Friday, June 20, 2008


"DEATH OF A BAWDY BELLE" by M.E. Kemp is a very special book to me. First of all, because my blurb made it to the cover :-) and secondly, because it's such a good book.

Believe me, I know what I'm talking about. I've had my share of put-downable books lately. My book club is currently reading an Irish literary novel whose every page is as beautifully written as it is depressing... I'm about half way through it, and if I read any more of it, I will hold up the nearest pharmacy for a triple dose of Prozac, especially as my alternative reading is another lierary prize winner whose "smiling suns" title belies its contents. Why, oh why, is all literary fiction so morbid?

But let me not digress. "Death of a bawdy belle", although a murder mystery and therefore not, by definition, a happy topic, is nevertheless a wonderful, fun and uplifting read.

Salem, Massachusetts, 1692: Arabella Edwards, a mysterious beauty, is found hanging from the Salem gallows, yet the courts had nothing to do with her death. It is up to Hetty Henry, a wealthy widow past 25 years of age, to help with the inquiries. The first thing Hetty notices is an expensive lacy shift hidden beneath the plain clothes of the victim. The second thing she notices is what should be there but isn’t: a hood to cover her hair, a travel cloak, a chain of household keys....

Publisher: Hilliard and Harris
Year: May '08
ISBN: 1-59133-235-

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