Witches on the Road Tonight by Sheri Holman is a tale of intergenerational witches that takes place in four different time frames between the 1930’s and the present. The plot moves back and forth between generations and characters. This requires a bit of concentration, but is well worth the effort. It has something of the fears that rise from ghost stories told around a campfire.

March 3, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Horror, Reading Guide, Speculative (Beyond Reality), US South


Imogen Robertson’s INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS is set in the village of Hartswood, West Sussex, at a time when the colonies were waging war against England. The male protagonist, the brusque Gabriel Crowther, is an eccentric and a recluse who has a wide-ranging knowledge of and interest in human anatomy. One day, a local woman, Mrs. Harriet Westerman of Caveley Park, pays him a visit and insists that his maid give him the following note: “I have found a body on my land. His throat has been cut.”

February 27, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Mystery/Suspense, United Kingdom

THE CYPRESS HOUSE by Michael Koryta

In Koryta’s latest thriller – noir with a twist of the supernatural – it’s late summer 1935 and a group of hard-bitten WWI veterans and one talented 19-year-old are headed for the Florida Keys to build a highway bridge.

January 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Florida, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper


Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus in 1818, and it stands as a classic marker of the intersection between the Romantic and Industrial Ages. The most superficial aspect of her idea — a being created from human corpses by the use of electricity that turns out to be a monster — has been transformed by Hollywood into a cliché of the horror genre. Yet Mary Shelley’s original work has profound moral and philosophical implications that shed a great deal of light on the thought of the time, and are relevant in many respects to debates in our own age, such as cloning and stem-cell research. Peter Ackroyd’s retelling of the story might seem superfluous, except that for modern readers it manages to cut even closer to the heart of what made the original novel so important, not least in its pitch-perfect evocation of early 19th-century style and intellectual portrait of the age.

December 11, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

TRESPASS by Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain is not only a prolific writer, but she is a great one. Each of her novels is different in theme, tenor, and topic. TRESPASS, her most recent book, is a dark, eerie and grim themed novel with a definite gothic undertone. Set in the southern part of France, in an area known as the Cevennes region, the land itself is portrayed as something feral and alive, so filled with lush growth, insects, snakes and sounds, that it has a life of its own.

October 18, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Character Driven, France, Man Booker Nominee, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

SOULLESS by Gail Carriger

If you like humor with your vampires, ghosts in your alternate history, spinsters with superpowers in your period fiction, or werewolves in your romantic comedy, SOULLESS (The Parasol Protectorate) is just what you’re looking for. Gail Carriger’s protagonist is a Victorian woman who has been deemed a hopeless spinster by her own mother because of her too-large nose and Italian heritage. As such, she is forgiven her directness and lack of discretion. Fortunately for all concerned, her excitable and easily scandalized mother doesn’t know Alexia Tarabotti is soulless as well.

January 29, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Debut Novel, Humorous, Sleuths Series, Speculative (Beyond Reality)