No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby

No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby

Title: No Life for a Lady
Author: Hannah Dolby
Publisher:  Aria 
Genre:  General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  328
Date of Publication:  UK pub date - 3/2/23 US pub date - 5/9/23
My Rating:  3 Stars

My Thoughts 

After being invited to read this, I will say that it took me a long (very long) time to get into this - I found Violet quite infuriating for the first few chapters and never really warmed up to the story, since I just wanted to shake some sense into her (the fact that she kept a seemingly shady detective that she didn’t like or trust in her employ was almost enough for me to dnf, but I did my best to persevere). I partially enjoyed this, reservedly. 

  • It took too long for the story to get interesting (imo) 

  • I found the plot awkward - is it a mystery, is it a romance? 

  • Violet was too annoying for me 

  • I found the writing too modern for a story that takes place in the late 1800’s - details of life in this time period are sparse

This one will find its fans but it wasn’t for me. 

Thank you to Aria / Head of Zeus and NetGalley for the DRC!


'Eleanor Oliphant for historical fiction fans, with a dash of detective work and mystery thrown in. I loved everything about it.' Katie Lumsden

Violet Hamilton is a woman who knows her own mind. Which, in 1896, can make things a little complicated...

At 28, Violet's father is beginning to worry she will never find a husband. But every suitor he presents, Violet finds a new and inventive means of rebuffing.

Because Violet does not want to marry. She wants to work, and make her own way in the world. But more than anything, she wants to find her mother Lily, who disappeared from Hastings Pier 10 years earlier.

Finding the missing is no job for a lady, but when Violet hires a seaside detective to help, she sets off a chain of events that will put more than just her reputation at risk.

Can Violet solve the mystery of Lily Hamilton's vanishing before it's too late?

A delightfully quirky and clever book club read, perfect for fans of Dear Mrs BirdThe Maid and Lessons in Chemistry.

Praise for No Life For a Lady:
'A GORGEOUS historical romcom with lashings of mystery... Joyful!' 
Sophie Irwin
'Charming, exhilarating, fabulously funny and so full of heart – Violet is the heroine I've been waiting for.' 
Daisy Buchanan
'So original and well written, I couldn't put it down... I can't remember rooting for a heroine as hard as I did for Violet.' 
Lucy Vine
'Delightful, original, cleverly crafted and completely addictive. Violet Hamilton is one of those characters who slips into your heart straight away and radiates joy. I loved it!' 
Hazel Prior
'Impeccably researched, with a slowly unfurling mystery at its heart, this witty and uplifting story belongs entirely to Violet – a lady determined to tackle life (and love!) on her own terms' 
Julietta Henderson
'Violet's story is moving, inspiring and very, very funny; a complete triumph' 
Celia Anderson
'Watch out Enola Holmes - Violet Hamilton is on the case! Pure joy and utterly charming!' 
Faith Hogan
'Eleanor Oliphant for historical fiction fans, with a dash of detective work and mystery thrown in. I loved everything about it.' 
Katie Lumsden


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