Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Madame Tussaud Michelle Moran

Rating: 2 Stars ★★☆☆☆

When she walks through the door of my exhibition, everything disappears: the sound of the rain against the windows, the wax models, the customers, even the children.

Plot

Paris, 1788.

Marie is a young woman in love with her oldest friend and neighbour, Henri. But she is also a determined businesswoman, eager to see her family’s waxwork museum keep them safe and solvent. Her gift for modelling faces in wax brings her to Versailles, where she must teach the king’s sister her skill. But the coming revolution will place Marie, her family and all of Paris in grave danger. As the monarchy is overthrown and the guillotine becomes a fixture in French life, Marie is expected to show her patriotism by making death masks from the severed heads of every key figure killed as the Reign of Terror begins and France enters its darkest time. How will Marie survive the Revolution? Who will survive it with her? And just how will this girl come to be known as the woman behind one of the most famous museums in the world?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

Dead Spots Olson

Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

Jared loved trees.

Plot

Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused—vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can’t get out so much as a “hocus pocus.” This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles’s three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark.

But one night Scarlett’s late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD’s Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he’ll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn’t sit well with Dash, the city’s chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it’ll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.

Continue reading

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid

Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

The face of justice we know today has not always been judicious.

About

The dead talk—to the right listener. They can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. Forensics draws on interviews with some of these top-level professionals, ground-breaking research, and McDermid’s own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists.

Along the way, McDermid discovers how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine one’s time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. It’s a journey that will take McDermid to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with both extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.

Continue reading

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

Crocodile on the Sand Amelia Peabody

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

When I first set eyes on Evelyn Barton-Forbes she was walking the streets of Rome – (I am informed, by the self-appointed Critic who reads over my shoulder as I write, that I have already committed an error.

Plot

At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn’t need a woman’s help – or so he thinks.

Continue reading

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

The Man in the High Castle Philipp K Dick

Rating: 2 Stars ★★☆☆☆

It can’t be, he thought.

Plot

It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war, and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.

Continue reading

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Austenland Shannon Hale

Rating: 2 Stars ★★☆☆☆

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her.

Plot

Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man-perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of “Pride and Predjudice.” When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

Continue reading

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

The Lost City of the Monkey God Douglas PrestonRating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

Deep in Honduras, in a region called La Mosquitia, lie some of the last unexplored places on earth.

About

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumours have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden deep in the Honduran interior. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and warn the legendary city is cursed: to enter it is a death sentence. They call it the Lost City of the Monkey God.

Bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a single-engine plane carrying a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but a lost civilization.

To confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, plagues of insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. They emerged from the jungle with proof of the legend… and the curse.

Continue reading