A while ago (longer than I care to admit), I received a download of Laura Shofer’s novel, THE FINGERPRINT OF DESTINY, from her. Due to an odd issue with my Kindle (where it shuffled my hundreds of novels!) I “lost” it and only recently rediscovered it. This novel has a little bit of something for everyone and I really enjoyed reading it!

THE FINGERPRINT OF DESTINY starts with a fire (arson) with deaths involved in the Hope’s Point area of Long Island. Ellie Sinclair goes to cover the fire (which isn’t the first that has occurred in this area of late) for her newspaper and discovers that her estranged mother is among the victims. This starts a series of events where Ellie digs to find the truth, but also digs up old emotions, an old romance,  and memories of her “crazy” mother as she was growing up and their complicated relationship. Ellie is scrappy and tough, though somewhat dysfunctional and has a drinking problem. Add in some historical passages tracing Ellie’s Venezuelan heritage and the “fingerprint of destiny”, a few tough Latino gangs, a mystery, and some supernatural thrills and you’ve got the makings for this story!

I enjoyed reading this novel, the first for Ms. Shofer, and found it engrossing and well-written. I think it has such a variety of happenings that many will find it and its “mash-up genre” appealing!

Review: The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

Coming out in January, THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS is the fictionalized story of the events surrounding the real life disappearance of NY Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater in 1930 (see here for more info:  Judge Crater’s disappearance was never solved and he was declared dead after several years. Lawhon gives us her take on the event, through the points of view of Crater’s wife, Stella, his maid, Maria, and his showgirl mistress, Ritzi. In this novel, these women know what happened to Crater — and they aren’t telling!

I found this novel so intriguing that I couldn’t put it down. It does jump around in time, which can be confusing at times. We have Stella current day, the events as they happened in the 30’s, events prior to the disappearance, etc. all interwoven.

If I had one major complaint, it was that I did not really like the ending. Without giving too much away, I will say that I felt a lot was told at the end to explain events and wrap the story up quickly and neatly. However, I did enjoy this book and it made me interested enough to look up more about Judge Crater, his disappearance, and Tammany Hall.

Thank you, Net Galley and Doubleday, for my review copy!

Quick Review: “Frozen” by Mary Casanova (releasing 9.7.12)

This novel was a Net Galley ARC download for me, and considered YA but I think it’s good historical fiction for adults, too.

In “Frozen”, Mary Casanova writes an intriguing tale of Sadie Rose, a teenager in Minnesota in the 1920’s. She hasn’t spoken a word in many years, not since the night her mother (a young prostitute) was killed and Sadie was found frozen in a snow bank. Now Sadie is starting to speak, and as her personality blossoms so does her emotions and her feelings for a local young man. Add to this a dynamic,though mentally ill, new friend and the dredging up of Sadie’s mother’s murder – this time with some new information – and you have the makings of compelling and interesting historical fiction!

While I had never read Mary Casanova’s works before, she has written for American Girl. I enjoyed this story and Casanova’s writing, and I thank Net Galley and University of Minnesota Press for my copy.  I believe I read that this story is based on real events, and I’d be curious to find out what exactly the true story is!

“Meet the author” through this You Tube video: