Were the princes murdered? Or spirited out of the country?

My sister contacted me recently, telling me I had to read this book, by Philippa Langley, about the Princes in the Tower. For those who do not know, Philippa Langley was the inspiration behind the project to find the remains of King Richard III, which was eventually found beneath a car park in the City […]

A gem of a memoir, with so much left unsaid

I LIVE AGAIN is the memoir of Princess Ileana of Romania (1909-1991), daughter of Marie of Edinburgh (1875-1938) who was Queen of Romania due to her marriage to Ferdinand I of Romania. In 1931, Ileana married Archduke Anton of Austria (1901-1987), becoming an Austrian Archduchess. The bulk of I LIVE AGAIN deals with Ileana’s war […]

Three Bright Young Things amidst the Rumbling Approach of World War II

Even though the structure of Marie Benedict’s THE MITFORD AFFAIR is to rotate voices amongst Nancy, Diana and Unity, three of six eccentric sisters who flourished during the inter-war years, the protagonist is really Nancy Mitford. This volume starts strong with Nancy Mitford’s well-known charm, wit and acute observations of society around her. But as […]

A Postcard from Lockdown on the Galápagos ~ or is it?

This is the first novel I’ve ever read about the COVID-19 crisis, and in Jodi Picoult’s hands those now far-distant-almost-forgotten-bad-memories become real and vivid. Jodi Picoult does what every great author does ~ puts her characters into impossible situations to give the reader the pleasure of watching them escape. So we have two ambitious millennials […]

A remarkable survivor of abuse sparkles at George II’s court

Henrietta Howard (1689-1767) was born wealthy into the gentry, into the Hobart family which boasted a line of distinguished lawyers and politicians. However, her early life was not easy. In 1698, when Henrietta was about eight years old, her irascible father incited a duel, in which he was killed. This event plunged the family ~ […]

What would you do if your uncle traded in black market fakes?

Having just finished Luanne G. Smith’s THE RAVEN SPELL, I was amused to find myself again transported back in time to London of the past, to a teenaged girl left to manage a shop in Susan Stokes Chapman’s novel PANDORA. However, we are in the late 1700s not the late 1800s, and the shop that […]

Is Edwina safe? ~ Volume 2 The Raven Song

Following the shocking death of her sister at the end of Volume 1 ~ The Raven Spell ~ Edwina Blackwood travels north to escape London. Although the author never says so, it becomes apparent that she winds up in Edinburgh. (As I experience this tale in audio form, I was able to detect all the […]

What would you do with a sister who steals memories from the dead?

I don’t know exactly what drew me into this volume ~ something about those two teenaged Victorian girls (17 and 19) who spend their nights foraging for treasure on the sandy shores near their home, and their days managing a shabby curiosity shop.  The elder sister (naturally) makes the best of things ~ her absent […]

What would you do if a 17-year-old girl proposed marriage?

When I find an author I love, I make a practice of reading all of their novels, from first to last, to see how they develop as a writer. Growing up in Britain, I knew the name Georgette Heyer but I don’t believe I read any of her books. It is only recently, that I […]