I’ve heard great things about Julie Klassen’s books, so when the opportunity came to read her latest release, I looked forward to giving it a try. The Bridge to Belle Island is a historical mystery set in 1819 England. It reminded me a lot of the cozy mysteries I love to read, but with a more contained romance, so I enjoyed it even more and will definitely be reading other Klassen books.
Benjamin Booker is a lawyer who gets the wool pulled over his eyes by a pretty woman and in so doing, he loses a huge case in court. Embarrassed, but given a second chance by his boss and mentor, he agrees to search for answers to the murder of one of their firm’s partners. Benjamin suspects the man has been poisoned though on first glance it looks like he’s been struck on the head.
Benjamin’s boss knows his partner had an argument with a client, so he sends Benjamin to Belle Island to investigate. Benjamin must steel himself against being taken in by another pretty woman since Isabelle Wilder definitely fits that description.
Isabelle loves her island along the Thames. After losing several loved ones, it’s the only place she feels safe. When her home is threatened, she takes a stand against the man who wants to take it away. All that does is land her as the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Can she convince everyone that she is indeed innocent even though everything points to her guilt?
The list of characters who seem guilty is long and the twists and turns of Benjamin’s investigation keep readers guessing at who-done-it. I also liked that the romance thread of the story wrapped up within the telling of this story, unlike many cozy mysteries that weave that thread over several books. The ending felt a tad drawn out, but the characters were such that I didn’t want to leave them behind once the story ended.
I’m glad I chose to read The Bridge to Belle Island and look forward to checking out other books written by Julie Klassen. I hope you’ll enjoy this one, too.
I received this book free from NetGalley in order to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”