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What are you reading? December 2013

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sat December 28th, 2013, 6:47 pm

Onto The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. I read Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie, two years ago, so I'm familiar with the story. Very much enjoying how Stachniak treats her material--very good writing.
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun December 29th, 2013, 12:40 am

[quote=""fljustice""]Onto The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. I read Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie, two years ago, so I'm familiar with the story. Very much enjoying how Stachniak treats her material--very good writing.[/quote]

Am I the only one who was underwhelmed with that book?

Sigh...

Finished Desert Dreams by Deborah Cox, and I have to say it was not exactly a light romance like I was expecting. Lots of action and danger in the desert, plus quite a nice shoot out with the baddies at the end. The hero's big reveal on the tortured past definitely takes it out of the fluffy romance category. Felt like I was watching one of my old favorite western shows.

Started The Judas Kiss by Victoria Holt. I have to share this cover I found (not mine), and look at those oddly angular breasts she has :eek:
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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun December 29th, 2013, 12:58 am

[quote=""Misfit""]Am I the only one who was underwhelmed with that book? Sigh...[/quote]

No, I was disappointed with that book also. It was subtitled "A Novel of Catherine the Great." Yes, she was certainly in the novel, but the it was the story of the fictional narrator Varvara. I think it would be more accurate to call it a novel of those times.
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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "The Darkest Evening" by Ann Cleeves
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Post by Madeleine » Sun December 29th, 2013, 7:55 pm

Back with the Stackhouses.
Currently reading: "The Darkest Evening" by Ann Cleeves

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Sun December 29th, 2013, 7:58 pm

[quote=""Susan""]No, I was disappointed with that book also. It was subtitled "A Novel of Catherine the Great." Yes, she was certainly in the novel, but the it was the story of the fictional narrator Varvara. I think it would be more accurate to call it a novel of those times.[/quote]

Ditto. We read it for our HF book group about a year ago. I remember about 16 of us discussing it. One loved it. The rest were 'meh' to majorly disappointed.
And it wasn't just because it didn't meet the expectations of the subtitle. Memory's a bit hazy now but we all found lots of things wrong with it. Was a bit of a mess all round, albeit not without some promising elements, but as a book it didn't hang together.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun December 29th, 2013, 9:37 pm

[quote=""Susan""]No, I was disappointed with that book also. It was subtitled "A Novel of Catherine the Great." Yes, she was certainly in the novel, but the it was the story of the fictional narrator Varvara. I think it would be more accurate to call it a novel of those times.[/quote]

Glad I'm not alone. IIRC, it started off fairly well, but the first person narrative really hemmed things in - especially when she couldn't observe events in person. I thought Peter was poorly done, compared to what Annette Motley did with him in Men on White Horses.

Almost done with The Judas Kiss by Victoria Holt. Really enjoying it.
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emr
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Post by emr » Tue December 31st, 2013, 11:26 am

Fires of London by Janice Law
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue December 31st, 2013, 1:20 pm

Imperial Winds Priscilla Napier. Russia, WWI.

Edit: just doing some preliminary Googling on Napier. Looks like this is more than a one-shot historical romance type of author. Wiki page.
At the age of twenty-two, Priscilla Hayter married Trevylyan Michael Napier born 21 June 1901 Kensington London, a Royal Navy officer and a scion of the Napier family of Merchiston. A Napier ancestor had arrived in Somerset from Scotland in the reign of Henry VII, and Trevylyan Napier's father, like his grandfather, was a Vice-Admiral. After her husband was killed on active service in 1940, Priscilla Napier was left to bring up their son and two daughters. She then developed a writing career based on studies of her dead husband's family. She also published poetry and an autobiography.[2]
I have to work at work today, but hopefully Annis (or others) can find some more info? Looks like she's written some NF/bios on her husband's Napier ancestors from the Amazon page.
Last edited by Misfit on Tue December 31st, 2013, 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Tue December 31st, 2013, 4:46 pm

Finishing up a NF research book on Nero. I'm surprised at the dearth of information on the last of the Augustans. All the secondary sources seem to draw on a (very) few primary ones.
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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Tue January 7th, 2014, 3:09 am

December 2013 18
"The Boleyn Deceit: Book 2" by Laura Andersen (383pgs, 2013) (12/3)
"An Uninvited Ghost: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #2" by E. J. Copperman (293pgs, 2011 (12/6) (K L)
"City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas" by Roger Crowley (452pgs, 2011) (12/6) (K L)
"Lady Unknown: The Life of Angela Burdett-Coutts" by Edna Healey (222pgs, 1978) (12/7)*
"Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720" by Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford (436pgs, 1998) (12/7)*
"Seducing the Princess" by Mary Hart Perry (362pgs, 2013) (12/11) (K)*
"Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: An Insider's Look at the World of Flea Markets, Antiques, and Collecting" by Maureen Stanton (299pgs, 2011) (12/12) (K L)
"Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World" by Alison Weir (518pgs, 2013) (12/15) (K L)
"The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo" by Tom Reiss (332pgs, 2012) (12/20)
"Ziegfeld: The Man Who Invented Show Business" by Ethan Mordden (330pgs, 2008) (12/22)*
"The Book of Killowen: Nora Gavin/Cormac Maguire Mystery #4" by Erin Hart (388pgs, 2013) (12/25) (K)*
"Murder at Hatfield House: A Kate Haywood/Elizabethan Mystery #1" by Amanda Carmack (269pgs, 2013) (12/26)
"Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings" by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (252pgs, 2013) (12/27) (K L)
"Home For the Haunting: A Mel Turner/ Haunted Renovation Mystery #4" by Juliet Blackwell (312pgs, 2013) (12/28)
"The Last Empire: De Beers, Diamonds, and the World" by Stefan Kanfer (390pgs, 1993) (12/28)*
"Queen Anne (Queen Regnant)" by Edward Gregg (423pgs, 1984) (12/28)*
"Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage" by Stephen Budiansky (237pgs, 2006) (12/30)
"The Strangled Queen (The Accursed Kings, Book 2)" by Maurice Druon, trans by Humphrey Hare (290pgs, 1956orig, 2013) (12/30)
Pages: 6188 - 343pgs aver. (6 BF, 7 Own (2 K), 5 K L)

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