Hiro Hattori has a problem: he needs to find the murderer of an important guest ASAP. But the suspects are all people he doesn’t want to give up. Like his mother. Or his ex-lover. As time runs out, what is he going to do? “Betrayal at Iga” is set in 16th-century Japan, and is full […]Read more "“Betrayal at Iga” by Susan Spann"
“The Bedlam Stacks” is an enchanting mixture of historical fiction and fantasy. It’s 1860, and Merrick Tremayne, former employee–read: smuggler-of the East India Company, now an invalid, is sitting around in his family estate, which is falling down around his ears. When his old boss invites him to go on an expedition to Peru to […]Read more "“The Bedlam Stacks” by Natasha Pulley"
How does an illegitimate Venetian girl become the wife of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire? What was her life like? What kind of power does she wield, and how? “The Mapmaker’s Daughter,” a fictionalized memoir of Cecilia/Nurbanu, the real-life Venetian captive who became wife and then mother to Sultans, seeks to answer those questions. […]Read more "“The Mapmaker’s Daughter” by Katherine Nouri Hughes"
“The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” followed the life of Chye Hoon, a strong-willed Nyonya girl who becomes the matriarch of her mixed-heritage family in early 20th-century Malaysia. “When the Future Comes Too Soon” picks up shortly after where “The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” left off, with the death of Chye Hoon. Now the […]Read more "“When the Future Comes Too Soon” by Selina Siak Chin Yoke"
State Counsellor Erast Petrovich Fandorin is called to action again! Terrorists have conducted a daring murder using his identity as a disguise, and both professional duty and personal pride demand that he find them and bring them to justice. But as he goes deeper into the world of revolutionaries, collaborators, and double agents, he finds […]Read more "“The State Counsellor” by Boris Akunin"
A fascinating melange of WWII “aviation lit” (to coin a term) and hard sci-fi, with a side of metaphysics and fantasy, “Fata Morgana” is a unique book. It’s not exactly something I would normally read, but I found it extremely interesting nonetheless. Somewhat to my surprise, since I was expecting sci-fi, the book starts off […]Read more "“Fata Morgana” by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney"
Isadora Duncan was, in her own peculiar way, one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century. Not only did she usher in a new conception of dance, but she embodied the turn-of-the-century ideal of turning life itself into art. Her personal life was at least as theatrical as her performances, and much more […]Read more "“Isadora” by Amelia Gray"
Kari’s just your typical teenage girl, dreaming of boys and being like Rita Hayworth…except that her country is currently occupied by Nazi Germany. When an American pilot crash-lands near her father’s farm, she sets off on a desperate adventure to smuggle him to Sweden. I always have my eye open for some good Nordic reading, […]Read more "“Land of Hidden Fires” by Kirk Kjeldsen"
Two brothers fall in love with the same woman. Instead of settling it sensibly, or at least by dueling, one of them climbs up an enormous ladder they’ve been constructing, and refuses to come down for years. And rather than just letting the ladder fall, the other props it up till he dies and is […]Read more "“Froelich’s Ladder” by Jamie Duclos-Yourdon"
Although serial killers are not normally my thing, I’ve been reading these illustrated novels based on the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper with interest. Rather than focus on the pathologies of Jack the Ripper’s mind, and the goriness of his methods, this books put the spotlight on how his victims lived, and […]Read more "“Apologies to the Cat’s Meat Man” by Alan M. Clark"