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review 2015-03-18 16:23
Tempest in the White City: An eShort Prelude to It Happened at the Fair - Deeanne Gist

This short story is a prequel to It Happened at the Fair. The setting is the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. The author did a wonderful job describing the setting.  I really liked Dr. Billy Jack Tate, the heroine. I really disliked Texas Ranger Hunter Scott, the hero with a misogynist streak a mile long and a mile wide. There was only a hint of romance and most of the story was the first meeting between the couple. I read the excerpt for the full length first book in the series to see how the romance was going between Dr. Tate and Scott, but the first book is about some other couple. So this short story wasn't a prequel, but a half-finished short story or novella.


I still want to read the series and other works by Gist because the she does a great job with characterization and setting. Just skip this not needed prequel unless you are already a fan of the series and want to complete the series. 1 star.

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text 2014-12-28 18:13
Reread in Progress: Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America - Erik Larson

The last time I read this book I sped through chunks of it to find out what happened next. Here's a quote that is an example of why (bolded bits mine, for oooooo, the foreshadowing):


p 39: "Ultimately the setbacks proved to be minor ones for Burnham and Root. Far worse was to occur, and soon, but as of February 14, 1890, the day of the great fair vote, the partners seemed destined for a lifetime of success."


Another example: page 18 - a long paragraph or two about a man pasting the results of the vote for which city would get the world's fair. The results are shared with the reader....on page 31.


These are the early moments that had me flipping ahead for an answer - or just turning to wikipedia. That way I could continue to enjoy the pace of the book and not always be annoyed because I had to wait an unknown amount of time for answers. Especially for something like whether Chicago gets the fair, because that's a given. (Still, I felt the need to check.)


It was the parts about H. H. Holmes that really made me read this book out of order. I'd never heard of this particular murderer before this book, and I wanted more information immediately. Afterwards I read a somewhat - well, typical true-crime book on Holmes in hopes of more detail. Which I received - but then you never do really get an answer for the why's of this sort of thing.


Anyway, in this reread I now know what happens and have all the background. So I'm going to take time to actually enjoy the fun details that Larson has dug up. Like this excellent bit on Chicago's Whitechapel Club. Am quoting a long bit of it, because the weirdness is so worth it.

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