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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.