- Title: Shadows of Swanford Abbey
- Author: Julie Klassen
- Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Suspense, Inspirational Fiction
- Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 7, 2021)
- Length: (416) pages
- Format: Hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook
- Tour Dates: December 6-17, 2021
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…
Author Julie Klassen shares her inspiration for Shadows of Swanford Abbey
“A brilliant Agatha Christie-esque whodunit by reader favorite Julie Klassen. Set in the creepy atmosphere of an old abbey, Shadows of Swanford Abbey will keep you guessing until the very end. There’s plenty of danger, intrigue, and—yes—romance to delight Regency-era lovers of all ages. Truly a don’t-miss read!”—Michelle Griep, Christy Award-winning author of Once Upon a Dickens Christmas
“If you enjoy historical fiction with equal blends MYSTERY (suspense) and ROMANCE, then I recommend Shadows of Swanford Abbey with you wholeheartedly without any reservations. This may just be my FAVORITE Klassen novel yet.”—Becky Laney, Becky’s Book Reviews
“Once again Julie Klassen has delivered an intriguing book with all kinds of mystery and a few ghosts added in made it all worth the midnight oil I burned because I didn’t want to put it down!”—Lori Parrish, Red Headed Book Lady
With an atmospheric setting, Shadows of Swanford Abbey takes the reader through local lore, ghost sightings and the scene of a murder. Rebecca Lane has returned to her childhood home to help her brother, a recluse writer who has turned on himself. She stays the local abbey turned hotel, where she encounters her girlhood crush, now a man and a widow. The two of them must navigate how they’ve changed over the years while caught in the clutches of a mystery.
The writing was engaging enough that I finished in one day. The pacing was a little slow and too detailed for me when they were interviewing each suspect and individual guest, hotel worker. That was the only lull. It has a Clue like vibe and a bit of a Bronte feel. Overall, I found this to be a well-written Christian Historical romance. Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy the sweet, slow romance and the happily ever after.
Content: opium abuse, unfaithful spouse, attempted assault, mild violence, mention of murder.
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.