Their Finest by Lissa Evans

Evans opens a door into the film industry (at least the one back in the 1940s) with her portrayals of actors and those behind the scenes. Her descriptions are full of detail not only of movie making, but also of life in a war-torn city. The plot is light. It has a few twists that keeps the reader interested. A good, quick read.

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The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego and Denis Lepee

The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego and Denis Lepee is an intriguing look at the time of Louis XIV of France. Here is a brief summary of the book: Cardinal Mazarin, the Chief Minister who has governed throughout King Louis’ early years, lies dying. As a fierce power struggle develops to succeed him, a religious brotherhood, guardian of a centuries-old secret, also sees its chance to influence events. Gabriel de Pontbriand, an aspiring actor employed as secretary to Moliere, becomes...

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The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams

Although Williams' novels have a bit more sex than I like (any mention of it is a bit more than my preference not because of prudishness, but I like action more than sexual relationships), she spins an awesome story. The story is believable even if it has a dash of the supernatural. It is not boring or predictable.

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To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

It moves from the interior thoughts and emotions of its characters to the historic events that surround them, to the interaction of people across social, cultural and language boundaries, all while sucking you into this gripping story of a fantastical expedition and its impact on both the future and the lives of a young marriage.

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The Angels Die by Yasmina Khadra

Khadra captures Turambo's guttural feelings for his surroundings - whether they are in the ring entertaining Europeans or in the brothel. Her descriptions leap from the page and engage the reader. A good look at colonial Algeria from the perspective of an Arab-Berber.

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A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

I do not typically read novels about rich and glamorous people, but Beatriz Williams’ latest novel A Certain Age caught my eye. It caught my eye because it is a mystery hidden inside accounts of New York City life in the 1920s from the perspective of two women. From the publisher: As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young...

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