‘The Earl in Black Armor’ is a Master Class in Irish History [REVIEW]

Ireland

Two spies fight to save their way of life in Nancy Blanton’s The Earl in Black Armor. (Photo by Canva)

Star-crossed lovers. Secret spies. An enigmatic man with a treacherous agenda. History and intrigue collide across the lush Irish landscape in Nancy Blanton’s brilliant new historical novel, The Earl in Black Armor.  Read more of this post

Queens Don’t Play: Fear and Gender Equality in Elizabeth’s Court [GUEST POST]

Elizabeth Receiving Dutch Ambassadors, 1560s

Queen Elizabeth I lived during a precarious time for women. Still, she had a knack for handling the men in her life. (Elizabeth Receiving Dutch Ambassadors, 1560s by Levina Teerlinc, Public Domain)

We love a good mystery… especially when it transports us to a time and place we could never go on our own. In Suzanne M. Wolfe’s new novel, A Murder by Any Name, readers are taken to Elizabethan England, where the queen’s ladies in waiting are being killed off one by one, and only one man can find the killer. This premise made us wonder if while researching this story, whether or not Ms. Wolfe discovered any disparities between how the Queen dealt with men versus women. If so, to what extent did fear play a factor in how she dealt with each gender? The author answers all our questions in today’s fascinating guest post. Enjoy! —J&H Read more of this post

Japan’s Sacred Peak Offers Quiet, Contemplation, and Murder in ‘Trial on Mount Koya’ [REVIEW]

Monk heading to Gobyo

A Buddhist temple may seem an unlikely place for a mystery, but Susan Spann’s ninja sleuth Hiro Hittori discovers death and treachery inside its walls in Trial on Mount Koya. (Photo by ccdoh1, Flickr)

A ninja and a priest walk into a Buddhist temple. Although it may sound like the beginning of a joke, it is actually the premise for the sixth installment of what is one of the most unusual and fascinating mystery series I’ve encountered in recent years. Penned by novelist Susan Spann, the latest Hiro Hattori novel, Trial on Mount Koya, reunites fans with her ninja sleuth and pays homage to one of the greatest mystery writers who ever lived, Dame Agatha Christie.
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Ken Follett’s Classic ‘The Key to Rebecca’ Remains One of the Best Espionage Books Ever Written [REVIEW]

WWII Egypt

In the midst of World War II, a Nazi spy plots the downfall of the British in Egypt in Ken Follett’s classic thriller, The Key to Rebecca. (Photo by Tom Beazley/courtesy aussiejeff, Flickr)

Although we primarily feature new fiction on our site, every now and again we like to revisit a classic. Pulling an oldie but a goodie off the shelf and dusting it off to re-read it is akin to having brunch with an old friend to reminisce about cherished memories. And sometimes we simply feel like digging into a favorite author’s past works, ones me may have missed the first time around. That is what happened with Ken Follett’s classic, The Key to Rebecca.  Read more of this post

‘The Alice Network’ Introduces Readers to the Great War’s Mysterious Female Spy Ring [REVIEW]

Woman in London

A young woman returns to Europe after the war in search of her cousin, only to discover the truth about a little known female spy ring known as “The Alice Network” in Kate Quinn’s new novel. (Photo courtesy William Morrow)

An American college student can’t believe that her favorite relative is dead, so she takes matters into her own hands and goes in search of her cousin in post-World War II London. However, the questions she has aren’t so easily answered and soon she learns much more than she bargained for in Kate Quinn’s new historical novel, The Alice Network.  Read more of this post