Thursday, December 28, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor: A Review

Books were everywhere in our house when I was growing up. My parents were voracious readers, and early on I learned to love escaping into a different world through the pages of a book. I was fortunate that most of my English teachers recognized my penchant for reading and introduced me to a wide range of authors, old and new. I looked forward to every Christmas when I knew I would receive at least one book as a gift. After stuffing myself at the meal, I'd curl up in a corner and begin to devour my new adventure.

Some of the classic authors I read were Poe, Bronte, Hawthorne, Stevenson, Twain, and Verne. Two of my favorites were Louise May Alcott and Charles Dickens. Not that I was raised in poverty or as an orphan, but I somehow managed to relate to the characters in their stories. 

I recently participated in a blog tour for Michelle Griep's 12 Days at Bleakly Manor.  I don't intentionally seek out Christmas books, but I read several this year, and Michelle's was one of my favorites. Here's my review: 

Clue meets Survivor in this Victorian-era story in which seven invitees be the last person standing-so to speak-to gain their hearts’ desires (which is different for each character). I loved the descriptive way the author wrote which allowed me to visualize “ancient buildings with rheumy windows” and feel the fog “cold as an embrace from the grim reaper.” Clara and Hunter are well-written complex characters with real life struggles and insecurities. I enjoyed following their journey toward a deeper faith. 

Despite the large number of characters, each was unique with her or her own voice, and thus I was able to keep track of them. I was surprised at the solution of the mystery, but perhaps I missed some of the clues along the way. I love historical novels that educate me about the era in which they are written, and 12 Days didn’t disappoint. There were a couple of “laugh out loud” moments which lightened the tension. The good news is that this is the first in a series. Dickens fans will especially enjoy the book, and it certainly should be read at any time of year.

May you and your family have a blessed New Year!

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, blogger, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a Trustee for her local public library. Active in her church Linda serves as treasurer, usher, and choir member. To find out more about Linda and her books visit


  1. Great review Linda. I read this book and I enjoyed it also.

  2. Great review, Linda. I have this book on my TBR list. I grew up reading books which is still a favorite way to relax of an evening, too.

    Have a safe and Happy New Year.

  3. This review makes me want to sit down and read for a while! :) Sounds like a wonderful mystery to try and solve! Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

  4. THanks! I'm going to order this one. Happy New Year!

  5. Thank you for your wonderful review, Linda. I hope you have a healthy and happy 2018!