Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Present/Past 1954 – England
When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.
Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.
Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.
Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.
Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.
Beyond All Dreams
1897 – Washington DC
Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help. Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress. From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?
The Secret of Pembrooke Park
1817 – England
Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister. Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play… The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure. This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances–and her dowry–Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house. Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?
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1368 – England
My life would have been more tranquil in the days after Martinmas had I not seen the crows. Whatever it was that the crows had found lay in the dappled shadow of the bare limbs of the oak, so I was nearly upon the thing before I recognized what the crows were feasting upon. The corpse wore black. Master Hugh is making his way towards Oxford when he discovers the young Benedictine – a fresh body, barefoot – not half a mile from the nearby abbey. The abbey’s novice master confirms the boy’s identity: John, one of three novices. But he had gone missing four days previously, and his corpse is fresh. There has been plague in the area, but this was not the cause of death: the lad has been stabbed in the back. To Hugh’s sinking heart, the abbot has a commission for him …
One Dark Night
1821 – England
It is 1821 and smuggling is rife on the English coast. Lucy Yorton, dragged away from her privileged early life, finds it impossible to know who to trust, while those around her suspect she is a spy and treat her accordingly. Her problems increase when two men enter her life.
Lieutenant Karl Thorsen, sworn to avenge the death of his father, is a King’s man. He is determined to stop the violent smugglers, hang them, and hang and gibbet one in particular.
Daniel Tynton has smuggling in his blood. Undaunted by Thorsen’s threats, he is respected and feared. When he witnesses a murder, he makes a bold decision, and many lives will never be the same.
Murder at Mikado
1930s – England
When a CELEBRATED ACTOR IS FOUND MURDERED IN HIS DRESSING ROOM, All signs point to Drew’s Old Flame. But Behind the Curtains nothing is what it seems and this Quickly Becomes his MOST puzzling case YET. Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has calmed down some, Fleur Landis, a former girlfriend, reappears, in dire need of his help. She’s married now, no longer an actress–but the lead actor in her former troupe’s production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police’s number one suspect. Drew would rather focus on his fiancée, Madeline Parker, and their upcoming wedding, but he can’t leave Fleur and her family in the lurch–even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline begin investigating, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. It seems nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. Both the murder case and the presence of the beautiful, exotic Fleur put a heavy strain on Drew and Madeline’s relationship. Will their still-young romance survive the pressure?
Truth Be Told
1893 – Arizona
When Amelia Wagner takes over the running of her father’s newspaper in Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper’s commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have consequences. Her father’s revealing articles about Great Western Investment Company’s business methods have caught the notice of the wrong person, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father’s statements. Determined to find the truth, Amelia goes through her father’s notes and begins to interview members of the community. She can’t seem to shake Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who’s been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company. The more Ben and Amelia learn, the more Amelia’s father’s claims appear to be accurate. In fact, it’s probably worse than he realized. Even Ben is beginning to wonder if he’s become a pawn in the workings of a corrupt empire. But Great Western isn’t about to stand for a female reporter and one of their own men bringing down their lucrative schemes. Working against time, and never knowing what danger lurks around the next corner, Ben and Amelia set out to reveal all they’ve discovered before Great Western silences them for good.
Death by the Book
1932 – England
Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest. Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl’s tearful confession point to the victim’s double life, but what does the solicitor’s murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem–except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin. Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn’t at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?
The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy
1920s – Pennsylvania
Thomas Watson left London two years ago and crossed the Atlantic to become a newspaper reporter in Philadelphia 1920s Philadelphia, a city that rivals Al Capone’s Chicago for its crime and corruption. Why would he go so far from family and friends? Admittedly, he was trying to get away – away from the shadow of his famous father, Dr. John Watson, and his father s even more famous friend, Sherlock Holmes.
Shortly after Thomas leaves London, Sherlock dies, and Dr. Watson takes on the responsibility of caring for Sherlock’s older brother, Mycroft. After two short years in which Thomas finds little success in journalism, Dr. Watson dies suddenly; though Thomas stands to inherit his father’s estate, he is also saddled with the responsibility of Mycroft, who has mysteriously shown up in Philadelphia, ready to move in. Puzzled by this strange turn of events, Thomas takes a walk and suddenly finds himself caught up in the biggest story of his career a suspicious explosion at a speakeasy, which kills the owner and his card-playing buddies.
The principal suspect of the police is Basil Meridan, a former British butler whom Thomas befriends and Mycroft hires as a servant. Needled into making a bet with a rival reporter that he can solve the mystery, Thomas is immediately hampered in his investigation by his editor, who fires him for spending too much time on a dead-end story. As he attempts to recover from this setback, he is escorted against his will to a meeting with bootlegger Boo Boo Hoff and his goons. They also want to know who the killer is, and provide their own unique encouragement for Thomas to find the solution to the mystery. All this makes it necessary to for him to solve the mystery, or lose his money, his job, maybe even his life. From the scanty clues that Thomas compiles, Mycroft is able to solve the mystery, but he is tight-lipped about the solution after all, Thomas should be able to figure it out himself! But can Thomas discover the murderer before he becomes his next victim?
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1368 – England
Master Hugh is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle. Sir Henry, (with his wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants), has outstayed his welcome at Bampton Castle. The next morning after Master Hugh provides the potion, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, the target of the wife’s wrath, is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death …
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1367 – England
Master Hugh is enjoying the peaceful life of Bampton, when a badly beaten man is found under the porch of St. Andrew’s Chapel. The dying man is a chapman — a traveling merchant. Before he is buried in the chapel grounds an ancient, corroded coin is found in the man’s mouth. Master Hugh’s quest for the chapman’s assailants, and his search for the origin of the coin, make steady progress “ but there are men of wealth and power who wish to halt his search, and an old nemesis in league with them. Master Hugh, and his assistant, the groom Arthur, are determined to uncover the thieves and murderers, and the source of the chapman’s coin. They do, but not before they become involved with a kidnapped maiden, a tyrannical abbot, and a suffering monk …
Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery Book #1)
1932 – England
Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie in This Sparkling Mystery Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels. Soon, financial irregularities at Drew’s stepfather’s company come to light and it’s clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this game.
Diamond in the Rough (Charm & Deceit)
1861 – California
Grant Diamond is a professional gambler on the run from his past. When he comes across a wagon wreck, the chance to escape his pursuers is too good a gamble to pass up, and he assumes the identity of the dead wagon driver. His plan takes an unexpected turn when local heiress Lily Rose mistakes him for the missionary she had asked to come work with the Wiyot Indians. Seeing Eureka as a promising place to lay low, Grant plays along. Before he knows it, he’s bluffing his way through sermons and building an Indian school. But with a Pinkerton on his trail and a rancher rousing fresh hatred against the Indians, Grant fears the new life he’s built may soon crumple like a house of cards.
Captured by Moonlight (Twilight of the British Raj)
1921 – India
Prisoners to their own broken dreams… After a daring rescue goes awry, Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana flee to the tropical south of India…and headlong into their respective pasts. Laine takes a nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner…but fun-loving Laine refuses to let Adam crush her heart like he had years ago. Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts freedom will ever be hers again, much less the forbidden love that had begun to flower. Amid cyclones, epidemics, and clashing faiths, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?