1910s

B+
Death of a New American

Death, passion and good sleuthing combine in Death of a New American, the second instalment in Mariah Fredericks’ Jane Prescott series. It’s 1912, just after the sinking of the Titanic, and the New York-based Benchley family is trying to move on with life as best they can.  Mild, plain, olde ...

B+
A Summer for Scandal

It’s 1911, and while Emilia Cruz and Ruben Torres are both authors, he’s a literary darling and newspaper publisher, while she uses a pseudonym to write The True Accounts of a Former Courtesan, an explicit and swashbuckling adventure serial. When their paths cross and Ruben learns Emilia’s sec ...

A-
City of Secrets

I don't usually gravitate toward historical mysteries, not because that I dislike them exactly, but the few I’ve read have left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied. Still, when I first heard about Victoria Thompson's Counterfeit Lady series with its con artist heroine, I decided to give it a try. Fortu ...

C
I Was Anastasia

I've long been fascinated by the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, and so, when Ariel Lawhorn’s I Was Anastasia came up for review, I was thrilled to get a chance to read it. I had really high hopes for this book, but, because of some quirks in the storytelling, I found myself quite disapp ...

C+
Dragon Springs Road

My experience with books set in China has not been stellar – I've read too many authors who seem only interested in transplanting characters with western attitudes to a more exotic setting. Janie Chang's Dragon Springs Road, I am happy to say, does not fall in this category. If anything, by adheri ...

C+
The Confectioner's Tale

Paris is one of my favorite cities to visit, so when I learned that the historical portions of The Confectioner’s Tale are set in Paris in 1910 it seemed a perfect book for me to review. I was intrigued to learn that the “contemporary” portion is set in 1988 – mostly in Cambridge, another fa ...

C+
Secrets of Nanreath Hall

For the longest time, Susanna Kearsley, Lauren Willig and Susan Meissner were the only authors I regularly encountered who wrote dual timeline  novels. However, they seem to be everywhere all of a sudden. I love this device, so I'm certainly not complaining. In fact, I was quite eager to read Secre ...

A-
Murder on the Last Frontier

I fully admit - I’m not the biggest fan of mystery novels. When I saw that Murder on the Last Frontier was set in Alaska, I was curious. When I saw the amateur detective was a woman in 1919, I decided to give it a shot. When I finally read the blurb for the book, and saw the heroine was a suffrage ...

B+
Silence for the Dead

The renewed interest in recent years in all things interwar and post-war means that those who used beg for more cultural artifacts from 1914-1950s need beg no longer. I, personally, am having a blast on the audiovisual front — not a fan of Downton Abbey, but I love Parade’s End and Foyle’s War ...

B+
Diamonds and Deceit

If I had a penny for every time a book series boasted about being designed for fans of Downton Abbey I would be a rich reader. Or at least a moderately well off one. At Somerton is a series which actually succeeds at being that rare breed, a book that actually reads a lot like that beloved televisio ...