Reviews
Book Review

The Duchess by Sophie Jordan

The Duchess

Sarah: This book is extraordinary in that the cover copy, the plot, and the characters all hinted at many potential delights, and delivered on none of them. When Lara messaged me about the book since I’d mentioned it in a recent Hide Your Wallet, we decided to review the book together.  The cover copy mentions that this is a “new high concept series, The Scandalous Ladies of London, which chronicles the lives of a group of … Continue reading The Duchess by Sophie Jordan

Book Review

The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker

The Scarlet Alchemist

I’m almost hesitant to recommend The Scarlet Alchemist, not because it’s a bad book, but because it’s a fantastic book, but the sequel doesn’t come out until (it’s estimated) October. I gobbled this book up in one sitting and now I have to sit and wait pathetically to find out what happens next.  The story is set in a version of historical China where alchemists have figured out the key to immortality. The wealthy eat … Continue reading The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker

Other Media Review

Sister Boniface Mysteries

I think there is a fine art to creating cosy mystery television. It’s so easy to make the mystery predictable or even outright boring. But at the same time, you don’t want to make it so thrilling that it’s no longer cosy. In my mind, Sister Boniface Mysteries gets the balance just right. In Great Slaughter (the name of this English village) in the early 1960s, Sister Boniface, a Catholic nun, works as a scientific … Continue reading Sister Boniface Mysteries

Book Review

The Love Remedy by Elizabeth Everett

The Love Remedy

This book gave my emotions a workout in the best way. Aside from a slightly disappointing ending, it was a delight! Lucy Peterson is an apothecary in London in 1843. She inherited the shop from her father when her parents died in a cholera outbreak. Lucy has two siblings, Juliet and David. Juliet is an apothecary at a women’s clinic in the East End while David seems to flit from investment to investment losing money. … Continue reading The Love Remedy by Elizabeth Everett

Lightning Review

A Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn

A Grave Robbery

The short version of this review is, if you like this series (as I do – I like it a LOT) you’ll really enjoy this latest installment. The mystery is sharp and poignant, there are myriad historical details folded in, the relationships between the characters continue to grow and mature, and Veronica is as sarcastic as ever. Longer (slightly) version: I was extremely happy that I received an advanced audio copy of this book, because … Continue reading A Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn

Book Review

A History of the World in Ten Dinners by Victoria Flexner and Jay Reifel

If you are a history buff, a food buff or (ideally) both, then you have to read A History of the World in Ten Dinners: 2000 Years, 100 Recipes. This book is so well-organized and natural that I’m not sure if I should say that it’s a food book with history or a history book with food. I was this many days old when I learned about Edible History. Victoria Flexner and Jay Reifel host … Continue reading A History of the World in Ten Dinners by Victoria Flexner and Jay Reifel

Book Review

The Phoenix Bride by Natasha Siegel

The Phoenix Bride

Do not be fooled by this cover. The cover says, ‘Look at me and my whimsy! My light frolic through life!’ No, dear reader, this is not light. This is a book about persevering through tough times. The title should have been a clue for me. A phoenix doesn’t arise from a bouquet of flowers, after all. The book is set in 1666. Plague had ravaged London the previous year and reading the characters’ reflections … Continue reading The Phoenix Bride by Natasha Siegel

Book Review

My Brother’s Keeper by Tim Powers

My Brother’s Keeper

Y’all know I love my Brontës and I get so annoyed when either adaptations of their work or stories based on their lives get EVERYTHING WRONG, DAMMIT. My Brother’s Keeper is an eerie story involving the Brontë family, werewolves, and warring cults, and, darn it, it gets everything just absolutely perfect. I was so impressed with this book even though the whole warring cults thing was the least interesting thing about it. I’m copying the … Continue reading My Brother’s Keeper by Tim Powers

Lightning Review

The Aristocrat by Penelope Ward

The Aristocrat

I suspect mileage will vary significantly for readers of The Aristocrat. It’s going to depend a lot on how much emotion you want in your reading (this one has quite a bit). I kept raising my eyebrow at the heroine’s implausible perfection and that pulled me out of the story.  Felicity lives in Narragansett with her foster mother. She’s enjoying a summer off before going to law school when two handsome Brits move into the … Continue reading The Aristocrat by Penelope Ward

Book Review

A Haunting in the Arctic by C.J. Cooke

A Haunting in the Arctic

A Haunting in the Arctic is emphatically not a romance, but it has some elements that are relevant to our interests, specifically female rage and mermaids and selkie legends. It’s very atmospheric and creepy, but it forgets to make sense. The plot revolves around a LOT of rape, and also includes graphic violence, self-harm and gaslighting. If I had realized that the plot involved so much rape, much of it committed on page and the … Continue reading A Haunting in the Arctic by C.J. Cooke

Lightning Review

The Star and the Strange Moon by Constance Sayers

The Star and the Strange Moon

I think I wouldn’t have been so disappointed in The Star and the Strange Moon had the premise not been so intriguing. This book had the potential to be so excellent, but the pacing was all over the place and most of the novel just dragged on while the best parts felt rushed. In 1968, French-American actress Gemma Turner’s career was struggling. She’s starred in surfer movies that while popular aren’t exactly critically acclaimed. Now … Continue reading The Star and the Strange Moon by Constance Sayers

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