Review: The Mitford Affair

I’m fascinated by biographical/historical fiction. What interests me most about these novels is the complicated challenges they present. They have to meet all the usual requirements for successful historical fiction: an intriguing story peopled with engaging characters and supported by true-to-period details of settings, dress, food, slang, and lifestyle. But biographical/historical fiction has the additional […]

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Elizabeth Blackwell’s Curious Herbal

If you’ve read China Bayles’ latest mystery, Hemlock, you may be curious about Elizabeth Blackwell, the author of The Curious Herbal andthe main character in my historical novel-within-a-novel. So was I. Curious, that is–because I love using true stories as the basis of fiction. And this part of my story is true—as true as historians […]

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Dahlias Book Giveaway!

We’re having a Book Giveaway to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Darling Dahlias and the Voodoo Lily–coming later this month. Win these four signed hardcovers for yourself or for gifting. Quick-and-easy entry–simply comment below, telling us what you like best about the Dahlias. Continental U.S. only, please. One entry per person. Comments close on […]

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Bookscapes: The Fur Person

This enchanting 1957 cat-memoir by May Sarton may be the grandmother of the current litter of cat-cozies, a fact that may or may not endear it to you, depending on how you feel about cats and cozies. I ran across it on my shelf last week and sat down with it immediately, remembering the great […]

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