I saw this book at the library and decided to give it a try. I'm very glad that I did! It's a fascinating, mostly historically correct, tale of a murder that occurred just after the great London fire of 1666, they year that many resident's considered the year of the devil. This devastating fire occurred on the heels of the great plague.
A corpse is discovered in a barrel outside of a burned tavern. The tale follows the investigation of the murder by one Emma Campion; maidservant, love to the master's son, printer's apprentice and bookseller as she works with constable Duncan.
Ms. Calkins spins a solid plot with deftly managed twists and turns. I discounted one star for some of what I consider a bit stilted dialogue.Ms. Calkins states in the afterward that she 'modernized' old English. That was a good decision but I felt that some of the dialogue felt strained. That being said I found this to be a very enjoyable read, and I will now be looking forward to reading her fist book and waiting for the third!
ps: I thoroughly enjoyed the afterward to this book which should not be missed. It defines what parts of this novel are straight from the history books and what parts of the history have been fictionally 'massaged' to make the story flow.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
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Oh my! It's been way too long since I have posted ! Sincere apologies. Life just took me away, and the days pass so quickly. I have been reading a lot though and some more reviews t do soon. On to the review of this most excellent read....
I had a hunch that I would like this book when I received it, but one never knows does one! Emma Campion is a pen name for Candace Robb who has a host of earlier historical novels to her credit. As Emma Campion she also penned the excellent, to my mind, noteworthy, novel "The King's Mistress" which is a novel based on the story of Alice Perrers, mistress to King Edward III.
This is the story of Joan of Kent who was the niece of King Edward III. Joan, who was considered quite a beauty in the middle ages, fell in love for all the right reasons with Sir Thomas Holland. He was, unfortunately, much older than she , and he was also below her in rank. This match was challenged and she was forced into a second, loveless marriage to another nobleman who was chosen by the men in her life who used her as a political tool. Her second husband and her cousin, The Black Prince, all refused to allow her to return to Sir Thomas, who was, in reality, her legal husband.
This book covers the prolonged, political battle that is waged in order to support her claim that her marriage to Sir Thomas should be legally upheld. The struggles that Joan and Sir Thomas had in maintaining their love throughout their struggle is well depicted and the characters in this book are well developed. The dialogue flows smoothly between characters and scenes.The political forces of the time are highlighted and the daily life in medieval times is well presented and is quite historically correct.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and had to read it straight through. I look forward to more books under this pen name, and I can recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction - or fiction in general!
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
I have so many reviews to get done at this point, but this book struck a note with me and so here it is. I used to have acrylic nails but had them removed 25 years ago when I moved to my rural island. Now, at gently riper age, I am more intrigued than ever with nails, nail art and color,color, color on my nails. I am a wee bit obsessed I think, but hey, nails can be nice at any age!
Why a review on a nail book, when I have novels and non-fiction and craft books to review? Well, this book fits better than you may think with my passions. It's HISTORY! The history of nails and manicures. Aside from enjoying my nails I am always curious about my passion - history. This book reinforces that the more we change the more we all remain the same. I love the art and vintage advertisements that wreathe the pages of this lovely, well done book.
First let me say that I am astounded that I have bought a book about nails, much less that, at a ripe older age, my nails are in the best shape that they have ever been, and I have been enjoying nail art, and vibrant nail lacquers tremendously.
This book appeared at the perfect moment for me to want to grab. It is the only nail/manicure book that I have ever bought, and most likely, that I may ever buy, but I love this book! This book is a delight! It combines my enduring love, that of history, with a new love, artful manicures.
The book traces the history of manicures and nail colorants through the ages. It has really only been since the 1920's, 1929 more specifically, that the use of bolder nail shades has been popular. It makes me wonder if I would have been a shy bloom or a bold vixen back then!
This is a richly illustrated book with wonderful images of paintings and advertisements from past decades. It's a beautifully done, well researched and historically accurate book (not that I am an expert on this sort of history mind you). I think that it will hold wide appeal for anyone who loves manicures and nail art of course, but it should also bring a smile to history buffs like me who always want to know how a fad, or style, came to become so popular. I am tickled pink...make that neon pink....with this book!
Well done Ms. Shapiro!