ARC Review: No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby

Hi Everyone,

Hope you’re all doing well. I’ve been MIA for a while but for no real reason other than being super busy. Work has been kicking my backside and then I’ve also had quite a few social things I’ve been attending the last couple of weeks. I’d love to say. I’ve still managed to get lots of reading done, but I haven’t really. Never mind though. May is a new month and a fresh start.

Book πŸ“–

Thank you to @headofzeus for this advanced copy of No Life for a Lady by @dolbyhannah in return for an honest review. No Life for a Lady was published on 2nd March 2023 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

It’s remarkable how men react when women break the rules… but the people of Hastings are about to discover, women can be remarkable too…

1896. At 28, Violet’s father is beginning to fear she will never marry. But every suitor he puts forward, she finds an increasingly creative way of rebuffing.

Because Violet is a woman who knows her own mind – and her mind is on her mother, who went missing 10 years earlier, vanishing from Hastings Pier without a trace.

Looking for the missing is not a suitable pastime for a lady. But when Violet hires a seaside detective to help, she sets off an unexpected chain of events that will throw her life into chaos.

Can Violet solve the mystery of Lily Hamilton’s vanishing? Or will trying cost her more than she can afford to lose?

General Thoughts πŸ€”

Historical fiction isn’t usually my jam, however the cover and synopsis of this one caught my attention and I was super keen to give it a go. It was Violet’s character that interested me the most and it was her character that I enjoyed the most about the book. We will come back to that in the next section though.

I loved the mystery aspect to this story and the little mini investigations that I was able to follow along the way. Violet found her niche in the lady detective world and I was 100% there for it.

Characters πŸ‘«πŸ‘­πŸ‘¬

I immediately liked Violet and knew that she was going to develop into a character that I admired and wanted nothing but the best for. I was so happy to see her stand her ground and hold her own in situations when a female of that time wouldn’t usually do the same. I wish that she had been able to do so a little earlier with the dodgy detective, but at the same time I liked the way that the tension between them grew as the story progressed.

I had mixed feelings about Violet’s father. I think that he was a victim of being stuck between different generations. He wanted Violet to follow tradition, get married (to a man hand picked by him of course) but deep down I think he knew that that was never going to be his daughter. I think he admired her independence but worried for how Violet would be seen by others outside of their family home.

Writing Style ✍️

The reason I don’t read a lot of historical fiction is because I have stuck this stigma on it (yes me, I take all of the blame) that it’s not going to be relatable or it’s going to be boring or it’s not going to be engaging enough to keep me interested. What I really liked about Hannah Dolby’s writing was that this didn’t read like is was set in the 1800s and I often forgot that that was the case. Not only that, but when I was reminded, I wasn’t mad about it. There was plenty that was relatable within the story and I was definitely engaged.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–

I really enjoyed this story and I loved following Violet on her little mini adventures that were all part of her big journey to becoming a Lady Detective.. She was such a fantastic character and completely carried the book. I loved her strong mindedness, independence and her total disregard for what anyone may have thought of her. If there was one reason I would recommend this book, it would definitely be Violet. A great book that was relatively easy to follow and entertaining throughout. I hope to read more from this author and also more about Violet.


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