Shelley Adina is the author of more than 50 novels published by Harlequin, Warner, Hachette, and Moonshell Books, Inc., her own independent press. She writes steampunk adventure and mystery as Shelley Adina; as Charlotte Henry, writes classic Regency romance; and as Adina Senft, is the USA Today bestselling author of Amish women's fiction. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in the UK. She won RWA's RITA Award® in 2005, and was a finalist in 2006. She appeared in the 2016 documentary film Love Between the Covers, is a popular speaker and convention panelist, and has been a guest on many podcasts, including Worldshapers and Realm of Books. When she's not writing, Shelley is usually quilting, sewing historical costumes, or enjoying the garden with her flock of rescued chickens.

The Bride Wore Constant White by Shelley Adina

Daisy and Freddie were supposed to be her bridesmaids. Now they're solving her murder. In the steampunk Wild West, it's what friends do.

Margrethe Amelia Linden (Daisy to her friends) is a young woman of gentle upbringing, some talent as a watercolorist, and firm opinions that often get her into trouble. Determined to find her missing father, in the summer of 1895 she sets out for the last place he was seen: the Wild West. It's a rude shock when her younger sister stows away on the airship—such behavior no doubt the result of her unsuitable friendship with Maggie Polgarth and the Carrick House set.

On the journey, friendship blooms between Daisy and Miss Emma Makepeace, who is traveling to the Texican Territories as a mail-order bride. When Emma begs the girls to delay their search by a day or two in order to stand with her at the altar, Daisy is delighted to accept.

But the wedding day dawns on a dreadful discovery. Within hours the Texican Rangers have their man—but even in her grief, Daisy is convinced he cannot have killed her friend. She must right this terrible mistake before he hangs ... and before the real culprit realizes that two very observant young ladies are not going to allow him to get away with murder ...



  • "Shelley Adina adds murder to her steampunk world for a mysteriously delicious brew! You'll love watching her intrepid heroine (and unexpected friends) bring justice to the Wild West while pursuing a quest of her own."

    – Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in the Bowery
  • "I loved The Bride Wore Constant White. Shelley Adina has brilliantly combined steampunk with the 'clockwork cozy' in this series in which a young painter solves mysteries. Best of all, the novels feature familiar characters I love from her bestselling Magnificent Devices series. I can't wait for the next book!"

    – Nancy Warren, USA Today bestselling author of The Vampire Knitting Club
  • "This is the first in a series of well-reviewed books set in the steampunk world. For those who like the melding of Victorian culture with the fantastic fantasy of reality-bending science fiction, this one will be right up their alley."

    – Readers’ Realm



Chapter One

July 1895

Bath, England

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman of average looks, some talent, and no fortune must be in want of a husband, the latter to be foisted upon her at the earliest opportunity lest she become an embarrassment to her family. This had been depressingly borne in upon Miss Margrethe Amelia Linden, known to her family and her limited number of intimate friends as Daisy, well before the occasion of her twenty-first birthday.

"Certainly you cannot go to a ball, escorted or not," said her Aunt Jane. "You are not out of mourning for your dear mother. It would not be suitable. I am surprised that you have even brought it up, Daisy."

Daisy took a breath in order to defend herself, but her aunt forestalled her with a raised salad fork.

"No, I will invite a very few to lunch—including one or two suitable young men. Now that you have come into my sister's little bit of money, you will be slightly more attractive to a discerning person than, perhaps, you might have been before. Mr. Fetherstonehaugh, now. He still cherishes hopes of you, despite your appalling treatment of him. I insist on your considering him seriously. His father owns a manufactory of steambuses in Yorkshire, and he is the only boy in a family of five."

"I do not wish to be attractive to any of the gentlemen of our acquaintance, Aunt." Particularly not to him. "They lack gumption. To say nothing of chins."

This had earned her an expression meant to be crushing, but which only succeeded in making Aunt Jane look as though her lunch had not agreed with her.

"Your uncle and I wish to see you safely settled, dear," she said with admirable restraint.

Aunt Jane prided herself on her restraint under provocation. She had become rather more proud of it in the nearly two years since her sister had brought her two daughters to live under her roof, and then passed on to her heavenly reward herself. When one's sister's husband was known to have gone missing in foreign parts, one was also subject to impertinent remarks. Therefore, her restraint had reached heroic proportions.

"When you have been married fifty years, like our beloved Queen, you will know that a chin or lack thereof is hardly a consideration in a good husband—while a successful manufactory certainly is."

Daisy was not sure if Aunt Jane had meant to insult the prince, who from all accounts was still quite an attractive man. It was true that she could no more imagine Her Majesty without her beloved Albert than the sun without a moon. They had a scandalous number of children—nine!—and still the newspapers had reported that they had danced until dawn at Lord and Lady Dunsmuir's ball in London earlier in the week. Her Majesty was said to be prodigiously fond of dancing—between that and childbirth, she must be quite the athlete.

Daisy had never danced until dawn in her life, and doing so seemed as unlikely as having children.

Especially now.

For as of ten days ago, she was no longer a genteel spinster of Margaret's Buildings, Bath, but a woman of twenty-one years and independent means, having procured not only a letter of credit from her bank, but a ticket from Bath to London, and subsequently, passage aboard the packet to Paris, where she had boarded the transatlantic airship Persephone bound for New York.

"My goodness, you're so brave," breathed Emma Makepeace, her breakfast companion in the grand airship's dining saloon this morning, the third of their crossing. She had been listening with rapt attention, her spoonful of coddled egg halting in its fatal journey. "But at what point did you realize you were not alone?"

Daisy glanced at her younger sister, Frederica, who wisely did not lift her own attention from her plate, but continued to shovel in poached eggs, potatoes, and sliced ham glazed in orange sauce as though this were her last meal.

"As we were sailing over the Channel. At that point, my sister deemed it safe to reveal herself, since there would be no danger of my sending her back to our aunt and uncle." She gave a sigh. "We are committed to this adventure together, I am afraid."

"I certainly am," Freddie ventured. "I used all my savings for the tickets, including what I could beg from Maggie Polgarth."

"Who is that?" Miss Makepeace asked, resuming her own breakfast with a delicate appetite. "One of your school friends?"

Freddie nodded. "Maggie and her cousin Elizabeth Seacombe are the wards of Lady Claire Malvern, of Carrick House in Belgravia."

"Oh, I have met Lady Claire. Isn't she lovely? What an unexpected pleasure it is to meet people acquainted with her."

It took Daisy a moment to recover from her surprise at a reliable third party knowing people she had half believed to be imaginary.