Book Review: No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby

Posted March 4, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger, New Release / 28 Comments

No Life for a Lady
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Hannah Dolby
Publication Date March 2, 2023
Published by Head of Zeus
Purchase Here Buy on Amazon US - Buy on Apple - Buy on Kobo - Buy on Google - Buy at Barnes and Noble - Buy on Waterstones - Buy on Amazon UK
Genres: Fiction / Historical / General
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

The most joyful book of 2023!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 Bird, The Maid and Lessons in Chemistry.

Praise for No Life For a Lady:
'A GORGEOUS historical romcom with lashings of mystery... Joyful!' Sophie Irwin, author, A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting
'Charming, exhilarating, fabulously funny and so full of heart - Violet is the heroine I've been waiting for.' Daisy Buchanan, author, Careering

No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby is a delightful historical romance about a spirited woman who is ahead of her time. 

Story Recap:

The year is 1896 and Violet, aged 28 is now past her marriage age and she’s determined never to marry.  Violet’s mother went missing ten years ago, and she sets out to find out what happened to her.  Her father is against her search, but Violet is a spirited young woman and she’s determined to do the search herself.  

Will Violet find out what happened to her mother?  

My Thoughts: 

I enjoyed No Life for a Lady.  As always when I read books set in this time period, I get frustrated with the limitations of being a woman during this time.  However, it was fun to watch Violet ignore many of the rules and do her own thing.  I loved her spirit and her ability to ignore social conventions.  

The mystery of Violet’s mother’s disappearance added to the story and I was fully invested in finding out what happened to her.   The pacing in the middle bogged down a bit, but overall, I found the book to be very entertaining.  


I highly recommend No Life for a Lady to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Hannah Dolby

Hannah Dolby's first job was in the circus and she is keen to keep life as interesting. She trained as a journalist in Hastings and has worked in PR for many years, promoting museums, galleries, palaces, gardens and even Dolly the sheep. She completed the Curtis Brown selective three-month novel writing course, and she won runner-up in the Comedy Women in Print Awards for this novel with the prize of a place on an MA in Comedy Writing at the University of Falmouth. She currently lives in London.

Book Challenges:

No Life for a Lady counts towards my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023.

Have you read No Life For A Lady?

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

28 responses to “Book Review: No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby

  1. I don’t think I’ve heard of this one before but it sounds like it’d be a fun read. Thanks for sharing your review. 🙂

  2. Nice review, Wendy. I also get frustrated by all the restrictions and know that the fiction I read about strong women during this time is just that, fiction, but I love it anyway. This sounds like a good story and I’m glad the mystery kept the story moving along.

  3. Jenny+McClinton

    I’m the same is shocking how different it was for women back then, great review 😊

  4. Yeah, I have a similar reaction when I read about all of the restrictions placed on women back then. This sounds like an interesting read for sure.