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Eye of the Red Tsar (Inspector Pekkala, #1)
it was ok
Sam Eastland's first (as far as I can tell) novel offers an intriguing setting: the Soviet Union in 1929. HIstorical novels of Russia abound, but most ...more
Mar 2010
Mar 22, 2010
Into the Blue
really liked it
This lengthy mystery/thriller takes a long time to get going (about 150 pages in the mass-market paperback), but once it does, it's almost as riveting ...more
Aug 25, 2010
Aug 26, 2010
Two for Sorrow (Josephine Tey, #3)
really liked it
"I shouldn't put real people into a novel and manipulate them for the sake of a story. It's not right."

So thinks Josephine Tey in this book. I wonder
Jun 29, 2016
Jun 22, 2016
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies
really liked it
This book is not, as I expected, a biography of John Wilkes Booth, but a thorough account of the Lincoln assassination with an extensive backstory on ...more
Jan 29, 2012
Jan 31, 2012
Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
liked it
Interesting and enjoyable story of Michael, the younger brother of the last Russian tsar, and Natasha, a beautiful Russian woman who, because she was ...more
May 08, 2012
Apr 29, 2012
A Glass of Blessings
really liked it
Terrific novel, her best since Excellent Women (looked at chronologically). I admire the discipline at work here: not a single character who is an Oxf ...more
Apr 25, 2014
Apr 25, 2014
The Death of a Mafia Don (Michele Ferrara, #3)
liked it
This was similar to the previous book in the Ferrara series, A Death in Tuscany, in that it developed slowly and only picked up—to a frenzied pace—at ...more
Jun 18, 2017
Jun 12, 2017
it was ok
This book is Aaron Burr's "memoirs," as channeled through a fictitious journalist in the late 1830s.

If it had been at least 150 pages shorter, it woul
Feb 22, 2014
Dec 31, 2013
Death at the Chateau Bremont (A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery, #1)
liked it
I bought this book mainly for its setting, Aix-en-Provence. I wanted to see what ordinary life is like for the Aixois. In that respect, the book gave ...more
Apr 07, 2014
Apr 08, 2014
The Masqueraders
it was amazing
I've read many of Georgette Heyer's historicals set in Regency times, but never, until now, one set in another era. I don't know why I should have tho ...more
Oct 15, 2015
Nov 25, 2015
The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6)
it was amazing
My first Chandler, but definitely not my last! I'm only sorry I didn't discover him sooner. I may have been put off by his reputation as hard-boiled, ...more
Sep 03, 2015
Sep 06, 2015
Long Time Coming
really liked it
Another solid suspense tale from Robert Goddard. Like many of his books, this one centers on a crime that happened in the past. The book opens in 1976 ...more
Jul 05, 2013
Aug 29, 2013
The Sweet Dove Died
really liked it
It's odd--the previous Pym I read in my chronological reread is a book (An Unsuitable Attachment) that I remembered liking much more than I did this t ...more
May 15, 2014
May 14, 2014
Colonel Roosevelt
it was amazing
If this is the least interesting of Edmund Morris's three books on Roosevelt, it is because the story it tells is a sad one. After he left the preside ...more
not set
Aug 09, 2013
Refining Felicity (The School for Manners, #1)
liked it
Thank God for books like this! When the world is too much with us, when Trump makes life unbearable, one can always escape into an alternate universe ...more
Jan 22, 2018
Jan 22, 2018
A Death in Vienna (Liebermann Papers, #1)
really liked it
Historical mystery set in Vienna in 1902. The detective is a psychoanalyst who plays Sherlock Holmes, complete with a policeman sidekick who is fully ...more
Feb 07, 2018
Feb 04, 2018
London Rain (Josephine Tey #6)
really liked it
As with Upson's other Josephine Tey books, I enjoyed this one very much despite having had problems with it.

The good: Upson writes a good story, her c
Oct 17, 2017
Oct 14, 2017
The Dante Connection (Genevieve Lenard, #2)
really liked it
I have mixed feelings about this series (I also read the first book, The Gaugin Connection). On the plus side, Ryan knows how to construct interesting ...more
Dec 05, 2017
Dec 02, 2017
Rules of Civility
it was amazing
Terrific first novel set in New York in 1938. The narrator begins her story in 1966, when she sees two photos of a man called Tinker Grey in an exhibi ...more
Jun 26, 2014
Jun 21, 2014
Dragon Bones (Red Princess, #3)
it was ok
I loved Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls, and liked Dreams of Joy, so I was delighted to find that she also wrote detectiv ...more
Nov 02, 2014
Oct 28, 2014
Juliet, Naked
it was amazing
This is Hornby's best novel yet (although I haven't read Slam). It deals with many of his known concerns (rock music, the nature of fandom, the seriou ...more
Dec 19, 2014
Dec 14, 2014
Funny Girl
liked it
I'd really give this 3.5 stars.

I've read all of Hornby's novels, and this one struck me as sightly under par. It lacked focus: despite the title, it's
Mar 10, 2016
Mar 04, 2016
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)
really liked it
I'm going to be generous and give this four stars, although I have so many problems with the ultimate explanation for the murder that I should really ...more
Mar 27, 2016
Mar 20, 2016
Countess Kate
really liked it
What a delightful discovery! I first encountered Charlotte M. Yonge's name in Barbara Pym's books, and just recently came across another reference to ...more
Nov 30, 2017
Nov 29, 2017
Marrying The Royal Marine (Channel Fleet, #3)
liked it
I picked up this book for an escape into a cozy, predictable world. Was that ever a mistake! Don't misunderstand—this is a good book (I don't think Ca ...more
Jan 21, 2018
Jan 19, 2018
The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built
it was amazing
For lovers of the Broadway musical, this is a great big birthday cake of a book. Jack Viertel, a veteran producer who is also director of City Center' ...more
Jul 23, 2017
Jul 23, 2017
A Loyal Character Dancer (Inspector Chen Cao #2)
really liked it
This was my introduction to this series, and I will be reading more. It's a bit different from the American and British mysteries I usually read: the ...more
Mar 19, 2016
Mar 14, 2016
Bad Feminist
really liked it
Roxane Gay is a bisexual black woman who writes mostly about popular culture. Her perspectives are heavily political, but she is no demagogue, as the ...more
Nov 18, 2015
Nov 11, 2015
Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
it was amazing
This is as delightful a history book as you're likely to read. Okrent not only provides a more detailed and thought-provoking history of the rise and ...more
Oct 16, 2013
Oct 06, 2013
The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama, and Death in Nineteenth-Century America
liked it
Ostensibly about the 1849 riots in New York between fans of two star actors, one American and one British, the book is actually much broader in scope. ...more
Aug 31, 2012
Aug 31, 2012
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