Sunday, December 12, 2021

BLOG TOUR - Shadows of Swanford Abbey


Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen in 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


Title:   Shadows of Swanford Abbey
Author:  Julie Klassen
PublisherBethany House Publishers
Genre:   Historical Fiction 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   416
Date of Publication:   December 7, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars

Rebecca Lane has always been concerned for her brother John’s well-being. Called to his assistance, she finds that she would do anything within her power when it came to his wanting to become a published author. She agrees to spend some time at Swanford Abbey, a hotel where an author will be staying. Her brother had been told that he could no longer approach publishers directly so Rebecca agrees to stay in a hotel that very well may be haunted in order to approach the author with her brother’s manuscript.

Not only is the author soon found dead, mysterious sightings and sounds prove very disturbing to Rebecca. She finds it impossible to not investigate matters herself, even though it means working alongside her former beau, Sir Frederick Wilford. Rebecca soon realizes that feelings that she thought with long ago buried for Frederick quickly rise to the fore. Meanwhile, Rebecca’s worry for John never settles as his erratic behavior grows more concerning. She hopes that if his book gets the attention it deserves that perhaps John might become well. 

There were also other matters that helped to explain her brother’s behavior all while a murderer was on the loose. Rebecca and Frederick made a fine team as they worked hard to discover the murderer. The comparison of this book to Agatha Christie and Jane Austen was spot on as this intriguing story wove in a strong gothic vibe. Also, this was a very touching story as it dealt with sensitive issues that were perhaps difficult to identify during the time and setting involved. Julie Klassen was a new name for me and this book could not have been a better introduction to her excellent writing. 

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


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.



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Robin. Julie is a talented writer and I enjoyed the suspense and Gothic elements in this story. I always on the look out for her next book!