The English Wife, Lauren Willig
Published January 9th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover, 376 pages
Source: Goodreads giveaway
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?
Holly and I have made no secrets that we’re Lauren Willig fangirls. Though I do think the Pink Carnation series ended at just the right time I have missed Willig’s flirtatious banter and witty women. The English Wife started a bit slow but in the end I found it was just the right book at the right time for me. The romance and flirting – with just enough cheesiness was pure Willig and despite the sad mystery this book left me with a smile on my face.
We have a murder, a missing wife, the possibility of a blatant affair (or more than one), and the drama of old New England money. I loved the tension with the muckraking press and the overbearing mother who thought her class should rule the day. And oh my – the freaking ending – I had definite theories as I read as to what could have happened to Annabelle and Bay and let me just say I did not expect what the ending was at all.
Now I will go back to a Pink Carnation re-read while I wait to see what Lauren Willig writes next!
Thank you St. Martin’s Press for this advance copy!