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The Altar Girl

(Nadia Tesla #0.5)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  3,978 ratings  ·  307 reviews
The daughter of uncompromising Ukrainian immigrants, Nadia was raised to respect guts, grit, and tradition. When the events around the seemingly accidental death of her estranged godfather dont add up, Nadia is determined to discover the trutheven if she attracts the attention of dangerous men intent on finding out what she knows through any means possible.

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by Thomas & Mercer
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Daryl Same here and I read that it's truly a prequel, people said they were sad they read the series before this came out! Go for it! I am definitely gonna…moreSame here and I read that it's truly a prequel, people said they were sad they read the series before this came out! Go for it! I am definitely gonna buy the series now. (less)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  3,978 ratings  ·  307 reviews

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Kylie D
An interesting look into the lives of Ukrainian immigrants in Connecticut. Nadia has escaped her Ukrainian background and now lives in New York, however her past comes crashing back when she is kidnapped of the street by her childhood crush Donnie Angel, asking her questions about her late godfather's businesses. Nadia soon realises her godfather's death wasn't an accident but murder, and after she gets away from Donnie she hedas back to Connecticut to investigate.

Some people in the community
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was one of the Kindle First offerings for April. It took me almost two weeks to decide between the four because none of them really seemed that great to me. This was an interesting book - I enjoy a thread of history in my books, but overall I wasn't thrilled by the mystery in the book. When Nadia couldn't explain why she was looking into the death and found that she wasn't all that fond of the dead man, I had a hard time continuing to read. If the protagonist doesn't care, why should I?
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have hesitated to write this review because it's very difficult for me to write a negative review on a novel that someone has poured their heart and soul into. I especially struggle with such a review when the author is clearly very educated, as evidenced by his vocabulary and knowledge. To boot, he certainly did his homework, managing to teach me something along the way. Unfortunately, this novel fell short of my expectations.

Much of the novel seemed contrived. For example, shortly after an
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a prequel to the Nadia Tesla novels, which I think the author is done with, considering what happened at the end of the last one.
"The Altar Girl" gets into Nadia's strange relationship with her family and the Ukrainian American community she grew up in. The author wrote it because he wanted to write about the tragedy of the Displaced Persons in Europe after WWII.
I had the honor of meeting several of these people myself in the 1980's who were lucky enough to have made it to the U.S.
Dan Mayland
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A gem of a novel. Taut, moving, funny, unbelievably suspenseful, brutally honest, and above all else a wonderful character portrait of Ukrainian-American heroine Nadia Tesla. The interactions between Nadia and her strip-club-owning brother and scheming mother are priceless, as is the way Stelmach weaves dark post-World War II histories of displaced Ukrainians into his story. Although primarily set in the present, the mystery is amplified tenfold by remembrances of a harrowing episode from Nadias ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this Kindle e-book as part of the Amazon Prime program. It was an unusual mystery about a young girl (Nadia Tesla) in the Ukrainian community in Hartford, Connecticut, who was kidnapped at the start of the novel by a former acquaintance who is trying to find out what she knows about her godfather's business. The godfather had died in an apparent accident but Nadia thinks he has been murdered. The novel switches back and forth between what Nadia is doing in the present to solve the ...more
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nadia Tesla has left her Ukrainian American community in Hartford, Connecticut behind. Shes established and enjoyed a new life in New York City until a violent encounter with an old acquaintance forces her to return to her roots. When she returns home, old wounds resurface, and Nadia must deal with those issues while attempting to uncover the mystery of her godfathers sudden death. In addition to a good mystery story, this novel includes a wealth of information about Ukrainian traditions as well ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I only wish I'd read this before I read the Nadia Tesla series. It's one of the few prequels that is as good as what comes "after".
Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
The only reason why I got this book was because it's very similar to my Russian heritage & I had to know how it was written.

It was good. According to Goodreads, 2 stars is "It was okay".

Story started out good but I lost interest & do not have any desire to finish it.. DNF at 34%
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty decent story. Learned a little more about Ukrainian history during WWII and 'Displaced Persons'. I have to say that the Amazon First books seem to be of decent quality. Worth trying one or two each month, especially since they are free!
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were compelling and the back story was woven in well, filling out the characters as the mystery unfolds.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This book certainly goes from 0 to 60 real quick! its not as good as I thought it was but it was also a lot different than I thought it was so I still think it was really good. It has a lot of flash backs, that are certainly relevant and, wow if this is ever made into a film will transfer over great. Liked the main character, and really liked the cultural back info they give on the characters and community. Might check out the rest of this series.
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
The Boy from Reactor 4, the first book in the Nadia Tesla series which was released in 2013 was a thrilling mystery with a lot of suspense, adventure, drama and action thrown in. However, the next book in the series, The Boy Who Stole from the Dead, saw a dip in all aspects while the third book, The Boy Who Glowed in the Dark, failed to evoke my interests though I managed to finish the story, albeit with a lot interruptions in between.

Author Orest Stelmachs fourth book in the Nadia Tesla series,
May 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was about to start reading The Boy from Reactor 4 when I saw this prequel on Amazon Firsts. This book almost dissuaded me from reading the other Nadia Tesla books, but I'm happy I gave the next one a try.

Although I really enjoyed The Boy from Reactor 4, I found this book tedious. The author's descriptions were too hyperbolic. In fact, it just seemed to make a big deal out of nothing. Many of the descriptions just seemed too overwrought for the situations they applied to. (view spoiler)
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-books
My Review-
This was a free book... so I got what I paid for. I can tell this is a prequel to a larger and more interesting series... This had the potential to be a pretty good book, but * Spoiler Alert* it just ends. It was like the author reached the required number of pages and just stopped... coped out. The ending ruined the whole book.

The daughter of uncompromising Ukrainian immigrants, Nadia was raised to respect guts, grit, and tradition. When the events around the seemingly
Don Massenzio
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This month, I finally took the plunge and joined Kindle Unlimited. I also decided to branch out and read work from authors that might not be as well known (because the well known authors don't typically participate in Kindle Unlimited). This led me to "The Altar Girl", the first in the Nadia Tesla series by Orest Stelmach.

From the very beginning, I was intrigued. The niche that his protagonist, Nadia Tesla, exists in is a small, but influential community of Ukranian emigres that live in
Crystal McCord
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent quick read

This was a great easy read with a fantastic mix of history, mystery, family secrets, difficult relational dynamics.... the characters were quickly formed and you knew what they were about fairly early, you knew whether you'd toy for them or not, who to live, who to be suspicious of, without losing the tension of the story. Besides the main plot of the story, I completely enjoyed the history lesson regarding the Ukrainians experience during WW2, as well as learning about their
Agnes (BeaderBubbe)
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars
Amazing story of Nadia (which means hope) and her ability to be a strong person despite the way she grew up, her disfunctional family and her love for her brother. The books takes you on her find out who killed her godfather..even though it was called an accident by the police. But Nadia knows better...the story also goes back and forth between her childhood and the present time. Although annoying, it serves a purpose to make you understand why she is so courageous. And of course ...more
debra conner
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very Good Read

I had not until now read any of (The Nadia Tesla Series)...I shall be correcting that oversight. I loved the fullness of the characters, and thought the use of flash back very well done. Most teachers tell us to avoid that particular style, but in this case, it provided essential information and developed the characters beautifully. I feel as though I know them well. I recommend this book to those who love a mystery an those who just love a well written story!
Danielle Brown-Barba
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Oh-My-Gosh!! This book was so good!! I read it in a day!! I received it through the Amazon First, as my April selection. It was high paced, throughout the whole book and reminded me of the joy I felt when reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo/Millennium" series!

"The Altar Girl" is a prequel to the "Nadia Tesla" series, which I had not heard of, but plan to sink my teeth into ASAP! Fortunately, all three books are available through the Kindle Lending Library for Prime members.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This book kept me interested right from the beginning, Nadia had a can do attitude from an early age, she is a survivor- those skills were honed into her. The story goes back and forth between the present and her childhood, mainly age twelve. Those early years help explain the grown Nadia.

The Ukrainian influence is prominent in the book, in fact it takes center stage. All in all, I am very glad I chose this book for my kindle first. The story flows all the way through to a very
Candace Morehouse
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Engrossing story but not entirely believable

I finished this book in 2 sessions based upon a good story line with lots of details about Ukrainians only a real one would know. I loved the plot and the mystery and the flashbacks and especially the characterization of the protagonists but...about 2/3 of the way through the story got a little too fantastical. All of a sudden our pragmatic heroine turned into a fearless ninja and I just couldn't it. Overall a good story with exceptional writing but
Dinah Hardy
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Altar Girl (The Nadia Tesla Series)

I enjoyed reading this book. I'm not sure if the main character of it was as brave as a child as the author portray she was, but it was very well written. I enjoy reading about different cultures and countries. The life that the kids had to live under their father's abuses was so very sad. I would recommend this book to an adult reading group.
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May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved the history that was imbedded within the story. This story helped me understand the Ukrainian culture better....this was free from my prime membership.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars.

Kindle and audio. After four books narrated by the same woman I still cannot get used to her.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This is a story of hope. It is also a poignant mystery that wraps you around its theme and leaves you breathless with its twists and turns.
Lindsay Boitnott
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I picked up The Altar Girl via the Amazon First picks deal ages ago. The book sat in my kindle library for a rather long time awaiting the perfect reading mood. That mood arrived after a couple of draining and frustrating weeks. I didnt want my usual choice of fun and quirky cozy mystery; I needed a grittier mystery that didnt shy away from the darker aspects of crime. I kept coming back to The Altar Girl.

It was good; it gave me exactly what I needed in a story. Nadia is Ukrainian-American. She
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Born in America to Ukrainian immigrants, Orest Stelmach spoke no English when he started his education. He went on to earn degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago. He has held a variety of jobs, including dishwasher, shelf stocker, English teacher in Japan, and international investment portfolio manager. The Treachery of Russian Nesting Dolls is his fifth novel. He lives with ...more

Other books in the series

Nadia Tesla (4 books)
  • The Boy from Reactor 4 (Nadia Tesla, #1)
  • The Boy Who Stole from the Dead (Nadia Tesla, #2)
  • The Boy Who Glowed in the Dark (Nadia Tesla, #3)
  • The Treachery of Russian Nesting Dolls (Nadia Tesla #4)

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