Review: ‘Shadows of Swanford Abbey’ by Julie Klassen

About The Book
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. . . .
About Julie Klassen
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Minnesota Book Award, the Midwest Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit and for more information.
My review: 4 stars!

‘God seemed silent and forgiveness not forthcoming.’

Julie Klassen has been a favorite since I read her first book, the Lady of Milkweed Manor, which I have read twice. This current book, described as ‘Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen’ is very good indeed. And the blurb is quite true. All through the reading of it, I kept thinking how much it reminded me of an Agatha Christie mystery. Klassen is very adept here and I never once guessed the culprit, even though there were a plethora of suspects. Her books are always filled with likeable characters and believable plots. This one fit the bill for me indeed. Well done!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. The opinion in this review is expressly my own.

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Genre: Inspirational Historical
Length: 448 pages
Buy Link:

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