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A Haunting at Holkham

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The thrilling new mystery from the bestselling author of Lady in Waiting and Murder on Mustique. Set during WWII in Holkham, think Downton Abbey meets Knives Out ... It's Christmas 1943 and Lady Anne Coke has returned to Holkham Hall from Scotland. But her home is now an army base, with large sections out of bounds. And 11-year-old Anne is in the care of a new governess, wh The thrilling new mystery from the bestselling author of Lady in Waiting and Murder on Mustique. Set during WWII in Holkham, think Downton Abbey meets Knives Out ... It's Christmas 1943 and Lady Anne Coke has returned to Holkham Hall from Scotland. But her home is now an army base, with large sections out of bounds. And 11-year-old Anne is in the care of a new governess, whom she hates and believes to be hiding something. At least her beloved grandfather is there with her, to share stories and keep her entertained. But even though she's been told to stay away from certain parts of the house, Anne knows secrets about the hall that others do not; the passageways and the cellars that allow her to move around unnoticed, watching. And when mysterious  events lead to a murder and disappearance, Anne is determined to uncover the truth.


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The thrilling new mystery from the bestselling author of Lady in Waiting and Murder on Mustique. Set during WWII in Holkham, think Downton Abbey meets Knives Out ... It's Christmas 1943 and Lady Anne Coke has returned to Holkham Hall from Scotland. But her home is now an army base, with large sections out of bounds. And 11-year-old Anne is in the care of a new governess, wh The thrilling new mystery from the bestselling author of Lady in Waiting and Murder on Mustique. Set during WWII in Holkham, think Downton Abbey meets Knives Out ... It's Christmas 1943 and Lady Anne Coke has returned to Holkham Hall from Scotland. But her home is now an army base, with large sections out of bounds. And 11-year-old Anne is in the care of a new governess, whom she hates and believes to be hiding something. At least her beloved grandfather is there with her, to share stories and keep her entertained. But even though she's been told to stay away from certain parts of the house, Anne knows secrets about the hall that others do not; the passageways and the cellars that allow her to move around unnoticed, watching. And when mysterious  events lead to a murder and disappearance, Anne is determined to uncover the truth.

56 review for A Haunting at Holkham

  1. 5 out of 5

    Javier

    Prior to reading this I had read a news article about the author and her fascinating life. Don´t know why but I’ve always enjoyed very much stories about British aristocracy, so when I learned A haunting at Holkham drew from some of the author’s real life experiences I was so excited. After reading it I must say that, although the writing was good, I didn’t find the actual plot that engaging.   After her grandfather’s sudden death, Anne thinks it is a bit suspicious, so she tries to get to the bot Prior to reading this I had read a news article about the author and her fascinating life. Don´t know why but I’ve always enjoyed very much stories about British aristocracy, so when I learned A haunting at Holkham drew from some of the author’s real life experiences I was so excited. After reading it I must say that, although the writing was good, I didn’t find the actual plot that engaging.   After her grandfather’s sudden death, Anne thinks it is a bit suspicious, so she tries to get to the bottom of it and several other mysteries that will go back to the early 40s when she was a child living at Holkham with her grandad and a devious governess that might have been implicated in the current affairs.   I loved the blend of fact and fiction, especially in the past timeline, but at the same time this past timeline wasn’t that exciting. It was more a telling of her daily life with not much mystery around it. The governess character was absolutely despising and it was shocking to learn how that really happened to the author when she was a child.   In the present timeline (as present as 1950 can be), Anne enlists the help of one of her family’s tenants to investigate. I liked the pair they made, it was interesting to see the clash of ideas of the upper and lower classes.   With also a “ghost story” thrown in there, the story had certain gothic vibes at times that added a nice touch.   I’ve heard both Lady in waiting and Murder on Mustique are both really good, so despite A haunting at Holkham was not my favorite I’m still willing to give the author another chance.   Thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    I bought this book purely because my parents live near Holkham, it’s somewhere I’ve been several times and I always like a book set somewhere I know. Then I read the dedication, and saw that it was to the 5th Earl of Leicester and his wife, the author’s parents. Then, of course, I instantly made the connection that Anne was a member of the Coke family and had grown up in Holkham Hall itself (her memoir had completely passed me by!) I wasn’t sure what to expect, and to be honest Ed expected more o I bought this book purely because my parents live near Holkham, it’s somewhere I’ve been several times and I always like a book set somewhere I know. Then I read the dedication, and saw that it was to the 5th Earl of Leicester and his wife, the author’s parents. Then, of course, I instantly made the connection that Anne was a member of the Coke family and had grown up in Holkham Hall itself (her memoir had completely passed me by!) I wasn’t sure what to expect, and to be honest Ed expected more of a vanity project than anything else. What I got was a pleasant, slow-burn novel of what I’d class as cozy crime with a slight gothic edge. The lead character is a debutante and pottery saleswoman turned amateur sleuth when her grandfather dies in less than straightforward circumstances. With the help of one of the Estate’s tenants, a democratic socialist with a dim view of inherited estates, she tracks down the clues that lead her to the truth of what happened. It’s an easy, gentle read, rich with historical detail and snippets of Anne’s life (which some readers will recognise from her memoir Lady in Waiting), all of which I enjoyed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Wow! This book is AMAZING! It is intriguing, full of twists, turns, and shocking moments, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and so much more. Whenever I picked up "A Haunting at Holkam", I was whisked back in time, and went on such an emotional journey with this story. I have previously read Lady Anne Glenconner's historical mystery "Murder on Mustique", and thought it was incredible. As soon as I saw that she was writing another one, I just knew I needed to add it to the top of my to-be-read pile! La Wow! This book is AMAZING! It is intriguing, full of twists, turns, and shocking moments, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and so much more. Whenever I picked up "A Haunting at Holkam", I was whisked back in time, and went on such an emotional journey with this story. I have previously read Lady Anne Glenconner's historical mystery "Murder on Mustique", and thought it was incredible. As soon as I saw that she was writing another one, I just knew I needed to add it to the top of my to-be-read pile! Lady Glenconner's writing style is incredibly visceral and vivid, and she truly transports the reader back in time. The past comes to life right off of the page. Her attention to detail, descriptive writing, and storytelling truly make each and every aspect of the novel feel so real. Every location and character is so specifically thought-out and written, and I was hooked from the first page to the last. Moreover, I felt each piece of the puzzle of the mystery (ies) becomes known to the reader at the exact moment it needs to be. She seamlessly weaves people and events from her own life with fiction throughout the book as well. This book takes place mainly over two time periods: 1943, and 1950. In the earlier time period, Lady Anne Coke is living with her grandfather at Holkam. Her parents, who are in Egypt, hire a new governess for Anne named Miss Crane. She treats Anne absolutely horrifically, and one of Anne's escapes is to take photographs, as well develop them with her grandfather. When Anne and her friend Johnnie decide that Anne should try to take a photograph of a ghost who lives at Holkam, named Lady Mary, Anne decides to do so. Soon, she begins to stumble on more and more secrets. In 1950, Anne's grandfather passes away, and everyone believes it is an accident. He is found with a fake necklace in his pocket, which leads to more and more questions. Soon, Anne's childhood friend Johnnie disappears, leaving behind a wife and young child. With the help of her new friend Charles, will Anne be able to solve what has really been going on? Are any or all of these events connected? And, if so, how? What other mysteries and crimes are surrounding what is going on? You will just have to read to find out. I truly felt that the switching of time periods worked seamlessly, and could really see the connection of why Lady Glenconner went back and forth time wise as she did, when she did. If you enjoy historical mysteries, I highly recommend this book! It kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next, and I hope Lady Glenconner continues to write more and more books! Thank you so much to Mobius Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book, I could not put it down! All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Please Note: This book deals with some heavy topics.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Federica

    I love Anne Glenconner's writing style! And I loved the fact that this book is so very well balanced between fiction and biography. It's probably not my very favourite by this author (and I urge you to read also the others), but I would highly reccomend it for its unique style and plot. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review: I love Anne Glenconner's writing style! And I loved the fact that this book is so very well balanced between fiction and biography. It's probably not my very favourite by this author (and I urge you to read also the others), but I would highly reccomend it for its unique style and plot. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review:

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Barrett

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ve never been one who has been thrilled at the idea of a ghost story. The last time I read one was during my a levels and our English lit teacher took us to see the play. I was less than thrilled when I discovered that it was an interactive play and the ghost liked to sit in the audience. Guess who has an empty seat right behind them! However over the last couple of years I have been really expanding what I read and so I was really looking forward to a good ghost story. This was especially tru I’ve never been one who has been thrilled at the idea of a ghost story. The last time I read one was during my a levels and our English lit teacher took us to see the play. I was less than thrilled when I discovered that it was an interactive play and the ghost liked to sit in the audience. Guess who has an empty seat right behind them! However over the last couple of years I have been really expanding what I read and so I was really looking forward to a good ghost story. This was especially true as the premise revealed that the story was based upon real accounts of the supernatural. Now I’m not saying I completely believe I ghosts but since having a couple of rather unexplainable events I have always had a mild interest. So to say that I was a little disappointed with this book, in that respect, would be quite an understatement. I think the title is completely misleading because there was one, tiny section that was vaguely about a haunting which, by the end of the book, you discover was not anything to do with a ghost anyway. What this book really was, was a murder mystery. This wouldn’t have been a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that it was less than thrilling, had an awful dark and sinister undertone and quite frankly infuriating! Essentially this book was about a governess/ teacher that treated a child so horrendously that, as a teacher myself, at times both sickened me and infuriated me. Then to discover that there was some element of truth in this part of the story made my blood run cold. I understand that for the author perhaps there was a rather therapeutic element to writing this book and if this is the case then I’m glad but I think this should be made clear from the outset for the reader. This was certainly not any kind of a thriller. It bumbled along, feather needlessly, until the last few pages at which point the story was rushed and how it was concluded was , for me, rather infuriating. The murderer, who didn’t just kill once, which included an old friend and a beloved grandfather, is shot dead and the Aristotle family basically brush the whole thing off as a rather unpleasant ordeal and get on with life. Now, I’m sorry, but that is an awful way to end a story. First of all it sums up what a lot of people loathe about the aristocracy. The family basically abuse their standing in society to quite literally get away with murder. Secondly there is absolutely no way I would shrug my shoulders, get in with life (which in this case was go clubbing and find a nice rich husband) and ultimately be rather thrilled that it all happened because the governess was murdered and the family jewels were returned which meant they could be worn on special occasions. Apparently this makes the murder of a grandfather perfectly acceptable and all rather worth it! Urgh!!!! A rather appalling excuse for a book and as for the author, well, everything that is loathed about the aristocracy all bundled up! Quite simple an awful book and author that gives the aristocracy and awful and, I hope to god, an unfair and unjust representation.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    A Haunting at Holkham by Anne Glenconner is a great post WWII historical mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved that this historical fiction/mystery incorporates biographical information from the Author’s own childhood, and takes those inspired moments, people, and memories and creates a narrative with: creative characters, fascinating locations/buildings/events, and wraps it all up into an engaging and entertaining story. Here we follow a younger Anne while she is at Holkham Hall as she atte A Haunting at Holkham by Anne Glenconner is a great post WWII historical mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved that this historical fiction/mystery incorporates biographical information from the Author’s own childhood, and takes those inspired moments, people, and memories and creates a narrative with: creative characters, fascinating locations/buildings/events, and wraps it all up into an engaging and entertaining story. Here we follow a younger Anne while she is at Holkham Hall as she attempts to sleuth her way into a resolution into her grandfather’s questionable death (at least in her mind). Anne is determined to get to the bottom of several mysteries despite the obstacles of the Hall’s other inhabitants, her age, and obvious obstacles. I really liked the balance of fact and fiction and the Author’s note at the end helped give perspective on what was reality vs inspiration for the story. I thoroughly enjoyed her memoir, Lady in Waiting, so I am pleased to say that I also think she has a real talent as an author of fiction as well. 4/5 stars Thank you NG and Hodder & Stoughton for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Clarisa Butler

    A Haunting at Holkham is an entertaining read which should have been shortened and tightened at the editing stage to make it more to the point, especially towards the end of the narrative. The actual mystery (a valuable diamond necklace has disappeared) is a simple plot reminiscent of the Blyton books of my childhood. The reasons for reading this novel are perhaps more mundane as what is most interesting is the insiders view it gives you as to the life at Holkham during and just after WW2. Any g A Haunting at Holkham is an entertaining read which should have been shortened and tightened at the editing stage to make it more to the point, especially towards the end of the narrative. The actual mystery (a valuable diamond necklace has disappeared) is a simple plot reminiscent of the Blyton books of my childhood. The reasons for reading this novel are perhaps more mundane as what is most interesting is the insiders view it gives you as to the life at Holkham during and just after WW2. Any glimpse onto the workings of a big aristocratic house, even if fictionalised, are interesting, and the writer appears as the protagonist of the story. I love the house and its location, visited once but permanently fixed in my brain; the story reinforced my sense of the place and some of its recent history in an enjoyable, undemanding way. The issues discussed in the telling of the story (among others, cruelty towards children, lack of opportunities, immigration) are dealt with a light yet intelligent touch. I don't regret this Xmas gift from a friend who knew of my love of Holkham!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I found this to be a fascinating read. It was set in 1943 and 1950 and the story was part fiction and partly the author’s own experiences. Anne is the main character and I enjoy reading about the time she spent with her grandfather, the Earl of Leicester. Some of Anne’s other experiences were not so pleasant, to put it mildly. There is a mystery to be solved and I didn’t realise who was the culprit until the end. It became a real page turner. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I I found this to be a fascinating read. It was set in 1943 and 1950 and the story was part fiction and partly the author’s own experiences. Anne is the main character and I enjoy reading about the time she spent with her grandfather, the Earl of Leicester. Some of Anne’s other experiences were not so pleasant, to put it mildly. There is a mystery to be solved and I didn’t realise who was the culprit until the end. It became a real page turner. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I will certainly look for more books. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Firstly my thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Oh, what a let-down. I had been so looking forward to reading this third book by Anne Glenconner, having really enjoyed Lady in Waiting and Murder on Mustque, both of which were excellent. Reading about Anne as a young girl, and then later when she was on the verge of being presented at Court, may suit a younger audience who enjoy the thrills of ghosts and a wicked governess. It’s a welll-rou Firstly my thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Oh, what a let-down. I had been so looking forward to reading this third book by Anne Glenconner, having really enjoyed Lady in Waiting and Murder on Mustque, both of which were excellent. Reading about Anne as a young girl, and then later when she was on the verge of being presented at Court, may suit a younger audience who enjoy the thrills of ghosts and a wicked governess. It’s a welll-rounded story, largely based on fact, but lacks maturity in the telling.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    I found the mystery fascinating but what i really loved was the historical part and the memories of an era. I hope I will be able to tell story as well as the author when I'm her age as she's a fascinating storyteller and the details and the story she tells are always interesting. The mystery part is a bit light but the book was enjoyable and compelling. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine I found the mystery fascinating but what i really loved was the historical part and the memories of an era. I hope I will be able to tell story as well as the author when I'm her age as she's a fascinating storyteller and the details and the story she tells are always interesting. The mystery part is a bit light but the book was enjoyable and compelling. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Digiantonio

    A Haunting at Holkham is another great mystery by the British aristocrat Anne Glenconner. I previously read her Caribbean set mystery, Murder in Mustique and enjoyed it greatly. While the premise here is completely different with a cold English manor on the seaside with two storylines set about seven years apart. The main character, Lady Anne Coke is now 18 and about to have her coming-out ball. Before that happens, her grandfather passes away in a dreadful accident, which brings up memories for A Haunting at Holkham is another great mystery by the British aristocrat Anne Glenconner. I previously read her Caribbean set mystery, Murder in Mustique and enjoyed it greatly. While the premise here is completely different with a cold English manor on the seaside with two storylines set about seven years apart. The main character, Lady Anne Coke is now 18 and about to have her coming-out ball. Before that happens, her grandfather passes away in a dreadful accident, which brings up memories for her of the time she spent at the house in the middle of WWII. Glenconner does an excellent job with the setting and making you feel like you're in the creepy manor. The mystery as well was good and I didn't see where it was going until the end! It did seem to drag in some parts towards the beginning, but otherwise another solid mystery entry for Ms. Glenconner!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Trina Dixon

    An enjoyable read about Anne trying to discover the truth surrounding her Grandfathers death, the resident ghost "Lady Mary" and her governess. I loved the vivid descriptions of Holkham Hall as I have visited on many an occasion. Many thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review An enjoyable read about Anne trying to discover the truth surrounding her Grandfathers death, the resident ghost "Lady Mary" and her governess. I loved the vivid descriptions of Holkham Hall as I have visited on many an occasion. Many thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma Hardy

    Like alot of people, I loved Anne's first two books so was eagerly awaiting the 3rd. Sadly this was lacking in sparkle for me, compared to the other 2. Plot much slower pace and didnt captivate me as much. Loved the setting, and "got" the autobiographical references, just didnt offer much more. Dual timelines too were only a few years apart- possibly too close. An easy read. Like alot of people, I loved Anne's first two books so was eagerly awaiting the 3rd. Sadly this was lacking in sparkle for me, compared to the other 2. Plot much slower pace and didnt captivate me as much. Loved the setting, and "got" the autobiographical references, just didnt offer much more. Dual timelines too were only a few years apart- possibly too close. An easy read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mariza Halliday

    I really enjoyed this book. It’s such a wholesome murder / ghostly mystery and even more fascinating that the characters are based on real people in the authors life and at a real place. The mix of fact and fiction works extremely well. It’s definitely a slow burn novel, and especially the beginning is a tad tedious - but I did enjoy it tremendously.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook. I really enjoyed this book a lot! The author did a great job capturing the time period! I loved all the characters and it was a great mystery.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judy Laycock

    Lovely descriptions of life at that time Thoroughly enjoyed this book, the description of the ball was particularly fascinating as to how things were done in those days.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara Aye Moung

    Really enjoyable read. Well written, great story, laced with authenticity

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Barrows

    Absolutely fantastic book! I couldn’t stop once I started! Fully recommend!! 5 stars*****

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Thoroughly enjoyable. Great story and very well written.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    A great read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    Superior novel to the authors first foray into fiction, dialogue is still stilted in places

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gem Louise

    Great book, was a bit of slow burner and storyline not clear to begin with but a enjoyable read

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laurence Green

  24. 4 out of 5

    Glenda Roberts

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dr Lauren Griffiths

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  27. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  28. 4 out of 5

    Josue

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Ford

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rose

  31. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  32. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Thierer

  33. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  34. 4 out of 5

    Saana

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ragnheiður

  36. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  37. 4 out of 5

    Alice Palmer

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  39. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Kane

  40. 5 out of 5

    Nat Wolfenden woods

  41. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

  42. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  43. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  44. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

  45. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

  46. 4 out of 5

    Alison

  47. 5 out of 5

    Lucinda

  48. 4 out of 5

    Bex

  49. 5 out of 5

    Emily K

  50. 5 out of 5

    Grete Hjelsvold

  51. 5 out of 5

    Rene

  52. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  53. 5 out of 5

    William

  54. 4 out of 5

    Rhianna

  55. 4 out of 5

    Adele

  56. 4 out of 5

    Bookietracey

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