Category: Lady Detective Fiction

Book Review | “A Grave Matter” (#LadyDarby, No.3) by Anna Lee Huber

Posted Friday, 8 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: My local library has always been quite keenly astute on forthcoming releases by authors whose books wink at me from the card catalogue, whenever I am seeking a new read within a genre I happen to have a penchant attachment. Cosy mysteries have always been knitted into my heart, and although I honestly cannot remember exactly if the library purchased the Lady Darby book series off a request of mine OR if they were requested by another patron, all I can simply say is that I felt immeasurably blessed that the first two novels of the Lady Darby mysteries were at my library! I did make enquiries on behalf of this series to be continued to be added to the library as forthcoming titles release henceforth forward!

As this series is a part of a personal quest to read Serial Fiction Library Finds, I was not compensated for this review nor was I obliged to share my thoughts on behalf of this novel or the Lady Darby Mysteries.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On how we left Lady Darby & Mr Gage in Mortal Arts:

I believe, dear hearts, you’ve caught enough of a glimpse between my tweets in regards to this series, and my reviews as they are releasing throughout the week I’m spending inside #LadyDarby’s world – to recognise the series lit a flame of joy for me to devour! It is directly related to Lady Darby & Mr Gage, as I had such a lot of pleasure of declaring within the folds of this tweet! Such a beautiful journey where hearts are starting to heal, reconciliation of the past is unfolding and you have this incredibly layered romance being delivered to you in-between the investigative bits that truly flex the integrity of the series!

I daresay I was smiling the entire time Mr Gage re-entered Lady Darby’s life at Dalmay House! He draws out such a fiery reaction inside her heart – she quite nearly doesn’t know how to handle the emotions that he stirs within her, but at the same time, she’s so fiercely independent due to the circumstances she’s been subjected too, it’s almost as if she’s nearly unwilling to relent that a person can fall for someone they were never opting to meet. Her heart closed to love after her husband’s death and for good reason, yet that doesn’t mean that time wouldn’t find a way to heal her heart in such a way as to surprise her reasoning mind against the logic of such a discovery! He continues to challenge her whilst he vexes her conscience; she is never quite sure how she feels about him except to say, she doesn’t want to become ensnared by his gallantry. I think the greater truth is that she’s trying to resolve how and why she let her heart become smitten when she was truly considering walking into the life of an old maid. She has this will about her that she doesn’t deserve happiness and yet, at the same time, demands to find a way to breathe out a better life than the one where she’s hiding behind family. To say she’s conflicted is to put it mildly!

-quoted from my review of Mortal Arts

I am over the moon in wicked joy in watching these two sort out their relationship & start to realise that neither of them can live without the other close at hand! They truly took each other unawares & were trying to sort out how someone understood them to such a level of depth!

Further proof that at any particular time, this series is a Cosy Historical Mystery; a Gothic Romantic Suspense tale & a beautifully evolving Historical Romance that truly is a joy to read!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “A Grave Matter” (#LadyDarby, No.3) by Anna Lee HuberA Grave Matter
Subtitle: A Lady Darby Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven. Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her. But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.

While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case. But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.

When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first-some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest...before another victim winds up six feet under.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425253694

Also by this author: The Anatomist's Wife, Mortal Arts, A Study in Death, As Death Draws Near Book Blast (Series Notes), This Side of Murder

Series: Lady Darby Mysteries


Also in this series: The Anatomist's Wife, Mortal Arts, A Study in Death


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Berkley Prime Crime

on 1st July, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 421

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
The Lady Darby Mysteries:

The Anatomist’s Wife | No.1 | (see Review)

Mortal Arts | No.2 | (see Review)

A Grave Matter | No.3 | Synopsis

A Study in Death | No.4 | Synopsis

A Pressing Engagement | No.4.5 (e-novella) | Synopsis

As Death Draws Near | No.5 | Synopsis | Happy #PubDay 5th of July, 2016

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

About Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the Award-Winning and National Bestselling Author of the Lady Darby Mystery Series. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. From a young age, her imagination was boundless. She spent her summers with her brothers and sister playing Star Wars, wearing snow boots and her mother's old nightgowns while swinging plastic bats as light-sabers, and The A-Team hanging off the riding lawn mower (what else were they supposed to use for the van?). In the fourth grade, she penned her first story, and she’s been writing ever since.

Anna attended college in Music City USA-Nashville, Tennessee, where she met her husband while acting in a school production of Our Town. They married just before she graduated summa cum laude from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. She now pens the award-winning Lady Darby historical mystery series for Berkley Publishing. Her debut novel, The Anatomist’s Wife, has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including a Daphne du Maurier Award and two 2013 RITA® Awards.

Anna is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in Indiana with her family, and when not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Serial Fiction Library Finds (Personal)
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Posted Friday, 8 July, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Lady Detective Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Psychological Suspense, Scotland, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Victorian era

Book Review | “Mortal Arts” (#LadyDarby, No.2) by Anna Lee Huber

Posted Wednesday, 6 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: My local library has always been quite keenly astute on forthcoming releases by authors whose books wink at me from the card catalogue, whenever I am seeking a new read within a genre I happen to have a penchant attachment. Cosy mysteries have always been knitted into my heart, and although I honestly cannot remember exactly if the library purchased the Lady Darby book series off a request of mine OR if they were requested by another patron, all I can simply say is that I felt immeasurably blessed that the first two novels of the Lady Darby mysteries were at my library! I did make enquiries on behalf of this series to be continued to be added to the library as forthcoming titles release henceforth forward!

As this series is a part of a personal quest to read Serial Fiction Library Finds, I was not compensated for this review nor was I obliged to share my thoughts on behalf of this novel or the Lady Darby Mysteries.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On how we left Lady Darby in The Anatomist’s Wife:

Aside from being betwixt and between knowing if her instincts were fuelling her mind into the right direction to explore in regards of which suspect was truly the one who could have acted with such a sinisterly blackened heart – it was the truth she uncovered about his mental state & the lengths in which he would resort to elicit a future that no longer mattered if lives were the cost. Lady Darby had trouble finding a way to reconcile what she learnt but it’s how she survived the ordeal outright that left me hanging onto my seat until the very last page was turnt!

Huber writes us such an intensively compelling story, it’s hard to forsake stepping outside the series even for rudimentary necessities like sleep or a nosh to fill an appetite! How I lasted as long as I did from a respite of entrance is unknown! The ending was so dearly emotional – not only at the fervently dire pitch to live past the madman’s last efforts to cover his tracks, but because of the realisations both Lady Darby & Mr Gage come to understand about themselves. At the heart of this series is a very humanistic threading of a heart-pulse for the living; wherein we see how hard-won living a life of your own making can become when scrutiny overrides your freedoms.

You can only smirk when you first realise Lady Darby’s error in regards to Mr Gage’s proclivities! This is where I felt there was a marked change in her attitude towards him as well as a levelling of their angst for each other. It took them each a long time to sort each other out, as each of them was highly guarded for different reasons. Being able to have a ‘fly on the wall’ presence as they talk out their differences whilst owning to their own pride is part of the joy in reading the story; whilst giving you a clue about how the series might shift forward in successive installments. Lady Darby shines when she has a bit of challenge next to her in regards to a potential partner who is both her equal and is a bit in awe of her level of intelligence outside his own interests. They exchange the roles often between who is the teacher and who is the student, depending on the situation at hand.

-quoted from my review of The Anatomist’s Wife

I daresay, I was full of wicked anticipation of what would come next within the chapters of #MortalArts! Especially as I dearly wanted to read more exchanges between Lady Darby & Mr Gage!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

As I was settling into collecting my thoughts as read this next installment of the series, I had a bit of a go selecting which tweets to respond to threading on the #LadyDarby tag – whereupon, I learnt a joyous spoiler via this tweet! The rest of which I have added to the bottom of this review, as a further record of how happy I am to find readers of the series & the joy I am having tweeting about it as well! The spoiler did not affect me – if anything, it confirmed what I sneakily forethought to occur after having concluded The Anatomist’s Wife as truly was it not writ as a meant in the stars conclusion!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “Mortal Arts” (#LadyDarby, No.2) by Anna Lee HuberMortal Arts
Subtitle: A Lady Darby Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

Scotland, 1830. Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue-in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes. After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care. But the city is full of many things Kiera isn't quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator-and romantic entanglement-Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.

Kiera's old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother-and Kiera's childhood art tutor-William, has thrown everything into chaos. For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father. Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor's plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing. Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend-and save the marriage of another...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425253786

Also by this author: The Anatomist's Wife, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death, As Death Draws Near Book Blast (Series Notes), This Side of Murder

Series: Lady Darby Mysteries


Also in this series: The Anatomist's Wife, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Berkley Prime Crime

on 3rd September, 2013

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 374

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
The Lady Darby Mysteries:

The Anatomist’s Wife | No.1 | (see Review)

Mortal Arts | No.2

A Grave Matter | No.3 | Synopsis

A Study in Death | No.4 | Synopsis

A Pressing Engagement | No.4.5 (e-novella) | Synopsis

As Death Draws Near | No.5 | Synopsis | Happy #PubDay 5th of July, 2016

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

About Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the Award-Winning and National Bestselling Author of the Lady Darby Mystery Series. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. From a young age, her imagination was boundless. She spent her summers with her brothers and sister playing Star Wars, wearing snow boots and her mother's old nightgowns while swinging plastic bats as light-sabers, and The A-Team hanging off the riding lawn mower (what else were they supposed to use for the van?). In the fourth grade, she penned her first story, and she’s been writing ever since.

Anna attended college in Music City USA-Nashville, Tennessee, where she met her husband while acting in a school production of Our Town. They married just before she graduated summa cum laude from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. She now pens the award-winning Lady Darby historical mystery series for Berkley Publishing. Her debut novel, The Anatomist’s Wife, has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including a Daphne du Maurier Award and two 2013 RITA® Awards.

Anna is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in Indiana with her family, and when not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Serial Fiction Library Finds (Personal)
Divider

Posted Wednesday, 6 July, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Lady Detective Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychiatric Facilities, Psychological Suspense, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Scotland, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Victorian era, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery

Book Review | “The Anatomist’s Wife” (#LadyDarby, No.1) by Anna Lee Huber

Posted Monday, 4 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: My local library has always been quite keenly astute on forthcoming releases by authors whose books wink at me from the card catalogue, whenever I am seeking a new read within a genre I happen to have a penchant attachment. Cosy mysteries have always been knitted into my heart, and although I honestly cannot remember exactly if the library purchased the Lady Darby book series off a request of mine OR if they were requested by another patron, all I can simply say is that I felt immeasurably blessed that the first two novels of the Lady Darby mysteries were at my library! I did make enquiries on behalf of this series to be continued to be added to the library as forthcoming titles release henceforth forward!

As this series is a part of a personal quest to read Serial Fiction Library Finds, I was not compensated for this review nor was I obliged to share my thoughts on behalf of this novel or the Lady Darby Mysteries.

On Cosy Historical Mysteries:

My blog has afforded me the wicked sweet pleasure of being enlightened and entranced by a new branch of literature my heart draws a breath of joy out of discovering: Cosy Historical Mysteries! I was always attracted to Cosy Mysteries, since I was quite young, as I grew up on Agatha Christie (as aforementioned on my review of The Monogram Murders), whose charm and grace in the telling of a story captured me for a lifetime. I readily read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys quite equally and wished I had found another sleuth who could have created a special niche of reading joy.

Cosies for me, have always been where my heart and mind are in sync to find solace in the pursuit of a mystery. There are times I attempt to read a bit of hard-boiled entrants to the Crime Fiction family, only to do an about-face and retreat back to the warmth and comfort of a Cosy.

Where I yield on this one note, is where my televised serials have led me to travel: Hart to Hart, Cagney & Lacey, Remington Steele, Banacek, Quincy, M.E., Crossing Jordan, McMillan & Wife, Mrs. Columbo, Columbo, Ironside, Perry Mason & the Movies; Due South, JAG, NCIS, NCIS:LA, NCIS: NOLA, Jesse Stone (starring Tom Selleck), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries, Rizzoli & Isles, Ghost Whisperer, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Rosemary & Thyme, Sherlock (Series 1-2), Castle (Minus Series Finale), the Mentalist, Jane Doe, Diagnosis Murder, McBride, Mystery Woman, Dragnet, the Division, Nash Bridges, Walker, Texas Ranger, the Peacemakers, In the Heat of the Night, Murder, She Wrote, Numb3rs, Matlock, 1-800-the-Missing, For the People, the Nick & Nora movies, Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, and many more yet to disclose! As well as wanting to focus on watching: Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis & Endeavour; LA Law & Hawaii Five-O (original).

As you can well see, I am attracted to a hodgepodge of selections, but at the heart of all the series I mentioned is a solid story, a compelling lead character, and stories which touch your heart evermore. The added benefit by half is that most of these lovelies have quirky families stitched into the lead & supporting characters, of whom could not nearly function half as well without each other!

What draws me into the Cosy Historical section is the ability to take my love of murder mysteries and/or psychological suspense and wrap it inside of a historical setting! Until I blogged, I did not even realise how oft I duck inside a historical novel — across the multi-dimensional spectrum of offerings! Imagine my plumb surprise to realise then, that there is a whole curiously new section of Cosies out there waiting for me to discover them?

*For a listing of my favourite discoveries in Cosy Mysteries, see my review of See Also Murder

As I’ve been hoping to bring the #LadyDarby Mysteries to Jorie Loves A Story for two years, you could say I have found a way to bring them into the conscious of my readers by how I’ve etched in a working conversation about them on various posts or reviews. I had originally planned to begin reviewing these lovely novels in 2014, including during #HorrorOctober (a book blogosphere event that charmed me to join) except to say, most of my love for this series has lived through my Twitter feeds! I decided as a cross-celebration of the fifth Lady Darby novel to finally read through the entire series & share my thoughts with my readers who have been only been treated to a cursory glimpse of what gives me so much joy about this series prior to now!

You will happily find my thoughts about Lady Darby peppered throughout the following posts:

  • Death Sits Down to Dinner | in reference to my joy in what awaits me (see Review)
  • Claws of the Cat | in reference to grisly crime scenes (see Review)
  • The Masque of a Murderer | in reference of why I love Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • Inspector of the Dead | in reference to a particular style of Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs) | in reference to finding Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • Mist of Midnight | in reference to elements a similar style (see Review)
  • Keeping Kate | in reference of how Kate & Tyler reminded me of Lady Darby & Gage (see Review)
  • The Spoils of Avalon | on reflection of why I love Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • #WWWeds No.7 | in reference of my excitement to get back into the series (see post)
  • Interview with Mary F. Burns | when I first started to compile a CHM List (see Interview)
  • Interview with R.J. Sullivan | in reference to smaller editions (see Interview)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “The Anatomist’s Wife” (#LadyDarby, No.1) by Anna Lee HuberThe Anatomist's Wife
Subtitle: A Lady Darby Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister's estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage-a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn't about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage's search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425253281

Also by this author: Mortal Arts, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death, As Death Draws Near Book Blast (Series Notes), This Side of Murder

Series: Lady Darby Mysteries


Also in this series: Mortal Arts, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Berkley Prime Crime

on 6th November, 2012

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
The Lady Darby Mysteries:

The Anatomist’s Wife | No.1

Mortal Arts | No.2 | Synopsis

A Grave Matter | No.3 | Synopsis

A Study in Death | No.4 | Synopsis

A Pressing Engagement | No.4.5 (e-novella) | Synopsis

As Death Draws Near | No.5 | Synopsis | Happy #PubDay 5th of July, 2016

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

About Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the Award-Winning and National Bestselling Author of the Lady Darby Mystery Series. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. From a young age, her imagination was boundless. She spent her summers with her brothers and sister playing Star Wars, wearing snow boots and her mother's old nightgowns while swinging plastic bats as light-sabers, and The A-Team hanging off the riding lawn mower (what else were they supposed to use for the van?). In the fourth grade, she penned her first story, and she’s been writing ever since.

Anna attended college in Music City USA-Nashville, Tennessee, where she met her husband while acting in a school production of Our Town. They married just before she graduated summa cum laude from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. She now pens the award-winning Lady Darby historical mystery series for Berkley Publishing. Her debut novel, The Anatomist’s Wife, has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including a Daphne du Maurier Award and two 2013 RITA® Awards.

Anna is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in Indiana with her family, and when not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Serial Fiction Library Finds (Personal)
Divider

Posted Monday, 4 July, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Lady Detective Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Psychological Suspense, Scotland, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Victorian era

Book Review | “Styx & Stone” (An #EllieStone #Mystery, No. 1) by James W. Ziskin

Posted Thursday, 2 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Heart of Stone” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger.

As a new reviewer for Seventh Street Books, I was quite intrigued by discovering another new author under this imprint for Prometheus Books, as thus far along I have found this imprint to be producing wicked good content for mystery enthusiasts! I requested if it were possible to receive the first book in the series, “Styx & Stone” as this series is in-progress and has a total of four novels thus far released.

I received my complimentary copy of Styx & Stone from the publisher Seventh Street Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What I am appreciating from Seventh Street Books Mystery authors:

[ Jennifer Kincheloe ]

Sophisticated in her ascertainment of conception behind Anna Blanc, Kincheloe has writ such a lively character, you drink in her words with such a joy of delight! She has a fast paced narrative, where the humour is smitten by the sophisticated edging of her character’s personality, matched equally brilliantly by the grace of a Cosy Historical Mystery backdrop! She’s captured the turn of the century atmosphere aptly, as she tucks in recognisable familiarities to alight in your imagination as you turn the pages; replete with gaslights and other bits which correlate with the era. (from review of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc)

Anna Blanc was the first character who caught my readerly eye so to speak when I originally found Seventh Street Books and had read through their Current Front List catalogue to see what story would intrigue me as I was picking my first story to review. There was simply something about this historical mystery that tempted me to say “Yes, please!” and I was not disappointed! If anything, it left me hungering for a sequel and a continuation of Anna Blanc’s journey! She was writ so wondrously well, every inch of this novel was unputdownable because it was realistically compelling and lovingly conceived to live inside it’s era of choice! What was happily unexpected was the cheeky humour and the levity, the author underscored to the harder hitting edges of the story! I loved her personality and spark she granted to Anna Blanc – such a lovely discovery for me!

[ Larry D. Sweazy ]

I dearly appreciate the dramatic styling of Sweazy’s approach to writing this mystery series as it’s breadth is far deeper than the psychological impacts of crime and the tragic losses endured by those who are left behind to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Sweazy digs deeper into the heart and mind of his lead character (Marjorie Trumaine) whilst using her as a guiding point towards understanding the undercurrents of her small Dakota towne – it’s in this approach that I have found myself so happily entrenched inside the Dakotas, and happily residing a bit on the Trumaine farm whilst I walk beside Marjorie as she puts the clues together and finds truth out of secrets hidden from view. (from review of See Also Deception)

The Marjorie Trumaine mysteries caught my eye after Anna Blanc – I have had a hankering for wicked good mysteries for quite a long while now – they are dearly one of my favourites to curl up inside – especially the cosy side of the ledger, but this series – wow. I had hoped it would be a series I could disappear inside, but I could never have fathomed how heart-centred I felt to the Dakota small towne and whilst becoming fully entrenched inside the spirit of Marjorie Trumaine! I spent a heap of lovely hours happily in step with Marjorie’s pursuit of the truth and as each story in turn was quite unputdownable – I dreamt of the story whilst away from it – I could only hope a third installment will come along soon! Perhaps within a year? It’s that wicked brilliant! It’s also singularly unique – a dramatic crime story full of introspective intuitions about humanity and the human condition!

[ Susan Spann ]

Spann continues to write in such a beautiful arc of narrative voice, styling her cosy historical mysteries after the culture she celebrates with each novel she pens. She keeps the characters true to not only their own personal beliefs and convictions, but to the cultural heritage they are naturally akin to representing. I may have voiced wanting to see more emotional responses from the samurai, but that was only as an observational notice of how well controlled their emotions are and how wisely they choose not to show too much emotion to the outside world; as it would be a completely slip of weakness. There are simply times where you feel as a reader, one character, even if a minor one in a story might react differently than their training; and it is in this, that I celebrate Spann’s gift for historical accuracy as much as personality of character accuracy. The ways of the West and the East do not always align, and by representing her characters with the strength of their own individual personalities, a bridge is reached and crossed. (from review of Blade of the Samurai)

Spann’s Cosy Historical Mysteries are moving to *Seventh Street Books* this year, and I already have my copy of her debut release with them “The Ninja’s Daughter” of which I will happily be devouring this Summer whilst featuring a review close to it’s Pub Date in August! Spann smittened me with this curious portal into Japanese history wherein I found myself tucked inside her character’s lives with such a zest of intrigue I could not believe my wicked luck in finding the series! To be able to continue to celebrate this series per each new installment as they release is a true blessing for a reader whose simply over the moon happy one of her recent favourite series has found a new home with her new favourite publisher of Mysteries! The martial arts and the influences of Japanese tradition and cultural heritage is truly what captured me and has sustained me alongside the beautiful friendship Spann has underwritten into Father Matteo and Hiro’s relationship.

Why the Ellie Stone Mysteries felt like another ‘good fit’ for me:

The first thing that went through my mind when I read the blurb for Heart of Stone, was how interestingly a title can make me think about Jesse Stone! The title character in the television mystery movies featuring Tom Selleck in the lead role created by Robert B. Parker! They (the Jesse Stone mysteries) are a bit harder edged than most of the mysteries that whet a thirst of interest for me to read and/or watch (as I not only read mysteries, I devour Crime Drama & Mysteries in tv and film!) yet surprisingly I was attracted to the downtrodden Jesse Stone who was repairing his soul as he re-built his life in a small towne.

I seem to be on a bit of a ‘1960’ mystery hunt, as the Ellie Stone mysteries take place in early ’60s whereas the Marjorie Trumaine mysteries follow shortly thereafter! Concurrent to this, I found another mystery author (Reavis Z. Wortham) who writes his own Red River series in the 1960s of which has a likeness to the atmosphere inside a Marjorie Trumaine mystery! I’ve decided to follow where my readerly heart takes me, as Wortham’s first novel The Rock Hole was borrowed via ILL (inter-library loan) in late May, however, I unfortunately found I had to return it the day it arrived. I had not realised there is an incident of animal abuse and cruelty in the development of the mystery itself.

In regards to Ellie Stone directly, I liked her felicity to take-on a man’s role and dare to do a job only known for the men who owned it’s niche whilst re-identifying it as her own. Women can do anything they set their mind towards, but in the early 1960s that was not as obvious as it would be in later decades.

Ellie Stone felt like the type of feminist and forward-thinking female character I could rally behind – not only for her moxie to give men a run for it but for how she approached her work. I love strong characters (men and women) but what I love more are strong characters who are redefining a stigma they are living inside in order to find the freedom to be taken on their own terms! No one wants to breathe a space defined by someone else’s prejudices – and to me Ellie Stone felt like the kind of woman who could shatter predetermined mindsets and solve mysteries at the same time!

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Book Review | “Styx & Stone” (An #EllieStone #Mystery, No. 1) by James W. ZiskinStyx & Stone
Subtitle: An Ellie Stone Mystery
by James W. Ziskin
Source: Direct from Publisher

Ellie Stone is a professed modern girl in 1960s' New York City, playing by her own rules and breaking boundaries while searching for a killer among the renowned scholars in Columbia University's Italian Department.

"If you were a man, you'd make a good detective."

Ellie is sure that Sgt. McKeever meant that as a compliment, but that identity-a girl wanting to do a man's job-has throttled her for too long. It's 1960, and Ellie doesn't want to blaze any trails for women; she just wants to be a reporter, one who doesn't need to swat hands off her behind at every turn.

Adrift in her career, Ellie is back in New York City after receiving news that her estranged father, a renowned Dante scholar and distinguished professor, is near death after a savage bludgeoning in his home. The police suspect a routine burglary, but Ellie has her doubts. When a second attempt is made on her father's life, in the form of an "accident" in the hospital's ICU, Ellie's suspicions are confirmed.

Then another professor turns up dead, and Ellie's investigation turns to her father's university colleagues, their ambitions, jealousies, and secret lives. Ellie embarks on a thorny journey of discovery and reconciliation, as she pursues an investigation that offers her both a chance at redemption in her father's eyes, and the risk of losing him forever.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781616148195

Also by this author: Heart of Stone

Also in this series: Heart of Stone


Genres: Crime Fiction, Noir Crime Drama, Thriller


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 15th October, 2013

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 267

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Ellie Stone Mystery series:

Interesting Trivia: this series has been optioned for a television series!

“Stone Cold Dead” – received a nomination for the 2016 Lefty Award for Best World Mystery Novel. “No Stone Unturned” received a coveted Anthony Award nomination for Best Paperback Original in 2015.

Styx & Stone | No.1

No Stone Unturned | No.2 | Book Synopsis

Stone Cold Dead | No.3 | Book Synopsis

Heart of Stone | No.4 | Book Synopsis

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Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #EllieStoneMysteries OR #EllieStoneMystery

Read an Excerpt of Styx & Stone on the author’s site!

About James W. Ziskin

James W. Ziskin

A linguist by training, Ziskin studied romance languages and literature at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his graduate degree, he worked in New York as a photo-news producer and writer, and then as director of NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.

He has since spent 15 years in the Hollywood post-production industry, running large international operations in the subtitling/localization and visual effects fields. Ziskin grew up in Amsterdam, New York, and now lives in the Hollywood Hills.

Photo Credit: William Ziskin

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Posted Thursday, 2 June, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, African-American Literature, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Classical Music | Composers, Clever Turns of Phrase, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fathers and Daughters, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Investigative Reporter | Journalist, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Judiasm, Lady Detective Fiction, Life Shift, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Music History, New York City, Noir Crime Drama, Religious History, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Sociological Behavior, Story in Diary-Style Format, The Sixties, Vulgarity in Literature, Writer, Writing Style & Voice