The new regency by Abigail Wilson, The Vanishing at Loxby Manor begins with a mystery and slowly draws the reader into the story.
When Charity returns to Loxby Manor after five years away, things are not as they seem. But then, she’s changed too. She’s not the bold, almost fearless girl who had left five years earlier.
When Seline, her best friend and daughter of the family she was staying with disappears on her first night back, she’s plunged into a mystery. Added to that, she has to work with the man who broke her heart years earlier, Seline’s older brother Piers, for answers.
My Review of The Vanishing at Loxby Manor
The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is written in the first person and took some getting used to as I can’t recall ever reading a book of this type written from the first-person POV. The reader is limited to Charity’s viewpoint and things unfolded slowly because we have to contend with all of her memories, emotions, and uncertainty.
The Characters in The Vanishing at Loxby Manor
Charity is not the bold heroine I’ve gotten used to in historical fiction, but there’s something about her that draws you in. You want to learn more about her and you want her to keep asking questions so you can unravel the mystery and there was a lot of it.
Piers was not your typical hero either. He had spent the past five years hiding from scandal and had been changed in the interim. I admit there were times when I wasn’t sure if I liked Piers. It was obvious that he had feelings for Charity but he waffled back and forth. He wanted a platonic relationship but he kept seeking her to spend time with her.
In fact, I found it hard to like anyone on this book because they were all self-absorbed and sending mixed messages. When the mystery unraveled I understood why they behaved the way they did but had I been in Charity’s position, I would have been in the next boat anywhere else.
It seemed as if everyone in the novel had something to hide which made it all the more difficult to unravel the mystery. I have to admit that things didn’t quite turn out as I had imagined them, though looking back the clues were there.
The romance between Piers and Charity was overshadowed by Seline’s disappearance and the characters past but they did get their happy ending. The reader is left with the impression that life will be difficult for a time but the characters had each other and, because of recent events, were stronger than ever.
The Themes in The Vanishing at Loxby Manor
The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is a reminder that you don’t always know people as well as you think you do. There was also the reminder that people can do strange things in the right circumstances.
The Vanishing at Loxby Manor had a subtle theme that shame stops you from living your best life. It locks you away from the people and pursuits you enjoy and never really go away until you face it. Shame prevents you from living your best life and becomes a weapon in the hands of your enemy.
There wasn’t much of a faith element except for this quote which stuck out for me,
“I’m not certain anyone can go back, not really. It’s more about finding a way to go on, to move forward, to trust God will take something bad that has happened and work it for good.” He stared down at our hands. “It doesn’t mean the path will be easy. I just know now that I don’t want to take it alone.”
The reader is reminded that God is able to use every bad thing for good and that we don’t have to go through anything
I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publishers through NetGalley and Just Read Tours; a positive review was not required.
About The Vanishing at Loxby Manor
A story of second chances and secrets, this mysterious Regency romance will transport you to 19th-century England as one young lady reunites with her childhood love to find his missing sister.
Her friend is missing.
After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth.
Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.
Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes.
The house seems determined to keep its secrets.
As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return.
Settle in, because once you start The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, you won’t be able to put it down.
About Abigail Wilson
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 acwilsonbooks.com; Instagram: acwilsonbooks; Facebook: ACWilsonbooks; Twitter: @acwilsonbooks.
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