Posts by Vicki J Kondelik

The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland

Cover of The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland

This is the first is a trilogy of novels about the Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon. Sandra Gulland tells her story in the form of fictional diary entries. This novel begins with Josephine's girlhood on Martinique and tells of her life in Paris during the French Revolution, her imprisonment during the Terror, when she narrowly escapes the guillotine, and ends with her marriage to Napoleon. The story continues in two other volumes.

The Magic Circle by Katherine Neville

Cover of The Magic Circle by Katherine Neville

The Magic Circle is a mystery/adventure novel about a younger nuclear security expert, Ariel Behn, who, in 1989, inherits a pile of ancient manuscripts which hold the key to a powerful secret. She also discovers the history of her own very complex family and their activities in Europe between World Wars I and II.

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Cover of Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Labyrinth tells the story of two women, in two different times (1209 and 2005), and their quest for a secret of immense power. On an archaeological dig in the south of France, Alice finds two skeletons and a mysterious carving of a labyrinth on a wall, and begins experiencing visions of a past life. Her story is intertwined with that of Alaïs, a young woman in medieval Carcassonne, whose father is a guardian of one of three manuscripts that contain the secret of the Holy Grail. The plot is...

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Cover of The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

This is the first of a series of mysteries set in 1920s India, featuring Perveen Mistry, one of the first female lawyers in India. She investigates the murder of a man at the home of the three widows of a wealthy Muslim mill owner. The widows live in strict seclusion and will talk to Perveen, while they cannot talk to a male lawyer. In alternating chapters set a few years earlier, we learn of the traumas Perveen went through as a young woman, and her disastrous marriage. Author Massey...

Little by Edward Carey

Cover of Little by Edward Carey

This brilliantly-written historical novel tells the story of Anne Marie Grosholtz, who became the wax sculptor Madame Tussaud, in her own unique voice. Orphaned at an early age, Marie learns the art of modeling body parts for anatomical study from a physician. Eventually she draws the attention of the royal family, and she tutors the sister of Louis XVI. Her business prospers in the tumultuous days of the French Revolution, but her association with the royal family leads to her imprisonment...

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

Cover of Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

In the latest entry in Louise Penny's popular mystery series, Armand Gamache, former head of the Sûreté de Québec, now living in the tiny village of Three Pines, is named as the executor of the will of a woman he's never met. Soon afterwards, the body of her oldest son is found in a collapsed farmhouse. Gamache's investigation of the murder uncovers secrets, including a long-lasting family feud. Meanwhile, Gamache searches for a deadly drug he allowed to slip through, and...

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Cover of The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network tells two parallel stories, in alternating chapters. One is about a young woman who worked as a spy, in an all-female spy network, in France during World War I. The other is about an American college student who goes to France shortly after World War II, to look for her French cousin who disappeared in occupied France. These two stories intersect in a powerful way and make for a very suspenseful novel.

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