A BUST Review – The Framed Women of Ardemore House: A Novel 

by Ellia Bisker

This compulsively readable murder mystery by Brandy Schillace—about a misfit American who inherits a decaying English estate, along with its secrets—features an endearing, idiosyncratic protagonist. Amateur sleuth Jo is equal parts Miss Marple and Phryne Fisher: eccentric, disarming, and frequently underestimated. She is also socially awkward, unusually direct, and subject to sensory overload. Like the author herself, she identifies as autistic. Jo’s quirks make her immensely likeable as a character. But while the details of her experiences as a neurodivergent person are compelling, it’s also clear that her autism isn’t the most interesting thing about her. 

When a body shows up on a carpet not long after her arrival, Jo becomes obsessed with solving the mystery—not just of the murder itself, but of a missing painting that no one else seems to believe existed. In her quest to reveal the truth, she wins friends, carves out a place for herself as an outsider in a small town, and uncovers a convoluted tale involving the erasure of women from history. This cozy mystery offers humor and heart along with expertly crafted plot and a refreshingly unique voice.

Top Image Via Hanover Square Press

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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