The Angel’s Trumpet: Nineteenth Century Historical Legal Thriller and Mystery (Portia of the Pacific Book 4) by James Musgrave – A #BookReview

An Historical Legal Thriller review by the CE.

The Angel's Trumpet by James MusgraveBook Blurb:

An 1887 Handmaid Gets Her Revenge in This Superb Historical Legal Thriller and Mystery

Author Margaret Atwood creates a dystopian future in The Handmaid’s Tale.  James Musgrave’s sexist dystopia is based on fact.  

Attorney Clara Foltz’s California legal team is chosen by President Grover Cleveland to defend a mulatto suffragette who has assassinated his Supreme Court nominee, Justice Marshal Owens.  When her client is found dead in the jail cell, the hunt begins for the killer.

“James Musgrave’s The Angel’s Trumpet is one of those rare historical mysteries that is both entirely plausible and yet truly original.   A richly researched adventure into the complex social web of Gilded Age Washington, featuring deeply-realized and re-imagined luminaries including actress Sarah Bernhardt and President and Mrs. Cleveland, the novel is also surprisingly modern in its sensibilities, a compelling romp into an earlier era’s struggle with addiction and vice and secrecy and race relations, and, most of all, hidden sources of power.  You will read this book in one sitting–and you will be very glad that you did.  A meticulously-plotted gem from a master of the genre.”   Jacob M. Appel, author of the Dundee International Book Award winner, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up.

His Review:

The Angel's Trumpet by James MusgraveExplore late 19th Century life in our nation’s capital in this intriguing mystery. Grover Cleveland and his young wife are intricately involved in the plot. When a young woman stabs to death a Supreme Court nominee and waits to watch him die, the intrigue expands.

Clara Shortridge Foltz is chosen to defend the killer who is caught red-handed with her hand on the knife. Immediately the question of why comes to mind: Clara is described as a three-time loser in defending clients. Should be an open and shut case then, right?

Add in other historical figures from this time period including the Divine Ms. Sarah Bernhardt and Susan B. Anthony and the narrative becomes a political basketball.

Enjoy a ride through the Suffragette movement, the kidnapping of a President’s wife and a sinister plot to destroy evidence and the defendants, and you have a real page-turner. Washington, DC during this time period was certainly not a place you would want to live!

The characters are well developed and exhibit independence of character clearly missing in many women of that time period. They are looked down upon by most of the males in this book. Washington DC is described as a place where a negro needed to go if they wanted to succeed. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is declaring some legislation unconstitutional to reverse desegregation legislation during the post-civil war era.

CE WilliamsThe end product is a microcosm of the problems facing the population during that time period. Many of those problems still linger today but it is a pleasure to revisit that era and reinspect the issues.

We received this digital download from the publisher through NetGalley in anticipation of an honest review and these are my independent opinions. 5/5 stars CE Williams

Book Details:

Genre: Legal Thrillers, African American Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense, Assassination Thriller
Publisher: EMRE Publishing

  • ISBN-10:1943457395
  • ISBN-13:978-1943457397
  • ASIN: B07XGDB4KX

Print Length: 202 pages
Publication Date: January 1, 2020
Source: Local (Audiobook Selections) Library
Title Link: The Angel’s Trumpet
Find the Angel’s Trumpet at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound.org

+Add to Goodreads 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars 5-stars

James Musgrave - authorThe Author: James Musgrave was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. He taught as a Professor of English and worked as a Supervisor, Management Development at Caltech, Pasadena and at various San Diego colleges. He is now the author and publisher at EMRE Publishing, LLC in San Diego. He has won many writing awards, and his mysteries are “featured selections” by the American Library Association. He was also a Finalist in the Bram Stoker Awards, First Place Award for Best Historical Mystery in the Chanticleer International Book Awards, and a Finalist in the Heekin Fellowship.

Please contact the author at: jamesmusgrave2122@att.net
Sign-up for the Author’s Newsletter at: emrepublishing.com

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers by Rozsa Gaston – a #BookReview

A review of #Renaissance Lovers Anne and Louis by the CE. Happy Valentines Day!

Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers-a Valentines Day review

Book Blurb:

Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers is the stand-alone sequel to Anne and Louis, General Fiction Winner of the Publishers Weekly 2018 BookLife Prize.

The year is 1501. Europe’s fate rests in the hands of two monarchs at loggerheads.

Anne of Brittany meticulously orchestrates the perfect match for her only child by Louis XII, King of France. Her daughter will become the most powerful woman in Europe by marrying the future Holy Roman Emperor.

But when Louis abandons her wishes in favor of having their daughter marry his successor, Anne soon finds herself locked in a political struggle with the fate of Europe hanging between them. Things only get worse when Louis hatches a plan to conquer southern Italy.

Anne orders him to stay away from Italy, but Louis is determined to gain a foothold there for France. Joining Ferdinand of Spain in a secret pact to divide southern Italy between them, he plans to secure glory for France and expand his empire. But with rivals on all sides and allies he can’t trust, Louis discovers, with devastating results, that the age of chivalry is over.

As lovers, Anne and Louis are alive with passion. As rulers, they’re at each other’s throats. The future of Europe rests in their hands. Who will prevail?

His Review:

Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers by Rozsa GastonHistory buffs will love this tale. Ms. Gaston has brought to life a period in history with great sympathy. Follow Anna as she tries to keep Brittany free from French rule while being married to Louis the king. What a spunky and smart ruler she was! This historical drama is rife with intrigue and castle politics.

Add in Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain and you get a particularly spicy and turbulent dynamic. Ferdinand does not keep his word or treaties whenever he thinks he can get away with it. Marriage intrigue is also a pivotal part of inter-royalty life.

Miscarriages plague Anne and the attempt to provide a male heir to the French throne is heartbreaking. Her daughter loves her step-father Louis but is betrothed at a very young age to a scoundrel. I was amazed at the way Anne tried to get her daughter to learn the fine art of manipulating men. Most men get no preparatory training in the art of manipulating the fairer sex!

Political intrigue throughout the kingdom is a never-ending struggle. It makes me wonder how anyone survived those turbulent times. Historically accurate fiction well written, easily envisioned, and engrossing. Book 3 of the series but can easily be read as an immersive standalone. My hat is off to Rozsa, she did an exemplary job on this book. CE Williams

We received this digital download from the publisher through NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Totally recommended! 5/5 Stars CE Williams

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Italian Fiction, Historical French Fiction, Saga Fiction
Publisher: Renaissance Editions

  • ISBN-10:1732589941
  • ISBN-13:978-1732589940
  • ASIN: B07XQC3P33

Print Length: 336 pages
Publication Date: December 12, 2019
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers (Anne of Brittany Series Book 3)

+Add to Goodreads 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars 5-stars

Rozsa Gaston - authorThe Author: ROZSA GASTON writes playful books on serious matters, including the struggles women face to get what they want out of life.

She is the author of Anne and Charles (Book 1 of the Anne of Brittany Series), Anne and Louis (Book 2), Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers (Book 3), Sense of Touch, Paris Adieu, Black is Not a Color, Budapest Romance, Running from Love, and Dog Sitters.

Gaston studied European history at Yale and received her Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia. She worked at Institutional Investor magazine, then as a columnist for The Westchester Guardian.

She is currently working on her fourth and final book in the Anne of Brittany Series. She lives in Bronxville, New York, with her family.

Gaston can be found online on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rozsagastonauthor, or at her website, http://www.rozsagaston.com. Her motto? Stay playful.

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

The Darkness Prequel Tour – A #CrimeFictionTreasureHunt #DarkOfNight #DarknessSeries by C. S. Duffy @CSDuffywriter

I was thrilled to be invited to participate in an extra special blog tour–a Glasgow set serial killer thrillers. Talk about your twists! This unique tour started a new chapter with each new book blogger in Claire’s prequel to the “Darkness” series as well as give you the opportunity to discover a new book blogger. The tour extended across two weeks and fourteen exclusive and independent bloggers.

The Dark of Night trilogy by CS Duffy are fast-paced thrillers! Each day you can read an excerpt in a serialized version of the prequel at a different blog. If you missed the start of the blog tour, take a look at the blog schedule (below) and begin with Chapter One at Chapter in My Life

About the Books:

Last paragraph from Chapter 13A Knight’s Reads

Lorna opened her laptop and drummed her fingers on it, her heart hammering as she tried to think of the right search terms. Half an hour later, she had found the connection between Stuart Henderson and the murdered nurse. She just didn’t understand why the old lady had lied to her.

Dark of Night - reader quotes

Chapter 14: 

‘I don’t resent any of the things that have been done to me,’ said Stuart Henderson with a deep, melancholic sigh. He peered at the camera from behind those odd wee glasses. For a moment, his bemused expression put her in mind of the time when answering machines first became common and her Granny would leave messages consisting of her bellowing at the top of her voice WILL YOU JUST TELL MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW THAT GRANNY STEWART PHONED. BYYEEEE!

Then Lorna remembered that he’d only been in prison for seven years, and had been some kind of a wonderkid developer before that. Stuart Henderson knew fine what a webcam was. But he wanted her to see him as a doddery wee man, she thought. Interesting.

‘You mean things that the police did to you?’ she asked.

‘The police, the courts, my lawyers. A lot of the papers said they were out to get me but I don’t think that was the case. I think they did their jobs as best they knew how. True, they could have done better.’ He shrugged, smiled at the camera, an endearing, don’t-you-worry-about-little-old-me smile that made Lorna’s skin crawl.

‘What do you think they could have done better?’ she asked.

Stuart laughed, a thin, reedy laugh that jangled Lorna’s nerves. Though she knew he was thousands of miles away under lock and key, an uneasy feeling kept prickling at the back of her neck. It took a superhuman effort not to run and double check that her doors were locked and that Stuart Henderson wasn’t hiding under her bed.

‘Well they could have caught the guy who actually did these reprehensible things,’ he sing-songed, as though talking to a baby. ‘Just an idea.’

‘What do you think he is like?’

‘Who?’

But a flicker of interest sparked into Stuart’s eyes.

‘The guy who actually did these reprehensible things.’

‘Oh aye, him. How should I know what he’s like?’

‘You told me earlier that nobody knows more about this case than you do. So you should have an idea of what the real killer is like.’

‘So I should,’ Stuart muttered, staring up at the ceiling. He had been brought in to some kind of interview room. Lorna could just about see the dark grey walls around the edges of the shot, and every time Stuart moved his hands she heard his shackles clink and clank. After months of emails back and forth with the prison authorities and Henderson’s legal team, Lorna had been thrilled to finally secure the interview. It had just been a few minutes, and she was fighting the urge not to slap her laptop shut so he couldn’t see her anymore.

He wasn’t what she had expected. Though she had seen plenty of pictures of him beforehand, it was still disconcerting to come face-to-face with someone who looked like any wee Glasgow guy, yet was also a monster. Lorna could have sat opposite Stuart Henderson on the subway, been cornered by him in a pub slurring rubbish chat up lines, bantered with him in a late night café as they waited for their kebabs, and she would never have known she was staring into void of humanity. He kept sniffing and she wanted to snap at him to get a hankie, then she remembered that he was chained to his chair so that he didn’t rip the face off any of the guards supervising him.

‘Maybe I was mistaken,’ she said lightly. ‘Thinking you knew all about it.’

‘What do you want to know about him?’ Stuart snapped, and Lorna jumped.

‘Where did he start?’

Stuart rolled his eyes like a sullen teenager. ‘All this is a matter of record.’

‘I don’t think so.’

Stuart stared at the camera. Though Lorna knew it wasn’t actual eye contact, that he couldn’t in fact even see her, she shivered.

‘I think he must have started before the crimes we know about,’ Lorna said softly. ‘Long before. Killers like him, the ones who are precise and exacting and get away with it for years like he did, they don’t just spring into being fully-formed. They’ve practiced, they’ve trained. They’ve worked their way up to it.’

Stuart nodded slowly. ‘You just might be onto something there.’

‘Tell me about his first crime.’

Stuart thought a long while. Lorna hardly dared breathe. Then he smiled.

‘He was only a wee boy,’ he grinned, as though about to spill a delicious secret.

If you want to read the entire Chapter 13, check out yesterday’s installment on A Knight’s Reads or read all chapters beginning with Sharon’s post at Chapter in My Life!

Darkness Prequel Tour Schedule 

THE DARKNESS BUY LINKS:

UK Store:

Dark of Night: Episode One:  http://amzn.eu/d/62DeGhx

Dark of Night: Episode Two: http://amzn.eu/d/9ftE9Wp

Dark of Night: Episode Three: http://amzn.eu/d/5AFct03

Just Before Dawn: Episode One: http://amzn.eu/d/5jJwPju

US Store:

Dark of Night: Episode One: http://a.co/d/3eh05dK

Dark of Night: Episode Two: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Night-Episode-CS-Duffy/dp/197351995X/

Dark of Night: Episode Three

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Night-Episode-CS-Duffy/dp/1982959916/

Published in September, 2018, Claire continues the suspense thriller storyline in Just Before Dawn Episode One, Darkness Book 4.

C S Duffy - authorAbout The Author:

C.S. Duffy writes psychological suspense thrillers with a healthy dose of black humour. Her background is in film and TV. She has several projects in development in Sweden and the UK and her other writing has appeared in Elle Canada and The Guardian. She is the author of Life is Swede, a thriller that was originally written as a blog – leading several readers to contact Swedish news agencies asking them why they hadn’t reported the murder that features in the blog. She is the author of Dark of Night and Just Before Dawn, a thriller series set in Glasgow which was selected for a Spotlight slot at this year’s Bloody Scotland.

Find me at:
http://csduffy.com/
https://twitter.com/csduffywriter
https://www.instagram.com/csduffywriter/
https://www.instagram.com/writer.on.the.go/

What a brilliant and fun way to get to know and read her series and enjoy our fellow bloggers. This was engaging and entertaining, Claire, thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams