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Claire's Last Secret: A Historical Mystery Featuring Lord Byron

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A tragic death leads Claire Clairmont to be haunted by her past and the 'summer of 1816' she shared with Byron and Shelley in this first in an intriguing new historical trilogy. 1873, Florence. Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the 'haunted summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley circle, is living out her final years in genteel poverty, but the appearance of British tourist, A tragic death leads Claire Clairmont to be haunted by her past and the 'summer of 1816' she shared with Byron and Shelley in this first in an intriguing new historical trilogy. 1873, Florence. Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the 'haunted summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley circle, is living out her final years in genteel poverty, but the appearance of British tourist, William Michael Rossetti, brings hope that she may be able to sell some of her memorabilia to earn enough cash to support her and her niece/companion, Paula. But Rossetti's presence in Florence heralds a cycle of events that links the summer of 1816 - when Claire conceived an ill-fated child with George Gordon, Lord Byron, when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and when four tempestuous lives came together - to a tragic death. As Claire begins to unravel the truth, she must go back to that summer of passion to discover the identity of her old enemy.


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A tragic death leads Claire Clairmont to be haunted by her past and the 'summer of 1816' she shared with Byron and Shelley in this first in an intriguing new historical trilogy. 1873, Florence. Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the 'haunted summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley circle, is living out her final years in genteel poverty, but the appearance of British tourist, A tragic death leads Claire Clairmont to be haunted by her past and the 'summer of 1816' she shared with Byron and Shelley in this first in an intriguing new historical trilogy. 1873, Florence. Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the 'haunted summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley circle, is living out her final years in genteel poverty, but the appearance of British tourist, William Michael Rossetti, brings hope that she may be able to sell some of her memorabilia to earn enough cash to support her and her niece/companion, Paula. But Rossetti's presence in Florence heralds a cycle of events that links the summer of 1816 - when Claire conceived an ill-fated child with George Gordon, Lord Byron, when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and when four tempestuous lives came together - to a tragic death. As Claire begins to unravel the truth, she must go back to that summer of passion to discover the identity of her old enemy.

44 review for Claire's Last Secret: A Historical Mystery Featuring Lord Byron

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shomeret

    When publicist Mary Glenn McCombs asked me if I wanted to read Marty Ambrose's first historical mystery, Claire's Last Secret, for review I jumped at the chance because I hadn't read a novel from the perspective of Claire Claremont. I was generously supplied with free review copies in both digital and print formats via Mary Glenn McCombs. Claire's Last Secret is a dual period novel that contains sections taking place during Claire's youth in 1816 and Claire's old age in 1873. There are mysterious When publicist Mary Glenn McCombs asked me if I wanted to read Marty Ambrose's first historical mystery, Claire's Last Secret, for review I jumped at the chance because I hadn't read a novel from the perspective of Claire Claremont. I was generously supplied with free review copies in both digital and print formats via Mary Glenn McCombs. Claire's Last Secret is a dual period novel that contains sections taking place during Claire's youth in 1816 and Claire's old age in 1873. There are mysterious events in both these periods, but only the 1873 murder appeared to be fully resolved. I saw a review here on Goodreads that said that this novel ended with a cliffhanger. In my view, the protagonist needs to be in actual jeopardy in order to describe the ending as a cliffhanger. There are some dangling plot strands, but I didn't believe that Claire was in any danger when I finished reading the final scene in this book. So I would definitely disagree with that criticism. This book's greatest strength was Marty Ambrose's solid research which made her characters so convincing. I would definitely read another historical mystery by this author. For my complete review see http://shomeretmasked.blogspot.com/20...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Based upon the true story of the conception and infamous writing weekend of Mary Shelly’s famous Gothic ghost story, Frankenstein, this historical mystery intertwines delicious bits of true history with a tantalizing tale of lost love and murder. Set in 1873, the stepsister of Mary Shelley, Claire Cairmont is the only survivor of that fateful summer in 1816. Now Claire is forced to remember those days – as if she could ever forget. As a young woman, in love with a married man and expecting his chi Based upon the true story of the conception and infamous writing weekend of Mary Shelly’s famous Gothic ghost story, Frankenstein, this historical mystery intertwines delicious bits of true history with a tantalizing tale of lost love and murder. Set in 1873, the stepsister of Mary Shelley, Claire Cairmont is the only survivor of that fateful summer in 1816. Now Claire is forced to remember those days – as if she could ever forget. As a young woman, in love with a married man and expecting his child, her future was uncertain. Claire was and is a free spirit, living life as she chose, not as was expected of her. She was on holiday with Mary, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Mary’s husband) and Lord Byron. It was during this holiday that Frankenstein was born and Claire’s life changed forever. Claire now lives with her beloved niece and grandniece, but they are hardly living in luxury. Their basic needs are barely met, but it is doubtful they will be able to make it much longer without some income. Surprisingly, a man contacts them requesting an audience with Claire. He wants to purchase personal letters and memorabilia from the time spent in 1816 with Byron and Shelley. By selling them, she and her niece would be able to live comfortably, but does this benefactor bring salvation or death to her door? The tangled relationships of 1816 have come back to haunt Claire as she is in the twilight of her life. Must she live through the agony of losing Lord Byron and the fateful events surrounding the best and worst time of her life. Ambrose’s work of literary historical fiction is interesting and intriguing. She alternates the story between 1816 and 1873, filling in interesting background and events that led up to the mystery man and his reason for entering her life. Claire’s Secret is the first book of a planned trilogy. Ms. Ambrose is a gifted writer, with several books to her credit. The most popular is her modern day Mango Bay Mystery series starring Mallie Monroe. Claire’s Secret is the first book I’ve read by this author, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The literary prose in an easy to read format was refreshing and entertaining. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.  DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie

    I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review was originally posted on my blog, Paradise Found. Claire's Last Secret is the first book in a trilogy that unrolls a mystery involving Claire's long lost daughter, Allegra. Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley's half sister usually doesn't get much recognition when the creative group that spent the 'haunted summer' in Geneva is mentioned. It's little wonder actually, given that she I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review was originally posted on my blog, Paradise Found. Claire's Last Secret is the first book in a trilogy that unrolls a mystery involving Claire's long lost daughter, Allegra. Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley's half sister usually doesn't get much recognition when the creative group that spent the 'haunted summer' in Geneva is mentioned. It's little wonder actually, given that she was the only member of the party that didn't turn her experiences of that summer into a literary success. However, in her novel Marty Ambrose wants to show us that despite the fact that she didn't produce anything lasting from a literary point of view, Claire was still as important part of the circle as any other member. According to the author she deserves to be remembered in a favourable light, as someone who inspired Byron and the Shelleys with her love and friendship. I'll confess it was hard for me to think with the writer's head in the beginning, because I had my own picture of Claire, which wasn't exactly flattering. I've read several biographies of the Shelleys, and Claire has always come across as a pushy, somewhat annoying individual, who always wanted to be the centre of attention. It is rumoured she had an affair with Shelley as well, and if it's true, it was an awful betrayal towards Mary. In Claire's Last Secret we meet a very different Claire though. In the book she is an old lady who remembers her youth and sees her youthful foolishness in a very reasonable light. She doesn't regret anything and she wouldn't change anything in her past. She accepts herself as she is; someone who is chiefly driven by her emotions. I think it's a pretty romantic notion that the heart leads a person's actions, not the head and this simple twist on the character of Claire made her foolish decisions a lot more acceptable for me. The book is written in a lovely manner, it was a joy to read. It's always great to revisit the events in The Villa Diodati during 'the year without summer', but it's even better if the writing is exquisite. To take a boat trip with Byron and Shelley, to be there when Mary Shelley reads from Frankenstein for the first time.... ahh to be there... If you like the second generation of romantics, or know nothing of them, either way, this can be a fun read. I'll definitely pick up the second book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Mills

    Claire’s Last Secret is a beautifully written historical mystery told by Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the Byron/Shelley circle who must relive her memories of the haunted summer of 1816 to find the killer of a beloved friend Full of twists and turns, this delightful story kept me entranced by Claire’s poetic voice, and racing to the end to discover the identity of the murderer. Highly recommend!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dolores A.

    The book is exquisitely written. Most people know of Lord Byron and the Shelleys, but few know about Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont. This book shows an insightful look into the thoughts and ideals of an uninhibited young woman and where her actions led her; and, also, into the everyday lives of Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley. I look forward to the next "secret."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michaela's Journey into Books

    *I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* This is an historical fiction based on the life of Claire Clairmont and follows two different timelines, the first being 1873 Florence where Claire is struggling with whether she should sell her memorabilia in order to support her and her niece. The second is the Summer of 1816 that Claire spent in Geneva with Lord Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley. This was a really interesting story an *I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* This is an historical fiction based on the life of Claire Clairmont and follows two different timelines, the first being 1873 Florence where Claire is struggling with whether she should sell her memorabilia in order to support her and her niece. The second is the Summer of 1816 that Claire spent in Geneva with Lord Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley. This was a really interesting story and as a massive fan of Frankenstein I loved learning more about Byron/Shelly circle and the summer that led to Mary writing the novel. I enjoyed the way that both timelines were woven together and I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  8. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Anytime Lord Byron or Mary Shelley mentioned it is a given I Will be reading . . This is a mystery with the central Claire Claremont ,Mary Shelley’s stepsister. She is last survivor of haunted summer where Shelley wrote her infamous Frankenstein .. Living out her days in poverty with her niece she is approached to sell her letters from the famous poet . When she receives a note about her daughter she conceived With Byron it sets events in motion . Told in alternate timelines this is riveting sto Anytime Lord Byron or Mary Shelley mentioned it is a given I Will be reading . . This is a mystery with the central Claire Claremont ,Mary Shelley’s stepsister. She is last survivor of haunted summer where Shelley wrote her infamous Frankenstein .. Living out her days in poverty with her niece she is approached to sell her letters from the famous poet . When she receives a note about her daughter she conceived With Byron it sets events in motion . Told in alternate timelines this is riveting story .

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Buchli

    An interesting concept reasonably well executed. I found Claire to fairly likeable; Byron and Shelley a good deal less so. But it was the ending of the book that really lost me. While I realize that this is the first of a trilogy, the cliffhanger ending was so abrupt it felt like slamming into a wall. I’m not sure my interest in the story is strong enough to survive the wait for book two. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC ebook in exchange for a review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gianna

    A historical fiction book revolving around the great historical figures of Byron and Shelley, Claire's Last Secret was a very interesting read. It was well constructed, well-researched as far as he era was concerned, and had the reader guessing about the dark secrets that the heroine keeps hidden away. All in all a very good story that is the first in a series, Claire's Last Secret is highly recommended for people who love historical fiction.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary Dumont

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helen Howerton

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  17. 5 out of 5

    K

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diana Duncan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marina

  20. 5 out of 5

    E Ambrozaitis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tahyun

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Randolph

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie Slott

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzze Tiernan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jane

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marita

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

  31. 5 out of 5

    S.K. Rizzolo

  32. 5 out of 5

    Deedee

  33. 5 out of 5

    Gail

  34. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Mainard

  35. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  36. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  37. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  38. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kara Lauren

  40. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  41. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  42. 4 out of 5

    Douglass Abramson

  43. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Lange

  44. 5 out of 5

    Lois Sittu

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