Posts by Vicki J Kondelik

Matrix by Lauren Groff

Cover of Matrix by Lauren Groff

Matrix is a beautifully-written historical novel by Lauren Groff about the medieval abbess and poet Marie de France. Marie is cast out of the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, her sister-in-law, because she is considered unmarriageable, and sent to a remote abbey, where she eventually becomes the abbess and creates a utopian community of women, while struggling against harsh conditions and opposition from the church authorities. Groff writes in a poetic style that draws you into Marie's...

The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi by Massimo Mazzotti

Cover of The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi by Massimo Mazzotti

This is a fascinating biography of a female mathematician in 18th century Italy, Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799). A child prodigy, Agnesi received an education that was usually reserved for boys. She wrote one of the first textbooks on calculus, and was appointed to a university professorship, although she was unable to accept the position because of illness. Her later life was devoted to helping the poor, and educating the impoverished children in her neighborhood.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Cover of Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Arsenic and Adobo is the first in a new mystery series featuring a Filipino American heroine, Lila Macapagal, who works in her family's restaurant. When her ex-boyfriend dies after eating a dessert in the restaurant, Lila is accused of the crime, and she has to find the real killer in order to clear her name and save the restaurant. The book's greatest strengths are the characters and the descriptions of Filipino food.

Half Life by Jillian Cantor

Cover of Half Life by Jillian Cantor

Half Life is a beautifully written historical novel with two parallel stories. One is about the famous scientist Marie Curie, and follows the events of her life: her marriage to Pierre Curie, her scientific discoveries, and her Nobel Prizes. The other is completely fictional and is about the woman Marie Curie might have become if she had stayed in Poland and married her first love. Both stories feature an admirable, brilliant woman as the protagonist. The real story and the fictional story...

The Midnight Hour by Elly Griffiths

Cover of The Midnight Hour by Elly Griffiths

In this mystery set in Brighton, England, in 1965, private detective Emma Holmes investigates the murder of a theatrical impresario. His wife, a former music hall star, is accused of killing him. To prove her innocence, she hires Emma and her partner in the firm, Samantha "Sam" Collins, to solve the crime. Emma is also the wife of the police superintendent, Edgar Stephens, and they decide to work together, along with a young police officer, Meg Connolly. Griffiths writes vividly...

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

Cover of Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

This sequel to The Three Musketeers continues the adventures of d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. The new ruler of France is the cunning and manipulative Cardinal Mazarin. During a rebellion against his rule, the musketeers find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. They travel to England to save Charles I from execution, and fight against Mordaunt, the evil son of Milady, who is determined to avenge his mother's death.

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