Tag: #historicalfiction

Book Review: “The Devil’s Grin” by A. Wendenberg

Book Review: “The Devil’s Grin” by A. Wendenberg

Dr. Anton Kronberg is a bacteriologist and epidemiologist in 1889 London. He receives a message requesting his presence at the site where a dead body has been found. Cholera is suspected, hence the need for Dr. Kronberg. But another type of detective is also on site. None other than the infamous Sherlock Holmes. The two, reluctantly at first, agree to work together to determine the circumstances of the man’s death. Their plan is a complex one which will involve danger for both of them, and take Dr. Kronberg to Berlin and back. They are up against some very powerful and secretive adversaries but this will deter them from the pursuit of truth.

I just loved this book! Dr. Anton Kronberg works to solve a mystery while himself being a mystery. The character is delightful and intriguing. I found the author’s interpretation of Sherlock to be equally as engaging. The plot is complex and full of enough twists to keep any mystery lover guessing. If you love historical mysteries and/or Sherlock Holmes, don’t let this one get away!

Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

View on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UvZDeM

Book Review: “An Angel Healed” by Annalisa Russo

Book Review: “An Angel Healed” by Annalisa Russo

Raphael Cavelli has been running away from heartbreak for 7 years. When he finally returns home to his family in Chicago, he’s in the throes of malaria. With the help of his sisters, he’s finally on the road to recovery when the girl who broke his heart suddenly reappears. He knows her immediately and all the intensity of his love for her returns. But she doesn’t remember every having met him before. Hope was left homeless and without family at the age of 16. She spent six months living in a shelter that is supported by the Cavelli family, than she just left. Rafe had been doing odd jobs at the place during the time she was there but never introduced himself. Now he is determined to win her over and make her his wife. But first, he will have to clear her of a murder charge. Can Rafe and Hope overcome the obstacles and finally make a family together?

This book is the second in a series but also stands on its own. The characters of Rafe and Hope were so likable right from the beginning and just kept growing on me as I read. The Cavelli family is a wonderful support system for these two as their relationship progresses. The story is engaging from the start and you can’t help but root for these two.

Alinefromabook’s recommendation: THUMBS-UP for a great love story with a little mystery thrown in. A worthy read!

Happy Reading!

To purchase click here: http://astore.amazon.com/alinefromab00-20/detail/1628304936

Book Review: “Enchanted Islands” by Allison Amend

Book Review: “Enchanted Islands” by Allison Amend

Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for the ARC of this book. This book is scheduled for publication in May 2016. It can be preordered on Amazon by clicking the image below.

“Enchanted Islands” is as enchanting a story as the islands it describes. This is a fictionalized account of the journals written by Frances Conway about her life, particularly the years she spent as a spy on the Galapagos Islands. Allison Amend is a brilliant writer. This story completely captured my imagination from page one to the final word. I loved the characters of Frances and Ainslie; their relationship was fascinating. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good story.

Happy Reading!

“1929” by M. L. Gardner

“1929” by M. L. Gardner

An absolutely fabulous read! I loved every minute of it.

1929 is the story of three couples and their fight for survival after the Market crashes. Jon, Aryl and Caleb have been inseparable friends since childhood. They’ve grown up together, been at each other’s weddings and built their own brokerage firm. They and their wives are living the high life with fancy houses, fancy cars and fancy clothes. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s all gone. They are left with only the case they have stashed at home. In a matter of a couple of days they have moved into tenement apartments, owned by their biggest enemy.

The wives, Ava, Claire, and Arianna, know nothing about taking care of a home or cooking or doing laundry and must learn the hard way. Meanwhile, the husbands are forced to take jobs working on the loading docks. The humiliation of it almost destroys one of them. As they desperately try to find a way to get back on their feet, it seems that fate just keeps throwing them punches.

This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. This is the first in a series and I can’t wait to keep reading. M. L. Gardner has created characters with complexity and depth. I was especially impressed with her dialogue; every discussion or fight amongst the characters was so true to life that I really felt like a fly on the wall in the homes of these people. The twists and turns kept me fully engaged in the story and were so realistic that it seemed like it could be happening to me.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, especially if you like historical fiction. The author has captured the struggles of the period with an expertise that makes an historical reference point into the experience of real people. After reading this book I feel as if I have made a whole bunch of new friends and look forward to seeing where their journey takes them in the additional books in the series.

Happy Reading!

To purchase click on the image below:

“The Shunned House” by H.P. Lovecraft

“The Shunned House” by H.P. Lovecraft

This is a creepy story. It’s a short one, only 33 pages, about a house that has been shunned by the community due to the strange things that took place in it during its first 100 years. The house dates back to the 1700’s. No children were ever born alive in the house and all of its inhabitants fell victim to some strange, wasting type of illness while living in the house. There are many tales and speculations about the cause of these events. The narrator had played in the house as a boy while it was unoccupied and as an adult has a renewed interest in the history of the place. He and his uncle set out to solve the mystery of the Shunned House.

I found the story fascinating, partly because I have an interest in odd bits of history, and also because it is so well written. By today’s standards it is not particularly graphic but still gave me the creepy-crawlies. So, if you’re looking for something a little different to read, you should check out this story. It’s free on Amazon, click the picture below.

Happy Reading!

Click on the image below to purchase:

“The Wicked Wives” by Gus Pelagatti

“The Wicked Wives” by Gus Pelagatti

“The Wicked Wives” is an intriguing work of fiction based on actual events that took place in Philadelphia in the late 1930’s. A man named Giorgio Disipio is running an insurance fraud scheme that involves assisting wives in killing their husbands in order to collect on their life insurance policies. This book takes the reader through several of the murders and the District Attorney’s investigation and efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The author has done a great job of bringing the story to life. The main characters are well developed and you can just feel the tension between the conspirators as the circle of wives grows and the law starts to get closer. There is some sexual content so it may not be suitable for younger readers but if you’re like me and enjoy the lesser known bits of history I think you will really enjoy this book. This one get a 4 out of 4 star rating from me.

Happy Reading!

Click the image to purchase:

“Night On Fire” by Ronald Kidd

“Night On Fire” by Ronald Kidd

The Freedom Riders were a group of black and white students, who in the 1960’s decided they wanted to end segregation on buses by riding together through Alabama. In the small town of Anniston, Alabama, their bus was attacked by local residents who set the bus on fire and beat the Freedom Riders as they tried to escape. About a week later, in Birmingham, Alabama, there was a rally at the black First Baptist Church where a mob tried to burn down the building with over 1.000 people inside, including Martin Luther King, Jr.

This book takes the facts of these events and weaves a story around them. The story is told by Billie Sims, a 13 year old white girl who lives in Anniston. Billie has enjoyed a lovely childhood with her parents, younger brother, and the maid Lavender. Lavender is black. Billie has never thought much about the differences between the white folks and the black folks who live in separate parts of town in Anniston. Then one day she is at the local white people’s grocery store when a young black boy walks in. Suddenly all eyes are on him and the owner of the store refuses to serve his “kind”. This incident starts the wheels turning in Billie’s mind and she begins to have questions about prejudice and discrimination. She happens to meet Lavender’s daughter one day at a spelling bee; she didn’t even know Lavender had a daughter. Jarmaine tells Billie about the Freedom Riders who will be coming through Anniston in a few days. Billie is there when the bus is burned and she is horrified by the actions of people she has known all her life. People swinging bats and chains at the young people on the bus; police just standing by and watching it happen; her father watching it all from a distance. On the day of the scheduled rally, Billie and Jarmaine sneak out of their houses and board a bus for Birmingham. Billie likes Jarmaine and during their journey she gets a taste of what it’s like to be the minority in the crowd.

I found this book to be hard to put down. I so wanted to know how things were going to turn out for Billie and Jarmaine. They learn some valuable lessons as they journey together and Billie begins to dream of a world where black and white can be friends. Ronald Kidd has done a wonderful job telling this story. I was really able to feel like I was there with these girls as they witnessed how cruel people can be to each other and how scared the two groups were of each other. It is awe-inspiring to me to see the kind of courage it took for these young people to put their lives on the line in order to bring about change.

The book is intended for a young adult audience but I think anybody of any age would enjoy this story. The author has tried to stay true to the facts while creating his fictional characters and has done a wonderful job in that regard. The Freedom Riders were a group that we don’t often hear about in talks about the Civil Rights movement, but their spirit she live in hearts no matter what color we are. I would highly recommend this book and I’m giving it 4 out of 4 stars.

Happy Reading!

Click the image to purchase:

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this pre-release copy of the book.

Reviews Published

Professional Reader