The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is the standalone by Abigail Wilson, published by Thomas Nelson. The story is set in Kent, England 1816, and is about gentlewoman Charity Halliwell who has returned from Ceylon to stay as the Cavanagh family’s guest. She finds them terribly distraught because their daughter has misbehaved and disappeared and keeps seeing lights from the nearby Abbey. Locals are scared and keep away from it while some mysterious activity seems to be going on. She gets help from her close friend and heir to the Manor, Piers Cavanagh, to investigate what has happened to his sister and if the disappearance is part of a lager mystery.
Main character is gentlewoman Charity Halliwell seems a vulnerable woman who has suffered a blow to her selfworth she tries to keep secret. She is relatable and I feel for her, but she also frustrates me as she keeps things hidden and gets in her own way. She seems a well developed character who is easy to like and is my favorite of this story.
Supporting character is heir to the Manor Piers Cavanagh who is a botanist. Having been ostracized from Society following rumors of cowardice, he seems a really good person. Circumstances have not been on his side and he has suffered the harsh, unfair judgment of The Ton.
Main dramatic element of this story is the mysterious disappearance which makes Charity and Piers investigate local matters left alone for years. Rigging of horse races is an interesting element I have not read about before.
The writing has a deliciously dark and mysterious vibe which I love to read this time of year. Charity lands in kind of an investigator role. A“Miss Marple Light” if you will.
Charity and Piers have strong feelings from five years ago before Charity went to Ceylon. I enjoyed the process as complications in their relationship get a chance to be straightened out and feelings rekindled. This is my favorite part of the story.
The faith element is weaved into the last part of the plot as Charity and Piers have to trust God to help them with their struggles.
The ending to this story deserves a few sentences of its own as it was surprising beyond belief. I had my eye on several of the characters, but never the actual culprit. I really loved that.
This is the second book I have read by Abigail Wilson and I have loved them both. She is firmly on my radar now and I am eagerly awaiting what she comes up with next. Readers of Historical romance and Historical mystery I’m sure will enjoy The Vanishing at Loxby Manor. Fans of Abigail Wilson will definitely love it.
Similar authors to explore might be Sarah E. Ladd or Michelle Griep.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for this opportunity to share my honest review. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Conclusion: The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is the intriguingly mysterious historical which includes disappearance, murder and the rekindling of lost love. All tied together in an enjoyably unexpected ending.