12 Day at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep
Published: September 1st, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
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 fiancé, 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.
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
This story was everything I could’ve wanted in a Christmas tale. I usually don’t read Christmas stories because they end up like Lifetime movies and I just can’t get into those. But, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor was anything but that. Michelle Griep made a story of mystery, betrayal, crime, and all things Christmas like God, love, Yule log, carolers, and of course gifts. We follow the POV of Clara Chapman and Benjamin Lane. They are brought together “under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas.” They then discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. The story has twists, turns, and everything else I wasn’t expecting.
All the characters were unique and funny. It was such an odd cast of people. They were all kooky and bonker but I loved it. I would love to see this made into a movie. Ben and Clara were so cute and my heart went out t them. I was so happy they rekindled their passion. Mr. Minnow was oddly obsessed with Clara but in a quirky way. Mr. Tallgrass was loud and rambunctious. Miss Scurry was whimsical and strange. Clara was sweet, amazing and always helpful. Ben was strong, kind, and also always helpful. Mr. Pocket was a nosey investigator who was quite mysterious. Mademoiselle Pretents was a liar and utterly annoying lol but entertaining.
The regrowth and re-finding of Clara and Ben’s relationship and the mystery regarding what happened to them were done so well. It was crafted perfectly. 12 Days at Bleakly Manor had so much mystery and danger at every corner. It was like discovering clues each chapter and trying to work out who did it. I kept screaming who is trying to kill them all with all the craziness happening in the house. When everything was revealed it was an OMG moment especially because everything was connected somehow. I was completely awed that this author could weave such a tale but still have love and Christmas in the air. It was lovely.
I really enjoyed seeing their mention of God and their love for him because it reminded me of myself. Also at the end of the story, the author shows how she was historically accurate regarding the aspects of Christmas. But. also from her description of clothes, the manor, and the lingo was all accurate as well. It was a beautiful story and I loved it.