Set in the Gilded Age of New York, The English Wife is a plot-twisting masterpiece. I would compare this novel to Downton Abbey or Agatha Christie's, Murder on the Orient Express. Each character is incredibly diverse in terms of personality, and the character development is remarkably done.
Bayard Van Duyvil is a prominent member of society. He met a burlesque actress by the name of Annabelle Lacey during his visit to England. Through their friendship, they fell in love and married. When Annabelle became pregnant, Bay focused on building a home for his family. Bay was introduced to an architect by the name of Daniel and started to plan the re-creation of Annabelle's childhood home in England. The two spent countless amount of hours working together and formed a very close relationship.
Annabelle persuaded Bay into having Daniel move in so that he could focus on finishing the estate. Rumors of Annabelle and the architect having an affair arose. When Mother Van Duyvil heard about the arrangements, she was outraged and demanded that Bay reconsider. Bay refused to let his tyrannical mother run his household. When finished, Bay and Annabelle held a costume ball for New York's finest to come and celebrate the occasion. During the ball, Janie found her brother Bay with his dagger in his chest and uttered his last word "George", and Annabelle missing. Bayard's sister Janie is determined to solve the mystery because something wasn't settling well with the incident. She forms an unlikely alliance with an Irish journalist James Burke and finds out more than she anticipated. Recommended for those who love a great historical thriller.
"I don't bother myself about gossip. What is it that they call it? The last resort of the idle? I am surprised that you pay attention to such things, Mother Van Duyvil."