Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Playing with Fire






Gerritsen, Tess. Playing with Fire. New York: Ballantine Books, 2015.

Julia Ansdell discovers a piece of music in an antiques store while she's playing in Italy. When she brings it home, it appears the music is causing her daughter to try to do unthinkable things. The alternating sequence of the story goes back to Fascist Italy when the Jews are being persecuted. Julia tries to find the story behind the music as things begin to happen to those around her. This is a fascinating novel with an important historical thread running through it. It's my first time to read Gerritsen, but this book makes me want to try some of her other works. This review is based an an advance e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Murder at the Courthouse






Gabhart, A. H. Murder at the Courthouse. Grand Rapids: Revell, 2015.

Michael Keane has returned from policing the streets of Columbus, Ohio to serve in the sheriff's department in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. When Miss Willadeen discovers the body of a stranger on the steps of the courthouse on her daily visit, suddenly no one feels safe. Several stories within the novel may seem unrelated to some readers and shout out to others as quite important, but they all weave together to form a story. The author is not particularly good at hiding her clues so I guessed the way things were going to work out including the perpetrator and other things that I won't spoil for those who have not read the novel. In spite of that, I enjoyed the characters and the setting and would probably read another installment in the series. This review is based on an advance e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life Through the Seasons






Ernst, Kathleen. A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life Through the Seasons. Photographs by Loyd Heath. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2015.

This book appears to have been mostly written to be sold at Old World Wisconsin, a museum dedicated to those who settled Wisconsin in the 19th century. The photos are mostly contemporary photos showing some of the re-enactments on the site. Some of the modern persons don't look all that authentic in their outfits. Still, the text provides a lot of information on the pioneer experience throughout the first year and "second spring." A good bibliography provides additional resources useful to those seeking more in-depth information on the topic. The book would make a nice coffee table book for anyone with Wisconsin ancestry or for others interested in the state's history. This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with the expectation that a review be written.

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