cover image The Vanishing at Loxby Manor

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor

Abigail Wilson. Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (342p) ISBN 978-0-7852-3295-7

Wilson’s fourth outing in G-rated Regency romantic suspense (following Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey) is dense with gothic incident. As a teenager, quiet and proper Charity Halliwell fell in love with Piers Cavanagh, heir to Loxby Manor. But Charity’s parents swept her away to Ceylon, and Piers fell into disgrace. Five years later, Charity improbably returns to Loxby Manor as a houseguest—just in time to be the last person to see Piers’s sister, Seline, before the girl disappears. Was it death or a worse fate that befell her? Charity braves a sea of disapproval from the Cavanagh family and associates to get to the bottom of the mystery. There is a whiff of the retrograde in Wilson’s lily-white depiction of the era and condemnation of French revolutionary ideas. That said, the pace is brisk and the improbabilities are engaged with gusto. The result is a light, atmospheric outing. Agent: Jennifer Wills, the Seymore Agency. (Jan.)