Friday, January 20, 2012

Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red (Jacqueline T. Lynch)

Overall: 3.3
  • Plot: 3.5/5
  • Originality: 4/5
  • Language: 3/5
  • Believability: 3.2/5
Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red by Jacqueline T. Lynch

A “cozy” post-World War II mystery about a museum heist, a missing child, a murder, and the partnership of a recent ex-con and an even more recent widow.

In Hartford, Connecticut, 1949, Juliet Van Allen, a museum administrator, returns home from work early to find her artist husband having an affair with another woman. Juliet slips unseen back to her office, where she meets an intruder. Elmer Vartanian, recently released from prison for a museum robbery, is coerced into helping scout the museum for a heist by a gang that has kidnapped his daughter. Since Juliet left her apartment, her husband has been murdered. She is the prime suspect, and Elmer is her only alibi.

Juliet, the rebellious only daughter of a wealthy financier, and Elmer, a lower-class ex-convict who has educated himself in prison, learn to rely on each other. Juliet is Elmer’s guide to a post-world that has changed so much since he entered prison. He feels guilty for having missed his daughter’s childhood, for being safe when friends were killed in World War II, and is bewildered over atomic energy, Modern Art, ballpoint pens, and frozen orange juice concentrate.

Juliet is not sure she believes Elmer’s story. Elmer is not sure she didn’t kill her husband. They are compelled to work together, dogged by the scandal-monger newsman, the shrewd police detective, and scrutinized by the even more judgmental eye of Hartford’s elite in world where Modern Art meets old-fashioned murder.
Genre: General Fiction
Purchase Links:
Kindle US | UK
Other Links:
author website

All Juliet van Allen, aka Mrs. McLeod, wanted to do was go home early to make love with her husband. Instead, she wound up with a dead, adulterous spouse, an ex convict as her new chauffeur, strange men climbing through her ventilation system, and a detective convinced that she's a murderess. To top it off, most of the happenings are printed in the paper each day, courtesy of an ethically-unbound reporter. Simmer, stir, and let the plot thicken.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Rubies of the Viper (Martha Marks)

Overall: 2.4
  • Plot: 2/5
  • Originality: 2.5/5
  • Language: 3.2/5
  • Believability: 2/5
Rubies of the Viper by Martha Marks

When her brother is murdered in first-century Rome, Theodosia Varro inherits the family estate, going from poverty and isolation to great wealth and a prestigious position in society. Unfortunately, she lives in a time and a place that deny women of her class the very things she most desires: personal freedom and self-determination. Only by identifying her brother's killer can she feel safe, yet her efforts take her in quite the opposite direction. After her own actions and the scheming of others lead to catastrophe, Theodosia struggles to survive and recover what matters most in her life.
Genre: Historical Fiction,
Women's Fiction
Purchase Links:
Kindle US | UK
Paperback US
Other Links:
author website

In a Rome shortly set to fall under the infamous Nero's rule, Theodosia Varro has come into an fortuitous inheritance. All is not as it seems, however, as her good luck came at the cost of her half-brother's murder. Caught up in social intrigue and the struggles of a wealthy woman without any real male support, she soon learns the true value of life and freedom.


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