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Showing posts by: Ash K. Alexander click to see Ash K. Alexander's profile
Nov 9 2017 3:30pm

Review: City of Lies by Victoria Thompson

City of Lies by Victoria Thompson—author of the beloved Gaslight Mysteriesis the first in an exciting new series featuring Elizabeth Miles, a woman on the run during WWI and the women's suffrage movement.

Victoria Thompson’s first entry into the Counterfeit Lady novels brings us back to WWI and uses the women's suffrage movement as a backdrop for her fiery heroine to get tangled up in. Elizabeth Miles is a liar, a thief, and a grifter—it’s not an honest job, but it’s one she excels at. I’ve always loved a good story about thieves, and Elizabeth is an engaging character. The story opens as she and her brother Jake run a stock-market con on the unpleasant Mr. Thornton. Things are moving along well enough—until Thornton realizes something is amiss.

On a run for her life—her brother assumed dead—Elizabeth finds herself on Pennsylvania Avenue on a very special day. The suffragists are demonstrating, and the police are just looking for an excuse to arrest them. Elizabeth, desperate to escape Thornton, uses that to her advantage.

I admit, as we go along with Elizabeth’s arrest and sentencing, I was excited. I knew the players here. Lucy Burns and Alice Paul have a short presence on the page, but one I’m familiar with. Reading City of Lies, I was reminded of the first time I ever saw Iron Jawed Angels, which was my first look into the true suffering women went through to get the vote. However, being familiar with the time period and events, I anticipated them as they occurred, which did cause some issues with the pacing for me.

[Read Ash K. Alexander's review of City of Lies...]

Sep 1 2017 3:00pm

Review: A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas is the second book in the Victorian-set Lady Sherlock series (available September 5, 2017).

The second book in the Lady Sherlock series, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, had a lot to live up to. A Study in Scarlet Women, the first book in the series, was unflinching in its depiction of the period, morality, and perversion that can lie beneath the most respectable facades—as well as being a delightful and refreshing addition to Holmesian literature. This was the Sherlock I never knew I could have. 

Thank goodness for a blatantly obvious murder.

Conspiracy picks up where Study left off, opening the novel with a wry and immediate sense of what’s to come—though obvious the murder is not, as it turns out. Charlotte Holmes is settling into her role as translator to the fictitious Sherlock and delighting in the fact that she can make money from solving the puzzles and problems that walk through the doors of number 18 Upper Baker Street (and, of course, circumventing social norms by pretending to be a man that doesn’t exist). Her greatest concerns are her sisters, Olivia and Bernadine, still stuck in their parents’ house. Her determination to provide for herself and her sisters sets the stage for every action she takes and decision she makes.

[Read Ash K. Alexander's review of A Conspiracy in Belgravia...]

Aug 8 2017 3:00pm

Review: Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett is the first Detective by Day Mystery

Hollywood Homicide, the first Detective by Day Mystery, tosses you right into Hollywood, a scandalous murder, and one retired actress’s quest for the truth—while she also attempts to keep herself employed and prevent her parent’s from losing their house. 

It’s easy to relate to Dayna Anderson. Opening on one of the world’s worst job interviews, Dayna’s dry, self-deprecating tone draws you right into her story. I immediately wanted to know how she was going to manage and when she was going to get a break. Mystery novels often feature amateur detectives bore from people down on their luck, but Dayna’s tale has an immediate flavor of reality. You can feel her irritation at being boiled down to a catch phrase and a dress size. I immediately empathized with her, in spite of this, needing a payday. 

[Read Ash K. Alexander's review of Hollywood Homicide...]