Saturday, April 16, 2016

Speakers of the Dead by J. Aaron Sanders

In 1843, young journalist Walt Whitman becomes involved in the investigation of a series of murders after his friend is murdered and his wife, Lena, is wrongfully convicted. When Walt isn’t able to uncover the truth in time to save Lena from execution, he is driven to get to the bottom of the murders. It quickly becomes clear that these deaths are just the tip of the iceberg in a tale that involves political cover-ups, grave robbing, and the outcry over women studying to become doctors. Speakers of the Dead takes the reader on a journey that twists and turns and rushes along at break-neck speed through a New York City where no one is exactly as they seem, especially Whitman. Sanders flawlessly integrates his original characters and story into the lives of real people (Whitman, Elizabeth Blackwell, and others) and events of the time. This is historical fiction at its best; the reader finishes having learned about a specific place and time and the way in which the inhabitants navigated their world.

Fans of Caleb Carr’s Alienist series or anyone who loves a good historical mystery will be waiting with bated breath for the next book in this exciting new series. 
Reviewed by Portia Kapraun

Saturday, April 09, 2016

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

     The second thrilling novel in the New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion series following The Cinderella Murder, featuring television producer Laurie Moran as she investigates the case of a missing bride.
     Amanda Pierce (Dubbed the Runaway Bride in local media) was preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with families and guests on site, the day before her wedding Amanda disappeared.
     Despite a thorough investigation, the police could not say with any certainty that foul play was involved in Amanda's disappearance. But, Amanda's mother, Sandra remains convinced Amanda's fiancĂ© Jeff Hunter murdered her for financial gain.
     Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, Under Suspicion.  She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda's friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed a new light on the mystery as the series has done in past episodes.  With a jealous sister, playboy groomsmen, Amanda's former finance who is now married to the bridesmaid, and rumors about the "beloved" bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air.
     A cleverly written whodunit that has a fantastic cast of characters. Filled with twists and turns that lead the reader first one way, then the next. All Dressed in White is a quick read because you find yourself unable to put it down.