Historical Mystery Book Review: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor


Publisher's Description

"A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?

England, 1851: 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.

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 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, 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.

Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series--a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale--by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite."

My Review

Written by the talented Michelle Griep, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor is the first book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. Set during a dreary winter in Victorian England, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor creatively explores the themes of loss, love, redemption, faith, and forgiveness through a diverse cast of entertaining and compelling characters. The well-paced plot, brimming with gothic mystery and eerie intrigue, deftly draws the reader fully into the story. As the mysteries unfold, heartwarming scenes provide a balance to those that are heavy with heartbreak. 


Abounding with surprises and unexpected twists, this novel is genuinely captivating and satisfying. It is a well-crafted novel that is uniquely memorable for all the right reasons. Like a classic Christmas movie or a novel by Charles Dickens, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor is a book that should be revisited again and again. I will certainly be placing it on my shelf within easy reach so that I can savor it once more on a cold winter day sometime in the near future as I wait with great expectations for the release of the next book in the series.

Click here to purchase a copy of this book for yourself.

*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review, whether positive or negative, are entirely my own.

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