Review: No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby

When this one came up for review it sounded cute and charming. Like it might be a little bit cozy mystery with a little bit of romance which made me excited to read it. Though the cover doesn’t scream ‘cozy mystery’ to me—in fact the cover felt a little blah. But what the cover lacked in eye catching detail, the summery made up for and I was excited to check this debut novel out! I am always a sucker for historical mysteries (cozy or otherwise) and I thought this one sounded like it would be something new to check out.

One thing that surprised me about this book was it’s a standalone. So many historical mysteries are long standing series and while I love revisiting favorite characters again and again, sometimes it’s nice when things wrap up after just one book. That said I think this book left some options open for additional stories so if you indeed love this book, there is a possibility for future books to revisit favorite characters, but again it’s not necessary for this book to become a series.

With sunny days ahead, it’s nice to read something that makes you feel happy and that’s just what this book did, it was entertaining, charming, and had a lit bit of everything but ultimately it made me feel content and happy which is what I love about reading! If you are looking for something fun to read this spring, this book might be just the ticket for you!


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? (summary from Goodreads)


I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one. The cover didn’t scream mystery to me but the summery promised a mystery and detectives etc. I felt like this book had the potential to be suffering an identity crisis. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in but I was in a ‘just go with it’ mood and found that this story, while slow in places, was enjoyable and had something for everyone. The first half was a bit on the slow side and I found my self wondering when it would pick up. Eventually it picked up in the second half and I liked that Violet was more of an active character in the second half. In the beginning we see more of an internal monologue from her and while some of that is nice, it dominated the first half of the book, but by the second half she was way more active and I liked getting to see that side of her and not just always being in her head.

The mystery in this one worked fine for me. I liked the personal connection Violet had to the disappearance of her mother and I think readers will enjoy reading the mystery parts. It wasn’t overly twisty, or complicated but fun all the same. I did wonder why it took her so long to decide to finally investigate her mother’s disappearance but that was mostly a minor thing for me. I liked Violet’s character, she struggles with what society wants her to be and I always love a ‘rule breaker’ so in that I enjoyed Violet’s character. Though she is a bit ditzy and nieve which I struggled with at times. But in the end I found her persistence as a character won me over and I can say that I certainly enjoyed getting to know her.

I had a a hard time deciding what to rate this one. On one hand it was cute and when I was finished I felt happy I read it and thought it was good. But the first half of the book was really slow and I had a hard time rationalizing why it was so slow. I know this is a debut novel for this author and I think with some experience, there will come better pacing for future books. Overall I would say this is a solid start and I would certainly read more books from this author! It really was an uplifting story and entertaining!

Book Info and Rating

Format 328 pages, Kindle Edition

Published March 2, 2023 by Aria

ISBN 9781804544341

Free review copy provided by publisher, Aria Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 3 stars

Genre: historical fiction, cozy mystery


Charming comments go here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s