cover image The Burning of Rosemont Abbey

The Burning of Rosemont Abbey

Naomi Stephens. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7642-4247-2

A church burns down, throwing a small British town into disarray, in this intricate and moody historical from Stephens (Shadows Among Sheaves). It’s 1956 and 26-year-old Louisa Everly has just returned home from a party when she’s overcome by the uncanny sense that her twin, Paul, has died. Almost immediately afterward, Rosemont Abbey—the church where Louisa’s father had been a vicar before dying when she was 12—burns down. Paul’s nowhere to be found, so the police zero in on him as an arson suspect, a prospect that’s not entirely far-fetched given his checkered past. Still, Louisa’s determined to prove his innocence—and, she believes, to find his body. She teams up with her childhood friend and local police inspector, Malcolm Sinclair, to uncover the real culprit. Soon she stumbles on a secret that threatens to rock her family and the town itself. Louisa’s resonant ruminations on how her relationship with Paul soured after their father’s death—and on her faith as a source of bravery—add depth and texture to the mystery as it spirals toward its satisfying conclusion. This immersive whodunit captivates. (Oct.)