My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni (@RobertDugoni) – Review

About the book My Sister’s Grave My Sister's Grave

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (November 1, 2014)

Robert Dugoni’s bestselling legal thrillers have earned him comparisons to John Grisham, Scott Turow, and Nelson DeMille, among others. In MY SISTER’S GRAVE (Thomas & Mercer; October 14, 2014), Dugoni returns with the powerful and poignant story of a homicide detective determined to avenge the murder of her beloved younger sister – regardless of the cost.

Seattle cop Tracy Crosswhite was a high school chemistry teacher when her teenaged sister Sarah disappeared one night on her way home to their small town of Cedar Grove. A young ex-con, Edmund House, was quickly tried and convicted of her murder. Twenty years and a career change later, Tracy has dedicated her life to questioning whether the right man went to jail. When Sarah’s remains are uncovered from a newly-exposed lake bed, new evidence seems to support Tracy’s theory that the original prosecution was deeply flawed.

Working with a childhood friend, now an attorney, to exonerate House and find Sarah’s true killer, Tracy begins to uncover long-held secrets that point to a shocking – and potentially catastrophic – truth about what happened to her sister on that long-ago night. Somewhere in Cedar Grove, a killer is waiting, and Tracy must summon the strength to confront the past in order to save her future.

An explosive whodunit with a family love story at its heart, MY SISTER’S GRAVE is a thriller that’s difficult to put down, and marks an exciting new chapter for acclaimed writer Robert Dugoni.

Buy, read and discuss My Sister’s Grave

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Goodreads

About the author, Robert Dugoni Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed and New York Times-bestselling author of the David Sloane series: The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder One, and The Conviction. Murder One was a finalist for the Harper Lee Award for literary excellence. He is also the author of the bestselling standalone novel Damage Control, and the nonfiction work The Cyanide Canary.

Connect with Robert

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts

Part police procedural, part family drama, completely gripping, I loved this novel. Tracy, the lead character, could easily rival Temperance Brennan or Kate Beckett as a prime-time television heroine, and all of the other characters in the story were equally interesting and dimensional.

I especially loved the author’s vivid descriptions and realistic dialogue. I also appreciated that we’re in the thick of things from the first page, with no slow build (not that those are bad) which I found really effective. In fact, the experience of reading My Sister’s Grave was so cinematic that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it opening in theaters next year.

Oh, if only what we were given on the screen was as smart, savvy, and (in the right amount) sexy as this novel!

On the other hand, the fact that this was a novel meant that I could savor each page, until, finally, I had to stay up to the wee hours of the morning to finish the last few chapters.

If you want a novel that’s just dark enough for a gray November afternoon, one that reaches out and grabs you, and doesn’t let you go until the very last page, you will LOVE My Sister’s Grave.

Goes well with A double cappuccino with a dash of cinnamon and a slice of pecan streusel apple pie.

Robert Dugoni’s Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. For the complete list of tour stops, see below, or click HERE.

Tuesday, November 4th: Crime Book Club

Tuesday, November 4th: Read Love Blog

Friday, November 7th: Not in Jersey

Monday, November 10th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Monday, November 10th: Psychotic State Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 11th: Mary’s Cup of Tea

Wednesday, November 12th: My Bookshelf

Thursday, November 13th: Inside of a Dog

Thursday, November 13th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Thursday, November 13th: Bibliotica

Monday, November 17th: Mystery Playground

Monday, November 17th: Red Headed Book Child

Tuesday, November 18th: Words by Webb

Wednesday, November 19th: Tales of a Book Addict

Friday, November 21st: Brooke Blogs

Monday, November 24th: A Bookworm’s World

Wednesday, November 26th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Date TBD: Simply Stacie

The Unforgivable Fix, by T.E. Woods (@tewoodswrites) – Review

About the book, The Unforgivable Fix The Unforgivable Fix

Publisher: Alibi (October 14, 2014)
Pages: 320

On the heels of her runaway hits The Fixer and The Red Hot Fix, T. E. Woods ratchets up the tension with her newest explosive thriller in the fast-paced Justice series.

The killer won’t come for you, you fool. He’ll come for me.

Detective Mort Grant of the Seattle PD has finally decided to sell. The home where he and his late wife raised two kids feels too large and too full of old memories. His son is married and raising a family of his own, and despite desperate efforts to find her, Mort has lost touch with his wayward daughter. That is, until the day she walks back into her childhood home and begs for his help.

For the last four years, Allie Grant has been the lover—and confidante, confessor, and counselor—of one of the world’s most powerful and deadly men. But a sudden, rash move has put Allie in the crosshairs of a ruthless Russian crime lord. Mort knows of only one place where Allie will be safe: with The Fixer.

As a hired desperado, The Fixer has killed twenty-three people—and Mort was complicit in her escape from the law. She has built an impregnable house, stocked it with state-of-the-art gear, armed it to the teeth, and locked herself away from the world. But even The Fixer may not be able to get justice for Allie when real evil comes knocking.

Buy, read, and discuss The Unforgivable Fix

Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Goodreads

About the author, T. E. Woods T.E. Woods

T. E. Woods is as eager as her fans to return to the thrilling world of the Justice series. She’s busy writing the next installment and is developing a new series set in Madison, Wisconsin.

Connect with T.E.

Facebook | Twitter

Connect with T.E.’s publisher, Alibi: Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts

I’ve just read all three “Fixer” books back to back, so the plots of each are a bit muddled in my head, but it doesn’t matter, because whether you read these in order (beginning with The Fixer) or not, you will be plunged immediately into a fast-paced story of action, adventure, and intrigue.

You will also see that T.E. Woods is incredibly deft at weaving those three elements together without ever ignoring plot or characterization. Whether the character in question is an embezzling corporate executive about to get his just desserts or the owner of the local coffee joint, everyone you meet in the pages of one of these novels feels incredibly real.

Since one of those characters – the main character – is a hired assassin, the incredible dimension and depth of each personality can feel a bit creepy at times, but that vibe actually works, making the books seem that much more visceral.

What I loved about this series -all of it- is that the dialogue is always both snappy and appropriate. Adults sound like adults, and their language always fits their station in life. The pacing, also, is excellent. Nothing is a constant rush; when the reader needs to breathe a bit, we’re given the chance.

What I didn’t love about this series: these books move so quickly, that one doesn’t merely read them, one devours them, and then one is left waiting for more. I was having such a great time immersed in The Fixer’s world that I really didn’t want the experience to end.

Goes well with champagne, strawberries, dark chocolate, and baked brie en croute.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For the complete list of tour stops, see below. For more information, click HERE.

Monday, October 6th:  A Fantastical Librarian

Monday, October 6th:  Patricia’s Wisdom

Monday, October 6th:  Kritter’s Ramblings – Red Hot Fix

Tuesday, October 7th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf

Tuesday, October 7th:  Kritter’s Ramblings

Monday, October 13th:  Patricia’s Wisdom – Red Hot Fix

Thursday, October 16th:  FictionZeal

Friday, October 17th:  Mystery Playground – “Drinks with Reads” guest post

Monday, October 20th:  She Treads Softly

Tuesday, October 21st:  Kahakai Kitchen

Monday, October 27th:  From the TBR Pile

Wednesday, October 29th:  Bibliotica

Wednesday, October 29th:  Queen of All She Reads

Thursday, October 30th:  Mockingbird  Hill Cottage – Red Hot Fix and The Unforgivable Fix

Friday, October 31st:  Back Porchervations

Friday, October 31st: The Novel Life

The Betrayed, by Heather Graham (@heathergraham) – Review

About the book, The Betrayed The Betrayed

Series: Krewe of Hunters

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (September 30, 2014)

One night, New York FBI agent Aiden Mahoney receives a visitor in a dream—an old friend named Richard Highsmith. The very next day he’s sent to Sleepy Hollow because Richard’s gone missing there.

Maureen—Mo—Deauville now lives in the historic town and works with her dog, Rollo, to search for missing people. She’s actually the one to find Richard…or more precisely his head, stuck on a statue of the legendary Headless Horseman.

Mo and Aiden, a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI’s unit of paranormal investigators, explore both past and present events to figure out who betrayed Richard, who killed him and now wants to kill them, too. As they work together, they discover that they share an unusual trait—the ability to communicate with the dead. They also share an attraction that’s as intense as it is unexpected…if they live long enough to enjoy it!

Buy, read, and discuss The Betrayed

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Goodreads

About the author, Heather Graham Heather Graham

New York Times and USA TODAY  bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels and has been published in more than 20 languages. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and the mother of five, she enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from locations such as Cairo, Egypt, to her own backyard, the Florida Keys. Reading is still the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups. She’s a winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, and also the founder of The Slush Pile Players, an author band and theatrical group.

Heather annually hosts the Writers for New Orleans conference to benefit both the city, which is near and dear to her heart, and various other causes, and she hosts a ball each year at the RT Booklovers Convention to benefit pediatric AIDS foundations.

Connect with Heather

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts

After I reviewed Heather Graham’s The Hexed a few weeks ago, I fell so much in love with the world she’s created that I ran right out and bought (well, okay, I used my iPad in my pajamas and clicked to get the kindle edition) the second in this Krewe of Hunters series, The Cursed.

And, just as when I read The Hexed, once I started reading The Cursed, I couldn’t put it down. The same is true of this book, The Betrayed.

This one takes place in Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, and while it’s a more reality-based Sleepy Hollow than the popular TV series (which, I confess, I enjoy despite the many, many historical inaccuracies), it at least acknowledges that the series exists (and that it’s good for tourism). The new hunter, Aidan Mahoney is everything you want in a paranormal romance hero: sensitive, strong, protective, but never patronizing.

The new female lead, Maureen “Mo” Deauville (who comes with a sidekick in the form of giant Irish Wolfhound Rollo) is funny, spunky, smart, and just a little bit reckless – all the perfect traits for a paranormal romance heroine.

Together they fight crime – cliche, I know, but, it’s what happens. What is NOT cliche is Heather Graham’s uncanny ability to weave historical subplots with contemporary plots, and give us just enough romance to keep the homefires burning softly, but not so much that the plot is overshadowed.

Yes, there are ghosts, and people talk to them, but Graham makes that work, as well, treating the ability to see and speak with the dead as something special, to be savored, and used on the side of good, rather than something sinister.

If you, like me, prefer your spooky stories with believable characters and accurate history, you should grab a copy of The Betrayed right now. Then you should read the rest of Heather Graham’s amazing novels, because you will NOT be disappointed.

Goes well with roasted pumpkin seeds (with garlic salt) and spiced apple cider.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For the complete list of tour stops, see below. For more information, click HERE.

Monday, September 15th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, September 15th: Books a la Mode – Spotlight and giveaway

Tuesday, September 16th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, September 17th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books

Friday, September 19th: Supernatural Snark – Spotlight and giveaway

Monday, September 22nd: Read – Love – Blog

Tuesday, September 23rd: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 24th:  Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

Thursday, September 25th: Queen of All She Reads

Monday, September 29th: Saints and Sinners Books

Tuesday, September 30th:  Mom in Love with Fiction

Thursday, October 2nd: Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Thursday, October 2nd: Ladybug Literature

Monday, October 6th:  Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, October 8th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Thursday, October 9th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller

Monday, October 13th: Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, October 15th:  Bibliotica

Monday, October 20th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf

Thursday, October 23rd: My Shelf Confessions – Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon Giveaway

Thursday, October 23rd: Harlie’s Books

Review: The Dirty Book Murder: an Antiquarian Book Mystery, by Thomas Shawyer

About the book The Dirty Book Murder: an Antiquarian Book Mystery The Dirty Book Murder

Publisher: Alibi (May 6, 2014)
Sold by: Random House LLC

In this smart, fast-paced mystery debut, Thomas Shawver introduces a charming, unlikely hero from the rarefied world of antique books.

Book merchant Michael Bevan arrives at the Kansas City auction house hoping to uncover some hidden literary gold. Though the auction ad had mentioned erotica, Michael is amazed to find lovely Japanese Shunga scrolls and a first edition of a novel by French author Colette with an inscription by Ernest Hemingway. This one item alone could fetch a small fortune in the right market.

As Michael and fellow dealer Gareth Hughes are warming up for battle, a stranger comes out of nowhere and outbids them—to the tune of sixty grand. But Gareth is unwilling to leave the auction house empty-handed, so he steals two volumes, including the Colette novel. When Gareth is found dead the next day, Michael quickly becomes the prime suspect: Not only had the pair been tossed out of a bar mid-fistfight the night before, but there is evidence from Michael’s shop at the crime scene.

Now the attorney-turned-bookman must find out who wanted the Colette so badly that they would kill for it—and frame Michael. Desperate to stay out of police custody, Michael follows the murderer’s trail into the wealthiest echelons of the city, where power and influence meet corruption—and mystery and eroticism are perverted by pure evil. Unfortunately for Michael, one dead book dealer is only the opening chapter in a terrifying tale of high culture and lowlifes.

Buy, read, and discuss:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Goodreads

About the author, Thomas Shawyer

Thomas Shawver is a former marine officer, lawyer, and journalist with American City Business Journals. An avid rugby player and international traveler, Shawver owned Bloomsday Books, an antiquarian bookstore in Kansas City.

My Thoughts

I stayed up all night reading The Dirty Book Murder, not because I’d forgotten that I was supposed to review it, but because it was that good. It opens a bit slowly, with main character Michael Bevan going to an auction because there’s some rare Japanese erotica he might want for his used bookstore, but very quickly turns into a fast-paced neo-noire murder mystery replete with mobsters, movie stars, and an estranged daughter.

It’s also got enough literary references, references, I might add, that are relevant to the plot, to make any bibliophile want to start tracking the various times Collette, Hemingway, and others are invoked by characters in the story.

And then there’s a hint of romance, though this book is in no way a love story, unless it’s a love of reading and literature, and the preservation thereof.

Author Shawyer shares a few traits (per his bio) with his main character, but he manages to do so in a way that is very much “write what you know,” and not at all “annoying author insertion.”

This book should appeal to both those who like their mysteries a little bit cerebral, but it should also be great for those who were raised on hard-boiled detective novels, as there’s a bit a both.

Goes well with Shepherd’s pie and Irish beer.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a virtual tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For more information, and the complete list of tour stops, click HERE.

Review: Ripper by Isabel Allende

About the book, Ripper


The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Though their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda’s father, she’s reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her—Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco’s elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.

While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature—as is her father, the SF PD’s deputy chief of homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior Amanda is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and to Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.

When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, probing hints and deductions that elude the police department. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother’s disappearance have something to do with the series of deaths? Now, with her mother’s life on the line, Amanda must solve the most complex mystery she’s ever faced before it’s too late.

Purchase a copy:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author, Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is the bestselling author of twelve works of fiction, four memoirs, and three young adult novels, which have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages, with more than 57 million copies sold. In 2004, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2012. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Connect with Isabel:

Website | Facebook

My Thoughts:

More than twenty years ago, I met my husband online. Specifically, I met him on a MUSH (it stands for “multi-user shared hallucination” and it refers to an online, real-time, text-based role-playing environment), which is a sort of online game. It is this experience, with the way our online and offline lives bleed into each other that made me really, really want to read the latest offering from Isabel Allende: Ripper.

If you’ve ever read Allende’s work, you know that she has this amazing way of using language that is both descriptive and immersive and amazingly lyrical, even when she’s talking about a man who was skewered by a baseball bat (which is a sight we’re treated to in the opening chapters). Ripper is no different than her other work in that respect.

But here’s where it is different: It rides the line between Young Adult/New Adult and Contemporary fiction. It’s a mystery/thriller but it’s also a family drama, a love story, and a coming of age tale. And did I mention there’s role-playing.

Of course, no matter what we’re reading, we read it through the veil of our own experiences. While my history with gaming drew me to the story, what kept me intrigued was the relationship between Amanda and her grandfather, Blake. Why? Because I was the favorite of my own grandfather, and the relationship Allende drew in Ripper resonated with me very strongly.

There are many reasons to pick up this novel. Pick it up because you like free-spirited women who care about their daughters despite having virtually nothing in common with them. Pick it up because you or someone you know has been involved in a computer game – even if it’s one of those tacky first-person shooter MMORPGs that all the kids are playing. Pick it up because you know Allende’s work and want to have the comprehensive Allende experience. You can even pick it up because you’re intrigued by the title over a picture of the Golden Gate bridge. It really doesn’t matter why you read it.

What matters is that you do, because it’s a wonderful story, and you will not be disappointed.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a virtual book tour. For the tour page, click here.

Review: The Seduction of Miriam Cross by W.A. Tyson

About the book, The Seduction of Miriam Cross

The Seduction of Miriam Cross

A sordid sex tape.
A venture capital firm.
A secret society of women.
A Catholic nun.

Miriam Cross, author, feminist and philanthropist, disappears from her Philadelphia home. A year later, a lonely recluse named Emily Cray is brutally murdered in her bed in a small Pennsylvania town.

The police discover that Emily Cray and Miriam Cross were one and the same, but if they know who killed Miriam, they’re not sharing. Miriam’s niece wants answers. She turns to the one woman she knows she can trust – private investigator Delilah Percy Powers.

As Delilah and her staff of female detectives – a militant homemaker, an ex-headmistress and a former stripper – delve into Miriam’s life, they become submerged in an underworld of unfathomable cruelty and greed with implications that go far beyond the gruesome death of one woman or the boundaries of one country. Eventually Miriam’s fight for justice becomes Delilah’s own . . . and Delilah’s obsession with finding the truth may prove just as deadly.

Buy a copy from

Barnes & Noble

About the author, W.A. Tyson

W.A. Tyson

W. A. Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. The Seduction of Miriam Cross, to be published by E-Lit Books this fall, is the first in the Delilah Percy Powers mystery series.

She has also authored Killer Image (Henery Press, October 2013), the first novel in the Allison Campbell mystery series.

Connect with W.A. Tyson

Facebook: Wendy Tyson, author
Twitter: @WendyTyson

My Thoughts

I love The Seduction of Miriam Cross. There, I said it. Now you know.

I admit that I was somewhat reluctant to leave the bubble of happy-cozy holiday preparation to read a mystery/thriller, but once I focused on the book (a PDF file of the ARC), I quickly became absorbed in W.A. Tyson’s story.

First, I want to applaud the author on the number of women in the story. While I’m not a particular fan of the Bechdel test, this novel passes it with flying colors. The protagonist is a woman. The main supporting characters are women. Even the titular victim is a woman. Seriously, this novel has more free-flowing estrogen than a fertility clinic, and frankly, it’s AWESOME, because not only are there a lot of women, each one is a fully-realized three-dimensional character in her own right.

Forgive me for gushing.

Then there’s the story itself. The novel opens with the death of a woman named Emily. We don’t learn for a few chapters that Emily IS the Miriam Cross of the title (hush, that’s not a spoiler, it’s in the blurb), and that means we begin with a dual puzzle: who killed Emily, and who is she, anyway? (Actually it’s a triple puzzle – why was she murdered? but I’m writing this before coffee, so forgive me for bad math.)

Very quickly, however, we’re taken into the care of one Delilah Percy Powers, who leads us on our journey to answer all the questions above, with a few side trips that explore who she is, why she does what she does, and how she acquired her team of helpers.

While it’s obvious that this novel serves not just to entertain us with this particular story, but also to introduce us to Delilah, Margot, and Barb as set-up for future visits to this corner of Pennsylvania, and more adventures with Percy Powers, this does not detract from the story. Instead, The Seduction of Miriam Cross feels complete in its own right, but still leaves us wanting to visit with the investigative team again.

W.A. Tyson, you are hereby included in my list of kick-ass women mystery writers, right up there with Sara Paretsky and Margaret Maron. Please write more.

And the rest of you: read The Seduction of Miriam Cross, you will NOT be able to put it down.

Goes well with Pepperoni pizza and Shiner Holiday Cheer beer.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours. They provided me with a digital copy of the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. No money changed hands. Click here for the tour page.

Review: Secrets Clad in Light, by Kyra Gregory

Secrets Clad in Light
by Kyra Gregory

Product Description (from
London, 1888. Henry decides to abandon all social conventions and rescue his lover, Seth, from an abusive household. He has replayed the moment in his head and has always known it wouldn’t be easy. He has never thought that it would be Seth who would cut his time too short. With Seth barely breathing, Henry must make the hardest decision of his life: try to save Seth, possibly condemning him to a life of suffering, or let him pass on in peace. But the arrival of a young stranger forces Henry’s hand, doing little to ease his qualms of uncertainty as everything he thought he knew changes.

Caught between self-doubt and his own selfish desires Henry learns to fight it all, using this stranger as a light to shine on what he hopes is the right path… All the while aware that there is still so much he doesn’t yet know…

My Thoughts:
Like many mystery lovers, my introduction to Victorian England was through the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. While Kyra Gregory’s novel Secrets Clad in Light doesn’t feature any detectives at all, she’s captured an underside of London that Holmes and his Baker Street irregulars would find familiar. Add to the general mood a subterranean lair in the sewer tunnels and, later, and abandoned bakery turned into a home, and the vivid descriptions will have you (at least at times) wishing for a hot shower and a change of clothes.

But a sense of place is only part of a story, and in the other parts – character and plot – Gregory does not disappoint. Her lead character, Henry is complex and three-dimensional. You see his love for Seth, his concern for him, his concern that he is forcing a relationship, or not making the right choices. In the mysterious Mary, part healer, part helpmate, we glimpse the way women of this period were still hobbled by the conventions of society. And then there’s Seth, Henry’s love, who is injured in the first pages of this novel, and remains essentially mute through the end of the book. In other hands, such a character would fade into near-nonexistence, but Gregory uses body language and non-verbal noise to convey his thoughts and feelings, and leaves us with a man who is no less vivid as his speaking associates.

Also of note is Gregory’s choice to do a period romance about two men. While the story is, itself, chaste (especially as modern romances go), in the late 19th century, such a relationship was certainly not one that would ever be displayed openly – even if “openly” meant “to other denizens of the sewers.” Still, the book puts plot and setting above social commentary. The lovers happen to both be men, but that relationship serves the story without overpowering it.

It struck me, as I was writing interview questions (check back here on 9/25 for the answers) for the author, that the late 19th century, right at the cusp of electricity obliterating gaslight, was really the last time that people in the modern world could live “off the grid.” I have to wonder if that knowledge inspired the author at all, but whether or not it did, Secrets Clad in Light is eminently readable, and even has a compelling twist ending.

Goes well with a steaming mug of English tea (Darjeeling perhaps?) and a bowl of stew.