Recent Reviews

Otherwise Phyllis

by Meredith Nicholson

Really enjoyed the first half of this book. Phyllis is a great independent free spirited young lady and her mother even more so. Nicholson has no hesitation in creating strong women and I like that but the last half just had too much business dealings with bonds receivership, etc. understandable with him being a politician business man, just I find it takes about from the story of Phyllis. I say read the first half.

Reviewed on 2015.04.18
by Vernita

The Lodger

by Marie Belloc Lowndes

A very good book!

Reviewed on 2015.04.18
by Elle

The Half-Brothers

by Elizabeth Gaskell

Not really a horror story, so much as one about a family's internal prejudices. The narrator is his father's favourite; his half-brother (different father) is ostracized when their mother dies, and almost banished from the family.
Nice characterizations and descriptions. The story seems set in England, but it could be anywhere.

Reviewed on 2015.04.17
by Lisa Carr

Massacre at Paris

by Christopher Marlowe

A one act 22 scene play, much bloodier than anything Shakespeare ever wrote. Following the marriage of Catholic Charles the ninth to a Lutheran wife meant to end the sectarian animosity, the Catholic nobles set out to kill every Protestant in Paris. Though the action on stage only concerns the murders of nobles, minor characters appear every now and then to update the survivors about the fighting among the commoners.
There are shootings, poisonings, ear amputations, and lots and lots of stabbings. This must've been an amazing play to see performed.

Reviewed on 2015.04.16
by Lisa Carr

The Game of Logic

by Lewis Carroll

A literal game with game pieces and a board (not included with the e-book) meant to teach logic. Rather too dry and pedantic for me. I couldn't get into it and quit.

Reviewed on 2015.04.16
by Lisa Carr

Invisible Links

by Selma Lagerlöf

Short stories by the Nobel Prize winner, translated into English. All are set in the Swedish countryside or seaside, and deal with common people. Most of them could have taken place anytime in the last thousand years.
The culture and motivations of the characters is sufficiently foreign as to make them almost magical. Even the bad people are in some way good.
I enjoyed Uncle Reuben, and, Downie most. The first concerns a three year old boy who haunts a family three generations after his death. The second is about an ambitious man's betrothed, who is too innocent and simple to allow her fiance to swindle his Uncle.
Great characters, descriptions, and plotting.

Reviewed on 2015.04.15
by Lisa Carr

The Mystery of the Green Ray

by William le Queux

Sometimes it can strike you that the main characters are too good-hearted,
with exaggeration even, but when you think that the book was written while
the Great War was beginning to show its horrors, you'll see such
exaltation as justified and sincere.
Finally their goodness operates in you something like a therapeutic effect.
The intrigue is slow to start and isn't too impressive but it is very well conducted, with a good ability to create great moments of suspense.
A highly enjoyable read.

Reviewed on 2015.04.13
by Lena

Agatha Webb

by Anna Katharine Green

Excellent! This is the best Anna Katharine Green novel I've read. In retrospect, I can find some nits to pick, but while reading it, I found it so exciting that I stayed up all night to finish it first.

A saintly woman is found stabbed, with her husband, a dementia victim, found asleep with blood on his sleeve; her housekeeper is dead, too. The reprobate son of the town's first citizen acts suspicious; his girlfriend is blackmailing him. Witnesses saw a strange, bearded old man.

There's lots going on, and the solution is quite unexpected. (Unlikely, too, and a bit of a let down but the rest is so absorbing that it doesn't matter in the least.)

Reviewed on 2015.04.13
by Leah A. Zeldes

Anthony Trent, Master Criminal

by Wyndham Martyn

An episodic novel describing the capers of a newsman turned crime writer turned gentleman thief. While his exploits are sometimes ingenious, on the whole, they're not very interesting.

Reviewed on 2015.04.13
by Leah A. Zeldes

The Angels of Mons

by Arthur Machen

The Bowmen is a strange story of a British infantry outfit in WWI, defending its trenches against a German assault outnumbering them ten-to-one. The British are fans of legendary heroes (Arthur, St. George) appearing in moments of trouble. It's all men doing man stuff, with a plug for vegetarianism.

Reviewed on 2015.04.13
by Lisa Carr

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