Category Archives: Fiction

Grey Mask

Patricia Wentworth’s first Miss Silver mystery doesn’t have nearly as much to do with Miss Silver as I’d have liked. The mystery is a nicely­-tangled (if slightly loosely­-plotted) Golden Age affair of blackmail, mistaken identity, frivolous flappers, a plump inheritance, … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries | 2 Comments

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Tragedy has long fingers that often stretch far beyond those immediately affected by it. Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel explores how those fingers touch a community when three girls disappear while on a St. Valentine’s Day picnic in 1900 at the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 25 Comments

Solar Storms

I read Linda Hogan’s novel Solar Storms back in January, and since it’s now March, I thought about not writing a review for it at all. But it made such an impression on me, I decided that I would write … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 1 Comment

The China Governess

Julia and Timothy are determined to get married, despite her father’s objections. But Timothy wants to wait until he can figure out the secret behind his parentage. He was brought to the Kinnit home as a baby as London was … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries | 6 Comments

Castle in the Air for #DWJMarch

I’ve been flipping through my copy of Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones to find a funny part to share with you all, but I’m going to have to ask you to take my word for it that … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

A Little Life

When I read reviews in which people complain that a book is too dark, I usually write that complaint off with a “too dark for you maybe.” Not many books are too dark for me. My favorite author, after all, … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 23 Comments

Every Man Dies Alone

Hans Fallada, the author of Every Man Dies Alone, refused to join the Party during the Nazi rise to power, and was denounced by his neighbors for anti-Nazi sympathies. But he opted not to leave Germany during the war. Instead, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 12 Comments

Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief

This semester, I’m teaching a class on French crime fiction. Although the genre started in France roughly when British and American crime fiction did (which is to say around the middle of the 19th century), I’m staying inside the 20th century, mostly … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 13 Comments

The World Beneath

Twenty-five years ago, Sandy and Rich met as part of “the Blockade,” an environmental protest against the damming of Tasmania’s Franklin River. It worked: the government called off the construction, and Sandy and Rich’s relationship got a lift in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments

Green Grass, Running Water

Is it possible to enjoy a book you don’t understand? I think it is. I certainly enjoyed Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King, but there’s a lot of it that I didn’t understand. The novel blends the stories of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments