Recent Reviews

Rabbi Saunderson

by Ian Maclaren

What started out seeming like a comedy about a gawky and socially awkward preacher turns into an emotional story of faith.
After being rejected by 23 parishes, a new Presbyterian minister finally finds a home. Respected for his knowledge, young ministers study with him, and call him Rabbi for his teaching. His faith and doubt of his own worth eventually separate him from friendship, and later love.
The Scottish dialect is a bit hard to make out at times, and the theology somewhat murky, but the story is mainly about emotions and conflicts.

Reviewed on 2015.03.25
by Lisa Carr

The Intrusions of Peggy

by Anthony Hope

A nicely written Jane Austin-like comedy of manners that becomes a story of redemption. The appealing Peggy is not the heroine, but the catalyst. The protagonist, Trix Trevella, doesn't seem very likable, from first to last, though, so it's hard to care what happens to her.

Reviewed on 2015.03.24
by Leah A. Zeldes

The Man on the Box

by Harold MacGrath

A romantic comedy set in the late nineteenth century. Excellent plot where the hero, who is an ex soldier, goes incognito as the stable groom for the woman he loves.
I would give five stars except for the writer's point of view.

Reviewed on 2015.03.24
by Larry

The Master Detective

by Percy James Brebner

An irregular book, that to the end changes from just acceptable to good.
The first eight chapters (out of fifteen) narrate very plain, moderately complicated detective cases, none of them original.
The main disappointment are the characters, most of them defined either as ordinary people or gentlemen, they just have names, but no personality.
All is very dry in those chapters, the text is practically a script yet to be made in a narrative.
From the chapter IX on you get good characters, better plots, some curious
observations and the telegraphic style results in convenient concision
securing a fast and enjoyable action.

Reviewed on 2015.03.23
by Lena

Lost Man's Lane

by Anna Katharine Green

Miss Butterworth and Mr. Gryce of "That Affair Next Door" return in the case of the mysterious disappearances of several young men. This one seems somewhat far fetched, and Miss Butterworth less amusing, but it's still a good read.

Reviewed on 2015.03.23
by Leah A. Zeldes

The Automobile Girls at Chicago

by Laura Dent Crane

This 1912 girls' book has the four chums, Barbara, Mollie, Grace and Ruth, visiting Ruth's family's home in Chicago as well as that of their friends the Presbys, who live on a historic estate outside the city, where family legend says a treasure is buried. The girls visit the Chicago Board of Trade with its fabled Pit, and learn that both their hosts are in financial trouble because of failed speculation on the wheat market, which has been driven down by a bearish rival of Ruth's father.

I don't know what young girls of today would make of it, but it's an interesting period piece. Somehow I doubt many contemporary kids' books are covering the futures market. I wonder whether this was influenced by Joseph Leiter's 1890s corner on wheat, which made its way into so much adult fiction of the period.

Reviewed on 2015.03.23
by Leah A. Zeldes

The Holladay Case

by Burton E. Stevenson

The first of the Godfrey and Lester novels. A pretty good mystery, although you'll likely catch on to the solution well before Lester, the rather naive narrator, does. Godfrey, the clever newsman, plays a smaller role here than in subsequent books.

A young woman is accused of the murder of her wealthy father; she refuses to say where she was while it occurred. Later, she acts oddly and disappears. One big flaw is that first refusal to speak the reason for it, when it comes out, seems insufficient, under the circumstances and she's pretty much a cardboard character, just a MacGuffin.

Reviewed on 2015.03.23
by Leah A. Zeldes

Shike

by Robert J. Shea

A good book but not as good as his latter Saracen novels. Tries to catch much of the flavour of Shogun although it is set in 13th century Japan.

The Mongol invasion looms large and its clear from the beginning that that will be the climax. The love story was the poorest aspect but the novel is similar to his later ones in that regard.

The hero is riduculously superhuman in his exploits pushing the novel into the realm of fantasy rather than historical fiction.

The book is very long, over 100 pages but well worth your time.

Reviewed on 2015.03.22
by kveto

Bandit Love

by Juanita Savage

The main hero's actions are repulsive. He does anything to "get" the girl. This novel makes you feel dirty.

Reviewed on 2015.03.22
by kveto

The Egyptian Cat Mystery

by Harold Leland Goodwin

More adventure than science, a kind of mix of the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift.

Reviewed on 2015.03.21
by Leah A. Zeldes

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