Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen -- Book Review

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are honest and are my own.

My favorite new-to-me author of 2014 is, by far, Julie Klassen. I've read five or six of her books this year, and loved every one. Tonight I finished her latest, The Secret of Pembrooke Park, and it's my favorite yet! Combing the elements of romance and mystery, and placing them in my favorite historical time setting---Regency England---Klassen has written up a true treasure. Mrs. Klassen, if you're reading this, please hear my plea: write more mysteries!

Book Description: "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?"

My Thoughts: This book has all the elements I love in a great historical novel. An old house (in England, to boot!), a girl, a secret, a mystery...wonderful! At over 400 pages, you'd think I'd grow tired of the story after a bit. Not at all---this one kept me interested from beginning to end. Had I the time, I easily could have read it straight through in a day. It's one I definitely did not want to end. My only complaint---and not really so much a complaint as just a bit of a bummer---is that I had the whole thing figured out very early in. This happens to me often, though, so I just enjoy seeing how it's all going to play out! 

Have you read anything by Julie Klassen? I encourage you to find one of her excellent Regency-themed books and discover who is soon to be one of your new favorite authors, as well!


  1. I love Julie's writing !
    Girl in the Gatehouse is exceptional, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is another.
    HapPy Reading!
    and do join us for the Love Libraries Reading Challenge if you have access to any near you!
    Libraries need us readers as do our fav authors ! ;))

  2. Glad you enjoyed the book--and the mystery. I enjoyed writing it as well!

  3. Julie Klassen is one of my absolute favorites and loved this one too!