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Posts by Katie H

Haunted and haunting

Cover of Shutter
A review of Shutter by Ramona Emerson

It’s a grisly scene that police photographer Rita Todacheene is called to late one night outside of Albuquerque. Bits of the woman’s body are strewn over the interstate, the victim of an apparent suicide from an overpass. But the voice of a furious Erma—whose remains Rita is so diligently documenting—insists it was murder, and Erma won’t stop haunting Rita until she gets vengeance. But Rita’s secret—her ability to see and speak to the dead—is a terrible secret she can neither escape nor even acknowledge to anyone living, a curse that makes her taboo in her Diné (Navajo) community.

Dec 1, 2022

We could all use a little more tuba in life

Cover of I’m Possible:  A Story o
A review of I’m Possible: A Story of Survival, A Tuba, and the Small Miracle of a Big Dream by Richard Antoine White

It’s no secret that it takes extraordinary effort and preternatural talent to achieve coveted, competitive positions at top universities, internships, or sports leagues. (Who you know and how much money you have certainly doesn’t hurt either.) Now consider a job that makes the task of getting into Harvard, or the NFL draft, or an internship at Vogue seem like a walk in the park. Give up? Try winning a seat as a professional tuba player in one of America’s full-time or part-time professional orchestras.

Oct 18, 2022

Done in by the Bard

Cover of Death by Shakespeare:  Sna
A review of Death by Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings, and Broken Hearts by Kathryn Harkup

One was killed by drowning. A few succumbed to grief. At least one fell and broke his neck, while others went by hanging, or in battle, or were stabbed. Some deaths were quite singular—a ‘burning quotidian tertian’, a ‘Malady of France’, a bear’s meal, and even a death from a surfeit of joy. All told, the killer had some 250 victims, not including the nameless souls that died without notice. No, this isn’t some horrid tale of a serial killer run amok, but the casualty list from William Shakespeare’s plays.

Sep 26, 2022

Saving faces and lives

Cover of The Facemaker:  A Visionar
A review of The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon’s Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I by Lindsey Fitzharris

It can sometimes be easy to forget how transformative World War I was to the course of history. A war that began with nineteenth century visions of cavalry charges to glory fatally collided with the reality of the technology of the twentieth century. The brutal carnage that the war became soon revealed that medicine, like army tactics, would have to change radically in order to address the wounds—physical and mental—of the casualties returning from battle.

Sep 19, 2022

Margaret in a fun-house mirror

Cover of Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Pr
A review of Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Thanks to the popularity of Netflix’s series The Crown (and the constant drumbeat of stories about Meghan and Harry vs. Kate and William) there has been a resurgence of interest in one of the Windsor family's most fascinating characters, Princess Margaret. Younger sister of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret has to be arguably the most polarizing royal figure of her era.

Aug 11, 2022

A deadly crossing

Cover of Miss Aldridge Regrets
A review of Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare

In 24 hours, Lena Aldridge’s life has been turned upside down. She’s lost her job, witnessed a murder, possibly committed a few felonies and been offered the chance to make it big on the Broadway stage by a previously unknown family friend. For the young chanteuse, London’s Soho has always been home, but the lack of a job and entanglement in a murder offer little choice but to board the Queen Mary for New York. But first class on the luxury liner is no safe haven.

Aug 1, 2022

Deadly doings at Donwell Abbey

Cover of The Murder of Mr. Wickham
A review of The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

Ever been tempted to wonder about literary might-have-beens? Say, if F. Scott Fitzgerald had lived and written during the Regency period, or Emily Bronte had imagined Cathy and Heathcliff marrying and living happily (or not) ever after? Author Claudia Gray (aka Amy Vincent) loves Jane Austen, and like a lot of other Austenites, she too wonders, what if? In this case, her what if? musings have borne fruit in The Murder of Mr. Wickham.

Jun 13, 2022

One angry casa

Cover of The Hacienda
A review of The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Ghosts may make their unwelcome presence in a house for any variety of reasons, but the specter haunting the Hacienda San Isidro is there for reasons so deeply rooted in the land that it might never be fully purged. In Isabel Cañas’ assured debut The Hacienda, the ghost of the eponymous home is meant to be a sanctuary for Beatriz, a young woman trying to piece some security together after her general father is killed as a traitor following Mexico’s brutal War of Independence.

May 24, 2022

Pushing boundaries and finding love

Cover of The Siren of Sussex
A review of The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

Evelyn Maltravers had hoped she wouldn’t have to brave the ruthless London season and catch a wealthy husband, but that’s exactly where she finds herself in the spring of 1862. Her prospects aren’t ideal: with no dowry to speak of, the reputation of an elder flighty sister to overcome and a depressed London society in mourning for the recent death of the Prince Consort, Evelyn has her work cut out for her.

May 10, 2022