Category: Civil Rights

Double-Showcase | Book & Audiobook Review of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” (Anna Blanc series, No. 2) by Jennifer Kincheloe

Posted Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I can’t wait to read more about Anna Blanc:

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer KincheloeThe Woman in the Camphor Trunk by Jennifer Kincheloe

Series Overview: Young socialite turned police matron Anna Blanc bucks society’s mores to solve crime in early 1900s Los Angeles.

The main reason I find myself so very attached to the world in which Anna Blanc lives is because of how she is beautifully brought to life by Ms Kincheloe. She has a way of fusing Anna into our hearts whilst winning us over with her quirkily humourous prose which not only dictates a keen awareness of Anna but of the times in which she is alive. It’s a curious door into the historical past as these were my parting words after having read the first novel of the series:

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.

I loved the way in which Kincheloe turnt a phrase, using words not oft found in historical fiction as her novel is a good primer of words that are wicked to say aloud and used in descriptive narratives such as this one! The phrases themselves are a delight for readers who love words as much as wordsmiths, which Kincheloe definitely excels at including whilst giving Anna Blanc a crafty choice of words to express her emotional duress! She also found a clever way to include Anna’s religious background by having her talk to the Saints when a mood or a moment fitted the hour; it was quite an interesting way to thread faith inside a mainstream novel and I liked the author’s candor.

The best attribute Anna Blanc has within her is a self-motivating resolve to become self-educated as it was such a joy to watch her expand her mind in a fervent attempt to understand the underpinnings of motives and causes of the crimes that were leeching through her city at such a fast rate of alarm. She did not just want to sleuth for the sake of detection but to fully understand the methodology behind the crimes and I think this is a nod to the writer’s (Kincheloe) curiosity being piqued by true crime stories straight out of the historical archives from whence she draws her inspirations. Kincheloe also under-writ a stunning historical survey of early Forensic techniques which inspired Anna with her investigating – especially in regards to understanding the differences between murder and suicide. This became quite pivotal in the story as Anna Blanc made her transition from socialite to female detective.

The beauty of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc are the little bits of plot your not expecting to find encircle through the evolving story – there were little clues fluttering through it’s context, but the joy was not completely sorting it all out until the very last chapter – wherein, your heart swoons with glee and you champion the success Anna Blanc had in closing her second case! This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for historical fiction readers – Kincheloe has tempted us with her wicked sweet prose where a heroine peppers the scenes with her feisty personality and a penchant for seeking out the truth from a sea of lies!

-quoted from my review of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

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Double-Showcase | Book & Audiobook Review of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” (Anna Blanc series, No. 2) by Jennifer KincheloeThe Woman in the Camphor Trunk
Subtitle: An Anna Blanc Mystery
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Publisher
Narrator: Moira Quirk

In early-1900s Los Angeles—an era of courting, ragtime, suffragettes, and widespread corruption—a socialite turned police matron tracks down the murderer of a white woman in Chinatown, while trying to prevent the outbreak of a bloody tong war.

Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. If news about the murder gets out, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna work to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret, reluctantly helped by the good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent local leader.

Meanwhile, the kidnapping of two slave girls fuels existing tensions, leaving Chinatown poised on the verge of a bloody tong war. Joe orders Anna to stay away, but Anna is determined to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9781633883635

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc [audiobook]

Series: Anna Blanc


Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc [audiobook]


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd, Seventh Street Books

on 14th November, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Trade Paperback

Pages: 304

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer Kincheloe Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi
Biography updated: March 2017

Converse via: #AnnaBlanc + #HistoricalMystery or #HistMyst

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Civil Rights, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Crime Fiction, Equality In Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, History, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Prometheus Books, Realistic Fiction, Religious Orders, Self-Published Author, Taboo Relationships & Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds

Author Guest Post | “Summer of the Oak Moon” by Laura Templeton

Posted Friday, 8 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

One of the blessings for hosting blog tours with Chapter by Chapter, is watching all the lovely new releases by Month9Books and their imprint Swoon Romance! On the latter side of the ledger, the Swoon Romance titles which interest me to read in the future when I can acquire a print copy of the books are the Young Adult and New Adult titles; although I notice most of the ones that tempt me of late are strictly YA. I happen to fancy the stories where authors take different turns highlighting the coming-of age period of young adults and the shifting of perspectives from childhood, adolescence, and the opening chapters of their adult lives.

This is why I was drawn into wanting to read Summer of the Oak Moon, as I have previously picked up a similar story about societal perceptions and influences on a multicultural relationship by Julie Kibler in Calling Me Home; a novel I still need to finish reading. I first discovered it soon after my local library purchased it as a debut novel, and what compelled me inside the story itself was the honest realism of the relationship as it was unfolding inside the narrative grace Kibler gave her characters to inhabit. It is these kinds of stories I am in search of finding, and as soon as I read the synopsis for Templeton’s Swoon Romance, I felt as if I had found a novel to anchour alongside my readings of Kibler.

When I decided to ask the topic for this blog tour, I decided to talk about the heart of the story and counter-balance that against the social movement towards seeking Equality and Diversity in Literature. I have openly spoken about my pursuit of #EqualityInLit which runs hand in hand with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks mission towards a balance of stories which represent the world we live in. I found the author’s response quite refreshing and I look forward to hearing your response in the comments after you’ve read her essay.

Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton

Rejected by the exclusive women’s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead. But when a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, a black college student home on his summer break, a relationship blooms that challenges the prejudices of her small, north Florida town.

When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.

Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?

Published By: Swoon Romance (@SwoonRomance)

an imprint of Month9Books (@Month9Books)

on 5th of May, 2015

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook | Add to Riffle

Converse on Twitter via:

#SummerOfTheOakMoon#YALit & #Month9Books Read More

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Posted Friday, 8 May, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, African-American Literature, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Civil Rights, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Realistic Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The Writers Life, Writing Advice & Tips, Writing Style & Voice, Young Adult Fiction