The Dead of Winter, by Rennie Airth

This is an Inspector John Madden mystery. Set around WWII. Starting in the days just prior to the invasion of Paris by the Germans, people are trying to leave. Especially many Jews, who have already fled from Eastern Europe. A Jewish furrier wants to liquidate his assets and turns them into diamonds. He is asked to take along with him in his car a young couple also fleeing. The young couple find him murdered.

Fast forward to 1944. Rosa Novak is found murdered during the blackout, not far from the British Museum. Madden feels that he owes it to her to find out why she was murdered. To escape the holocaust only to be murdered.

This leads to a continental manhunt, that can only now begin as the Germans have left Paris.

This is a very exciting high speed mystery, action packed and holds you to the end.

Christy

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The Story of Lucy Gault, by William Trevor

Set in the turbulent 1920’s Ireland, when many Anglo-Irish are coming under arson attacks. Although having lived on their affluent estates for centuries. They feel at odds in a land that has been home to them. Here enters Lucy Gault’s family. Disturbed and upset by the attempt to set fire to their house, they are thinking of returning to England. Lucy their daughter does not want to go, she loves her home.

On the day they are to leave she runs off. On the search for Lucy her parents mistakenly think that she is dead. They leave as planned and are torn apart by their loss. Lucy returns home and does get to stay there, with the family servants, who get to stay on.

Her parents never truly settle, drifting on to Italy and Switzerland, with no forwarding address for them.

Lucy grows up, lonely and sad. In comes Ralph who she really does love and he her, but feels she cannot commit to love unless she reconciles with her parents. Unfortunately WWII starts and they are left in Europe, where her mother dies. Her father eventually does return to his old estate, but too much time has passed for Lucy to regain what has been lost. Ralph has married someone else.

Eventually Lucy feels somehow responsible for the young man her father wounded defending his home against the arsonists. Trying to make a distorted recompense for her lost and stunted life.

I did not especially like this book, so wouldn’t recommend it.

Christy

And the winner is?

Joann, Lakeside Musing.

I decided to use a number random generator. There were 15 different people who left comments from January 1st until February 28th. I listed names in random order and assigned numbers and Joann’s assigned number was 14 and that was the winning number.

It’s such a coincidence, because Joann was so kindly giving away several books and I asked for Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson, which she is mailing to me.

So Joann please contact me via E-mail and I will send off the Modern Voices note cards.

Christy