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The Historical Novel Society published its latest reviews last week. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing three books.

The Paris Affair by Teresa Grant begins with a two-page list of characters, a mix of real historical figures and fictional people. The opening chapters are full of drama as Teresa Grant sets the time, place and political situation then caps it off with intrigue and murder. Boom, the hook appears. You can read the full review here.

Lillian & Dash by Sam Toperoff begins with a meeting between Lillian Hellman and Dashiel Hammett at a party thrown by Darryl F. Zanuck of Warner Brothers. According to the book cover,  this is “A boozy, raucous, endlessly imaginative rendition of America during Hollywood’s golden age, as experienced through the lives of two of it most talented writers and creators.” In my estimation, Toperoff delivers. The full review is here.

Paperboy by Vince Vawter (Young Adult) – The hero in this delightful book stutters. He calls his best friend “Rat” because he can’t pronounce “Art” properly. When our hero – his name is withheld until the very end – takes over Rat’s paper route for the month of July, his life changes forever. The full review is here.

What’s exciting for someone who writes historical fiction is the opportunity to examine how others approach the genre and learn a trick or two in the process.