Archive for November, 2010


Reviews at EP: To Have and to Hold

November 28, 2010

My Edwardian Promenade guest post for November is up: To Have and to Hold, by Mary Johnston. It’s much later than usual, I know,  but it’s practically the only era-appropriate thing I’ve read all month.


Miss Mystery

November 3, 2010

Miss Mystery, by Etta Iva Anthony Baker (I have to say, I kind of love her name) wants to be about four different books. It could have been about…

a) how Marjory Chamberlin and Winthrop Porter get engaged and then spend a lot of time being jealous. Marjory has her reasons for believing Win has fallen in love with someone else, although she does kind of overreact. Win is just the jealous type, and I can’t help feeling that that doesn’t bode well for their marriage.

b) how a beautiful amnesiac shows up in young Chester Porter’s room, and becomes part of the Porter family, becoming particularly close with Chester and with his mother.

c) how Mrs. Porter inherits a fortune, how it affects the various members of her family, and how she finally asserts herself in the face of their fantasies about being wealthy.

d) how Win Porter’s childhood best friend lived with them for several years after his parents died, and how he sought his fortune in Australia and may or may not have married a woman who may or may not be dead.

Each of those could have been a perfectly fine book, although I would have found a) deeply irritating, and d) would have made more sense to me if it had been published in, like, 1895. Unfortunately, although Baker does fit the various pieces together, the whole thing feels really lazy and haphazard.