Historical fiction, Mystery, Romance

The Letter from Briarton Park by Sarah E. Ladd

This book tried to do a lot in a short space of time. It was a worthy effort, and I liked it enough to appreciate the different angles of approach, but I still felt like one or two avenues could have been left alone for a more invested feeling.
The biggest advantage of the author’s writing was that all the characters felt very three-dimensional. They each came with emotional hangups and responsibilities. Secrets were the currency and ran the entire story.
Our lead protagonist was an orphan brought up in a school where she later taught as an adult. With her dying breath, her guardian reveals that she not only knew her parents but withheld information that could have helped her. This is not something that can be lightly accepted by anyone. With a letter in her hand, she sets out to find out more about her past.
The story puts our leading lady in not-so-comfortable situations but also gives her glimmers of hope for her to find her way out.
This is one part of the story. The other section focuses on the romance between the widower and the current owner of Briarton Park. This was well done but strong enough to have been the focus of the book without the third aspect of murder thrown in since it also delved into the complications of relationships between everyone in the house.
Even though I am a fan of a large cast of characters in my plots, I am not a fan of too many things because I am unsure of where to focus. This is the only reason I did not rate this higher. I am not sure which group of people who read historical fiction I could recommend this to since it is part historical romance and part murder mystery.
I received an ARC thanks to Netgalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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