Posts by Vicki J Kondelik

Women and Power by Mary Beard

Cover of Women and Power by Mary Beard

Classicist Mary Beard writes, in two brief essays, about how the voices of powerful women in Western civilization have been suppressed though the years, from ancient times to the present day. She gives examples throughout history, from the ancient Greeks to the present.

Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom

Cover of Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom

Birth of the Chess Queen tells the story of the chess queen's evolution from the origins of the game to the present day. The queen was not always part of the game, and when she was first introduced, she was not the powerful piece she is today. Historian Marilyn Yalom discusses how the queen came to be the most powerful piece on the chessboard, and tells the stories of several strong real-life queens in the Middle Ages and Renaissance who influenced the evolution of the chess queen.

The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

Cover of The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

The Winter Ghosts is a beautifully-written novel about a young man whose brother was killed in World War I, who travels in the French Pyrenees in the hope that he will heal his emotional wounds. Stranded in a blizzard, he finds a remote village and meets a young woman who tells him a horrific story of the massacre of a Christian sect in the Middle Ages. But there is more going on than meets the eye. Time travel, ghosts, or the protagonist's imagination? It is up to the reader to decide.

A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon

Cover of A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon

In this mystery set in Venice, Commissario Guido Brunetti solves the murder of a young man, the son of one of Venice's noble families, who had been kidnapped two years ago and whose body was found in a field. His family had been involved in shady business dealings in eastern Europe. Was he murdered because of this? Or did his cousin, the new heir to the family business, murder him? As he searches for the murderer, Brunetti also wonders if his wife, Paola, is unhappy in their marriage...

A Better Man by Louise Penny

Cover of A Better Man by Louise Penny

As catastrophic floods threaten to devastate Québec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache finds the body of a murdered, pregnant woman. All the evidence points to her abusive husband as the killer, but there's not enough to convict him, and the woman's grieving father threatens to kill the husband. Meanwhile, Gamache faces damage to his reputation in social media, as a video emerges, seriously misrepresenting the actions which led to his demotion.

Prophecy by S.J. Parris

Cover of Prophecy by S.J. Parris

Prophecy is the second in S.J. Parris' mystery series set in Elizabethan England, featuring the real-life philosopher and scientist Giordano Bruno, who, in the series, works as a spy for Queen Elizabeth I. In this book, he attempts to foil a plot against the queen's life, which is being timed to coincide with an astronomical event.

A Beam of Light by Andrea Camilleri

Cover of A Beam of Light by Andrea Camilleri

In this entry in Camilleri's mystery series set in Sicily, Inspector Montalbano investigates two cases. In one, the young wife of a much-older merchant is robbed and sexually assaulted while depositing money at a bank. In the other, an abandoned building on a farm is used to store weapons, and two Tunisian farm workers are the prime suspects. Meanwhile, Montalbano is undergoing a crisis in his personal life, as he is torn between two women: his long-time girlfriend and a beautiful art...

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