Cinderella or Pygmalion?

Book Review of "Carnegie’s Maid" by Marie Benedict Clara Kelly was not who everyone thought she was, and this accident of mistaken identity lands her the position of lady’s maid in one of the wealthiest homes in all Pittsburgh, that of the Carnegie family. If Clara is to help her family back in Ireland, then … Continue reading Cinderella or Pygmalion?

Looking for the next Agatha Christie

Book Review of "Cocaine Blues" by Kerry Greenwood. When the wealthy Phryne Fisher decided to quit London, it wasn't because the season had ended - to the contrary! No, Phryne left to set sail for Melbourne to investigate the mysterious illnesses of Lydia, whose father was suspicious that her husband might be poisoning her to … Continue reading Looking for the next Agatha Christie

Truth and Politics

Book Review of "The Death of an Owl by Paul Torday. According to the forward (written by the late Torday's son Piers), this book is "about a man who couldn't help but tell the truth, and how that played out when he gets involved in a scandal involving a politician who runs over an owl … Continue reading Truth and Politics

Counting on Family

Book Review of "Sisters One, Two, Three" by Nancy Star. Ginger's 13th year was as unlucky as the number. Many years after that tragic summer, it seems no one has been able to fix anything broken back then. Furthermore, there's her deteriorating relationship with her daughter Julia, and her mother Glory is no less strange … Continue reading Counting on Family

Eling for Healing

The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh Almost a decade after a tragic accident, Maeve Leahy is still trying to come to terms with what happened between her and her identical twin sister, Moira. When a Javanese knife, called a Kris, comes into Maeve's life, its mystery and magic bring these past events … Continue reading Eling for Healing

Progress per traditionem.

Different Class by Joanne Harris Much to the chagrin and worry of the aging Latin Master, Mr. Straightly, John Harrington is back at St. Oswald's, but this time he's not a student; he's the new Head. Harrington has some ideas of how he wants to bring St. Oswald's into the 21st century, but modernizing this … Continue reading Progress per traditionem.

Capturing the Fear

The Fox was Ever the Hunter by Herta MüllerEvery so often, you come across a reviewer who pans a novel by saying, "nothing happens" in the book. This is exactly one of those types of novels, and I'm sure we'll see many reviews to this effect. The problem is, this is deeply unfortunate because fewer … Continue reading Capturing the Fear

Landscapes of Deception

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith In reality, none of Sarah van Baalbergen's works survived, but Dominic Smith decided to turn the few known facts about her into fiction by renaming her as Sara de Vos and resurrecting her work. Starting out in 17th Century Holland, Smith shows us a woman … Continue reading Landscapes of Deception

Titanic Flight

Book Review of "Flight of Dreams" by Ariel Lawhon The Hindenburg was the famous Nazi zeppelin that blew up just as it was about to land in New Jersey in 1937. Built to be a modern aviation miracle, and the last word in luxury travel, this incident was not only tragic, but like the 1936 … Continue reading Titanic Flight

The Merchant Prince’s Woman

What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age by Renee Rosen One of the first jobs I ever held was as a salesperson for Marshall Field & Co., in their Evanston branch (just north of Chicago). At the time, all new employees had to undergo three days of training in … Continue reading The Merchant Prince’s Woman