Judith Reveal

Judy Reveal is a freelance editor, writer, and book indexer. She also writes freelance articles for regional magazines and newspapers. She is the author of Around Greensboro, a pictorial about Greensboro Maryland, and Cheating Death and The Music Room, the Eastern Shore Mystery Novels, published by Chase Publishing of Cambridge, Maryland. In 2014, her nonfiction title, The Four Elements of Fiction: Character, Setting, Situation, and Theme, was released.

Ms. Reveal teaches creative writing classes and fiction workshops and has published short story fiction in local and national magazines. She has served the Maryland Writers’ Association as President and Secretary; Eastern Shore Writers’ Association as President; and is an active board member for Bay to Ocean Writers Conference.

Book Reviews by Judith Reveal

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Although many consider that the modernist period of literature began just prior to the start of the 20th century and continued into the 1960s, and included many familiar names, it is the year 1922

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It’s hard to believe there is crime in Washington, DC’s upper crust society, but Colleen J. Shogan’s Calamity at the Continental Club brings it front and center.

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Mary V. Dearborn’s biography of Ernest Hemingway takes him apart in minute pieces. To say that he was a complex character is an understatement.

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In Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, author Alison Weir takes well-known figures from history and offers their story in a fictional presentation.

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It must be said up front that Jessica Shattuck is a genius at character development and narrative description.

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Sir John Halberd is found dead in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, London.

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Claretta Pitacci, although not the only mistress to Italian Prime Minister and dictator, Benito Mussolini, is possibly best known as the one who died with him.

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In 1938, while a guest at the home of John “Jack” Jessup, Portia Blake, a beautiful actress of limited talent, falls victim to a horrific murder.

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another exciting Sigma Force adventure.”

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Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae is the first in the new Highland Bookshop Mystery Series.

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The emergence of the comic book to a more mature graphic novel can easily be equated to a butterfly rising from a cocoon.

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This anthology of short stories, The Mistletoe Murder, is a collection of four short stories by P. D. James.

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Drink it in with a cup of Earl Grey Tea on a cold winter evening.”

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There is something about a machine named the “bestseller-ometer” that has a snake oil feel to it, and yet The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer and Matthew L.

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Ross King does an exemplary job of bringing Claude Monet back to life.”

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As World War II sinks further into history and people from that era begin to pass, one would think the interest in that period would wane exponentially.

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All good writers who treasure their craft adhere to some technique guidelines that will help them produce their best writing. One of the first techniques they learn is observation.

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The Shattered Tree is an enjoyable and quick read—well worth the time.”

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Mysteries come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and The Darkness Knows by Cheryl Honigford is a perfect fit for the “cozy” mystery category.

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" . . . grabs the reader by the throat and does not let go until the very last page!"

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It is hard to wrap one’s mind around a thirteen-year-old child in Victorian England killing his mother, and yet in Kate Summerscale’s book The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murde

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Silva lives up to his reputation as a foremost writer of spy thrillers. This book turns its own pages!”

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Mary Mallon, “Typhoid Mary” as she was best known, was an Irish immigrant who worked as a cook in several well-to-do homes, but that was not what she was best known for.

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ANGST and DISPAIR, in all capitals, are clearly the driving forces behind Robin Wasserman’s latest novel, Girls on Fire.

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“a fast read about a ghastly situation and its effects on myriad people.”

The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson is a republication of her original work from 2007.

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Adam Hochschild’s book, Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939 gives us a different take on reporting about wars and their effect.

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In David Baldacci’s newest thriller, The Last Mile, he opens with a hook that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go for over 400 pages.

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Goodbye to the Dead is drop dead good.”

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W. B. Belcher’s first novel Lay Down Your Weary Tune is the kind of book you start reading and don’t put down until you reach the last page.

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Charles Moore’s second volume biography of Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher at Her Zenith: In London, Washington and Moscow addresses her rise to the top and her stay there for eleven

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Tricky Twenty-Two is the most recent in the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. Her heroine, Stephanie Plum, is a bounty hunter who works for her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman.

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a good, solid, page-turner . . .”

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All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke is the second in the Under Suspicion series and features Laurie Moran as the hard-hitting producer of the popular reality TV se

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"The story is breathtakingly laid out . . ."

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Death in Hollywood is always more interesting if it hints at murder, and The Ice Cream Blonde by Michelle Morgan does just that.

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“a great read, fast moving . . .”

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Something may have been lost in the translation, but The Hanging Girl by Jussi Adler-Olsen is flat.

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In her book The Lake House, author Kate Morton takes three stories about children—a missing child, an abandoned child, and a child given up for adoption—and braids the stories together.

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Tightrope by Simon Mawer tells the story of Marian Sutro, a World War II heroine who fought behind the lines to assist the Allies.

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brings everything about this time in American history bubbling to the top, to be relished and reread.”

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MI6 and CIA be damned! The Vatican and Pope Pius XII during World War II could have put any espionage agency to shame.

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Donald Bain has picked up the mantle of Margaret Truman’s Washington, DC, based mysteries and does her proud.

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There is something voyeuristic about reading personal correspondence between two people when you are not one of those people. And yet, you are compelled to continue, you can’t stop.

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A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd is another intriguing story featuring heroine Bess Crawford. Set in 1918, the story revolves around an event that occurs two years earlier.

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Meera Subramanian, in her book A River Runs Again, poses the problem of the state of India’s ecology and its decline since the 1950s and the Green Revolution.

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In his book The Cost of Courage author Charles Kaiser brings the horror of existing in occupied France during World War II front and center.

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"special style of storytelling . . ."

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As the dust of World War II appears in the rearview mirror of our memories, it takes a special book to explain the inner workings of the Washington, DC, establishment of the late 1930s/early 1940s

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In Spinster by Kate Bolick, we are taken on a journey of learning.

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“the story wandered far afield through dead-ends, unnecessary characters, and false starts.”

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“a fine storyteller.”

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“DeAngelis’s ability to tell an engaging story that draws the reader in makes this quirky read a real page-turner.”

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Author Joakim Zander’s writing style in The Swimmer is difficult to describe.

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“On a scale of one to five stars, this book gets six stars. The precise detail throughout lets the reader experience the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, not just read about it.”

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“This book is not for everyone but for the reader who enjoys finding the mystery in the mystery, it might be enjoyed.”

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Andrew Gross is a skilled storyteller, and he drives the tension to its climatic point, pulling the reader along.

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Indexing is an art. Not everyone will find it interesting . . .

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This book is rich in detail not only about Billy Mitchell, but also about the many steps taken to finally bring a third military arm into existence.

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“. . . this book will grab them by the scruff of the neck and hold them spellbound from beginning to end.”

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“. . . fascinating as it lays open the background of two intriguing personalities . . .”

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Lucien Bernard is a conflicted man.

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“. . . so interesting that is it well worth the read.”

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“Find a place for it on your bookshelf, regardless of what you might have to remove to make room.”

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Susan Rebecca White’s A Place at the Table introduces the reader to three troubled characters, each with a heartrending story.

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The years just prior to World War II were fraught with tension, and in Those Angry Years Lynne Olson provides extensive detail on the players, both major and minor.

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“Daniel Silva is an excellent storyteller.”

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“You will not be disappointed.”

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In The Other Typist Suzanne Rindell takes the reader on a journey deep into the recesses of the mind of the main character, Rose Baker.

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“Anyone who owns a pocket watch handed down through generations should read this book and take a close look at the history behind their family heirloom.”

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As a journalist stationed for many years in Jerusalem, author Lesley Hazleton is not unfamiliar with religious research and writing.

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“. . . belongs on one’s library shelf.”

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“If Ms. Huber continues writing her ongoing adventures in the same manner as The Anatomist’s Wife she is sure to have a successful career as a mystery writer.”

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“The book’s blurbs give insight into where the story is supposed to go, but it is a long time in getting there—and the way it gets there is less than compelling overall.”

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“John Saturnall’s Feast belongs in every library and perhaps even in the kitchen—just to remind the reader just how important a feast is.”

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“. . . packs a powerful punch: Ms. White covers every possible topic the up-and-coming female executive will need to tuck into her Prada portfolio.”

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“. . . a failed history lesson.”

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“. . . yet another exciting race through the byways of the spy community . . .”

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“. . . the first of a series, each focusing on a different daughter . . .”

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“The authors have mastered the skill of pacing . . .”

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“. . . a task of gargantuan proportions . . .”

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“The reader doesn’t read this book, but experiences it. Ms.

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“Ms. Zimmerman infuses life into these characters through her detailed research.

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“As with any good mystery, the tension ramps up as the story progresses, pulling more and more characters into the fray, weaving three murders flawlessly into a tight tale. Mr.

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“There are some interesting twists and turns as the story winds down—and yet the resolution of the child abduction seems to take the reader on a separate path away from the original story o

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“. . . while many of the stories in Life Upon These Shores give us pause, Mr.

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“For the reader interested in the specific history of one set of tales, or the complete story of Arthur, his knights, his queen, and Camelot, The Death of King Arthur is a great re

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“In all, this is a graceful story about a talented woman whose poetry and prose have, for the most part, survived for over 200 years. Mr.

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“Although noir was once a genre dominated solely by male writers, Ms. Faust’s liberating writing brings new substance to pulp fiction.

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“On the credit side, Mr. Drvenkar’s narrative and dialogue are strong and move each section of the story along. He selects his words with care . . .

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“It’s difficult to do justice to the 750 recipes and the overall presentation, except to say that this book never goes on the shelf—it never leaves the countertop, where it is always within

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“Just one title in a series of Bess Crawford mysteries, A Bitter Truth is a definite keeper.”

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“Jean-Philippe Toussaint uses words as a painter uses his palette, the colors carefully chosen and applied to the canvas, evoking emotions, perhaps raising questions, but always luring the

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“[Spycatcher] is timely in its topic and credit should be given to Mr. Dunn for applying his experience to designing a suspense thriller.

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“Daniel Silva writes with a clarity not seen by many of today’s writers. He has designed a delicious plot that moves with the speed of light.

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One, two, three. One, the pain of losing a child to an accident; two, the confusion of losing a child to a suicide; three, the fury of losing a child to murder.

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“Mr.

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“. . . when Ms.

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“With red herrings, foreshadowing, and hidden clues added in, A Spark of Death leads us on a . . . breathless journey from beginning to end.”

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Quirky and edgy—the yin and yang of a good story. These two words give the concise description of The Brick Murder: A Tragedy, an anthology of short stories by Kurt Jose Ayau.