A Lady in Disguise: A Novel / by Sandra Byrd. (Daughters of Hampshire, 3) 7.12.2017

Howard Books ISBN 9781476717937

Adult Rating: 4

Award-winning author Sandra Byrd pens a third novel in her Victorian England historical suspense series.

In A Lady in Disguise, a young Englishwoman works as a costume designer in London’s theater district. When Gillian Young inherits Winton Park, a family estate, following her father’s death, she also inherits questions about the circumstances surrounding his death.

In the course of seeking answers, she meets two young men who show an interest in her: her new neighbor Viscount Thomas Lockwood, and Frances Collingsworth, son of the local inspector. Is their interest genuine? Did her father leave behind evidence that identifies his killer? Who can she trust when she tries to find it? How does her experience in costumes help her disguise herself to find answers she seeks?

Layers upon layers are revealed about her father’s life until she realizes her parents were very different from what she believed. She comes across young girls in the theater district working in almost slave-like conditions and helps them. But not everyone is in support of that charitable effort. Who is trying to stop her from helping the girls and solving the mystery about her father’s death?

Written in first-person narration, Byrd’s book is filled with mystery, romance, and plot twists–all the elements of a Gothic novel. A Lady in Disguise grabs the reader’s attention until its conclusion. The faith element is light, and the historical detail regarding human trafficking, the early days of the Salvation Army, and life in London’s theater district is exceptional.

Recommended for school and public libraries. Fans of Brontë and Victoria Holt will especially enjoy this series. Byrd gives a nod to Little Women with quotes sprinkled throughout.

Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com

Earlier Series Titles Reviewed by CLJMist of Midnight (May/Jun 2015); Bride of a Distant Isle (Jul/Aug/Sep 2016).