Book Review: A Lady in Disguise

4 Apr

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than fifty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick, as was The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.

A life-long lover of Victorian Gothic romances, Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, weaves elements of that mystical, traditional genre with inspirational and literary threads. Mist of Midnight, the series’ first book, was honored with a coveted Editor’s Choice designation from the Historical Novel Society. The second book in the series, Bride of a Distant Isle, launched in March, 2016 and the third, A Lady in Disguise is just out in 2017.

A devotionalist as well as a novelist, Sandra’s best-selling devotional for tweens, One Year Be-Tween You and God  was followed up with her first devotional for adults, The One Year Home and Garden Devotions.  The One Year Experiencing God’s Love devotional will publish in Fall, 2017.

She is passionate about helping new authors develop their talent and their work toward traditional or independent publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to edit and coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit to learn more.


My Impressions:

Sandra Byrd combines meticulous research with excellent story-telling in her newest novel, A Lady in Disguise. Victorian England comes to life within the pages of this historical novel laced with gothic overtones. I became fully immersed in Gillian Young’s story, so much so that the hours and pages flew by — this one is unputdownable!

Gillian Young’s father has just been buried and she is left to find her way and living in the theatre business. But a mystery surrounds her police inspector father’s death and his alleged unsavory doings that skirted the law he vowed to uphold. A young woman of determination, Gillian is set upon discovering the truth, but danger lurks in every dark alley of London.

It is obvious that Sandra Byrd is devoted to accurate research. She naturally inserts details that add an authenticity to her story. From the history of the theatre, to fashion, to the sport of fencing, to the description of the coal fog, to the language used, A Lady in Disguise is a thoroughly Victorian novel. The action of the novel progresses at a steady pace, feeling neither rushed or plodding, but just right. The characters are well-developed and become dear to the reader. And a happily-ever-after is certainly in Gillian’s future. There is a twist at the end of the novel that I never saw coming, but was the perfect addition to the faith threads woven throughout the book. Trust in others, self and God is explored, along with dependence on a God who promises to provide and protect.

Fans of historical fiction will love this book. But I think A Lady in Disguise goes beyond just genre fiction; I would recommend it to any reader. It is also a perfect selection for your book club. Make sure to check it out.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Great for book clubs.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Howard Books and the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)



6 Responses to “Book Review: A Lady in Disguise”

  1. Paula April 4, 2017 at 8:23 am #

    Finished Bride of a Distant Isle last week. Looking forward to A Lady in Disguise !

    • rbclibrary April 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      I missed the first 2 books. Must go back and read them!!

  2. Susan @ Reading World April 8, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    I’ve started reading more historical mysteries in the past couple years and this is one I’m going to have to add to my list!

    • rbclibrary April 8, 2017 at 10:45 am #

      Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Carrie April 9, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    definitely agree – unputdownable!

    • rbclibrary April 10, 2017 at 6:44 am #


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