cover image The Bridge to Belle Island

The Bridge to Belle Island

Julie Klassen. Bethany House, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-76-421819-4

A lawyer and the prime suspect in a murder investigation come to trust one another in this gratifying romance from Klassen (The Tutor’s Daughter) set in 19th-century London. Benjamin Booker is a promising young lawyer, until his reputation in the eyes of his partners is bruised by an untrustworthy woman he unsuccessfully defended in court against charges of bigamy. Afraid that he hurt his firm’s reputation (along with his own), he is pleased when his mentor and firm partner, Robert Hardy, sends him to Belle Island to investigate Isabelle Wilder in connection with the murder of a retired firm partner, believing the police are botching the investigation. Ben thinks Isabelle had reason to kill her uncle Percy, who was trustee for her estate, but he discovers that Isabelle is not the only one with motive for killing the miserly old man. As Ben gets to know Isabelle, he becomes convinced of her innocence, but, afraid to be deceived by a beautiful woman yet again, Ben continues searching for the truth, even if it means discovering the woman he is beginning to care for may not be all she seems. With its subtle faith elements, Klassen’s evocative romance will appeal to fans of Jody Hedlund. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such. (Dec.)