1950s

B
Wildfire at Midnight

Mary Stewart is truly one of the greats. Her books, with their practical heroines and often exotic settings, appeal to the imagination, and she has a way of building tension throughout her narratives in such a way that it reels the reader in easily. Her writing has not only inspired all manner of ro ...

A-
The Sleeping Night

Starcrossed lovers show up often enough in romance, but rarely with such convincing emotion as in The Sleeping Night. Barbara Samuel's tale of an interracial couple in postwar Texas takes readers through a rollercoaster of emotion as we see her characters dealing with love, loss, and poisonous bigot ...

A
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Flavia de Luce, girl sleuth, makes a roaring first appearance in Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The first in a mystery series set in 1950s England, this is hands down, the best mystery I’ve read this year. I love Flavia de Luce. I should start by saying there isn’t a ...

B
The Summer Hideaway

The Summer Hideaway is part of Susan Wiggs' Lakeshore Chronicles series, set at a camp in upstate New York, but it works as a standalone. It combines a contemporary romance with the story of three children growing up during World War II. I enjoyed both stories, but would have liked a bit more of eac ...

A-
My Brother Michael

Have you ever been to Delphi, Greece? It’s a truly magical, mystical place. Whatever your own religious persuasion is, there you’ll find it very easy to feel close to a higher being, and understand perfectly well why the Greeks built a sanctuary for Apollo on that very mountainside. The novel th ...

B+
Wildfire at Midnight

Needing a break from her busy London modeling career, Gianetta Drury goes to the Isle of Skye to stay at the Camas Fhionnaridh Hotel (pronounced Camasunary – I love Gaelic). At first glance, the hotel and its misty surrounds are ideally remote from London's hullabaloo. But our heroine soon learns ...

D
I Went To Vassar for This?

This book gave me the mother of all headaches. Most likely because my brow was knitted together from the “What the…?” face I made during the entire reading. Sadly to say, the author took a rather interesting premise (which she got from her editor: see acknowledgments) and turned it into a disa ...

B
Sheltering Rain

Since I often find the plots to be long and terribly slow-moving and the characterization to be both flat and unrealistically glamorous, the family saga is usually one of my least favorite forms of fiction. Sheltering Rain, a debut novel from the United Kingdom, is blessedly different. Joy, her d ...

A
A Veiled Journey

A Veiled Journey is not a romance. It contains enough gripping, nail biting action to make any suspense addict happy but at its core, it is a deadly serious story of an American woman living in modern day Saudi Arabia. Whatever the genre, A Veiled Journey is a courageous book. I could not put it dow ...

C+
Then Came Heaven

If you want a fast paced novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat, don't bother with this one. But if you enjoy a leisurely book that captures the life of a bygone time, you will probably enjoy Then Came Heaven. This is LaVyrle Spencer's last novel and I am going to miss her. She is responsible ...