Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

The first book in a new series, setting up the stories to follow.  You’ll enjoy getting to know the characters and want to read more to see how their lives and their community progress, somewhat reminiscent of the Mitford series.

The Bell Inn was left to Jane by her husband, who had died suddenly. Jane came from an aristocratic background with few skills to run an Inn. While married, her husband did not encourage her to participate in anything to do with the Inn. His mother and brother were his partners. Theora, his mother, grew up in the family that had run the Inn for years and it was part of her. When her son left the Inn to his wife, she decided to go to her sister’s house to stay, but that didn’t go as expected so she returned to the Inn she knew and loved. On return she discovered that the Inn had fallen into disrepair and was losing business. Add to that a local banker suddenly claiming there was a huge loan on the Inn – an amount that was practically impossible to repay – which would be a benefit to Patrick (the brother) who wanted to take the Inn over and turn it into something else.

The man who delivered the news to Jane of her husband’s death offered to stay on and work for the Inn and became a valuable asset. As the story progresses Jane has some leads to follow concerning her husband’s whereabouts when he was killed – or possibly murdered.

A rival Inn owner purchases Jane’s old home to turn it into competition as an Inn, but he also offers several suggestions to Jane about improving The Bell. The whole town enters into a competition between the two Inns for the right to have the Royal Mail delivery.

Love interest, deceit, intrigue and mystery. A great book on its own, but I can’t wait for the second book in the series to see what happens next!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Bethany House Publishers - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.

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