Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Cover Art

From the Back:

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play...

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances--and her dowry--Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

My Reflection:

Julie Klassen takes her readers back to the 1800's  in this English tale of mystery, treasure, secret rooms, and spooky occurrences.

I must admit that the last book I read by Klassen "The Dancing Master"was not one of my favorites, so I was a little hesitant to order this one, but who can resist an old manor house filled with rumors and secrets? I was certainly not disappointed.

Her newest novel is not lacking in the traditional romance often associated with this type of read, it is however presented in a slightly subdued manner. This hearty book with over 450 pages of reading pleasure will certainly keep you entertained. Thought I found the story is a trifle slow to start, once the action commenced I found myself immersed into this complex storyline and numerous characters. The strange events and plethora of mystery make the pages fly by.

Abigail Foster and her family are hit hard financially after a particularly nasty investment failure. When by a miracle they are handed an anonymous tenancy by a very distant relative they jump at the opportunity.
Pembrooke Park turns out to be a wonderful old manor, left just as if the previous family got up from their daily routine and walked out the door, it seems a little mysterious don't you think? Things become even more intriguing when rumor has it that their is a hidden treasure left in a secret room..

Abigail is the sensible sister, where her younger sibling is the "pretty one." Abigail has a good head on her shoulders and intends to use it to save her family. Though Abigail thought she may be an old maid after her intended fell for her sister, but she finds she is presented with a passel of admirers, either with secrets to uphold, romantic notions to explore...or both.

I was not super impressed with one of the characters, William his actions just seemed to rub me the wrong way. In this time-period I am sure it was not modest or proper to have men in your bedchambers, even if you are just talking. This fact alone may very well give a proper young lady an impure reputation.

That aside this tale is a constant surprise, filled with intrigue; multiple mysteries really and a cast of characters that are sure to keep you entertained. At times I became confused with the multiple members of the cast and the many incidents, but I tend to have issues with extremely complex novels so don't let that deter you. I feel this is a well thought out novel, the time it must have taken to come up with this story!

I am sure if you are a fan of mystery and romance regency type novels you will quite enjoy the Secret of Pembrooke Park, by Julie Klassen!

Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Graf-Martin!

ook has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin communications, thank you Graf-Martin!! - See more at:

About The Author

  1. Julie Klassen
    © Ginger Murray Photography

    Julie Klassen

    Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won three Christy Awards in the Historical Romance category for The...

    Continue reading about Julie Klassen

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