"Fine genealogist mystery"
On a photo shoot in the Cotswold, model Bethany Marshall
hires genealogist Natasha Blake to research her family
tree. At that initial consultation, Bethany animatedly
discusses Pre-Raphaelite model, artist, and wife of Dante,
Lizzie Siddal. Also at that consultation, Natasha meets
the photographer Adam Mason, who is working on an
exhibition to emulate the style of Pre-Raphaelite
paintings. He asks to a do a shoot of Natasha, to which
she unenthusiastically consents.
Before he can take her picture, Adam informs Natasha that
Bethany vanished, leaving behind an old Marshall family
diary. Since her address was inside and Bethany is her
client, the "ancestor detective" begins a search for the
missing woman. As she learns more about her subject and
the Marshall ancestry, Natasha panics fearing history
could repeat itself because of Bethany's obsession with
Lizzie, whose life end tragically.
PALE AS THE DEAD is the exhilarating opening debut of a
fascinating "detective" whose expertise is in researching
the past. The story line is cleverly designed so as
Natasha learns more about her client's enthrallment and
subsequently more about Lizzie, she realizes that fast
intervention might be needed to prevent a repeat tragedy.
The look into Dante and his age adds depth to the solid
plot. Though the attraction between Natasha and Adam is
mindful of the movie Suspicion, it also takes away from
the haunting theme of whether Bethany will become Lizzie
number two. Still this is a unique tale starring a
delightful individual who makes a fine sleuth whether it
is the past or the present.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 5, 2004
Extraordinary new talent Madeline Howard begins an epic trilogy of magic and power, hidden birthrights and prophecies, with The Hidden Stars, the first book of The Rune of Unmaking. In a world devastated by a cataclysmic war between the wizards and mages, the Empress Ouri#225;na has seized the throne, proclaiming herself the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon. Appointing twelve priests to perform her rites, she rules with a tight rein of evil sorcery. The priests, once men, have become twisted with magic, making them monstrous -- mutated. They bring destruction wherever they ride, and one kingdom after another falls, enslaved into darkness. Yet signs and portents appear, puzzling the seers, and a tale begins to grow. A rumor of a young girl, talented and hidden, who is destined to end Ourina's tyrannous reign ... if she can survive long enough to do so. And so a brave band of wizards and heroes ride out in search of the hidden princess, pursued by the fury of the dark goddess herself.