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The Crown for Castlewood Manor

(My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series #1)

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  28 reviews
“Fans of TV shows like Downton Abbey will no doubt be drawn in by the “everything is new again” escapist fantasy of Gemma’s vivid and entertaining adventures in bucolic England.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS

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,
Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published February 11th 2018 by Boots & Crowns Publishing
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Average rating 4.63  · 
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 ·  41 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Leonard Tillerman
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reviews
Alexander Graham Bell once said that "when one door closes another door opens."  Wise words indeed!  Unfortunately, many people spend so much time lamenting about the closed door that they are unable to see the potential opportunities which the open door presents.  They are mired in regret and refuse to take a risk.  Sad really- because it is the risk-takers who typically reap the grandest rewards.  In Veronica Cline Barton's novel The Crown for Castlewood Manor, we see just such a scenario.  Fo ...more
Kelly Miller
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As an American Anglophile, I loved the premise of this story: Gemma lives in Malibu, but she travels to the luxurious England home of her cousin Evan, a grand estate called Cherrywood Hall. The estate is one of four in consideration to be the setting for a new period drama TV series, and the producers have organized a series of events for each estate to hold before making their decision. Gemma loves the estate and finds a new love interest, but also comes uncomfortably close to danger. Who is wi ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Crown for Castlewood Manor: My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series possesses 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 ...more
Martha Perez
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was a pleasure to read such an amazing story the image of Cherrywood Hall and the sophistication British manor estates. I was memorized of the drama suspense and so much more.. Beautifully written a page-turner get cozy, and enjoy an astonishing story. You are going to get an impressive treaty of reading enjoyment from this book. The Crown for Castlewood Manor is a FIVE STAR BOOK!! It was an AMAZING ADVENTURE. I recommend this Captivating Book.
Shanna Swenson
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
This was a glamorously mysterious, funny and entertaining read. I would liken it to Clue meets a a modern Downton Abbey.

It all starts in Malibu as Dr. Gemma Lancaster Phillips, is out celebrating her newly awarded PhD when she stumbles upon her boyfriend with another female. As chance would have it, her actress mother, Jillian, and her British cousin, Evan, convince her to get away and head to England to assist him in making his estate the venue for a new highly anticipated British television se
Jena Henry
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Calling all Anglophiles! Here is a dream book for you and the best news is that it’s now a series, currently at three books. The action starts immediately in The Crown for Castlewood Manor, the first book in the series. We meet Gemma, a California girl from Malibu who is a competent young women with a newly-minted Doctorate.

Gemma tells her story in the first person. As she explains, her family is a bit different from the everyday American lineage, as there is an American, as well as a titled En
Bibiana Krall
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Our friends called us, The Muses of Malibu."

The Crown for Castlewood Manor begins in a modern landscape of love lost, the glittering world of Malibu and a woman named Gemma who discovers that after improving her life and earning her PhD, she alienates her romantic partner, simply by being strong and achieving her goals. I adored how Gemma was written as smart, genuine, savvy and stylish. More characters like this for women please!

The story seamlessly morphs into a cozy, British mystery surroun
Alex Bailey
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t recommend The Crown for Castlewood Manor highly enough! For this Anglophile, having an American, Gemma, travel to the UK to a manor with all the wonderful elements of aristocracy, manors, royals, lavish dresses and meals, I was completely filled with joy while reading this fantastic novel. I recently had my first trip to the UK and it brought back all the memories of that fabulous trip. The author is highly descriptive of scenes, transporting me right back into the beautiful country. She ...more
Travis Borne
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“SLAP! I’m out of here. How could you! Oh, I can’t believe what he did to me after how long we’ve been together. And we had plans, plans to—”
But, it could be the best thing that ever happened to young Dr. Gemma Phillips. Will she find new love? Tall dark and handsome…
From the beaches of California, travel east to England, to Castlewood Manor for the by-chance, breathtaking chance of a lifetime! Gemma will experience what most people only dream of. The Crown for Castlewood Manor: My American Almo
E. Denise Billups
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love a cozy mystery and The Crown for Castlewood Manor by Veronica Cline Barton delivered every element one looks for in this genre. Dr. Gemma Phillips, the main character, has just completed her Ph.D. and deciding the next step toward an academic career when she stumbles upon her boyfriend Michael cheating with another woman, a heartbreak that propels her toward a defining chapter in her life.

When her cousin Evan Lancaster, the eighth Marquess of Kentshire, contacts her about a project invol
S.S. Bazinet
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this sleek mystery by Ms. Barton, we’re soon swept away from the relaxed, pretty beaches of Malibu. We’re introduced to a wholly different environment when we cross the pond and find ourselves in an elegant estate in England. Unlike many of the money poor estates of the UK, Castlewood Manor is thriving. It’s so lavishly restored and breathtaking that it’s being considered for a grand television series.

A beautiful and bright American, Dr. Gemma Lancaster Phillips, is invited to England to help
Russell .
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful treat! Told through the eyes of an intelligent Dr. Gemma Phillips, ‘Castlewood Manor’ first unfolds on the beaches of California and then sweeps the reader into the foothills of English countryside. On the surface, the story has an airy, light comfortable feeling through Gemma’s perception as she meets her English family and learns about her role in upcoming competition. However, the story brilliantly takes a darker leap as it becomes a murder mystery, echoing the likes of Agat ...more
C.A. Asbrey
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love a murder mystery, so I was sold on the concept of Gemma Phillips visiting the UK from the USA and getting embroiled in a classic English Country House mystery. The writing is wonderful, the settings sumptuous, and the characterizations ring with a veracity which make the books easy to visualize, and play in your head like a movie. I particularly like the Gemma as a protagonist, and she was a perfect foil for a tale of history, legacy, murder, double-dealing, and a lovely spark of romance. ...more
Amy Reade
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book starts out with a devastating discovery and a dream that dies in the span of a few gut-wrenching seconds. But this main character (Gemma) has moxie, and she's not going to let a little thing like a two-timing fiancé destroy her future.

When Gemma gets an offer from her almost-royal British cousin to come to England and help his estate win a prestigious competition to host a new British tv period drama, she happily takes on the challenge and the game is afoot, so to speak.

But when Gemm
Brenda Guiton
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an absolute delight to read! Not being a particular fan of whodunits of the cosy mystery variety, but an avid fan of Downton Abbey, my curiosity was piqued and I’m so pleased that I bought this book. It certainly lived up to its many glowing reviews and kept me enthralled from start to finish.
I loved the main character, Dr. Gemma Phillips, a gutsy American girl from Malibu, California, who has family connections with the British aristocracy – the subject of the dissertation for her recently
Luna Selas
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Veronica Cline Barton’s English cozy mystery spans two continents and details the affluent beach lifestyle of Malibu, California and the wealthy, but more staid gentry of Cherrywood Hall on the outskirts of England’s Maidenford Village.

Dr. Gemma Phillips, a young woman who has just completed her doctoral degree believes the world is about to be her oyster. Unfortunately, bad quickly follows good as she discovers her boyfriend of two years has been cheating on her.

With nothing tying her to Mali
C. A. Powell
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A young American woman named Gemma Alexandra Lancaster Philips decides to visit her ancestors in Britain. One of her distant and late aunts had married into the British aristocracy back in the 1930s. Her related Brit family estate is competing for the rights to have a new and hopefully popular TV saga filmed on location at their grounds. Such a project would increase revenue for running the vast family mansion and grounds. With TV revenue and an increase in visitor attraction, such a win would b ...more
Anita Dow
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Escape with this 'cosy' British mystery series written by American author Veronica Cline Barton. The plot is based around a competition to choose an English stately home to feature as the location for a TV drama series, to be called 'Castlewood Manor'. In book 1 we meet the aristocratic family of the Marquess of Kentshire who occupy Cherrywood Hall, one of the competition finalists. The story is narrated by Dr Gemma Phillips, an American cousin of the Marquess, who is helping her family handle t ...more
Mark Schultz
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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, because 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 spoiling the surprises, so let me say this about Barton’s wr
John Dolan
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'The Crown for Castlewood Manor' is a delightful piece of hands-across-the-water transatlantic whismsy - one might almost say Lord Peter Wimsey, because the author's love of the traditional English whodunnit shines through. What starts off as a genteel contest to bag a location filming prize soon turns dark, and the body count quickly climbs. If you like your cosy mysteries with a dash of the tall, dark and handsome, and with elements of sly humour, then this novel is likely for you. Good stuff, ...more
Cynthia Raleigh
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a pleasure to settle in to crisp autumn weather in the gorgeous English countryside! Gemma Phillips' visit to her cousin, Lord Evan Lancaster, is a dream come true in book form. Evan's close friend Kyle is a welcome, and worthy, distraction for Gemma after a sudden break-up back home in Malibu right on the heels of celebrating her PhD.

Stately homes with manicured gardens, sumptuous food, wine, and furnishings create an opulent backdrop for the serious business of competition between estate
Cathleen Maza
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to Cherrywood Hall...where the English and American factions of a historic family come together for a competition that's murder! It's quite a fabulous world that author Victoria Cline Barton introduces readers to in this first book of the My American Almost-Royal Cousin series, and I was admittedly swept away by it all. From the exploration of the enormous family estate to participating in a traditional English fox hunt, there's scarcely a moment of down-time for the intelligent and love ...more
Anna Casament Arrigo
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.”
Ayn Rand
Gemma, our protagonist, embodies the best that women, strong, motivated, calculated risk-takers, and independent, can achieve through perseverance, fortitude, and a will to go and do what some may not-
Ms. Barton has created a magnificent tale that takes you from sunny California to the shores of England. An educated heiress she possesses qualities, both believable and engaging. This tale is so masterfully written and
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

Wow, royal families really know how to throw a party. No matter where the competition events were being held, pandemonium was soon to erupt.

Shots fired. Drinks poisoned. Suspicious car accidents.

Who was the killer and was he or she working alone?

This was not a simple murder mystery book. Veronica Cline Barton (the author) will have you guessing right up until the end when Chief Inspector Marquot explains all the motives behind each i
MJ LaBeff
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written, cozy mystery with a captivating cast of characters is a delightful read that takes Gemma Phillips from her beach bungle along the California coast to the ancestral manor of Cherrywood Hall in England where the castle is competing in a competition for selection in an upcoming British TV period drama. Tragedy strikes and participants in the contest began to die under suspicious circumstances. Despite the danger, contestants carry on for the crown and selection in the TV s ...more
Emmy Bennett
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Veronica Cline Barton took me on a wonderful journey filled with food, wine, and gala events. This cozy mystery is filled with suspense, and wonder, with a hint of ghostly appearances. It’s been a long time since I read a mystery like this. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Word of caution: don’t read on an empty stomach, because the Lancaster’s know how to prepare a meal, and bring a glass of wine, because they also know how to have a good time.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2 and 3. Barton kept t
Lori Katherine
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing Cozy Murder!

I love a good mystery and Veronica nailed it in this book hands down! I love how it combines thriller, mystery, romance and murder packed into one wonderful story that kept me glued!
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Good read .
Mark Scantland
rated it it was amazing
Nov 14, 2020
Sharon Reeder
rated it really liked it
May 18, 2018
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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.

She loves all things glamorous; royals, acting, fashion (emphasis on boots and crowns) and loads of yummy foods and cocktails. The Crown for Castle

Other books in the series

My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series (5 books)
  • Cast, Crew & Carnage: The Filming of Castlewood Manor (My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series, #2)
  • Deadly Receptions: The Debut of Castlewood Manor (My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series, #3)
  • Mistletoe and Mayhem: Yuletide at Castlewood Manor (My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series, #4)
  • Double Trouble: Showtime at Castlewood Manor (My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series #5)

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  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
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“Would you let a TV period drama series be filmed at your estate? Dying to know :)” 1 likes
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