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The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey

512bmmzuv5elI found The Secret Rooms on Amazon when I was looking up books about the late Victorian/Edwardian era. From there, I looked it up on the library network. I was pleased to discover that there was a copy at my town library; I didn’t even have to make a request and wait for it to be sent!

The Secret Rooms was written by Catherine Bailey, and is subtitled “A True Story Of A Haunted Castle, A Plotting Duchess, & A Family Secret”. Belvoir Castle is the centerpiece of what was once one of the largest estates in England. Catherine Bailey finds herself visiting Belvoir as part of her research for a book about the Great War. While combing through the correspondence, she finds that there are three gaps. The 9th Duke had devoted his life to meticulous record keeping. In fact, the 9th Duke passed away in one of the rooms designated as the archives, and after his death, the rooms were closed for almost seventy years. The only conclusion is that the gaps are intentional, but what could the 9th Duke have been trying to hide? Continue reading

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Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson

I first found Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson on Goodreads, and was immediately intrigued. I made a request through the library network, and my book arrived quickly. I have read so many wonderful middle grade novels this year, and I’m pleased to report that Nooks & Crannies was another treasure that I am happy to have discovered.

This is an Edwardian tale, as well as a mystery. As the story begins, six lucky children around London have all received letters inviting them to meet the Countess of Windermere. Our plucky protagonist is Tabitha Crum, who is the shabbiest of the six children. Tabitha has a little mouse called Pemberley, and she is a fan of Percival Pensive mystery stories. Continue reading

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Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton) by Leila Rasheed

I have a great deal of love for my town library. They have a great selection of books, and they even have a large selection of books for sale for $1 apiece. Children’s books are 4 for $1! I have found tons of great books at the library. It’s hard to say no to cheap books. If there is anything that I cannot find, I can order them through the library network and they are delivered right to my town library. However, if there is something I see at a library in a nearby town, I will drive over and pick it up myself. Not only does this save resources, it also allows me to get the book I want instantly!

One of the libraries in a nearby town is very small. It shares a building with the police station and the town hall. Despite its small size, this library has been a treasure trove of amazing books. I came for a specific book, but then I found so many wonderful books that I didn’t know I needed.

One of the books that I found was Cinders & Sapphires. This is a young adult novel written by Leila Rasheed. The cover featured beautiful young people in opulent clothing, and a quote from Kirkus Review said that this would be perfect for fans of Downton Abbey. Sold! Continue reading