(Bethany House Publishers)
December 2014/464 pages/$14.99
Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play...
The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.
This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances--and her dowry--Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.
Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.
As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?
Read an excerpt.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This may be my favorite Julie Klassen novel to date, and she has written some wonderful books prior to this one! So many elements combine to make this a captivating story: the enthralling Regency era, a fascinating mystery with well-placed moments of suspense, the ever-present inequity between classes, and of course, a bit of romance. A rich assortment of characters add depth and increase the enigma surrounding the estate. I was drawn into the story from the opening pages and had a hard time putting this one down until I finished it. I can usually spot a resolution before it's revealed but Klassen's skill kept me guessing until the end. Add this book to your must-read list and be watching for it when award nominations are revealed next year.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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