Historical Romance/Regency Romance Book Review: Shadows of Swanford Abbey

About the Book

Title: Shadows of Swanford Abbey 

Author: Julie Klassen 

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Suspense, Inspirational Fiction 

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 

Publication Date: December 7, 2021 

Length: (416) pages 

Format: Hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook  

Tour Dates: December 6-17, 2021


Publisher's Book Description

"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…"


Advance Praise

"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


My Review

Set in England during the early 19th century, Shadows of Swanford Abbey, by Julie Klassen, is a captivating novel abounding with elements of mystery, suspense, and romance. With unexpected twists and stunning surprises, this book absolutely entertains with immersive settings, unforgettable characters, and authentic moments of hope and faith. It features a genuinely compelling plot, that is thoroughly entertaining and meaningful from beginning to end.

With thoughtful creativity, this novel explores the themes of loss, betrayal, secrets, love, redemption, faith, and family through a variety of characters who are authentically intriguing. The characters’ struggles, concerns, worries, and motivations are very moving. Though they are burdened at times by doubt and danger, they persevere nevertheless in the face of trials. Even when beset by uncertainty, their search for truth and redemption is truly inspiring.

Ms. Klassen is an undeniably gifted writer. Shadows of Swanford Abbey is beautifully gripping, emotionally stirring, and ultimately uplifting. Exceptionally well written, it is certainly a novel worthy of much praise and attention. I can easily recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical fiction with elements of mystery and romance.  I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to reading more of Ms. Klassen’s books in the future.

*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and Austenprose PR. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

About the Author: Julie Klassen

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.

More from Julie Klassen: Video


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Elizabeth. Julie is a gifted writer and I always enjoy her books.

    1. I enjoyed reading this book very much, and I am so glad to be part of the book tour.


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