The Secret of Lost Things is a captivating literary who-done-it. After her mother dies, an eighteen-year-old from Tasmania makes a transformative journey to New York. Rosemary takes a job at the Arcade, a bookstore that sells everything from paperbacks to valuable rare books. At the Arcade she begins her unique education. The Arcade's employees are each eccentric … Continue reading Book Review: The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay.
The opening novella, "Evil Eye," is a powerful story about a woman who could be on the verge of losing her mind. In a fit of despair, she has married an older man who crushes what is left of her spirit. One of the man's ex-wives tries to warn her to no avail. The best … Continue reading Book Review: Evil Eye by Joyce Carol Oates
Readers who like stories about odd characters who find themselves in strange situations, will love this new collection by Rivka Galchen. As strange as the characters are, though, it's easy to relate to them.Who hasn't felt what this character in "The Lost Order" feels so keenly? "But one day I woke up and heard myself … Continue reading Book Review: American Innovations by Rivka Galchen
On his way back from a client on the coast, Andrew Snow, a rare book dealer, cuts through the Downs and has an odd experience. After leaving the main road, he gets lost and finds himself inexplicably stopping at a dilapidated mansion. On The White House grounds, he feels the presence of a small hand gripping his … Continue reading Book Review: The Small Hand by Susan Hill
Imagine a ruined house, an inheritance, a mysterious set of feral twins, a topiary garden, a murder, a ghost--these are just some of the Gothic elements that permeate The Thirteenth Tale. Vida Winter, a successful novelist, contacts the bookish narrator, Margaret Lea, because she has one more tale to tell--the titular 13th tale. For years she has created falsehoods … Continue reading Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.
The novel is a book lover's dream. A bookseller sends Simon a vintage book in the mail. The book, Peabody's Menagerie, has information about Simon's relatives who used to work as circus performers. Simon comes from a long line of "mermaids," women who are able to hold their breath for a preternaturally long length of time. … Continue reading Book Review: Book of Speculation
When a couple chooses an ancient mansion, Pencraw Hall (aka Black Rabbit Hall) as their wedding venue, strange things come to light. Neither knows the history of the house--the Altons' story--yet Lorna remembers going to the house once while they were on holiday. For an unexplained reason, Lorna is drawn back to this house. In … Continue reading Book Review: Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase
The Disappearing Earth is a mystery set in the Kamchatka peninsula, an area with active volcanoes The story centers around the disappearance of two local girls, Alyona and Sophia Golosovskaya. Other characters react to the girls' disappearance while also telling their own stories. The bird's eye point-of- view gives readers a 360 degree perspective of the region … Continue reading Book Review: The Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips.
DCI John Marvel wants to be promoted but he hates the new task his supervisor has given him. Marvel is given the unenviable task of finding his boss' wife's missing poodle. The humor of this scene contrasts with the grim details of two other missing cases--that of a male toddler, Daniel, and an twelve-year-old girl, Edie, … Continue reading Book Review: The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer
Though she wants to hide her supernatural gifts, Nicola finds that increasingly difficult to do. When a woman tries to sell a Russian relic in the art and antiquities gallery where she works, Nicola feels motivated to use her psychometric abilities. Holding the relic in her hands, Nicola knows the woman's story is true; the relic … Continue reading Book Review: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley