Sunday Reflections

BOOKS READ THIS WEEK FOR THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY

I am currently reviewing several books for Historical Novels Review Magazine. This is the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. I am including the cover and the book description from Amazon. My reviews will not be posted until after the magazine comes out in February 2021. The books I have read/am reading for them this week are:

Twelve-year-old Adam is whisked away from his imperfect but quiet life with the arrival of a stranger and a magical promise in this time travel mystery.

Amazon Description: It’s 1999 and Adam doesn’t mind living at his uncle’s bakery, the Biscuit Basket, on the Lower East Side in New York City. The warm, delicious smells of freshly baked breads and chocolate croissants make every day feel cozy, even if Adam doesn’t have many friends and misses his long dead parents very much.

When a mysterious but cheerful customer shows Adam a snow globe and says that adventures await him, it’s too strange to be true. But days later, an unbelievable, incredible thing happens. Adam finds a similar looking snow globe and immediately travels back in time, first to Times Square in 1935, then a candle factory fire in 1967. 

But how are these moments related? What do they have to do with his parents’ death? And why is a tall man with long eyebrows and a thin mustache following Adam’s every move?

Book 9 in the Carpenter & Quincannon mystery series. It is the late 1800’s, and Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are partners, both as detectives and in life.

Amazon Description: Quincannon’s pursuit of two con men who have absconded to Hawaii with a considerable sum of his employer’s assets dovetails nicely with Sabina’s vision of a second honeymoon.

But neither is wont to stay out of trouble, and Sabina inadvertently becomes involved in a locked room/dying message murder in Honolulu.

Amazon Description: April 1944, the fifty-fifth month of the war in Europe. The entire island of Britain fairly buzzes with the coiled energy of a million men poised to leap the Channel to France, the first, riskiest step in the Allies’ long slog to the heart of Germany and the end of the war.

Lieutenant Eddie Harkins is tasked to investigate the murder of Helen Batcheller, an OSS analyst. Harkins is assigned a British driver, Private Pamela Lowell, to aid in his investigation. Lowell is smart, brave and resourceful; like Harkins, she is prone to speak her mind even when it doesn’t help her.

Soon a suspect is arrested and Harkins is ordered to stop digging. Suspicious, he continues his investigation only to find himself trapped in a web of Soviet secrets. As bombs fall, Harkins must solve the murder and reveal the spies before it is too late.

Amazon Description: Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.

Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they’re not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.

The Historical Novel Society provides a quarterly magazine, Historical Novels Review, with reviews of many different genres of historical fiction. The reviews are both online and in the hard copy magazine. They also provide interesting online articles and hold conferences and other events. My reviews for them which appeared in the November 2020 issue can be found here

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