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12 Days at Bleakly Manor ~ Review

12 Days at Bleakly Manor
Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #1
By Michelle Griep

What could be better than a Christmas story? Maybe a Victorian Christmas story? Even better is a Victorian Christmas mystery.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor takes the reader back to 1850 London where Clara Chapman is living on the charity of her Aunt Mitchell since Benjamin Lane left her waiting at the altar with no word of apology or explanation. For nine months Clara has been angry at Ben for his betrayal and the ruin he brought to her and her family.

For the last nine months, Benjamin Lane has been calling a dank cell within Millbank Prison home. Without warning his life as he knew it ended on the day he was to wed. Ben knew that he had been betrayed the only question in his mind was why and whom?

When both Clara and Ben receive mysterious invitations to attend the Twelve Days of Christmas at Bleakly Manor it seems someone has a cruel streak taunting them both with what could have been. But these two are not the only guests and their host remains anonymous and absent. Each guest is offered a special gift if they make it through the entirety of the twelve days. But when strange things begin happening the surety of completing the entire twelve days is soon in doubt. Could this be just random occurrences or is something more sinister at work?

One thing is certain if they live through this visit it will be a Christmas none will soon forget...
This is a fun read and very much a holiday mystery. If you want something a little different to read that is easy to get into this would be an excellent choice. Even more fun would be reading this book aloud, enjoying it with friends and family as you attempt to determine who did or didn't do what. This book promises to be the first in a delightful series that makes a definite nod to Charles Dickens that Dickens fans will love!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?

England, 1850: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds. That's enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancĂ©, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on the unknown person who stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is blindsided by the anger of the woman he left at the altar. 

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the 12 Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

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