The Thirteenth Gate by Kat Ross – Review

The Thirteenth Gate
Kat Ross
Historical Fiction, Fantasy
The Thirteenth Gate (Dominion Mysteries) (Volume 2)
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It’s the Winter of 1988 and a doctor suspected of being Jack the Ripper, murders a man before disappearing from the asylum that held him. It’s up to Lady Vivienne Cumberland and her companion, Alec, to hunt down the most dangerous man they know. There’s more to the world than we’re allowed to see and in Victorian London, they’ve started to take precautions against the supernatural elements that threaten their world.

But Lady Vivienne is walking a dangerous line and one wrong step could upset the balance between worlds, throwing the Thirteenth Gate wide open to create hell on earth.

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The Vanishing Year By Kate Moretti – Review

The Vanishing Year
By Kate Moretti
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Buy on Amazon
The Vanishing Year

We start The Vanishing Year with Zoe Whittaker, the woman who has it all. She’s the wife of one of the richest men in the country, and she never wants for anything. The world is at Zoe’s beck and call, but she’s lucky in another way. Some people find themselves in cold, static marriages. But you couldn’t find someone more loving than Henry Whittaker and he is the solid foundation that Zoe has been searching for all her life.

Zoe has a secret she keeps from everyone, even Henry, and it’s bubbling back up to the surface. Her life is in danger and money alone won’t be enough to save her. When her past catches up to her, will Zoe be able to maintain the life she’s loved for the past year? Or will she vanish without a trace, just like they said she would?

The Vanishing Year is one heck of a ride.

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The Changeling by Philippa Gregory – Review

From the very beginning of this novel, I was thrown off. Although this is set in the 15th century, the very first sentence threw me out of the book:

“The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face.”

I had to put the novel down and go to Wikipedia, determined to find out the truth of the matter and grow about my own superior knowledge. I skimmed some of the entry and then happened upon this small paragraph in the handguns entry:

Handheld firearms first appeared in China where gunpowder was first developed. They were hand cannons (although they were not necessarily fired from the hand, but rather at the end of a handle). By the 14th century, they existed in Europe as well.

You win this round, Philippa Gregory.

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Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman, Paul Clark Newell, Jr. – Review

I feel like we’re all hardwired to be suckers for good mysteries. It doesn’t have to be murder all the time (although my podcast lineup would beg to disagree), but when there’s something unknown, human nature drives to to try and figure it out. If there was the chance of foul play, especially with a huge fortune on the line, it can be hard to shrug your shoulders and walk away.

Empty Mansions feels a bit like a non-fiction carnival that has a little bit of everything, or perhaps it would be better described as an eclectic museum that has strange exhibits that you wouldn’t think were connected to each other at all. What does political corruption, Japanese paintings, dollhouses made to scale, running around the wild west, and ornate empty mansions have in common? If you were to walk into a museum and see these exhibits in place, they would probably seem bizarre.

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Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald – Review

I don’t know what it is between me and books about strange families. Whenever I hear that a novel that I’m going to be reading has an unusual family structure, I’m chomping at the bit to read it. It may be simply that the world is a messy place and a family that has an unusual shape seems more real to me than the nuclear family that I had shoved down my throat when I was a kid. Or it might just be that there’s a mystery to unusual families that isn’t there with conventional ones. There’s a need to figure out how the different pieces of the family fit together to form a family unit which adds a depth to the proceedings that comes naturally.

Enter stage right: Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.

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