The Bridge to Belle Island
After a humiliating mistake, lawyer Benjamin Booker resolves to never again trust a beautiful woman. When an old friend is killed, the senior partner isn't satisfied with Bow Street's efforts and asks Benjamin to investigate. Eager to leave London for a while, Benjamin agrees. Evidence takes him to a remote island on the Thames, a world unto itself, shrouded in mist and mystery. Soon he finds himself falling for the main suspect—a woman who claims not to have left the island in ten years. But should he trust her?On Belle Island, Isabelle feels safe and leads a productive life, but fear keeps her trapped there. When Mr. Booker arrives with news of her trustee's murder in London, Isabelle is stunned. She has not left the island, yet she has a recurring dream about the man's death. Or is it a memory? She had been furious with him, but she never intended...this.When a second person dies, and evidence shockingly points to her, Isabelle doesn't know who to trust: the attractive lawyer or the admirer and friends who assemble on the island, each with grudges against the victim. Can she even trust her own mind? While they search for the truth, secrets come to light and danger comes calling.

The Bridge to Belle Island Details

TitleThe Bridge to Belle Island
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 3rd, 2019
PublisherBethany House Publishers
ISBN-139780764218194
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Fiction, Christian, Regency

The Bridge to Belle Island Review

  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This reminded me of a Hercule Poirot story. It was a story of who done it! Someone was murdered and I had no idea who killed them. And things just got more mysterious with every page. I love this authors writing and I love the time period. But having said that...This wasn’t as romantic as I’d wished and parts of it dragged for me. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was good and I’m always going to read every book she writes. I hope this was helpful. This was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my This reminded me of a Hercule Poirot story. It was a story of who done it! Someone was murdered and I had no idea who killed them. And things just got more mysterious with every page. I love this authors writing and I love the time period. But having said that...This wasn’t as romantic as I’d wished and parts of it dragged for me. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was good and I’m always going to read every book she writes. I hope this was helpful. This was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my own.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I have read many Julie Klassen novels and was overjoyed when I received The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen. This book introduces a lawyer named Benjamin Booker who experiences a detrimental loss in his career. So now, he has trust issues, particularly with beautiful women. When he and his mentor discover that an old partner has been found murdered, they are determined to bring the culprit to justice. The evidence leads them to Isabelle Wilder on Belle Island. Isabelle has experienced so I have read many Julie Klassen novels and was overjoyed when I received The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen. This book introduces a lawyer named Benjamin Booker who experiences a detrimental loss in his career. So now, he has trust issues, particularly with beautiful women. When he and his mentor discover that an old partner has been found murdered, they are determined to bring the culprit to justice. The evidence leads them to Isabelle Wilder on Belle Island. Isabelle has experienced so much tragedy in her life that she has not left her island in 10 years. Or has she? Evidence points to her, but she is adamant that she is innocent. Can Benjamin believe her? Or is he too trusting? If she is innocent, then who committed the murder?I have always enjoyed Julie Klassen novels but this one is just on another level! There is a wonderful romance story and historical aspect, but the murder mystery just adds so much more. It is complex and I was trying to solve the murder as I was reading. It was not predictable either, which is huge for me! The moment I picked up the book, I did not want to put it down. The characters feel so real and engaging. In fact, I could really relate to both Benjamin and Isabelle. Benjamin struggles with vertigo and Isabelle struggles with severe anxiety. Both of which, I struggle with. In fact, both put me in the hospital. So I could really relate to the fear and struggle they both experience. I really hope people can learn how debilitating both of these illnesses are.The book touches on many themes, but the major one is forgiveness which really tugs at the heartstrings. Isabelle is such a darling character and watching her rise above and care for those around her and forgive those who hurt her the most. Then seeing Benjamin deal with learning to trust again is beautiful as well. Those who enjoy inspirational historical fiction will love this book and those who love a good mystery won’t be disappointed either! This book deserves 5 out of 5 stars!Thank you to Julie Klassen, Bethany House, and NetGalley for a copy of the book!
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  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    The author kept me guessing, almost to the end, and thankfully a wonderful job is done to totally complete this read.Greed and Pride, and maybe more, but these come in to play, and end with murder, but who wanted this lawyer dead? When the facts begin to fall, the list grows, and really surprises abound.The setting sounds so ideal, a beautiful island on the Tames, made me want to live there! If you like a book that is filled with action, most you won’t see coming, intrigue, and mystery, and The author kept me guessing, almost to the end, and thankfully a wonderful job is done to totally complete this read.Greed and Pride, and maybe more, but these come in to play, and end with murder, but who wanted this lawyer dead? When the facts begin to fall, the list grows, and really surprises abound.The setting sounds so ideal, a beautiful island on the Tames, made me want to live there! If you like a book that is filled with action, most you won’t see coming, intrigue, and mystery, and natural disaster, this one won’t leave you wanting!I received this book through Net Galley the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie KlassenCharactersIsabelle Wilder: Feels a curse is on herBenjamin Booker: Attorney seeking truth of a partner's murderRose Lawrence: Isabelle's beloved nieceTheodore Grant: Doctor and long time friend to IsabelleRobert Hardy: Senior partner in the law firm, Ben's bossUncle Percy: Distant relative, trustee of Wilder estates.Christopher Adair: Rose's intendedEvan Curtis: Isabelle's ex-fiancé Carlota Medina: Isabelle's friend and lady's maid1819, London and The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie KlassenCharactersIsabelle Wilder: Feels a curse is on herBenjamin Booker: Attorney seeking truth of a partner's murderRose Lawrence: Isabelle's beloved nieceTheodore Grant: Doctor and long time friend to IsabelleRobert Hardy: Senior partner in the law firm, Ben's bossUncle Percy: Distant relative, trustee of Wilder estates.Christopher Adair: Rose's intendedEvan Curtis: Isabelle's ex-fiancé Carlota Medina: Isabelle's friend and lady's maid1819, London and Berkshire, EnglandFor nearly ten years Isabelle has created a self imposed prison at the Wilder family's country estate, an island in Berkshire, England. Because of the deaths of most of her family while not on the island, she's come to believe if she leaves, she will die.This didn’t stop the lawyers from suspecting she may have killed her uncle, a day's carriage ride to London. They were made aware of a disagreement she had with him about how to best handle the property, Uncle Percy being the trustee. Plus with her gift of two bottles of orange wine that had been poisoned, she was top on the list of suspects.Benjamin, the family's attorney, proceeded to the island to assess the possibility of her guilt. His visit was extended and one by one, new clues emerged. This was a wonderful "who-done-it". Different for Ms. Klassen. Lots of characters, lots of incidents, a surprise around every corner. And who did it? You may never guess until it’s revealed, and boy, does the action ramp up about that time!
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best Julie Klassen books I've ever read outside of Pembroke Hall. But this one is my favorite by hers.It's quite a bit different from what I'm used to reading by her but it's all good.The setting of this story is just right for what goes on in the book. The way Julie writes I pictured myself there perfectly.I enjoyed reading about Isabelle. Her struggles with anxiety reminds of of someone else I know. We lived by a creek. I've seen that creek when it's flooded and the bridge we One of the best Julie Klassen books I've ever read outside of Pembroke Hall. But this one is my favorite by hers.It's quite a bit different from what I'm used to reading by her but it's all good.The setting of this story is just right for what goes on in the book. The way Julie writes I pictured myself there perfectly.I enjoyed reading about Isabelle. Her struggles with anxiety reminds of of someone else I know. We lived by a creek. I've seen that creek when it's flooded and the bridge we crossed wasn't solid like Isabelles was. This was a swinging wooden bridge that we had to cross everyday no matter what. It was really scary so I prayed every time we had to cross it. I got dizzy when I looked down at that swirling water! I had some sneaky suspicions throughout the book on who it was and I was right!! Sometimes people seem one way and then they disappoint you. I've been there many times.Like Isabelle I've finally learned to put my trust in God. Oh yes, I'm still struggling with that for it's not easy because we think we can handle things on our own. Not so!!There's a verse that I love and it's written as a choral hymn. Our choir sang it once and it's stuck with me.God is our Refuge and Strength in times of trouble. Though the mountains will fall we will not fear something like that.Benjamin is my favorite! I love that he's flawed and along the way he too finally learns to listen and trust. Listening especially isn't easy. Too many times we have to learn the hard way just like Benjamin did. I'm just glad he didn't learn it too late. Life is fragile. We never know from one day to the next where it will take us. It's why we should tell our loved ones that we love and appreciate them while they're here. I know because all of my immediate family has passed away and like Isabelle I'm the only one left. When I lost my dad it was like I was out in limbo for a while. Some days I still feel like that until I remember my Heavenly father who truly loves me for who I am. I didn't find anything wrong with this book at all. To me, it was written perfectly. Even the cover is gorgeous. I love it. It's a wonderful hint as to what or whom the book might be about.I highly recommend this book!NO compensations were received. All opinions are my own.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Julie Klassen is a hit or miss author for me. Some of her books I love others not so much. This one fell right in the middle. It was a slow moving mystery with a bit of romance attached to the end. The story and characters take time to build. The mystery is a very good one. I was pretty stumped. Klassen wrote this so you would suspect everyone! Even the sweet leading lady who I knew could not have done it. It was a very well done book. I just felt like the characters got lost to the mystery with Julie Klassen is a hit or miss author for me. Some of her books I love others not so much. This one fell right in the middle. It was a slow moving mystery with a bit of romance attached to the end. The story and characters take time to build. The mystery is a very good one. I was pretty stumped. Klassen wrote this so you would suspect everyone! Even the sweet leading lady who I knew could not have done it. It was a very well done book. I just felt like the characters got lost to the mystery with this one and I am all about the characters. This is very chaste, there is a murder and attempted murders and some good bad guys. This is also a Christian novel, but you wouldn't know that till almost the end of the book.
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  • Deanne Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    I have read almost all of Julie Klassen's books and this has to be my favorite of all of them.The characters really jump off the page at you, demanding your attention to solve the case before another murder occurs.The story line was superb and I learned about Belle Island and River Thames , the ebb and flow of the river and it's flooding.Belle Island is fiction but I could picture myself there among it's people watching the mystery crack wide open.The story involves a disenchanted lawyer on the I have read almost all of Julie Klassen's books and this has to be my favorite of all of them.The characters really jump off the page at you, demanding your attention to solve the case before another murder occurs.The story line was superb and I learned about Belle Island and River Thames , the ebb and flow of the river and it's flooding.Belle Island is fiction but I could picture myself there among it's people watching the mystery crack wide open.The story involves a disenchanted lawyer on the island to get answers to a shocking murder. All the clues point to a beautiful woman, but is she really innocent as she claims or does she have something sinister hidden behind her beautiful eyes.Smooth flowing the story takes us from one mysterious event to the next as the story progresses .Pub Date 03 Dec 2019 I was given a complimentary copy. Thank you.All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Kristine Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen, while a good book is not my favorite book of hers. I think for me the problem was that I did not really like most of the characters. The plot was good but was a slow starter. Other than that I did enjoy this book once I got into it. By the time I reached the last quarter of the book, I had to keep reading, at that point I wanted to know what happened. So grab the beverage of your choice and settle in for a good read.I was given a copy of this book by The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen, while a good book is not my favorite book of hers. I think for me the problem was that I did not really like most of the characters. The plot was good but was a slow starter. Other than that I did enjoy this book once I got into it. By the time I reached the last quarter of the book, I had to keep reading, at that point I wanted to know what happened. So grab the beverage of your choice and settle in for a good read.I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley.com with no expectations. All thoughts are my own. I did subsequently by my own paperback copy.
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  • Susan Snodgrass
    January 1, 1970
    'Did she believe God was loving? She wanted to trust, but fear and worry all too often won out.'I have been a Julie Klassen fan since her very first book, which I have read several times. Her Regencies are perfect and the mystery she throws in completes them. I was drawn in immediately here and continually kept trying to find the culprit. Her characters are great and the plot was also the same and the build up to the ending was superb! Recommended.*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a 'Did she believe God was loving? She wanted to trust, but fear and worry all too often won out.'I have been a Julie Klassen fan since her very first book, which I have read several times. Her Regencies are perfect and the mystery she throws in completes them. I was drawn in immediately here and continually kept trying to find the culprit. Her characters are great and the plot was also the same and the build up to the ending was superb! Recommended.*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a preview copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    First she pulled me into a haunting, gothic romance and most recently inviting me into a delightful village to save an old coaching inn. For this occasion, she introduces an island estate on the Thames and a mystery tying it to a dark deed done in London driving me to high expectation. Julie Klassen is a deft hand at taking the reader back to the Regency Era with her engaging characters and the gentle flow of story that passes quickly leaving the reader is left well-satisfied, but still wanting First she pulled me into a haunting, gothic romance and most recently inviting me into a delightful village to save an old coaching inn. For this occasion, she introduces an island estate on the Thames and a mystery tying it to a dark deed done in London driving me to high expectation. Julie Klassen is a deft hand at taking the reader back to the Regency Era with her engaging characters and the gentle flow of story that passes quickly leaving the reader is left well-satisfied, but still wanting more at the end.Young lawyer, Benjamin Booker, has just experienced a humiliating loss in court when the client he thought innocent had charmed him into risking all to defend her and it turned out she had utterly lied. He feels that he has disappointed his mentor at the firm and took a hard hit to his confidence in reading people and situations. However, he soon has the opportunity to prove himself to his mentor, Mr. Hardy, when Mr. Hardy wants justice for the death of his former colleague at the firm who lately held the position of trustee for the Wilder family and was murdered in their London Town House.Isabelle Wilder has seen a great deal of tragic death in her family and it has left her with a neurosis that won't allow her to leave her island family home for years now. She is sorry to miss her niece's engagement party in London because of her own weakness and has a terrible dream that their skin flint trustee was murdered. Then, a skeptical lawyer from the family firm shows up both to sort their legal matters, but to investigate the death with her as chief suspect. It was a dream, right? She has nothing to hide, she hopes, so welcomes Mr. Booker to Belle Island and invites him into her life there where he starts to mellow until disturbing facts start to come to light leading right to her door.In my mind, there can be nothing better than a murder mystery paired with the author's Regency world. The murder mystery drove much of the plot and was a solid, twisting one that had me pointing the finger a few different directions.But, it is not the only element. The main characters who shared the narration are given sympathetic and flawed backstories that affect the present. Isabelle is confronted by not trusting her safety if she leaves the island as a result of not coming to peace with past loss and Benjamin by his issues of inadequacy because he was never good enough with his father and because he didn't take up the family medical practice. This is where the inspirational element is strongest as they work through their issues and rely on their beliefs and promises in Scripture to aid them.The attention to historical background and the island setting was well done as usual. I enjoyed learning about life on the island estate that was on the Thames. The growing of the willow reeds for the basket weaving that was their prime income besides the sheep herd was fascinating, but never tedious. There is also focus on how criminal investigation was handled in those pre-CSI days and on trusteeships and their effect on single gentlewomen.As to the romance, ah yes, both Isabelle and Benjamin had me hoping. The attraction was there, but also some barriers to make it interesting. Benjamin has stiff competition from Isabelle's childhood friend, the village doctor, and her former love interest in the past (there is a strong whiff of Jane Austen's Persuasion with this story thread). At first, they are warily circling one another because Ben doesn't trust women not to trick him and Isabelle is still a prime suspect. Isabelle feels her issues will keep her single all her life even as she wistfully admires Benjamin who is London born and bred. I enjoyed the halting progress and sweetness of what built between them through harrowing moments and then the time of reflection at the end.All in all, The Bridge to Belle Island was another winner from an auto-buy author. If you love sweet Regency Romance, but want the spice of a cunning murder mystery, this book is for you.
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