Author Archives: Jenny

The Poisoned Chocolates Case

Roger Sheringham is feeling rather smug. He has achieved his goal: he has formed a Crimes Circle. This is a group of intelligent people who are interested in crime (a lawyer, a few brilliant writers, Roger himself, and Mr. Ambrose … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 4 Comments

The Truth About Small Towns

Lo these many years ago, Jeanne gave me a copy of this book of poetry by David Baker, who is someone who lives in her own small town. It’s been sitting on my shelf ever since, because I don’t read … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 2 Comments


Dick Francis has been one of my favorite mystery authors for nearly thirty years. He’s most famous for the mysteries that take place in the racing world, like Break In and Bolt or Whip Hand and Come to Grief (all … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 5 Comments

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I was able to post — an entire month, gah. I’ve been reading, but I just have not had time to write in February! February is always dreadful. I’m hoping to catch … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | Leave a comment

The Discoverers

The Discoverers is the first in Daniel Boorstin’s “knowledge trilogy.” (The others are The Creators and The Seekers.) This book, more than 700 pages long in small type, describes the progress of the inventors and explorers of Western civilization, beginning … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 11 Comments

Lanterns Across the Snow

If you’re like me, you associate Susan Hill with Gothic spookiness (The Woman in Black) and/or murder (her series of Simon Serrailler mysteries.) Lanterns Across the Snow is neither one nor the other, though her usual predilections peek out in … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 5 Comments

Good Reading for Hard Times

Perhaps you are looking forward to today’s inaugural activities, either with pleasure or as a witness. Perhaps, however, like me, you have been absorbing the news with increasing concern (not to say despair — never despair), and, while you have … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments


It’s often easiest to review books when they stay inside generic boundaries, and the smaller the box, the better. This is a cozy mystery, this is a thriller, this is a western. If you like what goes in this box, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime, Religion, Speculative Fiction | 2 Comments

A Prayer Journal

When Flannery O’Connor was a very young woman, just twenty-one, she went to the University of Iowa for a year to participate in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was a devout Catholic, and during that year or so, she kept … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion | Leave a comment


I find it difficult to describe the experience of reading the short fiction of Alice Munro. Usually, I like my short stories to be a little bit weird and experimental — to play with form, the way George Saunders does, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 8 Comments