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Another “different” review for you this week. The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva is a another in the Gabriel Allon series. This is the first Gabriel Allon series I’ve read, so keep that in mind. Sometimes a series can repeat things about characters that are returning in order to help you remember, and from what I’ve heard there is a bit of that in The Rembrandt Affair, but I enjoyed the background on each of the characters. The combination of historical and political events both past and current were interesting, and of course the art history. Before I head into the questions, this is a great beach read to close out the summer!
If you were to write a blurb in fewer than three sentences for THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, what would it be? Behind every fortune is a crime. Gabriel Allon returns to trace a missing painting through Switzerland, Buenos Aires, and Nazi Germany in order to find the truth and return the painting to it’s rightful owner from one of the most powerful men in the World.
Gabriel Allon is a talented spy and assassin, but also a master art restorer. If you could have two careers that seem to be complete opposites, what would they be? I’m really not making this up, but a spy and a dancer. I’ve always been good at playing parts, and trying new situations, so being a spy has always intrigued me. Being a dancer just seems like such a different world where you have to be more introverted and in tune with your feelings. …continue to the book review of The Rembrandt Affair By Daniel Silva
Books come into your life much like friends, sometimes they just seem to arrive at the right time. 31 Bond Street fell into my lap just as I was leaving to spend a long weekend in NYC. Written by Ellen Horan after she stumbled across an old newspaper page from 1857 with a sketch of an elegant townhome on Bond Street depicting the crowd that had gathered after a local dentist had been murdered. Much like I would have done myself, this lead Horan to research the event, which eventually became the basis for this novel.
Dr. Harvey Burdell was a successful dentist with a penchant for engaging in shady business deals on the side. Thrown into the mix is Emma Cunningham, a widower with 2 children that occupied the upper floors of the townhouse in exchange for running the household and staff. Emma is cast at the murderess that was after Dr. Burdell’s fortune. What follows is nothing short of a scary legal process that had me clenching my gut for 2 days. …continue to the book review of 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
History is always painted one of two ways, romantic or brutal. The King’s Mistress by Emma Campion explores the world of Alice Perrers, mistress to King Edward III, as she makes her way through what seems like a separate Universe from the World of today.
Campion opens with Alice asking the question “Yet when had I a choice to be other than I was?” It’s certainly a question we’ve all considered about our own choices. Most historical accounts portray Alice as a usurper that worked her way into the King’s bed in order to take over the castle, gain lands, and a fortune of her own. Campion paints a picture that I think is much more realistic when looking at the power that a commoner would have had in England at the time. A time when a commoner, especially a woman, would have no choice about the trail her life would take. …continue to the book review of The King’s Mistress by Emma Campion
I’m a fairly open minded person. I believe in freedom of choice whether it’s a religious matter, sexual, educational, or anything else in life as long as we all follow the rule that your choice shouldn’t impinge on my ability to choose. Hidden Wives by Claire Avery reads like a firsthand account of what could have occurred leading up to the raids on the Texas Fundamentalist Mormon compound in 2008 where hundreds of girls were found in a community that routinely married young girls to older men in arranged marriages. Like many stories that come out of religious sects like these, it’s difficult looking in and (not)judging women that say they want to remain there. I’ve been routinely appalled, while at the same time believing they have a choice to live in any type of relationship they want to. Of course, the question comes down to, “do they really have a choice?”
Avery tackles this question from the inside by following the fictional story of 2 young sisters, Rachel and Sara. Rachel and Sara are diametrically opposed, Rachel, the beautiful one, is a true believer, and Sara, the unattractive intelligent one, is beginning to have serious doubts. …continue to the book review of Hidden Wives by Claire Avery
Getting into another person’s mind has always fascinated me, probably why I went into psychology. The mind of a killer, especially one with no remorse has always sucked me in, so I really wanted to pick up The Killing of Mindi Quintana by local author Jeffrey Cohen. The Killing of Mindi Quintana centers around Freddy, a simple retail china manager that commits a murder and tries to use his new found celebrity to reach his goals.
The story opens with an overview of the inner thoughts of Freddy who excels at his job, much to his dismay, as he finds himself about to move up the corporate ladder. He’s stuck in a life he doesn’t want, but can’t figure out how to get out of it. Cohen does an excellent job of making you feel Freddy’s despair, and sensing his mental imbalance. …continue to the book review of The Killing of Mindi Quintana by Jeffrey Cohen