Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review: "12 Days at Bleakly Manor" by Michelle Griep

Fans of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and the movie Clue will find much to enjoy in 12 Days at Bleakly Manor.

When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand 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 fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve 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.

The setup of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor is very similar to the Agatha Christie classic: a group of (mostly) strangers are invited to spend the 12 Days of Christmas at Bleakly Manor. The guests don't know why they've been invited, and when they arrive, their host is missing. And then bad things start happening ... (Nothing is as brutal as the fate Christie's characters met; this is definitely a PG-rated mystery.)

I really enjoyed trying to guess what would happen next and determine who had summoned the guests and why. My guesses were completely wrong, but I did appreciate the twists the story took!

The book did leave me with some questions at the end, which I can't really get into with getting spoilery. But I'll just say that the mishaps at the manor and the circumstances surrounding several of the guests didn't jibe with what the manor stay ultimately turned out to be.

Overall, this is a quick read at just under 200 pages, and it would make great reading as Christmas approaches! 3-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Griep's The Captive Heart (4-1/2 stars), The Innkeeper's Daughter (4 stars), and The Captured Bride (4 stars).

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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