Received for Review
Bristol House by Beverly Swerling
In 1535, Tudor London is a very different city, one in which monks are being executed by Henry VIII and Jews are banished. In this treacherous environment of religious persecution, Dom Justin, a Carthusian monk, and a goldsmith known as the Jew of Holborn must navigate a shadowy world of intrigue involving Thomas Cromwell, Jewish treasure, and sexual secrets. Their struggles shed light on the mysteries Annie and Geoff aim to puzzle out—at their own peril.
This riveting dual-period narrative seamlessly blends a haunting supernatural thriller with vivid historical fiction. Beverly Swerling, widely acclaimed for her City of Dreams series, delivers a bewitching and epic story of a historian and a monk, half a millennium apart, whose destinies are on a collision course.
The India Fan by Victoria Holt
Blackmail. Arson. Murder. Obsession.
Beautiful as its peacock feathers may be, the priceless fan hidden deep within the Framling mansion has a legacy of death and destruction. And Drusilla Delany has no idea she's been marked by its curse...
But the fan's dark past might prove less of a danger than Fabian Framling himself. Dark, brooding, and dominating, will he be the one to save her from the fan's cruel fate...or cause her demise?
Seduction by M.J. Rose
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.
Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt
At the insistence of his family, the handsome and charismatic Vicente enters the Dominican Order and is soon thrust into the scheming political hierarchy that rules Spain.
As confessor to the king’s sister, the Infanta Doña María, and assistant to Philip’s chief minister, Olivares, Vicente ascends through the ranks and before long finds himself poised to attain not only the ambitious dreams of the Rocamora family but also—if named Spain’s Inquisitor General—to bring about an end to the atrocities committed in the name of the blood purity laws.
First, the resourceful young man must survive assassination attempts from a growing list of ruthless foes in both Church and court, solve a centuries-old riddle to quell rumors of his own impurity of blood, and above all, suppress his love for the seemingly unattainable Doña María.
Treading Water by Anne DeGrace
In the novel TREADING WATER, the voices of the residents of Bear Creek surface. Gus Sanders, a young trapper, arrives to seek his fortune on 1904 but loses his heart, and then his life; Jake Schroeder must choose between his desire to join up and his Mennonite pacifist roots; Isobel Grey, suffragette, leaves the movement in Winnipeg and brings her politics with her; Dutch war bride Aliesje Milner, six months pregnant, waits at the train station for a husband whose face she can no longer remember; and young Paul Doyle’s summer job demolishing houses to make way for the new hydroelectric dam teaches him more than he bargained for. The indomitable personality of Ursula Hartmann, first child born in Bear Creek and among the last to leave, threads through the novel as they trace a community from its innocent beginnings until the day the waters rise.
Among Others by Jo Walton
Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.
Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…
That's it for me. What did you get in your mailbox this week?