I found this book in the New Mysteries section and decided to give it a try based on the cover art and the subject matter. I was previously reading a...moreI found this book in the New Mysteries section and decided to give it a try based on the cover art and the subject matter. I was previously reading a book on murder and death in the Victorian era, so this seemed like a fitting follow-up, though the time period is a little bit earlier. I enjoyed the incredible detail given by the author, which really drew you into the story. There were a lot of twists and turns in the book, which really keep you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how the story will resolve itself.
Officer Hawkwood is a Bow Street Runner, the precursor to the police in London, in Regency era England. He has come to Bedlam Mental Hospital to check out a recently murdered inmate, a Colonel Titus Hyde, recently back from the Peninsula War. Only things aren’t as they seem and now Hyde is on the loose. Hawkwood also goes to investigate a man who has been killed and crucified in a graveyard, with his tongue and teeth removed. As the story develops, he realizes that he has stumbled into a turf war between rival gangs of Resurrection men, who dig up and sell recently dead bodies to medical facilities. At this point in history, it was illegal to dissect anything but criminals in medical schools. Will Hawkwood be able to discover the truth behind Colonel Hyde’s escape? Just what is his true purpose and reason for escaping Bedlam? To find out, read the exciting 2nd book in the Hawkwood series. I didn't know this was the second book until after I started it, so now I want to read books 1 and 3. 4 stars. (less)
I picked up this book by chance at the library, while looking for a new teen book to check out. The narrator, January LaVoy was excellent and did a gr...moreI picked up this book by chance at the library, while looking for a new teen book to check out. The narrator, January LaVoy was excellent and did a great job doing the voices, and all the different personalities in the book. If it wasn’t for her, I probably would’ve never finished this book. The book itself was not bad, it had a lot of potential. A late teen/new adult book about flappers in the 1920s and a murder mystery to boot with a little paranormal activity thrown in for good measure, sounds really fascinating to me. It is clear that the author researched a lot for this book in the details of the story. However, it was almost like she was trying to jam every minor detail about the 1920s in one book, which made the story a little overwhelming. Plus there’s the story that just keeps going and going, and just when you think it should stop, it keeps going. It took me a couple of discs to really get into the book, but once it got going, I was hooked. While I enjoyed the story, I think it might’ve worked better if the story was divided into two books. The ending was rather a let down after the book had gotten so interesting in the middle of the story. I know the author plans to make this book into a series, so I am interested in how she will continue the story.
Evie O’Neill is a wanna-be flapper stuck in Ohio, that is until she does her little “party trick” (a supernatural power that no one knows about but her) and ends up being sent to her bachelor uncle Will’s house in New York City. To her though, this is not a punishment. Manhattan is where all the rich and fashionable flappers live and Evie sees this trip as full of possibilities. That is, until the murders start happening. Someone is murdering people in a ritualistic way and taking body parts and Uncle Will is asked to help the police. Evie and her power become instrumental in finding out who the killer is and why the murders are taking place. Other young people with supernatural talents are emerging from the woodwork as well, and they all seem to know Evie in some way. Recommended for ages 16+, 3 ½ stars. (less)
I was contacted by the author's publicist and asked if I wanted to review the book and receive a free copy. Apparently an intern had found my blog and...moreI was contacted by the author's publicist and asked if I wanted to review the book and receive a free copy. Apparently an intern had found my blog and liked it so much that she recommended me to her boss. The press kit that they sent looked interesting, so I said sure. A lot of times when I think romance, I immediately think "bodice rippers," like I used to read as a kid. The way the author mixed the detailed historical fiction with a touch of romance was different than I was expecting, but it was a pleasant change. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I loved that the author was writing from the viewpoint of a Chinese woman who had married a Jewish man, just like her multicultural characters.
Peilin is a young woman living in the Chinese countryside in 1937. She is from a poor farming family, but was fortunate enough to be taught how to read, write and gather/make herbal remedies because of her grandfather. It is he who arranges for her to marry Yao, a wealthy pearl farmer's son. Unfortunately for her, Yao dies after the Japanese attack on Nanjiang, so she is forced to marry a ghost husband and becomes part of the Kwan family. Eventually, after putting up with a very disagreeable mother-in-law, Peilin is sent to Shanghai to manage the family's herbal shop. Meanwhile, in Berlin, Germany, Henri is a new Jewish doctor trying to get by in the early part of the Hitler Regime. Restrictions are just coming out against Jewish families. To escape, Henri goes to his friend's jazz club. It is here that he meets Sophie, a beautiful jazz singer. They fall in love but he is betrayed by her to the Nazis. He manages to escape to Shanghai, where they do not have restrictions on Jewish immigrants. He meets and befriends a local Chinese rickshaw driver named Ping, who happens to be Peilin's brother. Will Henri and Peilin ever find happiness and love? To find out, read this fantastic book. 5 stars. (less)
I picked this book on a recommendation from one of my favorite historical fiction/mystery YA authors, Y.S. Lee. She had read the book and gave it posi...moreI picked this book on a recommendation from one of my favorite historical fiction/mystery YA authors, Y.S. Lee. She had read the book and gave it positive reviews for accuracy and I love this type of book so decided to give it a try. I had no idea that the author originally became famous for writing First Blood, the book that first introduced Rambo to the world. Morrell was very thorough in researching for this book, and shares his sources in the back. Although I had never read anything about Thomas de Quincey, I had heard of his famous book. I am definitely interested after reading this book.
A man brutally murders a young family and their servant in the East End of London and the city’s newly created Scotland Yard is on the case. Inspector Ryan and his associate Constable Becker are assigned to the case and begin to explore what might have happened. Eventually they decide to involve the author Thomas de Quincey in the investigation. He is the author of the infamous book The Confessions of an English Opium Eater, the world’s first real book about drug addiction, a very taboo subject during the Victorian era. Thomas de Quincy believes the murders are from a copycat killer of an earlier set of murders done in the same area of Ratcliffe Highway. They are meant to cause panic and riots so that the police won’t be able to catch who is responsible. De Quincey and his daughter Emily help Ryan and Becker, but De Quincey is himself implicated in the murders due to his continued laudanum use and the fact that he knows so much about the earlier killings. Will Ryan and Becker be able to catch the murderer before he strikes again? Will they be able to solve the case and free de Quincey? To find out, read this incredible thriller. 5 stars. (less)