Author: Julie Klassen
Genre: Regency, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Paperback: 460 pages
Julie Klassen Is the Top Name in Inspirational regency Romance
Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her–a longtime friend–has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, 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 to know something about the manor’s past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.
Hoping to improve her family’s financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. And I have to say I was not disappointed. The Secret of Pembrooke Park is about Abigail Foster and her family moving into Pembrooke Park after a financial disaster. Luckily for Abigail a solicitor visits with an offer of the use of Pembrooke for a year. The only downside to Pembrooke is that it has been abandoned for eighteen years as if the family just abruptly left. On the upside the local curate is very nice and handsome and helps Abigail when she needs it. He has an amazing family that loves each other and she loves getting to know the family better. As we know, old houses are full of creaks and moans but that does not help Abigail sleep at night especially when she learns there is a rumor of hidden treasure somewhere in Pembrooke Park.
Abigail is always second best when it comes to her sister except for the fact that she has her head on her shoulders and her father puts a lot of trust in her to take care of the family finances. After one mistake the family faces financial ruin. Now that Abigail has moved to Pembrooke Park she has grown more independent and tries to fix her family situation. She even gives her portion of her dowry to her sister so that she can have a chance on striking a great match. Instead of letting this downfall ruin her she works hard to make up for what she has done. I really enjoyed her character and being able to experience everything with her. Then there is William Chapman, the local curate, who is young, handsome, strong, and of course God focused. What better man could there be. He has been very nice and helpful to Abigail and does whatever he can to make her feel part of the neighborhood. And when things take a turn for the worse he goes after and protects Abigail.
I like the mystery the author brings to the story. There are clues throughout the story to lead you towards the goal but not enough to fully figure it out until you get to the end. Well written story and at times I thought the book was going one direction but for the better going in the opposite direction. Bravo to you Julie Klassen, a great story that I was lucky enough to read.
So for any of you that loves a great mystery story set in the Regency era, then you have to go and get this book. You will not regret it one bit. Once you start reading, it is hard to put the book down.
Below are two websites that are about the book and might be able to help bring the book to life while you are reading it. The first video is of Julie Klassen at the home that inspired her to write this story. There are some amazing pictures of the place and a few short videos and the second video is a book trailer.