Sunday, October 29, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

12 Days at Bleakly Manor
Once Upon a Dicken's Christmas #1
Michelle Griep
 Clara receives a strange an anonymous invitation to visit Bleakly Manor for the Christmas holidays. But she has no idea who lives there or why she's received the invitation. All she knows is that she's been promised financial compensation if she stays for the whole 12 days. Since her life has taken a very wrong turn in the last year, she is really tempted to accept, despite her aunt's bad health. Upon arriving she finds out that other guests have been invited too, including the man she thought ditched her at the alter.

This was a very unique book. It has so many twists and turns. This is book one in a Dickens Christmas series set during the Victorian era. I loved the visuals that the author portrayed as well as some of the character development. The book focuses on the 12 days that the applicants spend in the manor, but also has some back story on the two main characters and how they ended up needing help. The pros - while I haven't read much Charles Dickens, I can say that I could see the nod to his work as well as Agatha Christie. I liked the uniqueness. 
Cons - The Christmas and Christian elements were very weak, the chemistry between the couple didn't show up for me, the accidents that kept happening didn't fit in with the plot and how it ended.
Overall, I liked the story, but felt there were some weak elements. The book could have been longer so that it had more time to explain some of the plot lines that were vague or missing.
So I will definitely pick up the next book in the series and withhold judgement until then. I think fans of mysteries and Charles Dickens will enjoy this short story.

I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. All thoughts expressed are my own.

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