Mrs P’s Book of Secrets (UK)/The Book Ghost (US) written by Lorna Gray, publisher One More Chapter (an imprint of Harper Collins) is available NOW in ebook format (the paperback is due out in March 2020).
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The Cotswolds, Christmastime 1946
A young widow leaves behind the tragedy of her wartime life, and returns home to her ageing aunt and uncle. For Lucy – known as Mrs P – and the people who raised her, the books that line the walls of the family publishing business bring comfort and the promise of new beginnings.
But the kind and reserved new editor at the Kershaw and Kathay Book Press is a former prisoner of war, and he has his own shadows to bear. And when the old secrets of a little girl’s abandonment are uncovered within the pages of Robert Underhills’s latest project, Lucy must work quickly if she is to understand the truth behind his frequent trips away.
For a ghost dwells in the record of an orphan girl’s last days. And even as Lucy dares to risk her heart, the grief of her own past seems to be whispering a warning of fresh loss…
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.
I am so pleased to be involved in the #30DaysofBookBlogs run by author Lorna Gray and if you check out Lorna’s social media feed you will find out all sorts of wonderful information about 30 book bloggers. I have the pleasure of sharing my review of Lorna’s latest novel: Mrs P’s Book of Secrets. This is my first introduction to the work of Lorna Gray and I am thrilled to have found a new historical fiction author to add to my favourites list.
Mrs P’s Book of Secrets is a story that you have to let it build like a perfect pot of loose-leaf tea were the leaves have to steep for a certain time, just like this book and it’s words that are ‘steeping’ to reach it’s peak leaving you with a satisfied glow. Please be patient with the words…
Lorna Gray has created a very atmospheric novel that is fitting to the characters and era, I could feel a sense of time and place and understood for the characters that life needed at this time to take on a more gentler rhythm.
Mrs P’s Book of Secrets is a gentle, poignant love story that I felt held a few stories within it. I loved the steady building relationship of trust between Lucy and Robert and for them personally it was just at the right pace. They’ve both suffered with the aftermath of the war so a windswept romance wouldn’t have worked. I liked the sound of Robert he seemed very dark and mysterious at first but once he opened up your heart expands with love for him.
Lucy works for her uncle at his book publishing business and Robert has recently come to work as a new editor. I found it quite fascinating this side of the story to learn about the machinations behind book publishing back in the 1940’s and I never even thought that rations would come into play. To read about how an idea for a book, with the author approaching a publisher, for it then to become a reality with the type setting of the words in the print room for a book lover sounded enchanting. I appreciated the research that the author has undertaken giving the readers a step back in time into the world of publishing.
Mrs P’s Book of Secrets held a certain chilling mystery around it taking you on a journey of self-discovery and starting anew following much sadness and the feeling of being lost within a world trying to forge on following the World War. It’s a love story, a historical mystery novel and a story of new beginnings. All I’m saying is that the ending reaching out and grabbed me and I did feel a satisfied glow, just like a perfect cup of tea.
About the Author
Lorna Gray was born in 1980 in Bedfordshire. Her relationship with the glorious countryside of the Cotswolds began many years ago when she first moved to Cirencester. She has been exploring the area through her love of history, adventure and romance ever since.
This is Lorna’s fourth post-WWII mystery. Her three previous novels are In the Shadow of Winter (2015), The War Widow (2018) and The Antique Dealer’s Daughter (2018). She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband.