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12 Days at Bleakly Manor

(Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  996 ratings  ·  376 reviews
When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas 1850 at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Shiloh Run Press
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Christmas - 1850 - London

THE BEGINNING.....After being left at the altar by the man she loves, and being stripped of her family fortune, Clara Chapman accepts a mysterious invitation to receive a much needed $1000 IF she agrees to stay at an English Manor for a period of twelve days.

After her arrival, Clara meets a variety of unusual cohorts, each with their own personalized promise of compensation.....including her former fiancé.

THE MIDDLE.....There is a bit of mystery...a touch of romance, and

Julie Carpenter
Ok, I LOVE Bleak House by Charles Dickens, as well as, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and I LOVED how Michelle Griep combined the two of these together. I loved the ending of the book and how everything came together and the hows and whys of it all. So much fun. If you've read either of the above books that I mentioned then you will have fun reading this book and seeing the similarities. If you haven't read either of those books, grab them now or snatch this one up and it will have ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
The 2017 Christmas book ARCs are coming out, and I'm not mad about it at all!

This book is Downton Abbey + Clue + Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. I very much enjoyed the mystery and the huge manor at Christmas time in the Victorian days. An atmospheric story full of romance and intrigue.

I did feel that there are a few loose ends that I would have liked to see tied up. I have some questions that were left unanswered. (A pet peeve of mine.)

I will definitely be reading more of this
This story is packed to the gills with an excellent atmosphere of old-country-house and Golden Age mystery. The story has plenty of action; guests are invited to Bleakly Manor to stay the twelve days of Christmas in exchange for a prize. Clara, impoverished by an embezzlement, need the promised 500 pounds. Ben, imprisoned unjustly for the embezzlement, is offered freedom. These two are the POV characters among the guests in the mysterious country house that seems to have no master.

There’s even a
Michelle Griep
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Love Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None?
Adore Charles Dickens' Bleak House?
Then 12 Days at Bleakly Manor is the book for you!
Amy Imogene Reads
So I may not love historical fiction, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Victorian England and Charles Dickens. This fulfilled that soft spot.

Christmas Emotions: yes, perfect for the season

I'll be honest here: the writing and the story itself were nothing special. 12 Days at Bleakly Manor was cute and to the point, and ultimately will stand out more for its setting than its characters. The 3 stars is mainly for my personal nostalgia and enjoyment over reading this short
R.J. Rodda
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was in the mood for a fun Christmassy book and this hit the note I was looking for - an historical romance with a dash of mystery. Two wronged lovers, both believing the other guilty of cruel betrayal are invited to Bleakley Manor along with six other misfits. All have been invited because of a mysterious letter and promised their heart's desire if they stay the twelve days. But their host remains hidden, the food is patchy and someone seems intent on murder. One by one the guests leave. Who ...more
Karen R
Wow, what a refreshingly unique tale of mystery and romance set over the holidays in 1850's, England! I enjoyed following this group of colorful characters through the Twelve Days of Christmas in the manor house, each with their own motivation for being there. A bit of other classic tales cleverly mixed in gave it an authentic flavor; one slice Dickens, Christie and a bit of Dumas. Lyrical, descriptive writing, with quotable lines added to the reading pleasure, plus some action. A choice between ...more
Deanne Patterson
With a writing style reminiscent of Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie, Michelle Griep sets up quite the atmospheric novel. I enjoyed getting to know the characters over a 12 day time period, the 12 Days of Christmas at Bleakly Manor. A tale that kept me reading as I was so intrigued to read the twists and turns taking place. I never knew what to expect til the end. This well developed plot and characters where enjoyable to read about in this mystery. Looking forward to reading book 2 in the ...more
"Some choice. Remain in a room of vipers or search for a rodent."

12 Days at Bleakly Manor (September 2017, Shiloh Run Press), first in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series by Michelle Griep, is a Christian historical romantic mystery. It opens in London on December 24, 1850, which puts it in the Victorian Era. The novel is a standalone with no cliffhangers.

I wanted to read this book because I absolutely loved both titles I previously read by Griep. See my reviews for Brentwood's Ward
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
I didn't quite know what to expect when I started this book, which is always fun because I start out with an open mind and enjoy the surprises on my reading journey. Clara and Ben and the other characters that are invited to Bleakly Manor don't know what to expect either which enhanced the mysteriousness of the event and the secret benefactor. While Clara and Ben's reunion is a bit rocky, I loved seeing them reconcile and reignite their love, while the rest of the plot turns into a cozy mystery ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clara Chapman's life has taken a bad turn. Her fiance left her waiting at the altar a year before, after supposedly stealing her family's money. Funds are running out. She will be left destitute soon. As Christmas approaches, Clara does not know what might become of her and her sickly aunt. Then, on Christmas Eve, an unexpected visitor comes to the door. He hands her an invitation to Bleakly Manor. If she can stay at the manor through the entire 12 days of the Christmas season, she will receive ...more
I've had the pleasure of reading some unique Christmas reads this year, and 12 Days at Bleakly Manor is no exception! This story is a fun mystery, full of an intriguing cast of secondary characters and endearing leads. I wasn't expecting the slightly spooky feeling to the plot, and I thought the way everything is revealed later, and the connection to Charles Dickens, to be a great way to tie it all together. My favorite part of the story was wondering what was going to happen to the rag-tag ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, christmas
My thanks to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing, Inc. for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

This book wasn't quite a good fit for me. I loathe Charles Dicken's writing, so I have no idea how the characters and story line of this book tie in with anything of his. Which wasn't a bad thing, per say, but connections between this and his writing completely went over my head.

This book also went by INCREDIBLY quickly, to the point where I felt the character development and plot line suffered.
Chautona Havig
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Right off the bat… or rather, the balustrade, I give this book five… ten… twenty stars? Can I do that? I’m calling it 35 stars. Why? Because I’m giving these stars “dog years.” Seven times five…

Okay, so why am I piling on the praise for 12 Days at Bleakly Manor?

Well, the first star toward “I loved it” came with a fun plot device—a multi-layered plot that made you recognize characters that could have inspired beloved Dickens characters such as Miss Flite and her flock of birds from Bleak House,
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Prepare yourself to be highly entertained by this delightful book! "12 Days at Bleakly Manor" by Michelle Griep is the first book in the "Once Upon a Dickens Christmas" series. Ms. Griep fills her story with danger and mystery, leaving the reader guessing as to what will happen next!

"12 Days at Bleakly Manor" is a mix of Charles Dickens's "Bleak House", Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None", and pure genius. I love BBC's version of "Bleak House", so I was excited to pick this book up.
A sweet Christmas story, easily read in one evening. It’s a combination of historical fantasy, Gothic romance, and mystery story, set in a big ole English edifice, Bleakly Manor. Me thinks it owes a bit to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, as a number of people are anonymously invited to the Manor for the 12 Days of Christmas with promises of rewards should they stay the full 12 days. Their host is not in evidence and the rules quickly change: only one guest will get the reward, the ...more
This story reminded me of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None but without the deaths. Put together a group of strangers each with an invitation to a 12 day get together at Christmas time each with a reward if they stay all 12 days. Place them in a mysterious old mansion in the country; but without much in the way of supplies, and then wait to see what things take place.

Our hero and heroine were once engaged, but Benjamin Lane left Clara Chapman standing at the alter and she doesn't know
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
I know it's not the Christmas season, but this book sure put me in the mind for it! I love the cover for this book and I'm so excited to see that this is the beginning of a new series from Michelle Griep. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

This book had a bit of everything. It's a cozy mystery with romance and a dash of danger. I loved how the characters came alive for me- jumping out from the pages like a movie in my head. This book should be a movie!! I'm envisioning hot
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an intriguing book. I love the premise and it did deliver.
Clara and Ben have some major misunderstandings to work through but once the truth is revealed all will be good, right?
The cast of characters are rich in personality. Michelle did a wonderful job of giving everyone their own voice.
This will begin to get you in the Christmas frame of mine a bit early, but it’s never too early for Christmas is it?

A copy of this book was given to me through All opinions are my own.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book. I loved this book, can't wait for the next one in the series to come out.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t give many 5 star ratings to audiobooks, but this was excellent. Wonderful nod to Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie. Loved the Christmas setting, but most importantly the spiritual message woven throughout. Looking forward to the next in this series!
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
This book was my introduction to Michelle Griep's writing and, wow, it was a fun ride! This book combines a little history, plenty of mystery and intrigue, and a heapful of romance to draw the reader in from page one.

The writing is easy to follow and the book is very well-written. The plot is engaging and there are many twists and turns in the storyline that the reader is kept guessing until the very end of the book. The premise of the book reminded me of the board game Clue...or Agatha
Judy Lesley
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing, Inc., Shiloh Run Press for allowing me to read this digital book galley.

I truly enjoyed this well plotted mystery novel filled with well developed characters. Six people receive an invitation to spend the Twelve Days of Christmas at Bleakly Manor, beginning on December 25, 1850 and ending at midnight on January 5, 1851. Each is promised something that they desperately want or need will be their reward for spending the season there. Once they arrive
I really shouldn't claim I read this book yet as I didn't realize what I had was an extended preview - but I assure you that I loved it and will definitely finish the story!

This is what I have so far: Clara Chapman, the main character in this book, has received a mysterious invitation to come for the 12 days of Christmas to be celebrated at an English manor. She only decides to accept because it comes with the promise of payment of 500 pounds -a huge sum for Clara in 1851 England.

She has no idea
Lynda Edwards
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keeper-shelf
This book is fun, quirky, and not at all what I expected. Yes, the book is set during Christmas and the days following, but it really isn't a story about the holiday. Instead, Michelle Griep explores relationships and how we perceive people, both those long acquainted but separated for a time, and those who are strangers until thrust into unusual circumstances together.

There's a mysterious air owing to the absent host, who makes many demands of his guests while not even present to enjoy the
Becky Lewis
Clara Chapman has fallen from high society, a woman about to be married;to a poor girl taking care of her invalid aunt. When an odd invitation comes, inviting her to spend the 12 Days of Christmas at Bleakly Manor in exchange for a goodly sum, Clara decides to accept the offer. However, things are not as they seem at the old,odd mansion. Other guests show up in hopes of a reward and the host is conspicuously absent.

Griep toys with the reader's mind as each guest is presented and well-drawn with
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
What fate awaits a cast of seven eccentric characters who heed the missive of a single gold embossed envelop inviting them to spend 12 days at Bleakly Manor? That's what the reader will find out in this cleverly written mystery! Only one will receive the prize promised within the letter and each are determined to stay. Even when mishaps begin to happen!

Mystery, mayhem, a manor full of secrets and a missing host mash up in this page turner! Unique and eccentric characters, vividly told scenery
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one is so good! How lucky am I to get an ARC! Thank you, Michelle and Barbour Publishing.

It gripped me from the first chapter. What happens when the person you loved and thought you knew turns out to be your biggest traitor? And then you come face to face with them and not everything as it seems to be.

I loved the backstory between Clara and Ben. There was so much hurt but also so much love.

And so many twists in this story! And there's even a little cameo appearance by Charles Dickens!
Great concept and multiple character stories as we watch the twelve days of Christmas unfold.
Great start to this series has me anticipating #2...
Enjoyed my read in the audio download version from my library.
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I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Other books in the series

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas (3 books)
  • A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas, #2)
  • The Old Lace Shop (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #3)
“Though you are brilliant at hiding your heart, I've long known you underestimate your own value. But that view of yourself is a lie. Each of God's creatures is inherently precious and so are you.” 0 likes
“If you knew all the answers, there'd be no need for trust, little one.” 0 likes
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