City of Lies by Victoria Thompson


City of Lies by Victoria Thompson

*ALERT*  New series….new series alert!

I’m a big Thompson fan….her Gaslight Mystery series has been one of my favorites for a while, and there are ton of them to read.  So when she announced a new series a couple of years ago at Malice Domestic I was intrigued.  It’s finally out!

So, I like to think that I know my history.  But the history of Women getting the “right to vote” isn’t something I remember learning all the much about in school.  I don’t know if it was where I was living at the time, or if it’s something that most school’s don’t talk about.  But it’s a fascinating subject.  And the women who picketed, protested, and made their voices heard should be considered hero’s to the modern women’s movement.  It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things that women weren’t allowed to vote in a democracy.

So anyway, I digress…..but trust me, it has a lot to do with this book.

So the story centers on a “con” woman of the early 20th century.  Unfortunately her team cons the wrong guy, and  they are discovered.  She takes cover at a Women’s suffrage protest at the White House.  She gets arrested with the rest of the women, planning on staying in jail until she can get back to New York and safety.  The only problem is this time, there is a conspiracy to break these women.  They are shipped down to Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia.  It is come to be known as the “Night of Terror”.  The women are tortured, beaten, starved, and eventually they are force fed when they participate in hunger strikes.  I had no idea that this happened! Even after lawyers from the National Women’s Party tried to see their clients, the superintendent of the workhouse disappeared along with his deputies.  When the warrant is finally served to produce the women, some of them had to come to court on stretchers due to weakness.

Here is more information on that:

Night of Terror Wiki

So anyway, back to the story.  They are eventually released, and Elizabeth (Lizzie) the unfortunate con woman, is released with the group.  While in custody, she made friends with two women who eventually take her in.  Still trying to outrun her last mark, she follows the women to NYC and lives with them while trying to get enough of her money together to flee.  There is an engagement of convenience with her new friend’s brother, and of course an unrequited interest in a young lawyer.  He wants a strong woman like Lizzie and she just wants to try and be safe.  There is another long con (which was really well written), and finally a somewhat resolved ending.  I’m not sure where the series could go next, but I would love to get more involved in the woman’s suffrage movement.  So we’ll see what Victoria Thompson does next!




I know it’s a little after Halloween, but I just read the Alice Hoffman books about witches and loved them!  So it’s time to write about it.

I got the Alice Hoffman book, “The Rules of Magic” as the winner of a contest, which also included tea, black soap, and a mug to enjoy the book with.  Now, I don’t remember watching the movie “Practical Magic” which is based on her other book, so I didn’t know the story that follows the book.  I’m watching the movie version of Practical Magic right now after picking up the book from the library.

But, back to the rules first.


The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Not knowing the story of the Owen’s sister that followed this book, I was engrossed from the beginning.  Spells, old spinsters, cats, old houses….just my speed.  This book was billed as the prequel to Practical Magic, it follows the lives of three siblings and their mother’s need to leave the influence of their witchy heritage.  Hanging over their heads is the love curse that has plagued their family since their first ancestor Maria Owens.  The story was fascinating, following the three siblings learning about their powers and struggling to accept them.  There are two big moments in the book where the writing really hits home.  I cried twice.  TWICE!  In this book.  Books don’t usually get me like that often.

So, after reading the prequel, I needed to read the first one “Practical Magic”.


Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

So, this book picks up right where the newest book ends.  With sisters Sally and Jillian moving in with their elderly Aunts.  They grow up being teased as witches by the people in the neighborhood and after a tragic event, Sally decides to take her family away from her Aunt’s to live a so called normal life.  After some travels, her sister Jillian comes back into her life and upends everything she had worked so hard to maintain.  The book follows the trials and tribulations that their reunion brings about.  I also cried in this book too.  Alice Hoffman is good.

Watching the movie right now, so soon after reading the book, I’m still invested in the characters and their lives.  Even if some of the plot has changed from the book.  But I like reading about witches in a natural sort of way.  Nothing crazy supernatural about it.  Just women living their lives.