Book Review | The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog tour.

Book Description

Everything is about to change…

1789. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the palace of Versailles for their château, deep in the French Alps. But as revolution spreads through the country, even hidden away the Auberts will not be safe forever. Soon they must make a terrible decision in order to protect themselves, and their children, from harm.

Present day. When Lu’s mother dies leaving her heartbroken, the chance to move to a château in the south of France with her husband and best friends seems an opportunity for a new beginning. But Lu can’t resist digging into their new home’s history, and when she stumbles across the unexplained disappearance of Catherine Aubert, the château begins to reveal its secrets – and a mystery unsolved for centuries is uncovered…

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My Review

The Secret of the Chateau is a gripping story that enthralls from beginning to end.

The setting is gorgeous- from Versailles to a chateau in the French Alps. If you are ever going to fall in love with a setting in a book, this is a strong contender for your affections. I’ve been to Versailles, and a small village in France, and this story quickly took me back there.

It is two stories in one – a modern-day tale of a group of friends transitioning into retirement together and the historical tale of the Comte and Comtess of Verais during the French Revolution. I found the historical fiction to be the most compelling and poignant of the two stories. That period is fascinating to me. Admittedly it is fascinating in a car wreck kind of way but still I find stories set during that time period engaging and heartrending. It was a time that demonstrated a clear case of man’s inhumanity to man. So many people died by guillotine when their only crimes were being born to a titled family and obliviousness. Most nobles were not malicious or perpetrators of the crimes of which they were charged.

The current day story was not as intriguing to me, but still a charming tale. I would never even think of having a retirement home to live in with my spouse and our three closest friends. Their plight, though, did not hold my attention like the struggles and mysteries of the chateau’s former occupants.

The mystery and the paranormal aspects gave the novel a fun, chill-inducing twist. I love a good haunting story, and this one did not disappoint. I also enjoyed the plethora of pets, from the kittens – Flip and Flop – to the dog, Felix, and Clarabel the goat. It is a lovely cast of pet characters that are all endearing.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband. She has two sons who have both now left home. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has published several novels with HQ and self-published another. She has also sold dozens of short stories to women’s magazines, and written three How To books for writers. After a long career in the IT industry she became a full time writer in 2019. When she’s not writing, she’s often out running, slowly.

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9 Replies to “Book Review | The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl”

  1. Oooh, this sounds very interesting! The historical era and dual timeline also appeal to me. And cats named Flip and Flop? That’s just too cute. I’m going to check this one out!

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