Book Reviews

A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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REVIEW: THE ECLIPTIC by Benjamin Wood

Author Benjamin Wood seems to find his stories among the desperately brilliant and talented, who can’t seem to get a handle on their own intelligence. In The Bellwether Revivals, his characters get themselves into trouble because Cambridge somehow isn’t intellectually …
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Weekly wrap-up: April 29

This April marks the 175th anniversary of the publication of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders of the Rue Morgue. It was the first of the three stories to feature C. Auguste Dupin, the first literary detective. Later writers, including Arthur Conan Doyle …
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Be still a moment and this mystery explore: Crimes from Pushkin Vertigo

Pushkin Vertigo, a section of Pushkin Press, has dedicated itself to identifying masterful, classic foreign mysteries and bringing them to a new audience. Carefully chosen and given gorgeous cover designs, even the most dedicated crime reader will find something new. …
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REVIEW: THE WITCH OF LIME STREET by David Jaher

There are few topics I find more fascinating than the rise of Spiritualism in the early 20th century — and Houdini’s determination to rebuke it. Add to it the real life friendship — and falling out — between the master …
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ACCENT: RARE OBJECTS by Kathleen Tessaro

Forgery, fake, reproduction, refurbished or genuine — and can you prove provenance? In the antiquities market, the veracity of an item is paramount. And being able to prove its story brings more value. Maeve Fanning, an Irish redhead in early …
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REVIEW: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT by Alexander Chee

I thoroughly enjoy a novel that wanders a bit, particularly historical adventures like The Count of Monte Cristo or The Three Musketeers. I am also a sucker for stories of intrigue told from the secret garden at a masked ball or a …
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Books for an equinox season

Like a rider at the top of a roller coaster’s first hill, our planet sits on the pinnacle of light and darkness, before plunging headlong into the next season. Summer is on its way, but before it arrives, we have a …
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REVIEW: JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye

In this highly imaginative adventure, the heroine is no meek governess left to wander the moors. Though she shares some unfortunate circumstances with Jane Eyre — ones she freely acknowledges to the reader — Jane Steele is a fierce, violent …
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For the Brontes

THE MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS by Catherine Lowell For someone like me — obsessed with Gothic literature, wrote their masters thesis on the “madwoman in the attic” in film and makes jokes about being “gaslit” — this book was serious fun. The …
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REVIEW: SPEAKERS OF THE DEAD by J. Aaron Sanders

In the muddy, soot-blackened days of early Manhattan, a tiny cabal of scientists pushes for the advancement of medicine and anatomical understanding. A smaller group runs a dangerous underground business in procuring dead bodies. And the general public is disgusted …
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Book Blogger Appreciation Week - Day 4

I am terrible about being consistent in my connections to other bloggers. I get overwhelmed with the amount of amazing stuff out there and feel lost. I am once again going to resolve to leave thoughtful comments on others’ blogs. …
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Book Blogger Appreciation Week - Day 3

Confession: I am terrible about taking advice from others, especially in the realm of books. I am really, really picky and over the years I’ve learned that people don’t get my taste. Or so I assume. There is now a …
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Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 1

Introduce myself… Well, I’m a Sherlock Holmes fanatic (although I am not a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, I play the grand game anyway), a certified cryptozoologist, a crossword puzzle and word game player, I have a Edgar Allan …
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REVIEW: SOPHIA by Anita Anand

At the end of the Victorian era, the women’s suffrage movement had an unexpected supporter. Sophia Duleep Singh was the daughter of the latest deposed Maharajah of Lahore, in India. As a teenager we was forced to give up his …
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Tales from Arabia

RIVER OF INK by Paul M. M. Cooper An historical fable, full of rich exoticism, this book uses the tradition of epic saga and brilliant storyteller — like Scherazade. Asanka is the royal poet of a kingdom in Sri Lanka. …
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