Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen in 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:

Wow, wow, wow! I just LOVED Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen. The story was fantastic! I found myself happily settling in with the book on a chilly day and couldn't believe how quickly time passed as I turned the last few pages of the story. Talk about the perfect read on a winter day. 

The story takes place at Swanford Abbey, a medieval monastery turned hotel. It's reputed to be haunted, which definitely adds to the atmosphere of the story. Rebecca's brother wants her to drop off his manuscript to an author staying at the abbey. She's not keen on doing the favor, but feels obligated and so she agrees. Once at Swanford Abbey, she begins to notice some pretty creepy things. And, it doesn't help when she runs into her ex, Sir Frederick Wilford - the man who broke her heart. Talk about awkward.  Of course, that reunion pales in comparison to the murder at the abbey. Yep, turns out the author is murdered and that nobody really liked him. Meaning there were grudges against him and Rebecca and her brother were some of the people holding grudges. Looks like Sir Frederick, the magistrate, has his work cut out for him - following his heart and searching for the truth. Especially as it seems that Rebecca is not being very forthcoming...hmm...what could she possibly be hiding? And, that is all I will write about this terrific tale. You need to get your hands on a copy to find out what happened to the author, and to find out if Rebecca and Sir Frederick get back together. What a story!

I would happily recommend Shadows of Swanford Abbey to fans of Klassen and to anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book to bits! Check it out! The writing is superb and the characters are so much fun to get to know. This is one book you will LOVE falling in deep with. A must-read for historical fiction fanatics who love the Regency era!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

The setting sounds like a lot of fun! :)

Laurel Ann Nattress said...

Thanks for the thoughtful review, Nadia. I really enjoyed it as well, especially the suspense and Gothic elements. Julie is such a gifted writer and I always look forward to her next novel. Best, LA

Bookish Way of life said...

Thank you for the book review. Seems I'll have to get my hands on this book. You write amazing book reviews, you know that already, don't you? XD