Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson

Masquerade at Middlecrest AbbeyBarbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: None listed
Publication Date: 5/26/20
Number of Pages: 336

This is my first book by Abigail Wilson and I’m wondering how I managed to miss her first three books. This was a wonderful read! The mystery was outstanding and the suspects were many and varied. While I loved the mystery, I didn’t really see enough interactions between the couple to see the romance. Perhaps that is because the book is written in first person, so we only see one person’s perspective on the interactions. One thing that puzzled me was that it isn’t listed as being part of a series, but it obviously is. I enjoyed this book so much I went back to see what books she had written previously – with the intent of buying those to read as well. As I read the descriptions of those previous books, I realized that those same people were mentioned in the book I’d just read. You can definitely read this book as a standalone, but I would have enjoyed knowing it was part of a series and perhaps reading the earlier books first.

Miss Elizabeth Cantrell was used and tossed aside by the father of her child. More fortunate than most, she had found refuge with some family members. However, her baby is eleven months old and it is time for her to be on her own and make a life for herself and baby Isaac. She is in a coach headed toward a new position as housekeeper — Then – a highwayman attacks – the coach crashes – she is injured and unconscious – and awakens in a room at an inn – with the highwayman sharing the room as her husband. Uh-Oh. Then – he offers her a marriage of convenience. Say What!

Baron Adrian Torrington has been a widower for almost twenty years and a spy for the Crown for nearly that long as well. When he is sent to stop a coach carrying a message to the French, things go terribly awry and the coach crashes injuring a lovely young woman. With her unconscious and people approaching, he does the only thing he feels he can do – he removes her from the scene and takes her to the nearest inn – as her husband. Besides – she was conscious long enough to see his face and recognize him. In order to protect himself and her, he offers her a marriage of convenience.

Has he just brought danger into his own home? When threatening notes appear and death happens, it appears the answer is yes. Or – was the danger there all along and he’s just brought an innocent young woman and her babe into it? Adrian and Elizabeth grow closer as they work together to solve the murder, find the spies, and thwart the French mission. As you learn the backstories of Adrian and Elizabeth you come to admire them and the way they’ve managed to overcome the adversities and betrayals in their lives. I really liked both of them and was glad to see them find each other.

This was an entertaining read, and I will definitely be purchasing this author’s earlier works and reading them as well. Then, I can’t wait to find out what the next book will be. My only issue is that I didn’t really see the romance – it was just suddenly there. They had few interactions, and those were short and all ‘business’ rather than personal – yet, they were suddenly madly in love. Again, I think some of that is lack of page time for the romance and the lack of perspective from Adrian’s side because it was written in first person from Elizabeth’s point of view. I believe Adrian was the first to be totally smitten, but we never actually got to see that part. I deducted one star because the romance portion was just not quite what I like to see.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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