The Lace Widow (An Eliza Hamilton Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher : Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2023)
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 163910528X
ISBN-13 : 978-1639105281
Kindle ASIN : B0BY7WBKRB
Could Alexander Hamilton be at the center of a vast murder plot engulfing Old New York? As his widow, Eliza, pieces together the puzzle, she unearths a heartbreaking secret that threatens to tear her family apart.
New York, 1804. America’s beloved Alexander Hamilton lies dead after a duel with Aaron Burr. Meanwhile, Eliza Hamilton’s eighteen-year-old son, Alexander Jr., was seen fighting with a man in a tavern the night before his father’s duel and quickly comes under suspicion for murder when the man turns up dead.
Eliza searches for ways to clear her son’s name, even as she is grieving, but as she combs through her late husband’s papers, she finds evidence of a plot to steal money from the government during his tenure as secretary of state. Hamilton was accused of stealing that money, and it was a scandal that almost broke the family—but is Eliza now holding proof of Alexander’s innocence?
Deep in debt and despair, with eight children to support, Eliza turns to selling her handmade lace—and is drawn into a mysterious network of widow lacemakers who are intimately connected to New York’s high-society families. They know their dead husbands’ secrets—and soon, Eliza begins to piece together the truth.
There’s a dark plot connected with the duel, as one by one, witnesses to the bout are being killed. Now, Eliza must not only clear her husband’s and son’s names but keep herself out of the killer’s sights.
Eliza Hamilton is grieving her beloved husband Alexander Hamilton’s death following his duel with Aaron Burr when she learns her eighteen-year-old son, Alexander Jr. is under suspicion of murder after he was witnessed fighting with a man in a tavern who later was found dead. Determined to clear his name she starts by going through her beloved’s papers and she finds papers covering a plot to steal money from the government. Something he was accused of while serving as Secretary of State. But the papers prove what she already knew. Her husband didn’t steal that money.
Hamilton did leave Eliza in dire straights. With little money and deep in debt Eliza doesn’t know how she will be able to pay her bills and provide for their eight children. When Eliza reconnects with a woman, Alice, whom she helped after her own husband’s death she finds high-quality handmade lace is in demand. She decided to sell some of her family’s lace as well as make some herself to sell.
Reconnecting with Alice had another benefit, it connected her other widow lacemakers who knew their husbands’ secrets and are tapped into New York’s high-society families and their secrets and they are willing to help her prove her son’s innocence and her husband’s too. But as more witnesses to the duel are killed Eliza realizes her own life is in danger along with the lives of the women that are helping her.
Ms. Cox has written such a captivating story featuring a strong and compassionate woman in trying times. Eliza Hamilton loved her husband and would go to great lengths to provide and protect her children. Following her beloved’s death she exhibited such strength, a strength that she built up from her childhood. A strength that got her through the loss of a son, her husband’s death, and in this story clearing a son accused of murder. Within the pages, we get just a peek at Eliza’s works to help women and children. Alexander Hamilton was not a perfect man but she was devoted to him and looked past his indecretions and imperfections. One of her daughters struggled with mental illness and that tested her but she handled it as best she could. She truly was an amazing woman for her time.
In addition to Eliza, we meet her sister Angelica who came to help her right after Alexander’s death and was grieving in her own right. Angelica’s husband John took on Alexander Jr’s case to keep the young man out of jail. We also meet Alice Rhodes who Eliza helped through the Widow’s Society. Alice introduces Eliza to the four women she shares a house with, each with their own special talents. The characters are well-crafted and distinct. They are believable and develop throughout the book.
The story is well-plotted with an excellent flow. The mysteries are complicated but Ms. Cox’s writing style takes her readers right into the story so that we can untangle the clues right along with the characters. The twists and turns were well-placed and my interest continued to build with each turn of a page. Eliza was determined and resilient in her quest for the truth. I enjoyed the way the women pulled together to do almost anything to help her even when the situations turned grim.
While this is a fictional story the author truthfully depicts women’s lives in the 1800s. Eliza, Alice, and her friends were unique. The Author’s Note at the end of the book reveals the liberties she took with history to build this wonderful story and how she strived to stay as historically accurate as possible. I know she did extensive research to do just that. Before I read this book I didn’t know much about Eliza Hamilton. I learned so much while reading The Lace Widow and what I learned piqued my desire to know more.
The Lace Widow tells the story of some strong, confident women and the situations they faced in 1804. Ms. Cox’s reimagination of the weeks following Alexander Hamilton’s death is compelling. The scenes were described in detail, the dialogues were crisp, and the mysteries were riveting. I truly escaped back in time with Eliza Hamilton and believe this book deserves more than 5 stars. It is my first Best Read of 2024. It is a must-read for fans of historical mysteries.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Hardcover copy of The Lace Widow to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Following My Facebook Fan Page.
Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.
If you share the giveaway on Threads, X, or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
The Contest Will End on February 13, 2024, at 11:59 PM CST
The Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”