Book: In the Shadow of Croft Towers
Author: Abigail Wilson
Genre: Historical fiction, romantic suspense
Release Date: January 15, 2019
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.
Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.
An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.
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About the Author
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com
Excerpt from the Book
THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had never learned the truth. I wouldn’t have set off as I did for Croft Towers. I never would have met him.
It’s strange what I remember about the day I left London. The mail coach was late; the weather wretched. The clock had struck midnight long before two strangers and I ducked beneath the postmaster’s outstretched umbrella to board the Royal Mail and rumble across the North Downs.
That difficult journey east marked the beginning of an unseasonably cold autumn. Frigid rain pelted the coach windows. The undercarriage squealed beneath the seats as a metallic scent wound its way between the drafty boards. I gripped the windowsill, wondering if the coachman intended to hit every bump in the road.
“Far to go, miss?”
The woman’s voice startled me. Dressed head to toe in red
satin, she’d endured the last few darkened hours with a handful of smelling salts and a tongue hot for complaints, but she hadn’t spoken to me until now. Not until the first hint of rain-soaked daylight peeked over the horizon.
I lowered my gaze and fiddled with my bonnet ribbons. “Yes, ma’am . . . well, not too much farther, I hope.”
Taken from “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” by Abigail Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Wilson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.
In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a debut novel by Abigail Wilson that takes readers back to 1813. Sybil Delafield is twenty-two years old and has accepted a position as companion to Mrs. Chalcroft at Croft Towers. Sybil is traveling by Royal Mail coach along with Mrs. Plume and her lady’s maid, Thompkins. Along the way, the coach is stopped by armed highwayman who go through everyone’s belonging. One of the men even takes Sybil’s recommendation letter to Mrs. Chalcroft. Upon arriving at Chalcroft Towers, Sybil is met by Mrs. Chalcroft’s various relatives who are less than welcoming. She is surprised to recognize Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, Curtis Sinclair as one of the highwaymen who attacked the mail coach. Instead of outing Sinclair, Sybil decides to keep his secret and it is just the first of many. It seems that everyone in Croft Towers has something to hide including Sybil and one person is willing to kill to keep their skeletons under wraps.
In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a dark, mysterious novel. Sybil is an orphan who has been attending a London seminary courtesy of an anonymous benefactor. Unfortunately, the funding recently stopped. Sybil was lucky to get the position as Mrs. Chalcroft’s companion with the aid of her teacher, Mrs. Smith who is also a friend of Mrs. Chalcroft. Sybil recently received a letter and bracelet that gives her hope that she will find information about her parents at Croft Towers. Secrets abound at Croft Towers as Sybil soon discovers. Mrs. Chalcroft sends Sybil off on mysterious missions with letters, Sinclair disappears for hours and sometimes days, soldiers are scouring the countryside for the highwayman and spies for the French, Mrs. Chalcroft’s nieces and nephews each have their own agenda, and there is a hidden room in the overgrown garden. In the Shadow of Croft Towers is nicely written with gentle pacing. There are a variety of characters in the story. I would have liked the author to have taken the time to develop the characters further (more 2D than 3D). There are twists and turns that will have you quickly turning the pages to find out what happens next. In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a dark Regency story that contains mysteries, spies, murders, and romance.
To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy of the book. Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway. Click here to enter. Thank you for joining me today. I will feature Jacob's Bell by John Snyder next time. May you have a day filled with hope. Take care and Happy Reading!
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