystery, and romantic suspense. A portrayal of culture, class, and privilege at the turn of the twentieth century mingled with dark secrets and numerous twists and turns.Headlines New York, 1899. "Knickerbocker murders wife and kills himself. Murder and suicide on the Hudson."Janie Van Duyviland brother Bayard, and cousin Anne were best friends. Bay takes a trip to London and comes home with a new wife, Annabelle. Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York. The perfect couple. Then Janie and Anne find Bay at the glamorous Twelfth Night dinner party with a knife stuck in his chest. Annabelle, the wife,is nowhere to be found. A final dying word "George." Annabelle has gone missing. Could it be a stranger or someone else? What secrets were they hiding?Janie (an outsider in this prominent family) becomes obsessed with finding the truth about her brother and the mysterious death. Who was this strange and mysterious woman? Was she an imposter? Her past. Who murdered her brother? With the helpof a reporter, Burke — Janie begins to investigate and dig for clues. However, not sure who she can trust. Is there something between them? What about the secrets of her own family?From London to New York,with dual timelines and a multitude of characters, Willig creates a compelling, dark, scandalous and atmospheric tale of mystery and intrigue— with hidden secrets, keeping readers guessing to the end. Multi-layered,compelling, and skillfully written, THE ENGLISH WIFE is highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, romantic suspense, and mystery with a Gothic twist.A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.JDCMustReadBooks

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-05-01 05:33

    Many thanks go to Lauren Willig, St. Martin Press, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.Bay and Annabelle Duyvil after a few years of marriage moved to their property in the country of New York City, built a massive mansion, and three quite the fete for high society to stop tongues from wagging as they always felt shunned. But soon after the dinner is served and dancing begins they cannot be found. Not to be found that is until Bay's sister , Jane, and his cousin, Anne find Bay's body in the folly and Annabelle's shoe and scarf floating in the river. What follows is a two-fold story: jane's supported investigation into the deaths by a journalist and a trip into the past where we learn about Bay and "Annabelle's" relationship up to the minute of the event that begins the book revealing the means of the murder, which I will admit I just did not see as a possibility. I suppose if I really analyzed what I was reading it may have been obvious, but I really didn't think it would it that way at all. So the author sure surprised me! Again it's my opinion that Willig wrote a great tale. I liked reading about Jane finding her self-esteem and independence. Her mother was a beast. My favorite quote, which I hope made the final printing is from the mother: Annabelle was not welcomed into the family at first. So Annabelle tried to impress upon Mother Van Duyvil of her lineage saying," a Lacey signed the Magna Carta", to which Mother replied,"that's all very well, but it isn't exactly the Declaration of Independence, is it?" That is appropos of her self-importance. Bay and Annabelle also have a stunningly real relationship that could be pulled from lives today. There is true understanding between the two of them. Willig did a good job on character development. I never got into her Pink Carnation series, but I'm thinking of giving it another try after reading this.

  • RoseMary Achey
    2019-04-25 07:24

    A study of class during the turn of the century in New York City. Mystery, romance and historical fiction are all included in this sweeping novel. I particularly liked how the author sets up for the next book at the end.

  • BookishStitcher
    2019-05-24 10:29

    A wonderful murder mystery set in gilded age New York (and a tiny bit in England). I enjoyed this book, and was not able to guess the plot twist ahead of time. My favorite thing of all about it was all of the new vocabulary words that I learned while reading this. There were so many wonderful archaic words that I never encounter in my day to day life, but now know. I actually kept a small notepad in the book to write new words down as I encountered them.

  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    2019-05-23 04:41

    This weekend I finished two novels written by two authors I have been wanting to try for a long while.  Every time I read a synopsis to a Louise Erdrich's book, I want to (and often do) add it to my to-read shelf.  Her books sound so interesting and given all the accolades, they must be well-written.  I even asked to review Erdrich's latest book, Future Home of the Living God, from the publisher. I hadn't yet had time to download it to my Kindle, but when I was at the library on Saturday I saw that it was a 7-day loan, and grabbed it.  The book gods must want me to read it now. Who can deny the book gods?  And, amazingly I did start it Saturday and finished it late on Sunday afternoon.  After reading a few of Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn's historical/romantic mysteries, I kept seeing Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series being recommend to me.  I liked the summary and added that to my list.  After a several books, Willig released a few standalone historical fiction.  When I saw her newest novel, The English Wife was a gothic mystery, I was down to read and review this.  I got my crap together and actually sent it to my kindle! I ended up giving both novels the same rating.  THE ENGLISH WIFE Written by Lauren WilligJANUARY 9, 2018; 384 Pages (St. Martin's Press)Genre: fiction, historical, gothic, mystery​​(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)RATING: 3.5 STARSI didn't really see this one as a gothic romance with mystery, but more like the books set in the 1940s - romance mystery. It did have some parts that kind of reminded me of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, which I guess were a bit on the "gothic" side. I liked Willig's writing, but found that the editor could have cut down a bit on the story as it started to lag a bit. I enjoyed seeing the story get tied up. I think had this book been a bit tighter I would have galloped through it as it is a good story with interesting characters. I am definitely going to read more of her books.

  • Shelley
    2019-05-07 06:32

    *Source* NetGalley*Genre* Historical, Mystery*Rating* 3.5-4*Thoughts*Lauren Willig's The English Wife is a twisted story full of family secrets, affairs, alternating timelines, and a shocking murder that will cause a family scandal of epic proportions. As the story opens, it is 1899 in Cold Springs, NY, home to Bayard and Annabelle Van Duyvil. The Van Duyvil's are an extraordinarily wealthy and established family in New York. They are right up there with the Astor's, Vanderbilt's and Carnegie's. The couple is throwing a party called Twelfth Night at their home they call Illyria. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

  • Tracy
    2019-05-15 05:39

    This was well written and definitely pulled me into the story. It has a Gothic feel to it.It starts with a murder and then the rest of the book is following the story of this family to solve who did it. There is a tragic story which was sad to me but there is happiness at the end. I would've liked more of a resolution to Georgie and if she was truly dead or alive.

  • Caz
    2019-05-14 05:30

    4.5 starsReview to follow at AudioGals.