Zoli by Collum McCann

Colum McGann's novel Zoli delves into the little known world of eastern European Roma, who for centuries were known as Gypsies. Although set mainly in Slovakia, it is loosely based on the life of Polish Roma poet Papusza.  Disaffected Irishman Stephen Swann arrives in Slovakia in the early postwar years, attracted by the revolutionary allure of the... Continue Reading →

Treachery by S.J. Parris

In the fourth installment of the Giordano Bruno series, Treachery, Sir Francis Drake is still basking in the glory of being the first person to circumnavigate the globe. It is August 1585 and he is preparing for another sea voyage, which this time will take him to the New World via the coast of Spain,... Continue Reading →

A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers

I've been on a dual-timeline narrative bender lately (see my review of The Lake House), so I picked up a copy of A Witch in Time at Barnes&Noble on a weekend trip just before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The protagonist is Helen Lambert, a high-powered DC publisher, who is reeling from a recent divorce and... Continue Reading →

Silence in the Woods by J.P. Choquette

As a new Vermonter, I'm fascinated by local folktales. None are more popular here than those telling of the possible existence of Bigfoot, a hairy, ape-like creature that is said to dwell in the wilderness. J.P. Choquette's Silence In the Woods is the first in the Monsters in the Green Mountains series that centers around... Continue Reading →

The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo

The Borgia dynasty of Renaissance Rome continues to fascinate 500 years later. Much has been written about them - fiction and non-fiction alike - but The Borgia Confessions offers a rare perspective - that of a servant to the famous papal family. Maddalena Moretti is a young widow from the rural Romagna region who arrives in Rome in... Continue Reading →

Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison

An absorbing and fast-paced western, Whiskey When We're Dry begins in the spring 1885 when seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney leaves her homestead and sets out across the mountains in search of her outlaw brother Noah. Alone after her father's death, Jessilyn decides that the only way to keep starvation and rapacious neighbors at bay is to... Continue Reading →

The Witch’s Trinity by Erika Mailman

The Witch's Trinity spent a good couple of years on my TBR list, and I am so glad I finally got to it. Transporting the reader into late medieval Germany, it tackles the fascinating and terrifying topic of witch trials and the social, economic and religious structures that made them possible. During the winter of... Continue Reading →

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