Kim’s Review of Ruby Red (Edelstein Trilogie #1) by Kerstin Gier

rrFriends. I have a confession to make. I totally judged a book by its cover.  I saw the cover for Ruby Red and immediately HAD to have it.   Turns out it was a great judgement, because the book was AWESOME.  Ruby Red is the first book in Kerstin Gier’s Edelstein Trilogie, which was originally published in Germany.  

As the plot is a bit complex (time traveling!!), I’ll let Goodreads guide you through it:

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

I am honestly so surprised that I haven’t come across more people who have read this series.  This book hooked me from start to finish. It had time-traveling, secret societies, intrigue, visions of the dead, secret signet rings, mystery, sword fights and so much more.  There is an incredible amount of story packed into this book.  The time traveling element allowed for great variety of time periods to be visited, which helped set a fast pace.  Since Gwen was never prepared to be a time traveler, her quick lessons in how to time travel, as well as the history of The Guardians society (the secret society helping the time travelers), led to some great comedic moments.  There were times where I felt these moments felt stilted, which I think is mainly due to the translation (the books were originally published in German).  Other than that I think the translation is excellently done.  Gwen’s voice totally draws you in to the story and describes the woes of her life as a teenage time traveler perfectly.

Ruby Red definitely sets up what is sure to be a phenomenal trilogy.  I’m interested in seeing how Gwen and Gideon grow from here.  They’re both in their teens, yet thrust into extraordinary circumstances far beyond what 16 and 17 year-olds should have to deal with.  We’re not given too much depth with their characters, but I’d expect that to change as we travel through time with them in the second and third books.  I know that I keep talking about the future of the series and I’ll explain why.  Having already read book two, Sapphire Blue, I know it picks up quite literally after the last sentence of Ruby Red.  I think when Emerald Green (book three) comes out it’ll be more apparent that the story is one long story split up through three books.  The development of the characters will happen gradually throughout the three books since it’s one massive conflict that is trying to be resolved.  I’m usually not a fan of series’ written like this, but surprisingly the good outweighs the bad here.  Ruby Red was just too damn fun! Gwen and Gideon are, to put it simply, hilarious.

My goal before Emerald Green is released in October is to get the word out about this series.  It’s seriously one you don’t want to miss.  I hope that those of you who choose to read it out there decide to share it with your friends! This is a series that definitely needs to be shared more.

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my fourth completed review for the Color Coded Challenge

This is my second completed review for the Book to Movie Challenge

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Henry Holt and Co (2011)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN: 9780805092523

Kim’s Review of Death in the Floating City (Lady Emily Series #7) by Tasha Alexander

ditfcTowards the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 I was introduced to a character by the name of Lady Emily. She is a woman of the Victorian Era, a time when woman should be seen and not heard.  Lady Emily, however, is a woman who bucks that notion and delves into learning, reading, languages, art, geography, etc.  I found so much of myself in her at times that I flew through the first book of Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series And Only to DeceiveAfter falling head-over-heels in love with Alexander’s writing, characters, and settings I quickly made my way through the other five available books: A Poisoned Season, A Fatal Waltz, Tears of Pearl, Dangerous to Knowand A Crimson Warning (all links lead to my reviews).

In the latest installment of the Lady Emily series, Death In the Floating City, we follow Emily as her adventures take her to Italy for the first time.  Many years ago, Emily’s childhood arch nemesis  Emma Callum, shocked English society by eloping to Venice, Italy with her lover, an Italian count.  Despite their past, Emma has now turned to Emily for help as she finds herself entangled in a mystery that involves the death of her father-in-law and the disappearance of her husband.  Emily takes her up on the offer, and travels to Venice with her husband, Colin Hargreaves.  There, Emily discovers that there is more to this story than what meets the eye, and she finds that she must look to the past to solve this crime in the present day.

I’ve always been impressed with authors who can write 5+ books in a series and keep each one feeling fresh and new, while continuing to develop the characters and relationships in new and exciting ways.  Death in the Floating City is the seventh book in the Lady Emily series, yet it reads with the excitement and freshness of the first, And Only to Deceive.  It’s 100% due to Alexander’s talent as a writer.  Not only should she continue to write the Lady Emily series, but I think she should start writing travel books as well.  Her descriptions of Venice are astonishingly beautiful, stunning, and so visual.  At times I could close my eyes and completely see the scene she was painting for me.

When I read Alexander’s books I literally become so engulfed by them.  The characters’ sadness is my sadness, their happiness is my happiness as well.  By the time I got to the last few pages of the book my face hurt SO MUCH from smiling.  I walked around the whole day with just a goofy grin on my face because I was completely overwhelmed with happiness.  Books that can have that kind of effect on a person are my favorite.  It’s a clear indication that the writer got you enveloped in the story.  The added surprise to Death in the Floating City was a book within the book!  Not only do you become completely obsessed with the murder mystery, but you are fascinated by the tragedy that is Besina and Nicolo’s story.  I was slightly saddened that Colin was missing for large chunks of this book, but understood the reason for it once I got to the end.

I’m excited about the direction that the series is taking.  The decisions and discoveries made at the end of Death in the Floating City should create some interesting problems/conflicts to overcome in the next books of the series.  Book eight, Behind the Shattered Glass, is slated to release this upcoming October.

On a completely different side note, Elsie Lyons has been designing the covers of Alexander’s novels since book five (Dangerous to Know) and she needs a shout out. These covers are exquisite and to put it simply, I love them.

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my twelfth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge.

Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander
Minotaur Books (2012)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN: 9780312661762

Jess’s Review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

goneYou know the main plot of this book. Nick Dunne’s beautiful wife is missing. He comes home from work to find his living room furniture over turned, his front door wide open, and the iron still plugged in. Amy has disappeared, and her husband is acting a little out of sorts. As the police investigation heats up, her loving husband becomes suspect #1. I told you that you knew the plot, but if you think you know how it ends, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is the beauty of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 bestseller, Gone Girl.

Nick and Amy appear to the perfect couple. In fact, Amy has written about how perfect their relationship is in her diary, which is later discovered during the police investigation following her disappearance. But as the couple leaves their home in New York City for Nick’s hometown in the Midwest, Amy’s diary entries start to reveal an increasingly troubled couple. Nick however seems to see things a little differently.

I admit its difficult to write this review without giving away any spoilers so I have to keep my synopsis pretty brief. Flynn creates an unpredictable mystery with multidimensional characters whom you get to know through a series of first person narrative and diary entries. One of the most interesting themes in the story is the role the media plays in the police investigation, and how it fuels public opinion in the high-profile disappearance. The story unfolds quickly, keeps you guessing and will force you to stay awake well after your bedtime.

On a side note, I recommend you start reading this book now because rumor has it, Flynn has starting working with writers to develop the film adaptation of Gone Girl. I think the story will translate well on-screen, but there is nothing like experiencing the twists and turns unfolding on the page. When you do read this book, feel free to look me up on the staff page and shoot me an email with your thoughts on the ending. I am still not sure how I feel about it and I would love to hear from all of you! (Please no spoilers in the comments).

4 out of 5 Stars

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Crown Publishing Group (2012)
Hardcover 432 pages
ISBN: 9780307588364

Adam’s Review of Deal With The Devil (Part II) by J. Gunnar Grey

A few months ago I had the pleasure of reading Deal With The Devil Part I by J. Gunnar Grey. (My review is here)  I became quickly enveloped in the story and was desperate to read part II after the cliffhanger ending in part I.  Life intervened unfortunately, and it wasn’t until recently that I was able to read part II and finally find out what happened to Major Faust, Major Stoner, Jennifer, and the rest of the cast!  (As a side note: the book is being sold as one novel now, so you won’t have to wait on pins and needles like I did to find out what happened!)  In part 2 there are even more twists and turns making for an even more epic conclusion to this tale of allegiance and backstabbing.

Leaving off directly where the first book ends, the story picks up with Major Faust, a German officer, and Major Stoner, a retired British officer, still at odds with each other and unsure of where the other truly stands. There is one thing Major Faust is sure of, however, and that is his growing feelings for Jennifer, Major Stoner’s granddaughter. Through the course of the novel their relationship grows, but at what cost? There are still some questions of motive on both sides, and some uncertainty between all of the parties involved. Through all this is a carefully crafted mystery that leaves the reader wanting more.

I really enjoyed part two almost as much as part one. The story picked up right from the start and I couldn’t stop reading (a real amazement if you know me). I was interested to see how the characters’ stories would end and couldn’t put the book down. I thought J. Gunnar Grey was really good at was not only developing the characters and making them interesting for the reader, but also making the setting seem more accessible. By writing lots of little details about the setting, I felt more like a fly on a wall rather than a reader. Grey makes the story come to life and makes the action jump right off the page. At times I felt like I could see pictures of the scenes; I had such a vision of the characters and of the setting  because I knew all the small little details.  I was able to enjoy the story that much more because of my ability to visualize the action.

One small note I have, and this is all my fault due to the fact that I read part 1 and part 2 so far apart, is that the two pieces are just a continuation of one another.  I read them five months apart, and I found myself constantly going back and forth from the first one, (which I smartly saved) and the second one to remind myself of the characters and of their background. One day soon, I will read this all as one novel and I think it would help me understand the flow of the story more. This comment has nothing to do with the writing style of the author, but because of my own stupidity to read them far apart and not closer together.

All and all I enjoyed reading the conclusion to J. Gunnar Grey’s story Deal with the Devil. I look forward to re-reading it as one full novel in the near future because I think by doing that will only enhance the story and allow me to enjoy it better. Still I have to give it a perfect score because a good story is a good story regardless of your own mistakes.

5 out of 5 Stars

Deal With The Devil by J. Gunnar Grey
Astraea Press (2011)
eBook: 286 pages
ISBN: 2940012608321

Special thanks to Astraea Press for my review copy!

#91 A Guest Review of Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely

If you’re a fan of murder, mystery, and mayhem, then you’re going to want to check out my latest review on the Austenprose blog, Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely.

The fourth installation of Kiely’s Elizabeth Parker Mystery series picks up with Elizabeth and her Aunt Winnie traveling to Bath, England for the annual Jane Austen conference.  On their flight over they meet Professor Richard Baines, who claims to be the utmost authority on Austen.  He is a pretentious man with absolutely crazy notions of what Austen’s work represented.  In the middle of the conference, however, Baines is found dead!  After Aunt Winnie’s friend is suspected, Elizabeth picks up her sleuthing hat to try to find out whodunit.

Check out my full review here

Todd’s Review of A Conflict of Interest by Adam Mitzner

Ever since I read A Time to Kill by John Grisham many years ago, I’ve always liked courtroom dramas.  I’m not sure if it’s the looming suspense of whether or not the main character will be found guilty, or the heroic struggle of the protagonist attorney struggling against seemingly impossible odds to protect his client, but this genre really catches my interest.  So, I was obviously excited when offered the opportunity to read A Conflict of Interest by Adam Mitzner.  This is his first novel, and Mitzner has done a great job of entering the genre with an exciting and fast-paced read.

A Conflict of Interest begins by introducing us to Alex Miller, a prominent New York defense attorney at the firm Cromwell Altman.  The youngest partner in the firm’s history, Alex has experienced a wave of popularity that makes him well-liked amongst his fellow partners and clients alike.  Unfortunately, his personal life has not experienced the same successes as of late.  His father recently passed away suddenly, leaving his mother alone in Florida, far away from Alex and his family.  Additionally, his relationship with his wife has been strained due to his long hours at the office.  Things get more complicated when Alex meets Michael Ohlig, a longtime friend of his parents, at his father’s funeral.  Although he doesn’t go into specifics, he tells Alex that he is being investigated for securities fraud, and would like Alex and his firm to represent him.  Alex is able to keep this a secret from his mother for a while, but eventually she finds out, and is very distraught over it.  Additionally, Alex is paired with Abby Sloane, an associate at the firm who is widely regarded as on the short list for the next partner position that will open up at the firm.  Not only is she a great lawyer, but she is beautiful, and spends more and more time with Alex as they work on Ohlig’s case.  Of course, this puts even more pressure on Alex’s marriage, and threatens to derail his career if he were ever caught with Abby.  However, there is something much more sinister at play, and it is much bigger than any infidelity.  The twist at the end of this novel is one that no one saw coming (especially not me!)

Going in to this novel, I was pretty sure I’d like it, although I thought there may be a slight danger of encountering the inherent problem that all courtroom dramas face: how to make court proceedings exciting.  Don’t get me wrong, there is the potential for a lot of drama in a court case, but the difficulty is in making all the legal jargon translate into a gripping story.  Fortunately, Mitzner does this expertly.  He meticulously explains the lawyer-speak that pops up throughout the novel, and weaves a great story that draws the reader in with every page.  The romantic tryst dovetailed nicely with Alex’s impassioned defense of Ohlig in the trial, and every time I turned the page there was a new layer to the plot.  The twist at the end was one of the best I’ve read in a while, and I give Mr. Mitzner a lot of credit for how he played it out.  It definitely won’t disappoint you, and it’s no wonder that this book won Suspense Magazine‘s best book of 2011 award!  So, what are you waiting for?  Go read this one!

5 out of 5 Stars

A Conflict of Interest by Adam Mitzner
Pocket Books (2012)
Paperback: 512 pages
ISBN: 9781439196434

Special thanks to Pocket Books for sending me my review copy!

Todd’s Review of Do No Harm by Cliff Bacchus

When I first received a review request for a new medical mystery/suspense thriller, Do No Harm by Cliff Bacchus, my interest was immediately piqued.  I’m generally a sucker for suspense books, and the fact that this one was written by a physician and involved a medical component made it even more enticing.  So, without further ado, I began reading (on the plane over to Ohio for my cousin’s wedding, to be exact).

Do No Harm begins with an introduction to Dr. Al Chandler, a physician who has been enjoying a growing practice and general success in his personal and professional life.  He has a close relationship to the newly minted President of the United States, who thinks so highly of him that he asks him to be a part of his new administration.  Chandler, although quite humbled and taken aback, declines.  He states that his interests lie in helping others and he feels that working under the new President would take him away from his true duties.  After this, he meets Pandora Coltman, a sensual woman who attracts him instantaneously and convinces him to leave everything and travel with her to Atlantic Isle, a small island in the Bahamas where she lives.  There, Chandler begins working for the island’s hospital in the emergency room, and gets to know his new boss, Obi Falconer.  He and Pandora marry, and all seems well until Chandler begins to notice that Pandora has a history with some men on the island, including Falconer.  The mystery deepens when he discovers Pandora’s lifeless body in their backyard by the pool.  Chandler is the main suspect, and he must work to clear his name.  Can he do it in time?

I have to say, it was rather difficult to write that plot paragraph.  Normally, I have no trouble writing the plot summaries of books that I review, but this was a challenge.  Why, you may ask?  Well, Bacchus’ style of writing is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and I don’t mean that in a good way.  I’ll admit, perhaps he was going for a retroactive point of view, or attempting a different style, but for some reason everything seemed incredibly disjointed and in the passive voice.  Fragmented plot lines were interjected with snippets of dialogue which were out-of-place and didn’t add to the overall conversation.  For example, here is a conversation between Chandler and his friend Arnold:

“Can we subdue Falconer?”  Kennedy reared up and walked off a few steps.  “T-the night’s old.  I’m off duty.  I was forgetting.  I’m doing a ten-minute stand-up late tonight at The Comedy Club.”

“I’ll call them tomorrow about the milk.  They drink American ‘Macarthur’ only, and every morning.”

“Power to America!  Forward march, out!”

“Just a minute.”  Chandler stepped over to his parents’ bedroom to check on them and on the snake.

“Al, the good boy.  Mother’s boy!”

This is just one small example of the odd conversations that permeate the work.  It seems as if there is a lot of backstory to this particular conversation, i.e. what is behind the mentioning of milk and a snake, but they are only briefly explained beforehand, with the reader left guessing as to what Bacchus means when he inserts these dialogue points.  It’s as if we’re reading only parts of a complete story, missing the parts that connect the dots of these rapid-fire conversations that are apparently here to move the plot forward.  Additionally, there is a ton of 70’s era verbiage, with the words “daddy-o” and “pigs”, as well as “heavy” appearing repeatedly.  I doubt this story was supposed to take place in the 1970’s, as I wasn’t given any more clues to this effect, but the dialogue sure was from this time.  In all, despite these flaws, Bacchus has the skeleton of a good murder mystery.  After some serious revision of the dialogue, and descriptive paragraphs, there actually could be a workable novel underneath this current work.  On the positive side, Bacchus does highlight corruption in medicine and shines light on a problem that affects us all, whether it be directly or through increasing insurance costs due to fraud.  This is definitely a noteworthy cause to highlight.

1 out of 5 stars

Do No Harm by Cliff Bacchus, MD
Abbott Press (2011)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN:  1458200965

Many thanks to Jessie at Author Solutions for sending me this copy for review!

Adam’s Review of Double Crossing by Meg Mims

Trust is a thing that is earned, not given, to those in our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes those who seem closest to us are the ones who will stab us in the back if given the means and opportunity to do so. The idea of trust is put to the test in Meg Mims’ historical fiction mystery novel Double Crossing. Through trials and tribulations the main heroine learns these difficult lessons about trust, as well as the old adage that one should keep their friends close, but their enemies closer.

Lily Glanville lives in Evanston, Illinois  in post-Civil War America and seems to be at a crossroads in her life. She can get married to Charles Mason and join a missionary trip to China, or she can get married to another suitor and stay near her recently widowed father. One night near her birthday, her father is unexpectedly murdered and deeds to a California gold source are stolen. Lily suspects her father’s friend Emil Tadaro, who happened to be at the house when her father was murdered. While receiving condolences at the funeral her Aunt Sylvia, along with her husband Sir  Vaughn who she hasn’t seen in years, approach Lily and plan to take care of her. They prove to be too much for Lily, and she escapes one night with help from Charles. She plans to go to California to intercept Tadaro, who was planning on meeting up with Lily’s Uncle Harrison. Along the trip, she meets a Texan named Ace Diamond who she pays to help protect her and Charles on their mission to California. By the end of the trip, she discovers who can be trusted and who has been acting the whole time.

I must admit, I liked this book a lot more than I originally expected to. I am not a huge mystery fan; I like Dan Brown’s works, but other than that and The Boxcar Children I really don’t find many mysteries to be interesting unless they’ve been made into a movie. However, Meg Mims wrote this book in such a way that would make it perfectly translatable to film. Right away I was casting the roles in my head, and I was able to do so because of how much detail she put into the book. She explained every chapter down to the smallest detail so that any reader could visualize them. The characters were extremely well written and most of them were extremely relatable. Even the villains of the novel had a really interesting story and when you find out who double crossed Lily at the end, I guarantee you’ll be shocked because I did not see it coming. Even though there are some foreshadowing clues, I never expected the ending to be as thrilling and exciting as it was. The different parts of the novel are a great build up to the climax and I often found myself making predictions as to how the novel was going to end.

Another aspect of the book that I found really interesting and really made me like the book a lot more was how strong of a heroine Lily was. Given that the story took place in the late 1800s and women were still seen as second class citizens, it was really interesting to see how strong-willed Lily was. She was truly an independent woman, and she thumbed her nose at people who expected her to do what society expected of her. She was a great character and I really enjoyed reading about her growth from start to the finish.

All in all I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed my attention from the start and throughout I found myself cheering out loud for Lily. I would definitely love to see a sequel because I want to know where Lily goes next.

4 out of 5 Stars

Double Crossing by Meg Mims
Astraea Press (2011)
Paperback: 257 pages
ISBN: 1466223200

Special thanks to Astraea Press for my review copy!

Adam’s Review of Deal with the Devil (Part I) by J. Gunnar Grey

Graduating from college with a degree in history is I guess the most obvious way to tell that I enjoy history.  To say you enjoy history offers a pretty broad spectrum of things to like.  The World War II period has always been my favorite period to study/read/learn about which was one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to review Deal with the Devil.  Written by J. Gunnar Grey, it details espionage, loyalties, and the difference between right and wrong in Europe in World War II. While reading this novel, the reader’s eyes are opened to question of doing what is perceived to be right versus what is actually the right thing to do.

Major Faust is a high-ranking officer in the German army during the start of World War II. After spending some time in England while achieving his college degree from Oxford, Faust found that he liked Britain as well. He tended to believe in British ideology more than the propaganda of Nazi Germany. After allowing some British soldiers to escape from German control, a friend gets Major Faust drunk and throws him over into England near Oxford. There he is captured by Major Stone, a retired general of the British army and his granddaughter Jennifer, whom Faust has an immediate connection with. He must not crack under interrogation as he was one of the architects of a detailed plan to invade England drafted by the German army. He attempts to escape, but during his attempt a local woman is brutally murdered, and he is captured again and made the lead suspect. Thrown into this classic whodunit is a story of loyalty, with twist and turns around every corner.

I will admit, I did not like the book the first three times I attempted to read it. I would read 20 pages and then it would slow down and I couldn’t get myself past that hump, only to give up and start again a week later. However, on my fourth and final attempt I got past the hump and am I glad I did. I couldn’t put my iPad down and couldn’t wait to flick (iPad turning) the page. I kept finding myself gasping at the twist and turns  set in the backdrop of World War II England. Similar to Dan Brown creating mysteries with religious material and legends as a base, J. Gunnar Grey was able to create an excellent mystery with a fantastic historical background.

I was completely blown away with the amount of research Grey put into the book. I kept learning about new facts and was constantly double checking to see if these were actual events and places that were described in the book. It probably took me twice as long to read the book because I kept doing that, but it made for a fuller reading experience. Not only was I reading a mystery, which was the first mystery I truly enjoyed since Angels and Demons, but I was also learning more about a subject I love.

All and all, I think this reading experience goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by the first 20 pages. Even though the beginning may be slower, eventually you will get to an exciting part. My only complaint was that I only read part one of this two-part series, because this first part ends with a huge cliff hanger, I need to get my hands in part two ASAP, so I can continue this great story!

5 out of 5 Stars

Deal With The Devil by J. Gunnar Grey
Astraea Press (2011)
eBook: 286 pages
ISBN: 2940012608321

Special thanks to Astraea Press for my review copy!

#20 A Review of The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose – Blog Tour

When I was approached to join the blog tour for The Book of Lost Fragrances, I was intrigued to say the least.  Historical adventure and mystery are pretty standard fare for me, but historical fiction centered around fragrance?  That was definitely a new one.  Egged on by my curiosity and the interesting cover of this novel, I dove right in and immersed myself in the search for this mysterious fragrance.

Jac L’Etoile has had a complicated past.  The heir to a famous French perfume company, Jac seeks to leave this past behind, which included her mother’s suicide, and make a new start in America.  Unfortunately for her, it is not to be.  After leaving for America she leaves the company in her brother Robbie’s capable hands.  However, she receives notice that not only did Robbie make a startling discovery in the family archives once Jac left, but he is now missing and a dead body has been found in his stead!  Traveling back to Paris to find her brother, Jac discovers a secret perfume that has been in the L’Etoile family for centuries.  This fragrance has the ability to elucidate the mystery of reincarnation, and has a history that is more exciting than any history book.  Now, not only does Jac seek to find her brother, but she also finds herself in hot pursuit of this intriguing fragrance that people have literally died over.  Will she be able to find her brother and unlock the mysteries shrouded by this secret fragrance?

What struck me most about Rose’s work is her writing style.  The fluid and descriptive manner of her writing flows as easily as the descriptions of the fragrance and its exotic components.  It’s almost as if her style was fitted perfectly to the subject matter, making the two dovetail into each other.  Another interesting component of Rose’s writing was how well the subject matter was covered.  It was quite obvious that she did a ton of homework on the subject, with the history thoroughly covered and the fragrance sections told in wonderful detail.  My sense of smell became an active part of reading this novel, because after all, what would a book about a perfume be without a sense of smell?  The descriptors of the fragrances were incredibly complex and varied, giving me a window into the complexities that are introduced when crafting a fragrance.  The different notes were described almost like one would describe the complex flavors of a wine, with loving detail and luxury.

All in all, paring this new subject I had not encountered before with something as familiar to me as historical fiction worked out better than I could have expected.  The plot lines of past and present day in the novel were stitched together seamlessly, and I have to give Rose a good deal of credit for her abilities in storyline construction as well.  All in all, a very solid effort that left me wanting to learn more about fragrances and their connections to the past.  Definitely worth a read!

5 out of 5 stars

This is my twelfth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose
Atria Books (2012)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN:  9781451621303

Special thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my review copy!  I’m just one stop on the blog tour for The Book of Lost Fragrances!  You can check out all the other stops here!  For those of you on Twitter, follow the hashtag: #LostFragrancesVirtualBookTour