Today’s book review features
Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen.
Agatha Christie meets Jane Austenin this atmospheric Regency tale brimming with mystery, intrigue, and romance.
When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Feeling responsible for her brother’s desperate state, she reluctantly agrees.
The medieval monastery turned grand hotel is rumored to be haunted. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey’s cloisters. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past–including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick–magistrate, widower, and former neighbor–who long ago broke her heart.
When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick begins questioning staff and guests and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick searches for answers but is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something. .
Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen is a regency romance mystery. Set it an abandoned abbey turned hotel, the past mixes with the present as the ghost of the first abbess roams the halls. When one guest turns up dead, the list of suspects stretches long. Rebecca is determined to protect her brother and Sir Frederick is determined to unearth the truth, both goals may cost them their renewed friendship.
I loved the setting of this book! The old hotel, the crumbling arches, dark forests. It added a perfect air of Gothic mystery to the story. The mystery itself was a challenge to figure out, too. Though, as a big cozy mystery fan, I wish there had been less set up in the first half and more deducing in the second half. The historical details of how an investigation was handled were fascinating. The main characters were sweet and I loved Lady Fitzhoward. Overall, it was an entertaining read fans of regency mystery will enjoy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.