©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I have loved Julie Klassen since I read Lady of Milkweed Manor several years ago. She writes with well-planned plots, just enough mystery, and empathetic characters. I was excited to see that The Secret of Pembrooke Place was up for reviewing. As it came up in my review list, I was having a hard time waiting until its turn for my kindle.

Julie writes fairly long books and I like that because it gives her the opportunity to fully develop the characters, the plots, and the subplots. Abigail Foster is a young woman in London, and a member of a family in financial straits because her father invested in a banking venture with her mother's brother. Because the family had to sell their house, they were looking for a place to live quickly so that Abigail's sister, Louisa, could still have her debut and season. Through their solicitor, an anonymous benefactor offered Pembrooke Park to them with a staff as long as they oversaw the upkeep and repairs to the mansion. After Abigail moved in, mysterious letters, unsigned, began arriving, with pages from a journal that was kept about the mansion.

Pembrooke Place has a history that is somewhat checkered--two brothers fought over it, a treasure was rumored to be hidden in it, and the Pembrooke name had its own miseries. Soon after moving in, Abigail meets the local parson, William Chapman, and the rest of his family. William's father had been caretaker for Pembrooke Park until the family moved out. The mysteries surrounding Pembrooke Park are woven through the book and the plots and subplots with the warp and woof of the life lived out in Easton, where Pembrooke Park is located.

I liked this book quite well, but for me, the book dragged in places, and it was predictable in places. I can give this book a solid four stars.

Bethany House allowed me to read this book in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was offered or received.

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