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A Haunting at Holkham    by Anne Glenconner order for
Haunting at Holkham
by Anne Glenconner
Order:  USA  Can
Mobius, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Anne Glenconner, author of Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown, lived the surroundings that she describes in her new mystery, A Haunting at Holkham.

The story goes back and forth in time between revelations of the childhood abuse its heroine suffered (that still leaves her with panic attacks) and the modern mystery that she investigates. As an eleven-year-old child, post 1943, Lady Anne Coke (granddaughter of the Earl of Leicester) lived at Holkham Hall with her beloved grandfather (in her parents' absence overseas) but was in the care of a cruel, abusive governess who was able to fool the adults around her.

Fast forward to 1950 when Anne does her part to maintain the family finances by marketing the pottery her mother and sister help produce. At a business meeting with other salesmen, she receives a call to tell her that her grandfather has died. When her car breaks down on the way home, she's helped by Charles Elwood, a temporary tenant of the family. They grow close over time, despite his being a democratic socialist.

Anne discovers that her grandfather was carrying a copy of a valuable family heirloom when he was found. Then her childhood friend, Johnnie Fuller is found dead - he'd recently met with her grandfather, but why? Anne does find answers, with help from Charles. Overall, the Downton Abbey like background to this story is at least as entertaining as the mystery itself.

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