REVIEWED: The Map of Salt and Stars

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (Novel, 2018). Whether it’s the mood of the country/world, various authors responding to what’s in the news or just plain coinicidence, I’ve noted several recurrent themes in novels (and even nonfiction books) I’ve been reading. For one thing, I’ve been encountering plots involving women in either […]

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REVIEWED: The Girl in the Tower

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (Historical Fantasy Novel, 2018). This is the second in a series of novels that capably blends Russian folklore/fairy tales and medieval history into spirited adventure fiction in an exotic wilderness. Arden’s first novel introduced readers to Vasya, a young noble woman with the gift of seeing supernatural creatures […]

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REVIEWED: Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace by Susan Wittig Albert. (Cozy Mystery Novel, April 2018). In this, the latest in a long-running series of cozy mysteries centered around former lawyer turned professional herbialist and amateur mystery-solver China Bayles, the author deftly blends generations-spanning family secrets, an unthreatening yet persistent and ultimately helpful ghost, the lore concerning the title plant […]

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REVIEWED: Black Fortunes

Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills (Socio-Economic History, 2018). This book tells of the only 6 black folks (4 women, 2 men) who were among the 4,047 millionaires in the United States in the first years after Emancipation. In the end, most of them lost much (sometimes all) of what their hard work, sheer nerve and intelligence […]

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REVIEWED: Tell Tale

Tell Tale by Jeffrey Archer (Short Story Collection, October 2017).   One of the great British crime novelists of the current era, Jeffrey Archer also writes outstanding short stories. This is his first new collection in about a decade and features a wide-ranging variety of stories, including several truly outstanding efforts. Locales and subject matters covered in […]

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REVIEWED: The Liar in the Library

The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett (Cozy Murder Mystery, 2017). A newly successful, yet ego-driven, creepy and womanizing author, Burton St. Clair gives a reading and talk in the library of Fethering, a small English coastal town. Then he promptly gets himself murdered in the parking lot after hours. In the process, he inadvertently […]

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REVIEWED: Whiskey & Ribbons

Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith (Contemporary Novel, Match 2018). This fast-rising short story writer’s first novel is a moving, three-sided examination of shattering loss, abiding love and the cleansing power of passions reborn. It is, in a sense, a love triangle–but one unlike any you’ve seen and, despite misplaced (if understandable) feelings of guilt that […]

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