brown girl dreaming

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. There is a distinct lack of poetry in the world. Part of that could be that we hold poetry on this weird dusty pedestal, surrounded by academics all nodding sagely and talking in hushed tones about the power of words. That or we’ve put it down among the toys for […]

Waistcoats & Weaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry is the third in what will be the Finishing School quartet (the final book is scheduled to be published November 2015). The novels should be read in order, so start with Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies before reading this one. The finishing school itself plays a minor role in this […]

The Sea of Trolls

The Sea of Trolls is a great historical fantasy epic for the middle grade set. It follows the adventures of 12 year old Jack after he and his little sister Lucy are captured by Northmen. After gravely insulting Frith, a half-troll queen, Jack needs to go on a quest to see the queen of the […]

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline

In her fifth book, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, Enola meets Florence Nightingale and rescues her landlady who is sweet, deaf, and more observant than Enola bargained for. We learn a bit more about the horrors of war, the plight of the poor, and the devastation that can occur when those overlap. Sherlock is […]

The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye

The Enola Holmes series reaches its conclusion in the sixth novel, The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye. While I’m kind of sad to see the series come to a close (I read the last five novels in a summer binge), I have amazing respect for an author who knows when and how to end a […]

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan

The fourth Enola Holmes novel, The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, may be my favorite so far. Enola sees Lady Cecily, the titular character of The Case of the Left-Handed Lady. She’s in the “care” of two very controlling women, but she manages to send Enola a clue by leaving her pink fan behind. […]

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets

Continuing my summer binge of Enola Holmes, next we get the third novel, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets. Dr. Watson, who Enola views from a distance as a father figure, has gone missing. No one has any clues. Enola disguises herself and befriends Mrs. Watson, gaining entrance to the Watson residence. There she sees the […]

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft. In her second novel, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, things get kind of dark for the 14 year old who is living on her own. London is a dirty and dangerous city, full of destitute and desperate people. Enola is struggling to make […]

Shades of Milk and Honey

I was interested in Shades of Milk and Honey as soon as I heard it described as Jane Austen “if she lived in a world where magic worked.” It’s a thoroughly enjoyable novel for those who enjoy costume dramas (which means me and most of my family). Although not explicitly a book for younger readers, […]

Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate

Full disclosure: I’m the editor of this book. Since the point of these reviews is to provide information rather than opinions of quality, I feel any conflict of interest is minimal. Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate is part of the Spirit of the Century universe that includes Dinocalypse Now, Beyond Dinocalypse, Khan of Mars, […]