When Bayard van Duyvil is found dead at the ball he is hosting, his wife, Annabelle, goes missing. Soon, everybody believes Annabelle is responsible for her husband’s murder.
Janie, Bayard’s sister, doesn’t believe it for one second and claims she has seen Annabelle dead in the river. To make light on what really happened that night and to try and save her family’s reputation, Janie seeks out the help of a journalist, Mr. Burke.
Together, they will unravel the web of secrets surrounding Bayard and Annabelle’s marriage and piece each fragment together while everything Janie thought she knew starts to crumble into dust.
GENRES: Mystery, Historical Fiction
The premise of this book sounds tremendous. Who doesn’t enjoy a vile murder and a desperate hunt for answers that lead to the unburying of dirty family secrets?
The combination of an enthralling intrigue and a late nineteenth-century setting is also a favorite of mine. Books including both often result in a 5-star rating for me—don’t judge me for my lack of impartiality, I can’t help having a soft spot for Victorian settings!
But with The English Wife, that didn’t happen.
As much as I believe this novel holds potential, I also think it needs some serious polishing. In my opinion, there are two main issues in The English Wife. If it wasn’t for those, I would probably have given this book a much better rating because there was some very good stuff in there. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get past the problematic elements in this book, so let’s talk about those!