1920s

The Other Daughter

By Lauren Willig
4
Rated by Heather B.
Aug 20, 2015

In 1920s France, British governess Rachel Woodley abruptly quits her job to return home to her ailing mother. Upon her arrival in England, she is devastated to find that her mother has already died. With no money, no remaining family, and her childhood home about to be swept from beneath her by a greedy landlord, Rachel is truly unmoored. Things become even more confusing when, among her mother’s things, she finds a photo from a current magazine of her father, whom she had been told died when she was a child. And, she discovers he's an earl with a wife and two other (recognized, legitimate)

Serena: A Novel

By Ron Rash
3
Rated by Katie S.
Nov 20, 2014

Power, lust, fear, and destruction are all words that could describe the story of Serena by Ron Rash. The novel's namesake, Serena, is an eerily beautiful woman who is obsessed with money and the destruction of both nature and her enemies. She is married to George Pemberton, the owner of a timber company responsible for clearing a large portion of the North Carolina landscape in 1929. One side of the story describes Serena's push to rid the landscape of trees and beasts alike. She captures the minds of every man working for their company as well as her competitors who would like to stop her so

Cocaine Blues

By Kerry Greenwood
5
Rated by Amy F.
Aug 5, 2014

This is the first book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery series, a charmingly written series set in in early 20th century Melbourne, Australia. The atmospheric and well-researched details in these novels create an engrossing view into 1920s Melbourne society at all levels. The cast has its regulars, like Jack Robinson, the long-suffering and orchid-loving policeman, Cec and Burt, the wharfies who hope for a socialist revolution, and Lin Chung, the well-to-do son of Chinese immigrants. Included in each book is an ever-changing variety of folks from all walks of Australian life, who round out the

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

0
Rated by Katerina J.
Aug 30, 2012

The Chaperone is Laura Moriarty’s fourth novel and her first historical fiction. As the title suggests, Moriarty created an unforgettable heroine in an ordinary and conservative chaperone, Cora Carlisle. Cora is a respectable and sensible mother and wife of a prosperous Wichita lawyer with a seemingly perfect life. To everyone’s surprise, Cora volunteers to chaperone fifteen-year-old mischievous Louise Brooks, the future silent movie star, to New York City to study modern dance in the summer of 1922. However, Cora has her own reasons why she wants and needs to go to New York City. Most of the

Jul 31, 2012

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston is exactly what the title implies—it’s a story told through a book of photos, memorabilia and souvenirs.  The story begins in 1920 when, full of dreams and goals for the future, Frankie graduates from high school.  To mark the occasion, she receives a scrapbook and a typewriter which begin the chronicling of her life.  Although unconventional in its presentation, the author successfully conveys the rich, colorful detail of Frankie’s first experiences in sophisticated, adult society.  Her college years, first job, travels, and loves are finely

Jul 12, 2011

Many of us would not be alive today if not for the work of Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler. This fascinating Jazz Age tale of the birth of forensic medicine in the U.S. highlights the careers of these two heroes, who worked against incredible odds to develop techniques that would reveal the poisons that killed countless citizens. Their cases included: a family mysteriously stricken bald, Barnum and Bailey’s famous Blue Man and a diner serving poison pies. Because of their work arsenic, morphine, thallium and radium are no longer available across the counter to shoppers who may have