Review: The Framed Women of Ardemore House by Brandy Schillace

Posted April 5, 2024 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 4 Comments

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The Framed Women of Ardemore HouseThe Framed Women of Ardemore House
by Brandy Schillace

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult

An abandoned English manor. A peculiar missing portrait. A cozy, deviously clever muder mystery, perfect for fans of Richard Osman and Anthony Horowitz.

Jo Jones has always had a little trouble fitting in. As a neurodivergent, hyperlexic book editor and divorced New Yorker transplanted into the English countryside, Jo doesn’t know what stands out more: her Americanisms or her autism.

After losing her job, her mother, and her marriage all in one year, she couldn’t be happier to take possession of a possibly haunted (and clearly unwanted) family estate in North Yorkshire. But when the body of the moody town groundskeeper turns up on her rug with three bullets in his back, Jo finds herself in potential danger—and she’s also a potential suspect. At the same time, a peculiar family portrait vanishes from a secret room in the manor, bearing a strange connection to both the dead body and Jo’s mysterious family history.

With the aid of a Welsh antiques dealer, the morose local detective, and the Irish innkeeper’s wife, Jo embarks on a mission to clear herself of blame and find the missing painting, unearthing a slew of secrets about the town—and herself—along the way. And she’ll have to do it all before the killer strikes again…

My Review

I received a free ecopy from the publisher through Edelweiss and voluntarily reviewed it.

The Framed Women of Ardemore House got recommended to me by my friend and fellow bookreviewer Sophia. I want to read more books with neurodivergent main characters after getting diagnosed as autistic last year and this book sounded great. I love cozy mysteries and finding one with an autistic main character was just awesome. I did somehow mistakenly thought this one would be a historical cozy, which it isn’t. And I thought that Jo would an amateur sleuth, which thanks to reading Sophia’s review before I started I realized wasn’t the case. After getting those things out of the way I quickly got hooked in this book and really enjoyed it.

Jo moves to England as she found out she inherited an estate after her mother died. Things quickly turn complicated when a painting gets stolen from the property and a guy gets killed in the cottage that now is Jo’s. Detective MacAdams handles most of the murder investigation while Jo tries to figure out who the lady is in the painting that got stolen and what happened to the painting. These two storylines play out alongside one another with the characters also interacting with each other. I really liked both of these mysteries and it made for a great story.

The murder mystery was a great one. I felt like the detective kept uncovering new information and some suspects even got ruled out along the way. I felt like the picture kept becoming more complete, but it still kept me guessing as to who had done it. It felt like a vital piece of information is missing and stays that way till the end when everything falls on it’s place. I liked how much sense the reveal made and I liked seeing all the pieces fall on it’s place. At the same time Jo uncovers some vital information about the lady in the painting. That plot point about the lady in painting is left open a bit with not everything becoming known, I am not sure if this is meant to be an open plot point or whether there will be a sequel, I hope the latter as I would love to read a sequel.

I really liked reading about Jo. Her being autistic isn’t the focal point of the book with the focus being clearly on the mysteries, but it is a clear and important part of her personality. I thought that part was very well written and I could relate to Jo on various points. I liked reading about her and how she became involved in the mystery felt realistic. It took me a bit longer to warm up to Detective MacAdams, but I slowly grew to like him and his dedication to solving this mystery. There is a variety of side characters as well, some are likeable like Tula and Jo’s Welsh friend, others are interesting and others play a role in the mystery. They all have a role to play in the plot. I liked the inclusion of an ADHD’er side character as well in Jo’s Welsh friend.

To summarize: I really enjoyed The Framed Women of Ardemore House. I am glad my friend Sophia recommend this book to me as this is exactly the type of book I like to read. I liked how the mystery had a clear sense of progression with new information coming to light, but also kept me guessing till the very end. I liked the reveal and how it made sense when all the pieces fell on it’s place. I liked reading about Jo and seeing what she uncovers about the women in the painting. I thought her being autistic was handled well with it being a clear part of her personality and there were parts of her I could definitely relate to. Detective MacAdams handles the murder investigation and I liked reading the chapters of his point of view as well, although it took me a bit longer to warm up to him as a character. All in all this was a great read and I sure hope there will be a sequel, in either case I will look forward to more books by this author.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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4 responses to “Review: The Framed Women of Ardemore House by Brandy Schillace

    • I am really glad you recommended this one to me, it was such a good read. Let’s hope the author decides to write a sequel.

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