It was just before midnight when I picked up Lynn Austin’s latest book, All Things New. The War Between the States is over and the household of half-starved women of the once prosperous southern aristocracy and their now freed slaves must rebuild their lives. I assumed that after about five minutes of reading this history tome I’d be sound asleep. What murder mystery loving Canadian wants to read yet another book about American history? It sounded depressing and worse, like a thinly veiled attempt to make me learn something—ugh!
The truth is I didn’t get much sleep last night. Austin immediately pulled me into the story of two families, that of the once wealthy aristocrat and of the former slave. Both must learn to adjust to the changes the war brings and our heroine, Josephine, helps bridge the gap. The story had enough suspense and intrigue to keep the mystery buff in me hooked almost from the minute I cracked open the spine. I loved the story, I loved the characters and I can hardly wait to read another book by this author! Read it. You’ll love it! Just be warned—leave the evening open because you won’t be able to put it down.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.
I love romantic suspense in general and Dee Henderson in particular, but I won’t be keeping this book on my shelf. The plot is complicated and convoluted and often plods along at a very dull pace.
I’m all for keeping the trash out of romance, yet I still want to feel engaged with the characters’ relationships. What little energy that occasionally zings between Paul and Ann is snuffed out by much of their love unfolding via webcam. We get a lot of “Ann character references” from Paul’s friends and family, but she’s more annoying than intriguing. Most of the mystery hinges on Ann’s secrets—all of which seem anticlimactic in the reveal.
If you’re a fan of Henderson you’ll have a bit of a head start wading through the superfluity of characters—some of whom you’ve met in previous books. Yet, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the author felt the need to introduce yet another co-worker, sibling or relative. And while I despise books that only tell part of the story in a thinly veiled attempt to make me buy the next installment—this book left me thinking Henderson attempted more than could be accomplished in one book. Sorry, this book’s not the classic Henderson I’ve come to expect. I recommend rereading some of her older stories—give this one a pass.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.