Tag Archives: Rhys Bowen

A Dash of History with Your Mysteries: Even Though I Knew the End by CL Polk, Peril in Paris by Rhys Bowen, and Of Dragons, Feasts, and Murders by Aliette De Bodard

9 Nov

Even Though I Knew the End
by CL Polk

I had previously read and enjoyed CL Polk’s novel about witches The Midnight Bargain so was curious to check out their latest novel, Even Though I Knew the End. Even Though I Knew the End is a supernatural noir which takes inspiration from The Great Gatsby and is set in an alternative Chicago in the early 20th century where magic and demons are real and deals at the crossroads bring your heart’s desire for the cost of your soul. The supernatural elements are cleverly integrated and the sweet Sapphic romance as well as a story of reunited siblings was fast paced. If anything, it was over a bit too quickly for my taste, I wanted more of the charming characters and their adventures. It also had probably one of my favorite fictional demons. Lucky for you no soul selling required, you can check out a copy from the library.

Peril in Paris
by Rhys Bowen

Peril in Paris, on the other hand, is a good choice for those looking for a historic mystery with less fantasy of the supernatural variety and a bit more humor. I wasn’t sure now that Georgina was married and pregnant with her first child if some of the adventure in the Royal Spyness might be lacking, but Peril in Paris cured any worries I’ve had. Although I’m always a fan of the capers of the poor yet aristocratic Georgina, this novel was one of my favorites with Georgie encountering such historic figures as Coco Chanel and Gertrude Stein when she visits her friend Belinda in France and assists her husband on a secret mission for Britain. Of course there is also a murder mystery to be solved. Rhys Bowen does a brilliant job of weaving together history, humor, romance, and mystery. Fans of cozy mysteries even those not typically interested in historic settings will be delighted. I received an early copy of Peril in Paris and Even Though I Knew the End for review from Netgalley. Hoboken Public Library patrons can borrow them using the Libby App from eBCCLS.

Dragons, Feasts, and Murders
by Aliette De Bodard

Another quick fantasy/mystery read, the novella, Dragons, Feasts, and Murders is the first in the Dragons and Blades series which spun off from the Dominion of the Fallen Trilogy. During Lunar New Year, the dragon prince, Thuan takes his husband Asmodeus, a fallen angel, home to spend time with family, however, the revelries are interrupted by a murder that Asmodeus can’t resist attempting to solve. The setting is an alternate history Vietnamese inspired kingdom at the bottom of the Seine River in post-apocalyptic Paris where characters have an aquatic creature side to their humanoid appearance, which is depicted in as intriguingly original a way as it sounds. You can also borrow the second in De Bodard’s series Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances from Hoopla.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

1930’s Mysteries

8 Jul

Get the lowdown on three snazzy mysteries series, written by contemporary authors set in the 1930’s.  Even if you don’t know squat about the time period, you’ll still have a swell time reading them this summer.

Royal Spyness Mysteries

Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series, set in 1930s London, features Lady Georgiana Rannoch. Thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but despite her royal connections suffers from a lack of funds, but not a lack of spirit.  The supporting characters include her film star mother, possible spy and Georgie’s sometimes beau Darcy, and her cockney grandfather, all who have quirky charm.  Although sometimes not the most historically accurate (her Romania in Royal Blood seems more drawn from depictions in Dracula films than the actual place), the books still are engaging and are a great Summer read.  There are six books in the series so far and the latest book, Heirs and Graces is scheduled to be released at the beginning of August.

royal spyness

Her Royal Spyness – 1st book in the series

The Darling Dahlias
Susan Wittig Albert’s The Darling Dahlias series is also set during the tough time of the 1930s and features a spunky heroine, but has a totally different feel with their focus on a set of close friends who live in the Southern United States.  The series title comes from a gardening club in Darling, Alabama that the central characters are members of.  There are currently three books in the series: The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree, The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies, and The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose.  The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star is scheduled for the beginning of September and Whitting is currently working on The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush.  Albert has clearly spent a great deal of effort researching the period and the reader will feel truly transported back in time.  I am also a fan of Albert’s Victorian-Edwardian Mysteries series written with her husband under the pen name Robin Paige.


The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree – 1st book in the series

The Marjorie McClelland Mysteries
The Marjorie McClelland Mysteries by Amy Patricia Meade are set in the mid 1930’s in Connecticut and star mystery writer, Marjorie McClelland.   The series includes four books: Million Dollar Baby, Ghost of a Chance, Shadow Waltz, and Black MoonlightMillion Dollar Baby features an intriguing mystery as well as witty banter between Marjorie and British aristocrat Creighton Ashcroft, who Marjorie finds both attractive and the insufferable.  A local detective also catches Marjorie’s eye.  Readers who enjoy a bit of romance with their mystery will enjoy Meade’s work and will be reading to learn the outcome of the love triangle as much as to learn the identity of the murderer.


Million Dollar Baby – 1st book in the series

– Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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