Reviews by Maggie Boyd

B
The Painted Queen

Dictionary.com describes the term ‘camp’ as “Deliberate affectation or exaggeration of style, especially of popular or outdated style, for ironic or humorous effect.” That’s an excellent descriptor of the writing style used in this final Amelia Peabody novel, The Painted Queen. Begun by El ...

C
Gladden the Heart

Gladden the Heart is the fifth novel in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series. This loosely connected set of books examines key moments in the history of the American Amish church from the 1895 split over the teaching of Sunday school (Meek and Mild) to the issues surrounding the great depre ...

B+
Don't Close Your Eyes

This is not the book to pick up for a quick read before going to bed. You won’t want to turn off the light and go to sleep like you’re supposed to. Instead, like a gawker transfixed by a train wreck, you will find yourself reading far past your bedtime as Don’t Close Your Eyes becomes more tha ...

A-
The Child

We all know the saying “Oh, what a tangled web we weave… when first we practice to deceive.” In Fiona Barton’s engrossing new thriller, The Child, that tangled web is spun around a single act. Like a stack of dominoes falling when just one is pushed over, it seems almost inevitable that when ...

B+
Every Last Lie

Some of us are old enough to remember the commercials and advertisements with the slogan, ‘Maybe she’s born with it; Maybe it’s Maybelline.’ The idea behind that old sales pitch is that ‘real’ can be disguised. Truth can be hidden behind some cosmetic applications. In Every Last Lie, Cla ...

A-
Heart on the Line

Now that summer is at long last here and the sun is shining warmly on my patio - hence my lawn chair - I can finally read outside. I have been looking for novels that match the light hearted, cheery spirit I feel while soaking up some much needed vitamin D and Heart on the Line is exactly that type ...

B
The Marsh King's Daughter

Deep in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is an infamous cabin where there once lived a little family. Father, mother and daughter spent cold winter days and fabulous summers in primitive conditions, living off the land. But the picture is far darker than it seems for this was no happy littl ...

B
Merely a Marriage

Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley is not merely a book: It is the final book by a beloved, iconic author of the genre. I’m happy to say that this swan song is a fitting closure to an illustrious career. In the custom of so many historical romance novel heroines, Lady Ariana Boxstall doesn’t wa ...

B-
A Stranger at Fellsworth

Reading historical romance presents history fans with a conundrum. I’ve heard it said that much of the history presented in these novels is “Heyer” history or “Austen” history, meaning that the facts placed in historical romances are influenced more by what these fiction authors wrote than ...

D+
The Take Down

If you had to describe your high school experience in one word, what would it be? Awesome? Horrible? Rad or cool? According to the heroine of Corrie Lynn Wang’s The Take Down there are only two ways to emerge from high school: Scarred or Worshipped. By the end of senior year though, she’s fairly ...