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review 2019-08-20 10:00
The Yellow Lantern Review and GIVEAWAY!
 
 

About the Book

 


Book: The Yellow Lantern

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release Date: August, 2019

Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.
 
What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?


Click HERE to grab your copy.

About the Author

 


Angie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at www.angiedicken.com.

More from Angie

 

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.
 
Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle.
 
I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.
 
My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.
 

My Review

 

When Barbour introduced the True Colors series, I was immediately intrigued. True crime is an interesting genre, and one that I have both read about and watched documentaries about over the years. Having a basis of factual information, this subject tends toward more neutral ground with regard to narrative voice and presentation, and part of what makes True Colors so unique is the Christian aspect. The characters and precise situations are fictional, but the crimes themselves actually happened, and the merging of sordid history and Christian perspective offers a different angle and a novel approach. This has become my favorite Barbour series, with Daughters of the Mayflower a close second.

“Heaven stank of tallow and shone a honey glow.” From that inimitable first line, Angie Dicken’s “The Yellow Lantern” shoots out of the gate and doesn’t relent until the final page. There is no easing into the plot; rather, readers find themselves thrust headlong into a nightmare situation straight from the nineteenth century. Being buried alive was a legitimate concern in the years before modern technology and an increasing understanding of the human body, and in this age of nascent medical knowledge, doctors needed fresh bodies to advance their studies—bodies supplied to them by aptly-named body snatchers. In 1824 Massachusetts, Josephine Clayton unwittingly finds herself a part of this practice after being quite literally taken for dead and buried and ending up on the table of her employer, Dr. Chadwick. In order to save her own life, she must agree to go to work at a factory mill and pose as a mourner to signal a body snatcher to obtain her replacement. However, her circumstances become more convoluted as she finds herself drawn more deeply into a web of deception.

“The Yellow Lantern” sets forth a plausible scenario in which Christian, good-hearted people may become ensnared in conspiracies and duplicitous dealings. Josie experiences remorse and a stinging conscience as events escalate: “No matter if she played the part of a mill girl, she could not ignore the tangled thread of deceit that wrapped around her soul as tightly as the cotton on the bobbins”. Her proficiency as an herbal healer conflicts with the job she is to perform, as does a budding romance. The description of the cotton mill, with motes and dust thick in the air and obscuring the windows, is eye-opening, as is the lack of recourse for those without positions of authority and prestige in society. Not knowing whom to trust adds to the suspense, creating a sinister, murky atmosphere and making this a very difficult book to put down. Fans of true crime, factory life, nineteenth century customs, and romance will not want to miss out on this illuminating book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review.


Blog Stops

 

Genesis 5020, August 15

Seasons of Opportunities, August 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15

Bigreadersite, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

Inspired by fiction, August 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 17

Retrospective Spines, August 18

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Kathleen Denly, August 19

Through the Fire Blogs, August 19

Christian Bookaholic, August 19

Maureen’s Musings, August 20

For the Love of Literature, August 20

Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Godly Book Reviews, August 21

A Reader’s Brain, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Betti Mace, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22

Hallie Reads, August 23

Mary Hake, August 23

Inklings and notions, August 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 24

For Him and My Family, August 24

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 24

Connie’s History Classroom, August 25

Pause for Tales, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 26

amandainpa, August 26

Blossoms and Blessings, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 27

janicesbookreviews, August 27

Back Porch Reads, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 28

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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review 2019-08-15 08:05
The Truffle Underground by Ryan Jacobs
The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World's Most Expensive Fungus - Ryan Jacobs

TITLE:  The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World's Most Expensive Fungus

 

AUTHOR:  Ryan Jacobs

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2019

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  9780451495693

_______________

DESCRIPTION:

"Beneath the gloss of star chefs and crystal-laden tables, the truffle supply chain is touched by theft, secrecy, sabotage, and fraud. Farmers patrol their fields with rifles and fear losing trade secrets to spies. Hunters plant poisoned meatballs to eliminate rival truffle-hunting dogs. Naive buyers and even knowledgeable experts are duped by liars and counterfeits.

This exposé documents the dark, sometimes deadly crimes at each level of the truffle’s path from ground to plate, making sense of an industry that traffics in scarcity, seduction, and cash.
"

________________

REVIEW:

 

An informative and entertaining exposé of the Truffle business (from land to table and all the bits inbetween) - theft, secrecy, fraud, intrigue, and death.  Who knew there was all this underground shenanigans for a fungus!  The writing style is that of an investigative reporter - so lots of interviews with lots of people.  I found the beginning half dealing with truffles and truffle hunting interesting, the distribution, scheming around selling the fungus, and law "enforcement" not so much.

 

 

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review 2019-08-09 02:45
A Lamp Unto My Feet
The Yellow Lantern - Dicken, Angie

When Barbour introduced the True Colors series, I was immediately intrigued. True crime is an interesting genre, and one that I have both read about and watched documentaries about over the years. Having a basis of factual information, this subject tends toward more neutral ground with regard to narrative voice and presentation, and part of what makes True Colors so unique is the Christian aspect. The characters and precise situations are fictional, but the crimes themselves actually happened, and the merging of sordid history and Christian perspective offers a different angle and a novel approach. This has become my favorite Barbour series, with Daughters of the Mayflower a close second.

“Heaven stank of tallow and shone a honey glow.” From that inimitable first line, Angie Dicken’s “The Yellow Lantern” shoots out of the gate and doesn’t relent until the final page. There is no easing into the plot; rather, readers find themselves thrust headlong into a nightmare situation straight from the nineteenth century. Being buried alive was a legitimate concern in the years before modern technology and an increasing understanding of the human body, and in this age of nascent medical knowledge, doctors needed fresh bodies to advance their studies—bodies supplied to them by aptly-named body snatchers. In 1824 Massachusetts, Josephine Clayton unwittingly finds herself a part of this practice after being quite literally taken for dead and buried and ending up on the table of her employer, Dr. Chadwick. In order to save her own life, she must agree to go to work at a factory mill and pose as a mourner to signal a body snatcher to obtain her replacement. However, her circumstances become more convoluted as she finds herself drawn more deeply into a web of deception.

“The Yellow Lantern” sets forth a plausible scenario in which Christian, good-hearted people may become ensnared in conspiracies and duplicitous dealings. Josie experiences remorse and a stinging conscience as events escalate: “No matter if she played the part of a mill girl, she could not ignore the tangled thread of deceit that wrapped around her soul as tightly as the cotton on the bobbins”. Her proficiency as an herbal healer conflicts with the job she is to perform, as does a budding romance. The description of the cotton mill, with motes and dust thick in the air and obscuring the windows, is eye-opening, as is the lack of recourse for those without positions of authority and prestige in society. Not knowing whom to trust adds to the suspense, creating a sinister, murky atmosphere and making this a very difficult book to put down. Fans of true crime, factory life, nineteenth century customs, and romance will not want to miss out on this illuminating book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2019-08-01 04:41
I'll Be Gone in the Dark
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer - Michelle McNamara,Patton Oswalt,Gillian Flynn

With only a few hours left of July, I have finished! 

 

So as mentioned in a previous post, I feel like this book was hyped more than deserved. It's promoted as something groundbreaking full of new information. But as I read, I found that not only did none of it seem groundbreaking, but none of it felt new either. I've listened to Generation Why's episode on the case - my first introduction - as well as Casefile's multi-part series. The latter especially seemed more in-depth, explaining not only the facts of the case but the cultural changes related to the case relevant to the investigation (apparently the rape kit came to prominence around the same time this creep was active). Compared to the detail and explanations these podcasts gave, this book felt shallow.

 

At book club this past Sunday, I realized a key reason WHY this book felt disappointing to me: I was already familiar with the case AND a true crime junkie. If this is your first exposure to the case, it's as terrifying as Gen Why's podcast was to me on a plane. So keep that in mind if you want to read it: if you're familiar with the case and/or true crime, it probably won't be as mind-blowing to you if you're not. I'm glad we discussed it at book club because it definitely gave me a new appreciation for the unique structure this book has compared to something like The Stranger Beside Me or In Cold Blood.

 

I had to smile towards the end because I can remember what I was doing that day. I first learned about the arrest on Twitter, but when I learned about the identity of the killer himself, I was in jail. It was for a training and I was just standing in the lobby but still. Oddly fitting. I sat there, watching them discussing this enigma on the TV and I just thought, "This is incredible. This is like my 9/11 or Kennedy Assassination". Less than a year before, I had been listening to two podcasters speculate whether we'd ever have answers. I'm glad we do now.

 

Final rating; 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Final thought: The biggest tragedy is that McNamara didn't get to finish this book herself. She was an incredible writer and I can only imagine what the book would have looked like had she lived. The Letter to an Old Man is without a doubt the best part of the book.

 

 

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review 2019-07-31 18:45
LITTLE SLAUGHTERHOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE by Harold Schechter, narrated by Steven Weber
Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie - Harold Schechter,Steven Weber

This is the true story of the murderous Bender family. After listening, I am convinced that Michael McDowell based his story KATIE on this family. How many people can there be out there named Katie who, along with their family, liked to kill people with hammers? 

 

Katie - Michael McDowell 

 

Steven Weber does an excellent job of narrating, as always. 

 

As far as True Crime stories go, this is a fascinating one. The truth is stranger than fiction. 

 

 

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