Sunday, March 9, 2014

Historical Romance and Mystery -- Butterfly Palace

I've not read many of Colleen Coble's books, but I'm fast becoming a fan of her work.  She is a masterful storyteller and offers her readers a real treat -- whether in a modern-day setting or on an adventure that takes us back to a different time and place. 

Butterfly Palace is a great story full of mystery and romance, set at the beginning of the 20th century in a home of great wealth. The unexpected ways in which the lives of the haves and the have-nots intersect provide an intriguing element to the story.  And trying to decide who are the "good guys" and who are the "bad guys" certainly keeps the reader involved in the story up to the very end.

Lily and Andy/Drew are well-developed characters with a mixture of strengths and flaws that make them very "real."  Part of the attraction of the story is watching the unanticipated growth in Belle and some of the other characters.

I would highly recommend Butterfly Palace to fans of mystery, romance and early 20th-century fiction.  If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, you may enjoy the contrasting lives of the rich and their servants.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

Elegance and wealth. Privilege and politics. The extravagance of the Butterfly Palace overwhelmed Lily’s senses and nearly smothered her painful memories. She pushed away her misgivings . . . She was perfectly safe in this huge house.

Austin, Texas—1904: Abandoned by the love of her life and still mourning the loss of her mother, Lily Donaldson has turned her back on the pain and come to Austin for a fresh start, working for the Marshall family as a kitchen maid in their luxurious mansion, the Butterfly Palace. The tasks before her are legion, and her mistress less than pleasant, but at least Lily’s new life will be, if nothing else, distracting.

But one night, while serving at a dinner party, Lily recognizes the man who abandoned her, Andy, her liaison from the livery stable, the blacksmith’s son . . . sitting among the distinguished guests. Though he recognizes her, Andy does not acknowledge her aloud, and Lily is left reeling, flabbergasted, and irate.

But before she can get an explanation, the path of the Servant Girl Killer swerves very close to the Butterfly Palace, sowing terror among the maids. Having come to Austin to start anew, Lily suddenly feels trapped in a spider web. How can she know who to trust in a house where lies come dressed in fine suits and deceit in silk gowns the colors of butterfly wings?

About the Author 

Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

Visit her website at Twitter @colleencoble.

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