Charlotte Mallory is a well-respected surgeon in Richmond, Virginia. Her brother Jack is a successful author. The Mallory name has been a part of Virginia’s history for about two hundred years. And while Jack is holed up in his office writing his next bestseller, Charlotte is honoring the Mallory name as she’s done for the past twenty years by taking part in the annual recreation of the Battle of Cedar Creek. We first meet Charlotte dressed in her Civil War uniform and wearing a beard – she is the living embodiment of her great-great-grandfather Carlton Jackson Mallory who was a surgeon attending the wounded at Cedar Creek during the war. Please note that to Southerners it is not called the Civil War – it was, and remains, the War of Northern Aggression. On her way to the re-enactment Charlotte takes a moment to sort through her mail before leaving her car and opens a small box sent to her by a law firm in Scotland. Inside she finds a beautiful vintage sapphire brooch. She tinkers with it and opens the secret compartment to reveal some old Celtic writing. As she reads the words aloud she is enveloped in a mist and finds herself back on the battlefield of Cedar Creek but the year is now 1863. With live bullets whizzing around her head she runs for cover. What follows, dear reader, is a most astounding, vivid, action packed historical story that will keep you turning pages until the very end. Oh, and don’t forget the romance that holds the entire story together.
I can’t find the right words to praise the writing of Katherine Lowry Logan and I won’t bore you with a litany of words. I will urge you to pick up The Sapphire Brooch and read it for yourself. Our heroine Charlotte and the man whose life she saves, Braham, are wonderfully complex characters that will have you rooting for them when you’re not trying to shake some sense into them. A full cast of characters including President Lincoln and his staff populate the book and bring the era of the Civil War to life. For me, the icing on this slice of history, is the reappearance of Elliott Fraser who first made his appearance in The Last MacKlenna (you’ll recall from my review of that book that I consider Elliott the new Rhett Butler).
All of Ms. Logan’s books are rich in description, place setting and action. Don’t miss any of them! I look forward to The Emerald Brooch. For a last bit of praise I will say I would rate this book more than five stars. Katherine: When I grow up I want to write like you!