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Book Review: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

A Literary Christmas: 2017 Reading Challenge //

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep (5 star review)

12 Days at Bleakly Manor
Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

written by Michelle Griep

192 pages // published in 2017 // Historical Christian Fiction


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 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 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.

My Review

5 Star Rating

An intriguing story, filled with the personality of Charles Dickens, and with the mysterious plot twists of Agatha Christie. The perfect combination!

When a cryptic invitation arrives, twenty-five year-old Clara Chapman, has a decision to make. To spend the twelve days of Christmas at a home she's never heard of, by an unknown solicitor. Why would she choose to do this? For a hefty sum of money, which she desperately needs.

What she doesn't know is that others are expected at Bleakly House too, including none other than her fiancé who left her at the altar. Yet what he's been through in the past nine months is more grueling than Clara could have imagined. Ben Lane is looking for redemption and freedom, and he can only hope that the miraculous Christmas riddle of Bleakly Manor will save him.

It reads like a perfectly delightful Victorian novel, with some Gothic type elements (things going awry in that great big manor). Which of the manor's visitors would purposely be sabotaging the holiday event?

“The mysteries are starting to pile up in a great heap, are they not?”
- 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Chapter 13)

Faith: There are some excellent elements of faith brought in, and I can love the book all the more for it.

Romance: It is kept mostly very sweet – just one particularly passionate kiss. But I really loved how even though it's a romance story, there's still so much adventure and puzzles to keep you busy with the rest of the plot too.

Cons? Almost none. There are a couple of phrases that used several times, which seemed a bit too repetitive for me.

Bottom line? The chapters just flew by with all the Victorian jargon and very British traditions. It was all too wonderful while the story lasted. And now I just can't wait to get my hands on book #2 in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series, next year!

Available on Amazon in paperback, ebook, and audio format.

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  1. Added to my TBR list...Sounds like a book I would love!

    1. Yipee! It was fabulous. I can also now add that I'm pretty sure that the plot is based on Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None"... which I'm currently reading right now. :O