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Book Review – Shadows of Swanford Abbey

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. . . .

My Thoughts

I found this book to be an intriguing historical mystery, murder, danger, strange happenings, and more… with bits of romance thrown in.
I’d hesitate to class it with Agatha Christie, as those are in a class all their own…but I did enjoy the mystery in this book.

Becky Lane is a relatable heroine. She finds herself, through no fault of her own, mixed up in a murder. And, not at all unusual for a big sister, she is hiding a few pieces of truth in order to protect her brother.

Her childhood friend, Sir Frederick, is the magistrate in charge of this case. He knows her well enough to know she is hiding something. But what?

I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow, will they learn to love and trust each other again? I also enjoyed seeing the truth about ‘whodunit’ be revealed, bit by bit.

This story takes you on a journey full of twists and turns. I had suspicions about what might have happened, but was surprised as I read the ending.

If you enjoy historical mystery novels, you won’t want to miss this one.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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