Friday, April 8, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway - Lady Odelia's Secret by Jane Steen

My Review

In 1880's England, Lady Helena Whitcombe is entering her second year of widowhood, managing a grand home, and spending time with her family. When her older sister Odelia suggests that a noted artist paint a specially commissioned fairy tale inspired work for her home, Lady Helena finds herself involved in another mystery.

I wanted to read this novel because I enjoyed Lady Helena Investigates, the first book in the Scott-De Quincy mysteries series. I like the Victorian setting, and enjoy historical mysteries.

Lady Helena is an interesting protagonist - a well-born woman who is interested in being more than a wife and grand lady during the Victorian era. I enjoyed her work as an amateur detective. 

This is a leisurely paced novel with a great many characters. (A "cast of characters" page would be helpful.) It has been a while since the first mystery, so it took me a bit to remember some of the details of that story that pertained to this novel. 

I once again loved Jane Steen's nuanced writing, her strong characterizations, and the beautiful period descriptions. I was also intrigued by the descriptions of paintings in this book, and the inspiration of fairy tales (especially The Nightengale) for art.

I particularly enjoyed Guttridge, Lady Helena's maid, and her interactions with Helena. I also liked Fortier, the physician who is Lady Helena's love interest. Their relationship moves slowly because of the conventions of the time. The details about mourning in this book are also interesting.

I would recommend Lady Odelia's Secret for fans of historical mysteries, and especially for anyone who enjoys a Victorian setting.  

Book Synopsis

Do you ever really know your family?

In the 1880s a sixth daughter learns not to ask for much, even if she’s the daughter of an earl. Even if she married the richest man in her corner of Sussex. Even if she’s now a widow with a splendid Georgian mansion.

Lady Helena Whitcombe is still trying to adjust to widowhood and reconcile her family loyalties with her desires when her artist sister Odelia makes a startling suggestion. Why not make her mark on the house that’s now all hers, by commissioning a magnificent work of art from one of London’s most celebrated painters?

Lady Odelia invites Helena into the seductive world of medieval fantasies and fairy tales she has inhabited since Helena was a child. But when a shocking series of events exposes the destructive reality of a great artist’s unusual lifestyle, Helena and her lady’s maid Guttridge are called on to help—or is it to interfere?

Looming danger, the risk of scandal, and competing loyalties force Helena to re-evaluate her relationship with the sister she’s always loved the most.

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Author Bio

Jane Steen writes series set in the late Victorian period, with an unputdownable blend of mystery, family saga, romance, and the real-life issues facing women of the era. She is an indie author who began her career while living in Illinois, later moving with her American husband to her native England. When not working, she can be found walking through the green and muddy Sussex countryside, getting her cobwebs blown away on the nearby beaches, lovingly tending her garden, or sticking her nose into yet another book.

For more information, please visit Jane Steen’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


9 winners will receive an eBook of Lady Odelia's Secret and the main prize winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift card & eBook of Lady Odelia's Secret.

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Lady Odelia's Secret