The English ancestral manor of Cherrywood Hall is ready to compete for selection in an upcoming British TV period drama series: the grounds are manicured, the mansion is polished, and the servants are poised. American heiress Gemma Lancaster Phillips has crossed the pond to help her cousin defeat the three other stately homes vying for the prize.
What Gemma doesn't realize is that this competition is life or death, and someone is taking that challenge literally. The occupants of one home are killed in an automobile accident, and murder becomes a frequent occurrence at the other locations. Who is behind the mayhem? Selection would be a major coup for both the estate and the community. At first the other contestants seem to be likely suspects, but no one is quite certain as the tragedies continue. Could it even be Emma's beloved cousin Evan, the surviving heir to the Lancaster fortune, or Kyle, his best friend and estate manager? With the Royal family in attendance at each event, the puzzle becomes a crucial one for Scotland Yard, and they enlist Gemma's help to solve the mystery.
When the competition's winner is announced on New Year's Eve, will Gemma's future be forever tied to her ancestral past?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
About the Author
Veronica Cline Barton earned graduate degrees in both engineering and business and has had successful careers in the software and technology industries. Her lifelong love affair with British murder mysteries inspired her to embark on a literary career. The Crown for Castlewood Manor is the first in what she calls her My American Almost Royal Cousin Series. When not traveling and spinning mystery yarns, she lives in California with her husband, Bruce, and her two cats, Daisy and Ebbie.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It has been quite a while since I have had the pleasure of reading a well-written cozy murder. I confess to being a little squeamish in the presence of a lot of blood and gore. I enjoyed this story so much, there was nothing to make me uncomfortable in this wonderful story about the behind the scenes selection process for an estate to be showcased in a British period drama, similar to Downton Abbey. I can’t say much more without giving a spoiler, so let me say this about Barton’s writing. Her writing is marvelous! She handles the intricacies of first person POV so well. The story is told from the point of view of Dr. Gemma Phillips. This thoroughly American woman has studied the family history and has an eye for so much of the many decades of culture of British manors and estates. The scene-setting leaves little to be desired, the dialogue, action, and characterizations are simply wonderful in the small village and the stately manor, known as Cherrywood Hall. I was in suspense most of the time, and quite shocked at some of the plot twists! I have never been very good at guessing who the perp is in a well-written story. You are going to get a great deal of reading pleasure from this book. I award The Crown for Castlewood Manor a score of 4.9 stars, the score would have been higher except for the small handful of spelling errors I stumbled upon.
Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite The Crown for Castlewood Manor: My American Almost Royal Cousin Series has mystery, murder, and romance; all with a twist of British mystique. Veronica Cline Barton presents us with Gemma Lancaster Phillips, who just experienced two major events in her life; receiving her doctorate degree and ending her relationship with the man she had been dating for the last two years. Then Evan, her British cousin, asks her to come over to help them win a competition to use Cherrywood Hall in a new TV series. As the competition turns deadly, the killer becomes baffled at the protection Gemma appears to have at all times. Some would say she has a guardian angel, while those from Cherrywood Hall believe Aunt Pippa's ghost has been looking out for her. I found The Crown for Castlewood Manor mysteriously thrilling. Written as a mystery, this novel keeps you in suspense until the very end as to who could be the killer, or killers. This story doesn't just hold one mystery and the reader will find they are eager to discover hidden riches, secret tunnels, proper romance, and of course which estate actually wins the competition. Veronica Cline Barton does an excellent job combining American and British traditions in this family tale, though the touch of a devoted ghost gives this story a classic feel. The relationships between the Lancaster family members reflect a close family tie, though they are separated by an ocean. Their love and protection for each other is unusual, as it is lacking in the other families. Barton artfully twisted the end of the book, leaving the reader delighted when all the loose ends are tied up.