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Perfect for fans of Tasha Alexander and Rhys Bowen, Katharine Schellman's debut novel is sure to delight. London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball throw Perfect for fans of Tasha Alexander and Rhys Bowen, Katharine Schellman's debut novel is sure to delight. London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball thrown by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandal, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn't expect is the dead body in Lady Walter's garden. Lily overheard the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and attempting blackmail. But she's willing to leave the matter to the local constables--until Lord Walter bribes the investigating magistrate to drop the case. Stunned and confused, Lily realizes she's the only one with the key to catching the killer. Aided by a roguish navy captain and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies, Lily sets out to discover whether her friend's husband is mixed up in blackmail and murder. The unlikely team tries to conceal their investigation behind the whirl of London's social season, but the dead man knew secrets about people with power. Secrets that they would kill to keep hidden. Now, Lily will have to uncover the truth, before she becomes the murderer's next target.


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Perfect for fans of Tasha Alexander and Rhys Bowen, Katharine Schellman's debut novel is sure to delight. London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball throw Perfect for fans of Tasha Alexander and Rhys Bowen, Katharine Schellman's debut novel is sure to delight. London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball thrown by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandal, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn't expect is the dead body in Lady Walter's garden. Lily overheard the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and attempting blackmail. But she's willing to leave the matter to the local constables--until Lord Walter bribes the investigating magistrate to drop the case. Stunned and confused, Lily realizes she's the only one with the key to catching the killer. Aided by a roguish navy captain and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies, Lily sets out to discover whether her friend's husband is mixed up in blackmail and murder. The unlikely team tries to conceal their investigation behind the whirl of London's social season, but the dead man knew secrets about people with power. Secrets that they would kill to keep hidden. Now, Lily will have to uncover the truth, before she becomes the murderer's next target.

30 review for The Body in the Garden

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    It appears I am starting another good series! I love mysteries set in Regency London and this one was very good. The main character, Lily Adler, is a young, independent widow who is very intelligent, a little bit in the manner of Sherlock Holmes. When she accidentally discovers a murder and finds that the Bow Street Runners have been paid not to look into it she decides to solve the crime herself. The atmosphere of London and of society at that time is well done and the mystery is clever. I guess It appears I am starting another good series! I love mysteries set in Regency London and this one was very good. The main character, Lily Adler, is a young, independent widow who is very intelligent, a little bit in the manner of Sherlock Holmes. When she accidentally discovers a murder and finds that the Bow Street Runners have been paid not to look into it she decides to solve the crime herself. The atmosphere of London and of society at that time is well done and the mystery is clever. I guessed the murderer but not until right at the end. Very enjoyable and I recommend it to others who like this genre. My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    MAKES ME WANT TO READ ON! Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give a new series - it made me want to read the next book. There were many good points to this book, which makes me excited to read even more! 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Twists: Often I am unsurprised by plot twists - I can usually see them coming from a mile away. I am happy to admit, that there were definitely some twists in this story that I did not see coming! That is a compliment in my book. Lily: The female protagonist Lily was headstrong, i MAKES ME WANT TO READ ON! Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give a new series - it made me want to read the next book. There were many good points to this book, which makes me excited to read even more! 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Twists: Often I am unsurprised by plot twists - I can usually see them coming from a mile away. I am happy to admit, that there were definitely some twists in this story that I did not see coming! That is a compliment in my book. Lily: The female protagonist Lily was headstrong, intelligent and had a keen sense of justice. I really admired her and liked her a great deal. Jack: The male protagonist Jack was sweet, protective and intelligent. He was so supportive of Lily and had a lot of confidence in her. Their friendship was sweet and deep and I am looking forward to seeing where it will take them. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  3. 5 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com THE BODY IN THE GARDEN (Lily Adler Mystery Book #1) by Katharine Schellman is the debut book in a new amateur sleuth historical mystery series set in Regency England. The intelligent and determined heroine of the series, the vivid secondary characters and the intricate plot had me hooked from the start. Lily Adler is a young widow returning to London and society after her first stage of mourning. The first ball she attends is given Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com THE BODY IN THE GARDEN (Lily Adler Mystery Book #1) by Katharine Schellman is the debut book in a new amateur sleuth historical mystery series set in Regency England. The intelligent and determined heroine of the series, the vivid secondary characters and the intricate plot had me hooked from the start. Lily Adler is a young widow returning to London and society after her first stage of mourning. The first ball she attends is given by her oldest friend Lady Walter. As she is getting away from the crush in her host’s garden, she overhears but cannot see a man attempting blackmail. A shot is fired. Long-time friend of her late husband and current Navy Captain, Jack Hartley returns with Lily to find the dead body. They soon learn Miss Oswald, a debutante from the West Indies knew the dead man and they join forces to uncover a killer. The three conceal their investigation within the whirl of London’s social season. Lily and her friends must uncover the secrets and identity of the killer before she becomes the next target. I enjoyed meeting amateur sleuth, Lily Adler and her accomplices. Ms. Schellman brings to life intelligent Regency era characters, who remain true to the norms of their time period and also use it to their advantage. The addition of the West Indies characters and plot connection added diversity and interest to the story. The plot is clever and full of red herrings and misdirection which make it difficult to put down and the ending was a surprise which always makes it more enjoyable for me. I highly recommend this new amateur sleuth, historical mystery and author. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Adamek

    3.5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Randi Annie Framnes

    Recently widowed Lily Adler is at a party at her friend’s house when she overhears a quarrel between two men and a gunshot is fired. In this exciting story of murder, blackmail and bribery, Lily is shocked to find who is involved. The Body in the Garden is installment #1 in Lily Adler Mystery. In this story the police get bribed and the case is put off because of «insufficient evidence». Large sums of money change hands and suddenly they are unable to identify the victim because they don’t want t Recently widowed Lily Adler is at a party at her friend’s house when she overhears a quarrel between two men and a gunshot is fired. In this exciting story of murder, blackmail and bribery, Lily is shocked to find who is involved. The Body in the Garden is installment #1 in Lily Adler Mystery. In this story the police get bribed and the case is put off because of «insufficient evidence». Large sums of money change hands and suddenly they are unable to identify the victim because they don’t want to try. The magistrate, himself is in receipt of 300 £ from the host of the party where the murder took place. Lily secretly witnessed this. As the police are instructed not to investigate, Lily takes it upon herself to do it, with the help of Capt. Hartley and Miss Oswald. She hasn’t the first idea how to investigate a murder case, but sees no way around it if she is to bring about justice for the victim. The scene of the crime is in a large mansion, so the party goes on unawares while the investigation is kept secret. Pretty difficult to do, I’m sure, but the hosts of the evening seemed to go to extremes to avoid scandal, which seemed the crucial concern for people of “Quality” at the time. In this plot the victim discovered something worth killing to keep secret. I found the circumstances around the murder interesting as well as exiting. Difficult to find out who the culprit might be as the murder victims kept piling up. I felt the West Indies connection added extra interest to the plot. I have read some books set in the West Indies before, but not murder mysteries, so this was a new angle for me which I enjoyed a lot. As I like stories with multi cultural dimensions, this felt like a win. There seemed a bit of a Sanditon feel about the part of the plot which contains the West Indian heiress, Miss Ofelia Oswald, who is launched into London Society to find a wealthy husband. Miss Oswald is, however, slightly less rich and therefore slightly less aggressively chaperoned compared to Miss Lamb in Sanditon. I found the progress and exiting intensity of the plot more than made up for a slightly wordy start. I enjoyed the writing a lot. Added bonus, I think, were the funny parts of the story, particularly relating to the budding friendship between Lily and Capt. Hartley as they were knees deep in trying to solve the murder. With a mix between light hearted banter and the serious issue of murder, this was a story I was unable to put down even well past midnight. I found it highly entertaining as well as a quick and easy read. No shortage of suspects here, I can assure you. Well done to the author for creating such a wide variety of realistic “good guy” characters as well as the unsavory ones that both angered and unsettled me. The Body in the Garden is recommended for readers of historical fiction as well as readers of crime fiction. Thank you to publisher Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for this eARC in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own. My rating: 5 stars / 5

  6. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Lily Adler #1 Publication Date: 4/7/20 Number of Pages: 327 This book was an excellent debut for new author Katherine Shellman. The writing was excellent, the research impeccable, the storyline very cohesive, fast-paced, and interesting, and the mystery – well – very mysterious. You’ll think you know who the villain is – but do you? I was up well past my bedtime to finish the read because I just had to know… Lily Adler was very much in love with her husband, Freddy, and she is still mourning Series: Lily Adler #1 Publication Date: 4/7/20 Number of Pages: 327 This book was an excellent debut for new author Katherine Shellman. The writing was excellent, the research impeccable, the storyline very cohesive, fast-paced, and interesting, and the mystery – well – very mysterious. You’ll think you know who the villain is – but do you? I was up well past my bedtime to finish the read because I just had to know… Lily Adler was very much in love with her husband, Freddy, and she is still mourning him almost two years later. She’s spent her mourning time with Freddy’s family in the country since Freddy’s death, but they have encouraged her to return to London so she can begin to live her life again – read that as remarry. She’s returned, but she isn’t happy about it – but then she’ll not be happy wherever she is with Freddy. She and Freddy had such plans for their lives – for doing something that would matter to the world – and now he’s gone. She has to find a new path for herself – alone. Navy Captain Jack Hartley is in London while his ship is in for repairs. He’s not happy about that because Napoleon is on the loose and he’d much rather be in the thick of things. However, his time in London will give him the opportunity to catch up with and offer any assistance he can to the widow of his best friend, Freddy Adler. He and Freddy had grown up together and had always remained closer than brothers. He is also filled with guilt because he was unable to be at Freddy’s funeral services because of the war. As Lily reconnects with old friends and begins to attend the societal events, she realizes that she doesn’t enjoy those activities as much as she did before she married. Imagine her shock – and dismay – when, on her very first day back in London, she discovered the body of a murdered man in the gardens at her best friend’s ball. She even heard the shots. When Bow Street decides not to pursue the case, Lily cannot stand to just let it go. There must be some justice for the poor, unidentified young man who had his life taken from him. As Lily investigates, she draws Jack into her investigation, and she also draws a new friend, Miss Ofelia Oswald, in as well. Who is the young man who was murdered? Why was he, an uninvited guest, in that garden? With whom was he arguing? Why is Bow Street dropping the case? So many questions, so few answers. Can her friend or her husband be involved? As suspects mount, clues are investigated and more bodies added to the count, Lily and company are in the thick of the investigation. This could have easily been a 5-star read for me. The story was compelling, the pacing was perfect, the historical details were spot on, etc. However, I just had a hard time warming up to Lily and Jack often annoyed me. I’m not sure why, but so many authors who want to write strong, independent female characters think that they have to make them angry, acerbic, domineering, selfish, etc. and that they have to pair them with milksop male characters. Lily and Jack were those characters. Jack, a war hero, a Naval Captain, was always apologizing to Lily and bowing and scraping to her. Why couldn’t they form a partnership as two equals who worked together, respected each other, and were on equal footing? Toward the end, I saw a slight glimmer of perhaps her softening somewhat, so I’ll certainly try the next book to see where it will go. As it stands, if I were to meet Lily in person, I would not like her and we certainly wouldn’t become friends – so I certainly can’t like her in a book. I’ll look forward to seeing where she goes from here. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    'London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball thrown by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandal, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn't expect is the dead body in Lady Walter's garden. Lily overheard the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and atte 'London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball thrown by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandal, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn't expect is the dead body in Lady Walter's garden. Lily overheard the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and attempting blackmail. But she's willing to leave the matter to the local constables--until Lord Walter bribes the investigating magistrate to drop the case. Stunned and confused, Lily realizes she's the only one with the key to catching the killer. Aided by a roguish navy captain and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies, Lily sets out to discover whether her friend's husband is mixed up in blackmail and murder. The unlikely team tries to conceal their investigation behind the whirl of London's social season, but the dead man knew secrets about people with power. Secrets that they would kill to keep hidden. Now, Lily will have to uncover the truth, before she becomes the murderer's next target.' _________________________________ The Body in the Garden is the first book in the Lily Adler Mystery series and is Katharine Schellman's debut novel. Lily Adler, our main character, has a strong personality that was both likable and a bit much at times. This made her feel like a very real and human character, even if she did seem a tad modern for her times. Ofelia Oswald, an heiress, and Jack Hartley, a navy captain, become her investigative partners, which didn't always run smoothly for them. Despite their bickering and keeping secrets from one another, I really appreciated that there was a team of three investigating in this book, while also relying on the help of those around them on a few occasions. It was a nice change of pace to see a deviation from the usual investigsting duo. And it felt more believable that a larger team like this would be able to solve this mystery. I loved that there were PoC characters in this book, and not only as background characters! PoC characters are often few and far between in the historical genre and sub-genres, so it was lovely and refreshing to see some representation in this wonderful mystery. At the onset of the book, I did feel that it tended toward being a bit wordy at times, which sometimes made it feel like things were dragging along a bit. But considering this is the first a series, introducing us to our main characters whilst setting up a mystery, this slow pace wasn't completely unexpected and so this wasn't really a sticking point for me. Without spoiling anything, I will simply say that I really liked the way everything played out during the conclusion of the mystery. It was just twisty-turny enough that it was perfect. There was a good and believable amount of danger and there were several red herrings along the way so that it wasn't obvious too early as to who our villian was. I did still determine the villian before the reveal, but only shortly before. I look forward to seeing where further installments in this series will take us. I will be continuing on to read the next book when it becomes available and on the lookout for other mystery books from Katharine Schellman in the future. I recommend The Body in the Garden to fans of the historical mystery genre. _____ I would like to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for sharing a copy of The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman with me for reviewing purposes. This is my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    When Lily Adler, a widow, witnessed an argument, she found herself discussing the details with Captain John -Jack- Hartley, her deceased husband’s close friend. Newly acquainted, they soon learned a young man was murdered. Frustrated with the owner of the home where the death occurred along with the magistrate in charge of the investigation, they paired up to determine what really happened. Before long, Miss Oswald, an heiress, joined their pursuit of the crime. ~~~~~ I love a good historical mys When Lily Adler, a widow, witnessed an argument, she found herself discussing the details with Captain John -Jack- Hartley, her deceased husband’s close friend. Newly acquainted, they soon learned a young man was murdered. Frustrated with the owner of the home where the death occurred along with the magistrate in charge of the investigation, they paired up to determine what really happened. Before long, Miss Oswald, an heiress, joined their pursuit of the crime. ~~~~~ I love a good historical mystery. I expect when I read the debut in a series for the author to introduce a fair number of characters. I also need to feel the heroine’s attributes -she was the story’s amateur sleuth- match the era (Regency times). Instead, I found Lily to be abrasive at various moments. She was portrayed as a strong protagonist but sometimes I tired of her always being right. As I said before, she was a widow. I appreciated that she loved her husband but he had been deceased for three years; I was reminded of him once too often. Because of her personality, I expected to find her living in a more modern age. Lastly, it is important for me to fit in when I read this genre but there was an over-abundance of secondary characters. Time and again I had to remember who was whom and why, if any, was their importance to the investigation and crime. Sadly, I find myself with the minority of readers but I can’t overlook the author’s good plot twist at the end. *I would like to thank Net Galley, Crooked Land Books and Ms. Shellman for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

  9. 4 out of 5

    katayoun Masoodi

    it was pretty ok, but the mc was a very boring character, and everyone thought she was brilliant and kept telling her!!! i don't think i would read lily adler's next adventure. it was pretty ok, but the mc was a very boring character, and everyone thought she was brilliant and kept telling her!!! i don't think i would read lily adler's next adventure.

  10. 4 out of 5

    KarenK2

    I received this from Netgalley.com for a review. London 1815. Newly widowed Lily Adler returns to a society that frowns on independent women. When visiting her friend, she finds a dead man laying in the garden and is determined to find the murderer when the police decide to close the case. Nicely written. Good beginning to a cozy mystery series. 2.75☆

  11. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    A Lady of Quality Regency mystery!_________3.5 Two delightful characters in the lead roles in this new Regency mystery add to its charm. Lily Adler is a young widow, a no nonsense woman who knows her way around the ton. Attending her friend Lady Walter's Ball was a beginning to her new, independent life. Unexpectedly coming across a couple of men exchanging terse and threatening comments in the garden, after having slipped out of the crowded ballroom for fresh air, Lily beats a hasty retreat. As s A Lady of Quality Regency mystery!_________3.5 Two delightful characters in the lead roles in this new Regency mystery add to its charm. Lily Adler is a young widow, a no nonsense woman who knows her way around the ton. Attending her friend Lady Walter's Ball was a beginning to her new, independent life. Unexpectedly coming across a couple of men exchanging terse and threatening comments in the garden, after having slipped out of the crowded ballroom for fresh air, Lily beats a hasty retreat. As she quietly sidles away from the scene she is frightened by a gunshot as she retreats. That's where her dead husband's friend, Captain John Hartley—Jack, comes in handy. Stumbling back towards the ballroom she runs into him and seeks his help. Disbelieving he accompanies her, only to confirm the truth. There obviously was a gunshot because they find a dead body. When Lord Walter has the investigation into matters surrounding the death, including the identity of the person squashed, Lily is determined to find out why, and what lies behind the murder. Jack of course is drawn into the chase and there's an interesting cast of additional characters including Jem a cheeky young messenger boy from the Dials area and Simon Page the Bow Street Constable. Jack and Page don't get of to the best of starts but as the chase for the murderer progresses they do come to respect each other. Lily having been dismissed as a mere woman wastes no time in changing Page's opinion. Danger treads her path and Jack is infuriated as she places herself squarely in its way. Her investigations reach to the heights of society, secrets are exposed and Lily makes not only powerful enemies but new friends, including a very independent and unusual heiress. As we leave Lily contemplating carving out a new path for herself as a discreet investigator, I for one felt ready to pursue more of her adventures. A Crooked Lane ARC via NetGalley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Katharine Hellman’s The Body in the Garden is the debut novel of her Lily Adler Mysteries. The setting is Regency England 1815 with Lily Adler, a widow and a strong woman, whose character while attending her close friend’s, Lady Walter, ball during London’s Season, ‘overhears’ conversation between two men in Lady Walter’s garden. One word of this conversation ‘blackmail’ and the sound of a shot attract Mrs. Adler’s attention, and she goes into the garden and finds a dead body. Bow Street, London Katharine Hellman’s The Body in the Garden is the debut novel of her Lily Adler Mysteries. The setting is Regency England 1815 with Lily Adler, a widow and a strong woman, whose character while attending her close friend’s, Lady Walter, ball during London’s Season, ‘overhears’ conversation between two men in Lady Walter’s garden. One word of this conversation ‘blackmail’ and the sound of a shot attract Mrs. Adler’s attention, and she goes into the garden and finds a dead body. Bow Street, London’s first police force, is contacted, and Mrs. Adler decides that Bow Street handle the situation. Unfortunately, Lily sees Lord Walter, Lily’s friend’s husband, ‘bribe’ the magistrate connected to Bow Street not to investigate. Lily does not find this ‘solution’ acceptable and decides to investigate the murder herself. Enter “a roguish Navy captain” and a “mysterious heiress from the West Indies” and the reader has the three people who will be the investigation team! Add a Bow Street runner to make it official. Lily Adler is a clever woman who with ‘the team ‘will find justice for the body in the garden while the London Season provides cover for them. How I love seeing strong women and a man who understands them and works with them! Very enjoyable! Looking forward to #2. 4 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman is an intriguing historical mystery. Lily Adler is a widow who has returned to London to begin her life anew. She is still very much in love with her husband and has no interest in looking for a new husband. In fact, she is quite independent in many ways which makes her rather odd in London society of the early 1800's. The secondary characters, Captain Jack Hartley and Miss Ofelia Oswald were great supporting characters that often moved the story alon The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman is an intriguing historical mystery. Lily Adler is a widow who has returned to London to begin her life anew. She is still very much in love with her husband and has no interest in looking for a new husband. In fact, she is quite independent in many ways which makes her rather odd in London society of the early 1800's. The secondary characters, Captain Jack Hartley and Miss Ofelia Oswald were great supporting characters that often moved the story along. The plot was smoothly paced, the characters were well developed for a first book in a series and there were enough red herrings and twists to keep me guessing until the reveal. I didn't have a clue who was behind the murders and treason until the end which made it an good read for me. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    T.B. Caine

    Thank you Netgalley for giving me a review copy! 4.5 rounded up to 5 stars, because I really do think this would have been 5 stars if I hadn't just read a novel set in this time period. The only reason (besides the one stated above) that this isn't 5 stars, is because the first 30% is kind of slow. It takes awhile to pick up, but once it does things get CRAZY. The beginning's slowness is almost necessary just to set the pieces in place that will basically be your cast for the entire novel. Names Thank you Netgalley for giving me a review copy! 4.5 rounded up to 5 stars, because I really do think this would have been 5 stars if I hadn't just read a novel set in this time period. The only reason (besides the one stated above) that this isn't 5 stars, is because the first 30% is kind of slow. It takes awhile to pick up, but once it does things get CRAZY. The beginning's slowness is almost necessary just to set the pieces in place that will basically be your cast for the entire novel. Names are dropped around quickly, but they get re-introduced quite a bit so you don't ever forget anyone. The mystery aspects are also very nice and I felt that the ending was properly led to without outright telling us who did it. It does all get revealed of course, but I felt that Schellman did a great job of not showing us the culprit too early. Everything felt like it was revealed at just the right time and Lily Adler was a great protagonist. The motive felt real and not forced, and all the evidence lined up perfectly. This book's main characters: Lily Adler, Jack, & Ofelia were also all great. I loved them all so much. The only characters in this book that I didn't like, were the ones you aren't supposed to like. All the characters have such great depth to them. basically: imagine a female Sherlock Holmes, but less pretentious. Also the ending scene made me feel all the butterflies. This was a great story and I neeed book 2 right now. This title is definitely in the running for the best book I read this year.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    Lily Adler is a young widow who has returned to London to try to decided what to do with her life now that the plans she and her husband made have been derailed by his death. She is deeply grieving the loss of the man she loved. When her best friend encourages her to take up the social reel again, she doesn't expect to overhear an argument and a gunshot and find herself in the middle of a mystery. When her friend's powerful husband pays off the Bow Street Runners to make the potential scandal go Lily Adler is a young widow who has returned to London to try to decided what to do with her life now that the plans she and her husband made have been derailed by his death. She is deeply grieving the loss of the man she loved. When her best friend encourages her to take up the social reel again, she doesn't expect to overhear an argument and a gunshot and find herself in the middle of a mystery. When her friend's powerful husband pays off the Bow Street Runners to make the potential scandal go away, Lily feels that it is up to her to solve the crime. Lily is assisted in her endeavors by Navy Captain Jack Hartley and West India heiress Ofelia Oswald. Jack is a childhood friend of Lily's husband who was away when he died. Miss Oswald is connected to the body found in the garden and is a bright young woman sent to England to find a husband. After some misunderstandings with Jack who assumes Lily is a typical society lightweight, he becomes a good friend to her. His initial suspicions about Miss Oswald who is definitely keeping secrets adds some additional tension to the story. In fact, there is a lot of tension as the murderer definitely doesn't appreciate Lily's investigation into the murder of the young man. There are two additional murders and a couple of attempts on Lily's life before the story comes to a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed the story very much and liked the depths of the characters and the Regency setting.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey | Kipperblossom

    This was delightful.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Primrose Jess

    This was such a nice, tidy, little mystery. I enjoyed following Lily Adler's return to society and subsequent initiation into sleuth-hood when she hears a murder committed in the garden during a party. There was indeed a body in the garden. I appreciated Schulman's efforts to include citizens of mixed races and brief touching on British Colonialism. All in all, a nice escapist sort of mystery even if I guessed at the killer far too early in the novel. Which is always a disappointment for this my This was such a nice, tidy, little mystery. I enjoyed following Lily Adler's return to society and subsequent initiation into sleuth-hood when she hears a murder committed in the garden during a party. There was indeed a body in the garden. I appreciated Schulman's efforts to include citizens of mixed races and brief touching on British Colonialism. All in all, a nice escapist sort of mystery even if I guessed at the killer far too early in the novel. Which is always a disappointment for this mystery lover.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alexia | Right Writing Words

    Welcome to my review for The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman! The non-spoiler review: In this book, we follow Lily Adler, a widow who has come to London after two years of mourning her husband. She reconciles with all her old friends and the invitations to parties come rolling in. On one particular night at her best friend Selena’s party, Lily wanders outside to get some fresh air and hears a gunshot. Returning to the place where she had heard the shot with help, she and Captain Jack Hart Welcome to my review for The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman! The non-spoiler review: In this book, we follow Lily Adler, a widow who has come to London after two years of mourning her husband. She reconciles with all her old friends and the invitations to parties come rolling in. On one particular night at her best friend Selena’s party, Lily wanders outside to get some fresh air and hears a gunshot. Returning to the place where she had heard the shot with help, she and Captain Jack Hartley find the dead body of an unknown individual. Lily, who has lots and lots of time on her hands, realizes that no one is prepared to go through the effort to find out who the mystery victim was and, most importantly, who the killer was. "Not showing is not the same as not feeling." It’s up to her, Captain Jack Hartley, and Miss Ophelia Oswald to solve this mystery in London (in the 1800s, I think). This was such an enjoyable and pleasant read, to be honest! It was easy to read, there weren’t any sections where the author seemed to drag the story out, and I couldn’t for the life of me guess who the murderer was in the end. This is a light, pleasant read that doesn’t get too serious but also doesn’t make light of everything. Lily Adler is a fantastic character, sort of like a female Sherlock but an entire character on her own, and her observations are interesting to follow. I’m very pleased with the ending and couldn’t have asked for better! The Review With Spoilers: You’ve been warned. Good Underlying Messages/Themes: -You don’t have to be what society wants you to be. -Your own happiness is more important than what others think of you. -Violence is never the answer. -Respect will always be valued. There were a lot of issues addressed in this story, and I’m glad of it. I loved how Lily knew that society thought that the only point of her was to get married again, and she continued to defy them. She was comfortable on her own and with her friends, and she had no intention of changing that. She also knew exactly how to ward off unwanted suitors so I applaud her for that! A whole star for this category! Interesting Story: As I mentioned before, I had no idea who the murderer was, and to be honest that’s quite rare for me. I usually guess who the murderer is, not always from the get-go, but this book had me stumped! I liked the end, however. There was enough motivation and evidence for me to think to myself at the end Why didn’t I see it coming? A whole star for this category! Realistic Characters and Growth: Yes! I’m so happy about this one! Lily lost her husband, Freddy, two years ago and has been grieving since, which is understandable. I appreciated that the author didn’t bring her grieving up at every waking moment but wrote about it when necessary. I just wished that we could know some more about Lily and Freddy – they sound like an amazing pair. I would love to read a sequel about them! "Just because you can do something does not mean you should." Captain Jack Hartley is an absolute gentleman but is sometimes too over-protective. I’m happy that by the end of the book, he realized that Lily was quite capable on her own! Ophelia Oswald was a peculiar character. I didn’t immediately take to her but as the story went one, I found myself starting to respect her. She was quietly brave and I admired that. A whole star for this category! Writing Style was Beautiful/ Easy To Read: I mentioned before that the book was easy to read but I only wished that the author would throw in some more of her quotes. Wise words, coming from Lily, always provided a good moment in a chapter! I struggled to find quotes for this review, and those that I found were quite short. Half a star for this category. Fantastic World Building: I think that there is only so much world building an author can do in a murder-mystery fiction novel but this author went to the extreme! There’s a special author’s note in the book which explains how much effort and research went into this book and I think it’s well done. I always appreciate it when an author gives 100%. A whole star for this category! That’s it! 4.5 stars out of 5! "A clever mind likes an audience." Have you read The Body in the Garden? What did you think? *I received this arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    Crushed. I was just crushed when I went to review Katharine Schellman's debut mystery for a mystery column, and someone else had been assigned to the book. They better write a good review, because I loved this debut, and I'm looking forward to the next one. The first Lily Adler mystery, The Body in the Garden, introduces an intrepid heroine, and beautifully describes Napoleonic-era London and society. In 1815, eyes in the neighborhood notice when Mrs. Lily Adler moves into a rented house in Mayfa Crushed. I was just crushed when I went to review Katharine Schellman's debut mystery for a mystery column, and someone else had been assigned to the book. They better write a good review, because I loved this debut, and I'm looking forward to the next one. The first Lily Adler mystery, The Body in the Garden, introduces an intrepid heroine, and beautifully describes Napoleonic-era London and society. In 1815, eyes in the neighborhood notice when Mrs. Lily Adler moves into a rented house in Mayfair. By her dress, it's obvious she's a widow, no longer in the first stages of mourning. And, she must have the money to afford to live in Mayfair. What isn't so obvious is that Lily Adler has a strong sense of right or wrong, and she'll be determined to find answers when she hears a murder. Lily's best friend from school, Lady Serena Walter, invites her to a ball at her London home. Because she's still in mourning, she can't dance. That doesn't stop a man from making improper advances, so Lily escapes to the gardens. It's there that she hears two men, one threatening blackmail. She's still sneaking away when she hears a gunshot. Lily escapes to the house, finds her late husband's best friend, Navy Captain Jack Hartley, and the two return to the garden. They're the ones who find a body, and report it to Lord Walter. When Lily sees Lord Walter bribe the investigating magistrate, she decides to take matters into her own hands. With the help of Captain Hartley and a mysterious debutante from the West Indies, Mrs. Lily Adler undertakes a murder investigation. Schellman has introduced two intriguing heroes in her first mystery. Lily Adler is the hero of her own story. She's "obviously intelligent and level-headed and not prone to wild imaginings". While still mourning the husband she loved, she knows it's time to move on with her life. And, the murder investigation, while exciting, might not be quite proper. That's one strength of this book. The author emphasizes society's rules and expectations, and shows how uncomfortable people are when they don't fit within those expectations. "Lily, for all she could be unconventional from time to time, had no desire to lose her place in society. Was it really worth risking so much?" Through Lily's eyes, Schellman shows just what could go wrong. Captain Jack Hartley is actually a secondary hero. He was Freddie Adler's best friend, and he starts out by trying to help his friend's widow. But, he grows to respect Lily as her own person, an intelligent, stubborn woman, determined to find justice for a victim. Jack's career as a captain in the navy will allow him to come and go in the series, if that works with the author's plans. His career also allows him to move in several circles in society. Schellman's debut is a complex story of London society with its social classes, racism, and politics. Readers of historical mysteries should relish this new entry in the genre. At the same time, fans of historical romances set in this period might just want to take a chance on the book. Schellman's details of balls, the theater, concerts, and the social life of 1815 are too good to miss. The Body in the Garden is an outstanding debut.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Excellently researched! Lily was widowed too soon from her beloved and has moved to London at the suggestion of her in laws where she has lived for the past two years. At least she has a few friends there and is of an independent nature. Navy Captain Jack Hartley had an English father who married a local while in India and was a good friend of Lily's husband. He learns flexibility. Lily finds a good and capable friend in young Miss Ofelia Oswald, an heiress from the Caribbean West Indies whose Excellently researched! Lily was widowed too soon from her beloved and has moved to London at the suggestion of her in laws where she has lived for the past two years. At least she has a few friends there and is of an independent nature. Navy Captain Jack Hartley had an English father who married a local while in India and was a good friend of Lily's husband. He learns flexibility. Lily finds a good and capable friend in young Miss Ofelia Oswald, an heiress from the Caribbean West Indies whose English father sent her to London to secure a husband. Bow Street provides another good guy by the name of Mr Page, and then there are the ragamuffins who... The plot is ingenious and the other characters are also well done! Enjoy! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

  21. 5 out of 5

    The Kawaii Slartibartfast

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book is an exciting historical mystery with a great lead. I really liked Lily and her determination. The mystery is really interesting!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I admit defeat. I'm bored every time I pick this one up. I admit defeat. I'm bored every time I pick this one up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    3.5 stars. I liked this Regency mystery and am looking forward to seeing what the author does with these characters next. I didn't LOVE it because I found the mystery aspect of the story (which heavily involved shipping manifests) to be a bit dry and confusing at times, and I wasn't quite sure how everyone involved in the crime knew that Lily and the gang were investigating (though it did manage to keep me reading late into the night, so perhaps my exhaustion by the end can be blamed for that.) 3.5 stars. I liked this Regency mystery and am looking forward to seeing what the author does with these characters next. I didn't LOVE it because I found the mystery aspect of the story (which heavily involved shipping manifests) to be a bit dry and confusing at times, and I wasn't quite sure how everyone involved in the crime knew that Lily and the gang were investigating (though it did manage to keep me reading late into the night, so perhaps my exhaustion by the end can be blamed for that.) I also got annoyed with Lily at times for being so angry that Jack wanted to protect her even when someone had just tried to shoot her while she was asleep in bed. Overall this was a good, engrossing story that I'd recommend to anyone who likes historical mysteries and a nice set-up for a series. I appreciated the diverse cast of characters (Jack is half Indian, and Ofelia is from the West Indies with an English father) and am interested to read more about how their backgrounds play into their lives in the time period, and also more about Lily's marriage. While she's clearly still grieving, I loved that she was a widow, because it's the perfect time to give a woman maximum freedom to go poking around in murders during this time period. *I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dana (pagestoreadfl)

    Thank you to the publisher for a free copy to review. - What I Enjoyed: Our protagonists-- Jack and Lily were utterly delightful. I truly enjoyed their dialogue and friendship. The mystery overall was nothing special, but it was complex and led to many possible suspects. The setting-- I am down for early London! What I Didn't Enjoy: The pacing-- I felt there were too many times when the plot stalled. - Overall, I will enjoyed the story and hope to read the second one when it comes out! Thank you to the publisher for a free copy to review. - What I Enjoyed: Our protagonists-- Jack and Lily were utterly delightful. I truly enjoyed their dialogue and friendship. The mystery overall was nothing special, but it was complex and led to many possible suspects. The setting-- I am down for early London! What I Didn't Enjoy: The pacing-- I felt there were too many times when the plot stalled. - Overall, I will enjoyed the story and hope to read the second one when it comes out!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: March 7th 2020 "Secrets. Lily narrowed her eyes as she looked around the crowded ballroom. She could practically feel them in the air: the secrets, the gossip, and the scandal." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I confess it was the gorgeous cover that first lured me in, but as soon as I read the blurb I was completely convinced I had to add The Body In Finished reading: March 7th 2020 "Secrets. Lily narrowed her eyes as she looked around the crowded ballroom. She could practically feel them in the air: the secrets, the gossip, and the scandal." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I confess it was the gorgeous cover that first lured me in, but as soon as I read the blurb I was completely convinced I had to add The Body In The Garden to my wishlist. I love a good historical mystery and between the 1815 London setting and the hint at a newly widowed main character investigating a murder I was fully intrigued. This debut is the first of a new historical (cozy) mystery series and while it failed to blow me away personally, I do believe cozy mystery fans will be in for a treat. I think that part of the problem The Body In The Garden didn't work all that well for me was the fact that this story might simply not have been a right fit. While I love historical fiction in general and I do love a good mystery, I tend to prefer mysteries with a slightly faster pace and less frivolous characters and high society talk a lot better. This is of course my own fault as I should have read the blurb more thoroughly, but it is what it is I guess. That said, there is no denying that the pace of this first Lily Alder Mystery book is considerably slow. True, the murder itself happens quickly enough, but the aftermath tends to focus more on society events and interactions rather than the murder investigation itself. For someone who always enjoys the investigation part of a murder mystery the most, this was a bit of a let down... The more suspenseful parts were a bit too far apart for me and I struggled to stay focused on the story as it was. That said, I do have to say that the final twist was brilliant developed and a pleasant surprise to end this story with. The historical setting in The Body In The Garden was well developed, and I could really appreciate how the author incorporated race problematics into the story with the help of two mixed-race characters (Ofelia and Jack). It was interesting to see 19th century society react to both characters. Talking about the characters, we can see quite a big cast of main and secundary characters in this story, which will definitely keep you on your toes if you want to keep up with who is who. Jack is easy to like as a character, and his rogue charm comes of the pages beautifully. That said, I can't say that I was a fan of Lily. While I appreciate her stubbornness and fierce belief in what is right and wrong, it soon started to get a bit old that she was always right and that she didn't want anyone helping her. The whole constant remembering of her deceased husband was really getting annoying as well; I know her being a widow is fundamental for the plot as she wouldn't be able to move so freely otherwise, but that doesn't mean we have to be reminded of it every few pages... Also, her behavior seemed to be a bit too modern for the time period she lived in. The writing itself is easy on the eye, and I still believe the idea behind this new historical (cozy) mystery series is fascinating. I loved the historical setting in 1815 London and the final twist was without doubt well played. I did have some issues with The Body In The Garden, including the pace, focus on frivolous high society events and characters, but I also think this might not have been exactly right story for me. If you enjoy character-driven and slower paced cozy mysteries with a historical setting and a hint of crime, you will be in for a treat with The Body In the Garden. (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    2.5 stars I am usually a fan of Regency era fiction, but there were many elements within this book I could not embrace. Just not for me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws

    I do not mind admitting that when I saw the title and the blurb of the book, I couldn't but help think of Irene Adler. Can you blame me though? A lady with the famous last name in the London society set in the 1800s! I am both happy to report that Lily Adler is a headstrong individual who I loved anyway. Lily Adler is newly widowed and as she makes her way back into the London society scene, she sees things and people in a new light. The society doesn't have much patience for a stubborn, independ I do not mind admitting that when I saw the title and the blurb of the book, I couldn't but help think of Irene Adler. Can you blame me though? A lady with the famous last name in the London society set in the 1800s! I am both happy to report that Lily Adler is a headstrong individual who I loved anyway. Lily Adler is newly widowed and as she makes her way back into the London society scene, she sees things and people in a new light. The society doesn't have much patience for a stubborn, independent girl and is busy covering up their secrets and scandals. Lucky for Lily though, she has Jack Hartley, her late husband's friend in her corner. As she attends a ball thrown by her friend, she is ready to get back into the thick of things. She finds the expected scandal and gossip, but she also finds a dead body in the garden. When Lily finds out foul play with regards to the case, she decides to take matters in to her own hands. Armed with the knowledge that the victim had been blackmailing someone at the party and a sense of justice, Lily has a uphill battle to fight. I loved the character of Lily Adler. She is in no way perfect, but I love her stubborn streak, her sense of right and wrong, and she is quite brilliant really. Reading about her little adventure, set in an era when people expected women to be weak and meek little creatures who keep themselves busy with the household is amusing really. The naval officer Jack Hartley makes for a good assistant as someone who is not hindered by society's hypocrisy. But seriously, Jack's character could do with a bit more depth. I hoped to see a sense of equality between these two which was lacking. They share a connection because of Freddy (Lily's late husband) and there are some light and frank moments between them… but they are far from being good friends themselves. Ms.Oswald on the other hand made much more impact on me. Read the full review on Bookish Indulgences with b00k r3vi3ws

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This is what I call a vintage murder scene. The body in the garden focused on Lily Adler and independent, self-sufficient woman that tries to make it on her own even when society frowns unmarried women. Determined to make it without a husband, she is very close with her friend Lady Walter who stays up to date on the town gossip and little This book was received as an ARC from Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This is what I call a vintage murder scene. The body in the garden focused on Lily Adler and independent, self-sufficient woman that tries to make it on her own even when society frowns unmarried women. Determined to make it without a husband, she is very close with her friend Lady Walter who stays up to date on the town gossip and little to their dismay, they find a dead body in Lady Walter's garden. Both of them are more than willing to leave the job to the authorities until Lily overhears Lord Walter attempt to bribe the officers to drop the case and now Lily has the key to solve this murder. Lily is more determined than ever with the help of a Navy Officer and his wife to solve this murder before she becomes the next victim and find out what this blackmail scandal is all about. This book reminded me why I am a mystery lover and how they are so exhilarating and thrilling. We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction/Mystery collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Strong debut novel and start to a new series. When widow Lily Adler overhears a blackmail attempt that ends in murder, she is understandably shocked. When she overhears a respected friend bribe someone from Bow Street to drop the investigation of that murder she is appalled. Her sense of justice won’t let her drop the matter, so she decides to start her own investigation. While at times the tone and dialog didn’t feel quite right for the historical setting, it wasn’t enough to lessen my overall en Strong debut novel and start to a new series. When widow Lily Adler overhears a blackmail attempt that ends in murder, she is understandably shocked. When she overhears a respected friend bribe someone from Bow Street to drop the investigation of that murder she is appalled. Her sense of justice won’t let her drop the matter, so she decides to start her own investigation. While at times the tone and dialog didn’t feel quite right for the historical setting, it wasn’t enough to lessen my overall enjoyment of the story. The mystery was interesting, and the characters were well developed. I especially liked the relationship between Lily and Jack. Their interactions were funny and at times very sweet, without the usual contrived pendulum between ‘stare longingly into each other’s eyes’ and ‘sulky over some misunderstanding’. I’m interested to see how the author further develops their friendship/possible romance as the series continues. Content-wise: Mild language, reference to affairs, no bedroom content within the events of the story, non-graphic description of murder. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing me an ARC!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie Monson

    Oh, how I love a strong female lead, and Lily Adler's quick wit, charm, intellect and ability to adapt made this novel an absolute joy to read. Lily had returned to London after being widowed, an unfortunately short marriage to a man she truly loved. She was thrust back into the London scene with it's parties and gossip. The night of her first party, she almost witnesses a murder. With money worth more than justice, it is quickly swept under the rug. With the help of her friends Jack and Ofelia, Oh, how I love a strong female lead, and Lily Adler's quick wit, charm, intellect and ability to adapt made this novel an absolute joy to read. Lily had returned to London after being widowed, an unfortunately short marriage to a man she truly loved. She was thrust back into the London scene with it's parties and gossip. The night of her first party, she almost witnesses a murder. With money worth more than justice, it is quickly swept under the rug. With the help of her friends Jack and Ofelia, she sets out to solve a murder, but, as one can imagine, in 1815 London, it is hard to be taken seriously as a woman. Their adventures in the quest for answers are exciting, interesting and keep you on the edge of your seat. For lovers of historical fiction, The Body in the Garden does not disappoint as it delves into the East India Company, Indian integration into English society, and the Bow Street Runners. All around it was an enjoyable, interesting, surprising and well researched novel. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery and historical fiction. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing the ARC of this novel.

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