Book Review: The Jazz Files

Book Review: The Jazz Files

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch SmithThe Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith is an engaging and delightful read. (Ironically, the first book I selected after my Fiona was born was authored by a Fiona.)

Shortly after arriving in London in 1920, Poppy Denby takes a position as an assistant at a newspaper — hoping to start her own career as a journalist. But when the political editor drops dead, Poppy begins a journey unlike anything she imagined to learn the truth about the article he had been working on, one with very personal ties to her own family. But her determination to dig up the past puts her and those she loves in danger…

I enjoyed reading this well-written mystery and getting to know the characters of this new series by a new-to-me author. The heroine, Poppy, is easy to like and relatable — she isn’t an expert at much of anything, but she has spunk and determination. Her friends are a smattering of personalities and generations, each unique and likeable in their own way. Read more

Book Review: Beyond All Dreams

Book Review: Beyond All Dreams

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth CamdenA few years ago, I read Elizabeth Camden’s Against the Tide. I liked the book well enough that when the opportunity arose to review another of her books, I went for it. Her latest release, Beyond All Dreams, is an interesting story from inside the heart of the Library of Congress in 1897.

Anna is a quiet-as-a-mouse map librarian in the Library of Congress, living a predictable but content life in spite the hurts and struggles of her past. Luke is one of the nation’s most powerful, and charming, congressmen left in a fight to save his career after infighting with Congress leadership. Under duress, Anna joins Luke’s quest to save his job and in return, Luke sets out to help Anna solve the mystery of a lost ship. Together, they find themselves surrounded by secrets that could prove perilous.

I think my favorite part of this story is my favorite part of every historical fiction — learning more about history. I can honestly say I didn’t have much knowledge of the formation or early workings of the Library of Congress, but as a lit nerd, I definitely find it interesting. And even though I’m not much for politics, I also enjoyed the nuances about Congress and the congressional pages and all of that. It’s a very good testament to a historical fiction novel if I come away with a greater knowledge of history.

That said, I read this book almost entirely in one sitting. It was a breeze to get through (and I am a slow reader!), which makes it ideal for a vacation novel or something to pick up on the next snow day. It isn’t a complex masterpiece, but it is certainly enjoyable.

I received a complimentary copy of Beyond All Dreams from Bethany House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.

Inexpressible charm

Inexpressible charm

Inexpressible charm

This morning I was reading Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, a book of incredible revelations from the preachings of Chambers throughout his life.

And this one part truly struck me: “Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to ‘go out’ in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus.”

I want to have a sacred and inexpressible charm about my life today and always.