Sunday Sharing (9)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from The Chocolate
Lady’s Book Review Blog:
Night Witches and Chasing Evil

Book Review of “The Huntress” by Kate Quinn.

huntressBy the beginning of 1950, the efforts to find Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice for their horrendous and unthinkable crimes was already on the wane, except for the biggest of fish. Still, some Nazi hunters couldn’t let go of finding any of these criminals, no matter how small. On this backdrop, Kate Quinn’s newest novel focuses on a British ex-war correspondent Ian and his American ex-soldier friend Tony, who aren’t willing to allow these Nazis to stay hidden and avoid justice, and in particular, die Jägerin – the Huntress – the woman who killed Ian’s brother Sebastian. Into this mix, comes Nina, a former combat pilot for the Soviet Army who, as a witness to Sebastian’s murder, joins forces with Ian and Tony in their quest. Finally, there’s Jordan, the young American woman in Boston who wants to become a photographer, but she knows her widowed father needs her, and is willing to sacrifice her career for him. Jordan also learns to suppress her suspicions about her father’s new wife, Annelise, a woman who left post-war Europe, bringing with her the obviously war-traumatized young girl, Ruth.

On the surface, this plot summary of this novel seems somewhat complicated, but Quinn helps smooth this out by telling the story from three aspects. First there’s Ian and his determination to find his brother’s killer; then there’s Nina’s wartime adventures, which brings her to Sebastian, and; finally, Jordan’s story with her father, his new wife, and Ruth, all mixed with her own ambitions. Surprisingly enough, by artfully splicing together all of these fragments, and through the very distinctive voices she gives each of them, Quinn somehow succeeded in simplifying the overall story line. For me, that was no small feat and I must praise Quinn for this. Mind you, she did much the same with her previous novel “The Alice Network” so that wasn’t much of a surprise.

To begin with, I already knew that character development was one of Quinn’s fortes from her previous novel “The Alice Network,” and she doesn’t disappoint here in the least. My personal favorite (and I’m noticing I’m not alone in this assessment) was Nina. Quinn paints Nina to absolute perfection, even going as far as giving imperfect English when she appears in scenes with the other main characters, but sounding grammatically correct when she’s speaking in Russian while telling her own story. I seriously read the former passages with a Russian accent in my head, it was that convincing! Add to this the fact that I know very little about female Russian combat flyers, and Quinn’s research into this facet of WW2 became something for which I was eager to learn more. This alone might have been enough for me to love Nina, but Quinn made her just feisty enough, just passionate enough, and just troubled enough to make her totally believable, and ultimately the most compelling character of the book. This was enhanced by such a range of experiences and emotional upheavals, that had Quinn decided to just focus solely on Nina, I would have been one very happy camper. One also wonders if the title of this book didn’t just refer to the Nazi they were hunting, but also to Nina.

But Nina wasn’t the only major protagonist here (more the pity); we also had Ian and Jordan. Ian was highly sympathetic, and his motivation for hunting Nazis, and this particular woman, were clear and believable. I also liked Jordan, and how Quinn portrayed her spunk and desire for a real career in photography, which conflicted with her adoration of her father and wanting to care for him, as well as her growing need to care for the troubled Ruth. However, neither of them reached the level of empathy that Quinn achieved with Nina’s character, which made this book a touch lopsided. As for Tony, our extra fourth character, his usefulness becomes apparent through Ian’s and Jordan’s story, making him a minor character. To be honest, I was disappointed that Tony didn’t get a chance to tell us his story himself, and thereby make him into another major protagonist, because Quinn did give him a very rich and fascinating back-story, along with an endearing charm. (By the way, I noticed that Kirkus Reviews is hoping that there will be sequels to the Nazi hunting stories. I wouldn’t mind that myself, but I have a feeling that Tony and Jordan wouldn’t suit such sequels, which would be a shame.)

There were other aspects of this novel that weren’t as successfully written here, mostly regarding the plot and consistencies in how some characters acted. For example, after Jordan reveals her suspicions about Annelise, Jordan seems to too easily accept Annelise’s explanations as fact and reasonable, and almost immediately pushes away her fears. She then embraces this woman a bit too warmly, and too quickly for my taste. It seems to me that their relationship would have always included some of the lingering skepticism on Jordan’s part, as well as a level of persistent resentment from Annelise. You would think that a cold-blooded murder such as die Jägerin wouldn’t be able to keep up the act of being so forgiving and thoughtful for so long without somehow trying to extract a level of revenge. Mind you, that was mostly excusable, if we assume that die Jägerin is not only evil, but also a truly talented actress! That makes sense, since otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to capture the heart of Dan (Jordan’s father) so easily. I also felt that the Huntress at the conclusion of this book were just a bit too pliant for my taste.

As noted above, what mostly makes up for these drawbacks is Quinn’s character development, particularly with Nina, and also with the underused Tony. Add to this some powerfully written and absolutely captivating action scenes – not limited to, but surely highlighted by Nina’s experiences in the Soviet air force – and this novel becomes a true thriller. Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and found it a very powerful and absorbing read, so I will recommend it with a healthy four out of five stars. (By the way, I’m seeing lots of full five stars from other reviewers, so I have a feeling this novel is going to be a real hit!)


William Morrow/Harper Collins released “The Huntress” by Kate Quinn on February 26, 2019. This book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart (Kobo) US eBooks and audiobooks, the website, iTunes (iBook or audiobook), Wordery or The Book Depository (both with free worldwide delivery), new or used from Alibris, used from Better World Books (promoting libraries and world literary) as well as from an IndieBound store near you. I would like to thank the publishers for the ARC of this novel via Edelweiss.

By The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog on March 8, 2019


Book Review: How It Happened by Michael Koryta

How It Happened
Michael Koryta
Little, Brown and Company, May 2018
ISBN: 978-0-316-29393-8

Inspired by an actual event in the author’s hometown, this novel recounts the ups and downs in the life of Rob Barrett, an FBI specialist in interrogations, who is sent to a little town in Maine years after the disappearance of a man and two women.  Barrett finally reaches a witness who confesses to having participated in the murder and disposal of the bodies of a man and a woman in a shallow lake. Unfortunately, when the lake is inspected, the bodies aren’t there.  Barrett insists he believes the confession, but the prevailing view is that it is unreliable because the confessor is a known liar and drug addict. Moreover, absence of the bodies where they’re said to be is further proof.

Barrett is sent to a remote FBI office in the Midwest in disgrace, but the confession still haunts him.  Eventually, he returns to Maine on his own nickel to find the truth, which, of course, is elusive. The story becomes more complex, as he investigates more deeply, and the scope widens.

Michael Koryta has written a gripping tale about a grisly murder and cover-ups and subterfuges to hide a variety of motivations as each layer of the story is unveiled.   It is a novel describing perseverance and investigative skill.  The novel has its origins in a murder investigation which the author covered for his hometown newspaper as a young reporter, and is recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, August 2018.

The Feat of Association

Jeanne Matthews is the author of the Dinah Pelerin international mysteries published by Poisoned Pen Press. Like her amateur sleuth, Jeanne was born with a serious wanderlust. Originally from Georgia, she enjoys traveling the world and learning about other cultures and customs, which she incorporates into her novels. She currently lives in Renton, Washington with her husband who is a law professor. Where the Bones Are Buried, the fifth book in the series, is in bookstores now . You can learn more about Jeanne’s books at

The desire to find the likeness between unlike things is the holy grail of creative writing.  Similes, as such figures of speech are called, help the reader see the thing being described more vividly.  They can add an element of surprise and color, but only if they’re fresh.  Brave as a lion, red like a rose, dry as a bone, crazy like a fox.  Those old clichés did a fair job of likening in their day, but they have long since lost their punch.  A serious writer must be constantly reaching for ever more original and arresting similes. Occasionally, that reach exceeds the reader’s grasp.

The quest for novelty and poetic resonance can lead to the brink of absurdity.  The more contrived the comparison, the less comprehensible the meaning. Recently I read a novel by a major, award-winning mystery author – a writer renowned for literary excellence and psychological insight.  I feel bad about what I’m about to say, but halfway through this Grand Master’s book, it occurred to me that there’s such a thing as too many similes.  By the end, I’d decided that not every “this” is comparable to a “that.”  Here are a few of his more jarring images.

The detective knocks on a stranger’s door.  The moon peered down through flimsy cloud like an acned blonde roused behind her curtains by the noise.  A woman appears.  Her thick black hair was coiled on her head like sleeping dangerous memories.  She asks the detective his name.  The cords in her throat worked like pulleys to produce the syllables.  He tells her who he is and her fingers vibrated like a tuning fork as she unlocked the door. 

I was still pondering the memories asleep in her hair when She clutched her head as if it were an animal that had to be subdued.  Her blue eyes jumped like a gas flame at his face.  Her breasts were thrust out under her shirt, aggressive as nose cones.  The moment stretched like rotten elastic, as if it might still not be too late to put salt on the tail of the ruby-breasted dream.

It was already too late to put salt on the tail of the author’s runaway simile habit and no amount of salt would have helped me make sense of the rotten elastic and the ruby-breasted dream.  But those nose cones caught my attention.  They started me thinking about the many fanciful ways that writers, especially male writers, have described the female breast.  The Bible provides one of the more amazing analogies.  Thy breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. I have tried to picture this.  A roe is a small, reddish-brown deer that has no tail.  It is well adapted to cold climates where lilies surely could not grow.  What sort of a woman was this? The mind boggles.

Similes devised to conjure up a vision of breasts are many and various.  Marie Antoinette had breasts like champagne glasses.  A Tamil queen had breasts like carved caskets ornamented with black diamonds. Contemplation of the bosom has launched a thousand likes – fruit stalks, gazelles, pomegranates, spaniels’ ears, beacons, zeppelins, umlauts, pagodas, clusters of dropping balm, and bronzed mangoes – to mention but a few.  But I digress.

As Forrest Gump’s mother might have said, similitude is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’ll get because the similarity of one thing to another is in the eye of the beholder.  In many cases, the beholder is the author’s main character.  Some of my favorite similes come out of the wiseguy mouth of Phillip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s cynical, hardboiled detective.  Chandler peppered Marlowe’s speech with startling, often humorous juxtapositions.  You can’t get much more visually graphic than “inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake,” or more wince-inducing than “restful as a split lip.”

Chandler’s mean streets are as unlike P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle as bullets and boutonnières.  But Wodehouse also displayed a flair for witty, inventive similes.  “She leapt toward me like Lady Macbeth coming to get first-hand news from the guest-room.”  And this:  “The Duke’s moustache was rising and falling like seaweed on an ebb-tide.”

To paraphrase Robert Frost, an imaginative association of ideas is nothing less than a feat, but the association should be clear, evocative, and sound like the character who makes it. Similes should be used sparingly.  The detective should not wax eloquent about the similarities between the moon and polished ivory while in the midst of a shootout, and when he does opine in the form of a simile, the two things compared should not be so mind-blowing that the reader forgets to read what happens next.

Book Review: Pairing a Deception by Nadine Nettmann

Pairing a Deception
A Sommelier Mystery #3
Nadine Nettmann
Midnight Ink Books, May 2018
ISBN 978-0-7387-5063-7
Trade paperback

The heroine of this story, Katie Stillwell, is on the brink of taking her Advanced Sommelier exam, a difficult test which only a talented few are able to pass. At the same time, she, accompanied by her boyfriend, John Dean, a detective in the Napa Valley, are attending a wine festival where Katie will pour wines for attendees at one of the seminars. Almost immediately things begin to go awry. A young woman causes a scene at the hotel front desk, and then another one involving the major presenter, Master Sommelier Hudson Wiley, who will be one of Katie’s judges when she takes the test.

It isn’t long before the young woman is found murdered outside Hudson’s door, and Katie and her detective friend are on the case. And then, as Katie and John come closer to discovering the murderer, Katie becomes a target.

For the wine aficionado, there is a lot of information packed into this novel. Each chapter begins with a pairing suggestion for wine of specific varietals, and flavor notes are often indicated. For this reader, the information so imparted held the most charm, and hey, I learned how to pronounce sommelier. (sam-all-yay) I have to admit I thought the motivation for the crime a bit weak, and some of the characters hard to care for. Katie and John, however, are well fleshed out and likable, the writing just fine, and the setting interesting. The Santa Barbara wine country sounds like a great area to visit.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, December 2018.
Author of Five Days, Five Dead, Hereafter and Hometown Homicide.

Book Review: Carbon by AJ Eversley


Author: AJ Eversley

Narrators: Chelsea Stephens, Steve Campbell

Length: 8 hours 55 minutes

Series: The Watcher Series, Book 2

Publisher: Author AJ Eversley

Released: Dec. 10, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction; Young Adult


Strangers become allies. Lovers become enemies. And a destiny formed before birth unfolds.

Sawyer spent most of her life hunting the very thing she has now become. No longer the Watcher she once was, Sawyer struggles to make sense of her new identity. Though she now has the powers of a Carbon, she is also tied to the control Coleman has over all of his creations.

Desperate for help and answers, Sawyer travels to the United Isles with Max in search of an ally. Not only must she learn to harness her new abilities, she must find a way to mend a broken heart…if her past doesn’t kill her first.

The epic journey continues, and the war for the human race draws ever closer. Join the resistance in the next chapter of the Watcher Series.



AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in every day conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.



Narrator Bio

Chelsea Stephens has a long time love and appreciation for the performing arts, with experience in on-stage acting, singing and voice over. Her love for reading books and the pursuit of the story led her to narration. She enjoys unfolding characters and bringing listeners into new worlds. Chelsea is an experienced voice actor with a talent for mystery, fantasy and YA novels. She’s a mom to a gaggle of young ones living in the Midwest with her lumbersexual husband.



Narrator Bio

My first priority as a voice-over artist is to convey your thoughts and ideas in an entertaining and insightful manner; not distracting from your message, but enhancing your words. It is my personal goal to help your audience engage with the text in an immersive and memorable way.

As a techie with a passion for performance and a love of the written word, the voice-over industry called to me. I am now fortunate enough to be living my dream of audiobook narration from my home studio, in Calgary, AB, Canada.



In my review of the first book, Watcher, I mentioned that I thought the beginning was a bit slow-going and I also felt that way about this book. I do want to emphasize that the pacing didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story; it just caught my attention.

Much has happened in Sawyer’s world, both her own personal existence and the larger world in which she lives. Coming to terms with her life as one of the Carbons she used to hunt is difficult, to say the least, but she’s also learning—and testing—her new-found abilities as a Carbon. What is really intense is the change in her relationship to those who mean something to her and Kenzie’s painful response to her is certainly understandable. Interestingly, Sawyer has become more appealing, with a softer side, now that she has been torn away from everything she’s always known and that growth in her psyche is what I found to be most compelling about this episode. Now that she has a new raison d’etre, a new target if you will, the action is really picking up and I can’t wait to start the next book.

Narrators Chelsea Stephens and Steve Campbell continue to bring Sawyer and Kenzie, as well as other characters, to life and both have good tonations and pacing. They are a pleasure to listen to, so important in audiobook storytelling, and they are a large part of why I want to continue with the trilogy.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 6, 2019.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by AJ Eversley. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.



Giveaway: 3-month Audible Membership

Watcher Series Giveaway: 3-month Audible Membership


Mar. 5th:

Lilly’s Book World

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Mar. 6th:

Buried Under Books

Mar. 7th:

T’s Stuff

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Mar. 8th:

Turning Another Page

Mar. 9th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Mar. 10th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Mar. 11th:



Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, while her short stories appear regularly in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She takes a turn in the multi-author sweet cozy mystery series Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library with Ink or Swim. With a day job as an environmental regulatory technician, Catherine’s stories often have environmental or factory-based themes. Others reflect her love of the Colorado mountains. The two worlds collide in Survive Or Die, when a manufacturing company holds a team building exercise in the wilderness. You can learn more about Catherine’s fiction at

“Where do you get your ideas” is a question novelists sometimes dread. The answer can be so complicated, the author hesitates to answer. Although the process from idea to finished book is difficult to explain, I can tell you exactly how Survive Or Die was born.

Three story ideas – a team building exercise gone awry, a survivalist training camp, and a cannibal museum – slowly twined together.

Years ago, the executives in a company where I was employed went on a team building exercise. Word raced around the factory that the execs had been inspired by the Billy Crystal movie “City Slickers”, and planned a cattle drive at a luxury dude ranch.

At the time, I was a low-level employee, trapped in a job a trained monkey could perform. Of course, the monkey would have misbehaved out of sheer boredom, resulting in termination of employment. Thank goodness, or I might have faced stiff competition in my career. I seethed with jealousy at the thought of high paid executives having fun on a dude ranch.

Until I remembered the movie. Things did not go well. The germ of a story idea was born, as I imagined soft Carpet Walkers, as we blue collar workers referred to them, roughing it in the Colorado mountains. The executive who got drunk at a company holiday party and fell off his chair might especially be prone to an unfortunate accident on the trail.

They all survived intact, but I could not let go of the idea. I let it simmer for a while.

Next, I became obsessed with survivalist television programs. From Dual Survival, to Man, Woman, Wild, and Dude You’re Screwed, I loved them all. The pinnacle was Man Vs. Wild, hosted by Bear Grylls.

These programs were not without controversy. Occasionally, a host was accused of beefing up his credentials with false claims about military service, or worse, of receiving assistance when he was supposed to have been alone.

The final key to Survive Or Die happened when my husband and I toured a museum in Lake City, Colorado. One display featured artifacts from the infamous self-admitted cannibal, Alferd Packer. We were nearly ejected from the building by a docent who did not appreciate our cannibal jokes. I’ll admit, they were in poor taste. However, her reaction seemed out of proportion.

The three ideas collided. A dysfunctional company holds a team building exercise at the former set for a discredited survivalist reality television show. Survive Or Die has been called The Office meets Bear Grylls. Where does Alferd Packer enter the story? Well, he doesn’t. Not specifically. But can you imagine the awkward situation if someone discovered you were related to a cannibal?

If you’ve ever worked in the dog-eat-dog corporate world, you will enjoy reading my humorous tale about employees who look forward to playing survival games, only to end up fighting for their lives.


An Excerpt from Survive Or Die

Aubrey shot a withering look Grant’s way that was completely wasted. He was too busy closing the door on a gray Camry someone had carelessly left open. That was Grant, Pinon Pine troop leader. Always helping people in need. People other than his wife.

“Grant didn’t explain to me we’d be camping.”

“I know,” Madison said. “He made me keep it a secret. How romantic is that? I hope we can be on the same team.”

“Team?” Aubrey asked.

“Yes. We’ll be competing to win treasure chest keys, just like on the old show.”

Sotheara Sok stepped into their circle before Aubrey could explode. The short Cambodian woman was almost unrecognizable without her powersuit and heels. She clutched the straps of a pink backpack that draped over her shoulders. Dressed in summer clothes, her bare feet dusty, Sotheara didn’t look much older than Aubrey’s teenage daughter.

“Hi, everyone. Which way is camp?”

“I’d guess that way.” Madison pointed.

Aubrey turned to see Frank Hardy march under the Survive or Die banner. Grant ran to him and pumped his hand like he was attempting to draw water from a well.

“Glad you finally made it.” Frank could have modeled for an outfitter’s catalog with his close-cropped salt and pepper hair, tanned and craggy face, and woodsy camouflage vest covered with bulging pockets. “Any other stragglers?” He scanned the parking lot. “We’re ready to start.”

“Start what?” Grant asked.

“Strategizing. Ted jumped the gun on us. He’s already formed a team of all the runners in the company.”

“Hang on a second.” Grant loped back to Aubrey. “How about it, honey?” He kept his voice low. “Are we leaving?”

Madison clutched Aubrey’s arm. “You’ve got to stay,” she whispered. “I need an ally. These people will eat me alive.”

“They’re never bringing Survive or Die back to television,” Sotheara said. “This is our only chance to play.”

So it wasn’t the comfy marriage retreat Aubrey had hoped for. Still, a week away from the kids had been a bear to arrange. Surely they could hit the romantic reset button on their fragile marriage as easily at a rugged camp as at their honeymoon B&B.

And then there was Madison, over a decade younger than Aubrey. She couldn’t imagine how the computer geek city-girl had been convinced to go camping, but Madison was right. She needed an ally.

Aubrey sighed with more drama than necessary, letting her shoulders slump. “Okay. I’ll stay. But if it’s as terrible as I think—”

They didn’t wait for her to finish. Frank grimaced as they unloaded luggage.

“I hope you packed the right gear. This isn’t a leisurely weekend at the country club.”

“Had I known,” Aubrey said, “I would have packed differently.” Speaking just loud enough for Grant to hear, she added, “I would have left the silk lingerie at home.”

“Time’s wasting.” Frank studied his elaborate wristwatch, no doubt waterproof, shock proof, and bear proof. “We’re on a schedule here.”

“Hold on.” Grant dropped a suitcase in the dirt. “There’s something on Mr. Bender’s windshield.” He stretched to snatch a scrap of paper from under the Humvee’s windshield wiper.

“What is it?” Frank asked.

“A flier.” Grant studied the paper. “This entire week is Going Batty Days in Lodgepole.”

“How fitting,” Aubrey muttered.

“It’s a fundraiser for bat habitats,” he continued. “Sounds fun.”

Sotheara clapped her hands together. “Bats!” A delighted smile lit up her face.

“Ew.” Madison grimaced as she scanned the afternoon sky, clutching the goofy orange sunbonnet tight over her curly brown hair.

“There’s no flier on my truck,” Frank said. “Edna and I arrived before Bender.”

“There’s something on the back,” Madison said.

Grant flipped the paper over. His green eyes opened wide. Aubrey looked over his arm at the hand-written note.

“Somebody’s not happy.” He handed the note to Frank.

“Bender,” Frank read aloud, “you think you’re gonna Survive, but you’re gonna Die. Die. Die.”

Birdsong and the sigh of the breeze through the pines punctuated the silence as the group huddled around Frank, staring at the scribbled threat. Frank handed it back to Grant.

“Let the games begin,” he muttered.

Madison smiled. “I knew this was going to be fun.”


Survive or Die
Catherine Dilts
Encircle Publications, LLC, February 28, 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1948338332
Trade Paperback

You think you’re gonna Survive, but you’re gonna Die. Die. Die.

The owner of a dysfunctional company arranges a mandatory team-building exercise at the Survive or Die survivalist camp, once the setting for a defunct reality TV show. When he receives a death threat, what surprises employees is not that someone wants their lecherous, hard-drinking boss dead. The surprise is that he’s not the first casualty.

The unexpected demise of a coworker’s husband barely causes a ripple. The annoying photographer’s death is attributed to natural causes. The excitement comes when the boss announces the winner of the week-long game will receive a raise, and the loser will be fired. Most employees dig in with grim determination. A few have other agendas.

Timid junior accountant and dedicated eco-warrior Sotheara Sok searches for evidence that toxic waste is being dumped illegally on the ranch. Aubrey Sommers plans to rekindle romance with her husband, despite her resentment at being stuck in the shabby camp. Factory laborer Jeremiah Jones stalks his coworkers in search of a woman with wide child-bearing hips to share his mountain man dream.

Their plans become derailed when unlikely accidents plague the camp. Tours of Going Batty Days and the Cannibal of Carver Pass Museum in nearby Lodgepole provide pieces to a disturbing puzzle. The three join forces with an old lady version of Chuck Norris, and a city-girl computer geek, as the week deteriorates from mock survival games to a fight for survival in the Colorado wilderness.

Sunday Sharing (8)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from Becky’s Books:
The Devil’s Half Mile ~ by Paddy Hirsch


The Devil’s Half Mile ~ by Paddy Hirsch

Posted on

This is what real historical fiction looks like. It takes place in Manhattan circa 1799, only a few years after the Panic of 1792. There are banking scandals, serious race issues, labor troubles, and plenty of crime and corruption going on.

Justice Flanagan arrives back in the US from a stay in England where he was educated as an attorney. He wants to investigate the very suspicious hanging death of his father which occurred just before he left the US.

The Devil’s Half Mile
by Paddy Hirsch
2018/ 292 pages
Read by Euan Morton – 11h 22m
Rating: A- / historical crime

Justy, as our protagonist is called, gets involved with a variety of people, mostly corrupt, but who can tell, a few of them are pretty obviously above board. One is a very appealing young woman he knew before he left.  Another is a Norwegian sailor he met in passage.

Justy arrives at an interesting time – there are many new immigrants especially from Ireland, there are newly freed slaves, there are shysters and con-men and very few laws The language Hirsch uses is strewn with the slang of the times, but there is a glossary at the back for help in navigating

The book is nicely written and so wonderfully well researched that Wall Street and the environment of the era come alive.

By Becky’s Books on March 2, 2019