Friday, May 24, 2013

Straight Reading from the Library: The Folly at Falconbridge Hall by Maggi Andersen

Maggi Anderson is touring with Goddess Fish Promotions and is giving one randomly draw commenter a $30 Amazon gift card and a second randomly drawn commenter will win a backlist ebook.  Check out all the stops on the tour here:


Vanessa Ashley felt herself qualified for a position as governess, until offered the position at Falconbridge Hall.

Left penniless after the deaths of her artist father and suffragette mother, Vanessa Ashley draws on her knowledge of art, politics and history to gain employment as a governess. She discovers that Julian, Lord Falconbridge, requires a governess for his ten-year-old daughter Blyth at  Falconbridge Hall, a huge rambling mansion in the countryside outside London.

Lord Falconbridge is a scientist and dedicated lepidopterist who is about to embark on an extended expedition to the Amazon in search of exotic butterflies. An enigmatic man, he takes a keen interest in his daughter’s education, but Vanessa feels that he may disapprove of her  modern methods.

As she prepares her young charge to enter into the modern world, Vanessa finds the girl detached and aloof. As Vanessa learns more about Falconbridge Hall, more questions arise. Why doesn’t Blythe feel safe in her own home? Why is the death of her mother, once famed society beauty Clara, never spoken of? And why did the former governess leave so suddenly without giving notice?


I really love the Victorian era so was really looking forward to this book by Maggi Andersen. When I first read the blurb, I was half-way expecting another retelling of Jane Eyre.  I was happily mistaken.  

There's a thread of mystery that weaves its way through the book--and Ms. Andersen slowly draws the reader in until all the pieces are tied together. She also sets up the romance between Vanessa and Julian piece by piece-their relationship growing as they interact with each other and Blythe.

The language made me feel like I'd stepped back in time--it was very period appropriate.  Although at times the transitions between scenes seemed a little abrupt, the story was easy to follow.


Maggi Andersen and her lawyer husband are empty nesters, living in the countryside outside Sydney with their cat and the demanding wildlife. Parrots demand seed, possums fruit, ducks swim in the stream at the bottom of the garden, and the neighbors chickens roam their yard providing wonderful eggs. She began writing adventure stories at age eight. Three children, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree later, her novels are still filled with adventure and suspense, but are also passionate romances. Georgette Heyer among others, brought inspiration to her seductive Regencies and she also writes darker, Victorian novels, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult.

She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books. 

Publisher website:  Knox Robinson Publishing:


  1. Thank you for your review. Very pleased to hear it's not a re-telling. Though I did not expect it to be.


  2. Well, it's the last day of the tour and I want to say I've enjoyed following you around, learning more about you and your books. So, thanks for a good time!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  3. Hi Judith...I can always count on a thoughtful review from a fellow librarian. The mystery part of it sounds intriguing.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. I am glad to see you were pleasantly surprised by this novel. Thanks for the great tour and I'll have to add it to my list of TBR

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  5. Good review and about the slowly drawing the pieces together always keeps the reader on their toes.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  6. Thanks everyone for participating. Good luck with the contest.