The Reckoning

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Rennie Airth

Title: The Reckoning

This is the fourth in an historical mystery series spanning the early 1920’s to 1947 and featuring John Madden, a Scotland Yard Inspector. Now retired from the force, Madden is called back to investigate a series of execution style murders using a World War I German Lugar. Is this revenge for some past deed? I am a great fan of Airth’s John Madden series for its vivid description of England during the interwar years as well as the main character’s deductive crime solving abilities. It would be best to begin the series with River of Darkness, published in 1999.

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The silent sister

From  Andrea  Kalinowski

Author:  Diane  Chamberlain

Title:  The silent sister

“I know that the lies in our family hurt all of us, especially Danny and myself. Growing up in a household where something is terribly wrong, you feel the weight of that mysterious something even though it’s unspoken. It eats at you. Confuses you. It leaves you wondering if your view of the world will ever make sense.” The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain was an unexpected surprise hit with me. It was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. She could not stop reading the book and neither could I.

A young woman returns to her father’s house to clean out his home and to settle his estate. She thinks her only relative is her brother, who is perceived, by her and others, as being mentally ill. In the cleaning process, secrets of her sister’s suicide are unearthed and shed new light on the family dynamics. Lisa was seventeen when she committed “suicide” and it was this “suicide” which changed the family’s dynamic from a cohesive functioning family unit to a dysfunctional mishmash. Danny harbors his own resentments about Lisa’s familial role and the transformation that is wrought by her “suicide.” The discovery of newspaper articles detailing the real story behind the “suicide” set Riley off in search of the real story. The full scope of the deception forces Riley and Danny into a new and uncertain familial future. Our choices today really do have a ripple effect even though we may not perceive them clearly at the moment of decision. The Silent Sister was an excellent, suspenseful read. I give it four stars.

Paris to the past : traveling through French history by train

From Eileen Effrat

Author:  Ina Caro

Title:   Paris to the past : traveling through French history by train

Paris is the gateway to France’s well preserved past. The Paris metro or the high –speed TGV can take time travelers to historic sites in just a few hours. Caro describes 25 outings  that span 700 years of French history. Arranged chronologically, she visits everywhere from the Place de la Concorde, the Pantheon, and Saint-Denis in Paris, to Versailles, Chartres, Rouen, and Blois in the region. Filled with historical tidbits, this is a very enjoyable, well researched read for Francophiles and armchair travelers.