The Bowery Slugger by Leopold Borstinski

The Bowery Slugger (Alex Cohen, #1)Synopsis:

A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy punches his way into the gangs of New York.

When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?

The first book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which rips through the early years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir beats at the chest of every reader with a bloody fist.

Published in paperback and ebook formats by Sobriety Press on 10th November 2019

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The Hamilton Affair: A Novel by Elizabeth Cobbs

The Hamilton Affair


Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette,The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.


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Interview with E.M. Thomas – Author of The Bulls of War

Please join me in welcoming E.M. Thomas to The Book’s the Thing. E.M. is the author of The Bulls of War, and has stopped by for a chat.

bow-cover-6 For love. For war. For honor. For vengeance.

Spanning vistas from majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and barren plains in the north to sweltering deserts, raging seas, and rain-soaked shrublands in the south,The Bulls of War is the first book of E.M. Thomas’s epic Chronicles of the Andervold Thrones.

Follow this sweeping tale of an empire on the precipice of war with its hated rival, a fragile truce teetering on the edge of a sword. Watch as tens of thousands of troops stand at the ready, only an order away from battles on a scale unseen in centuries. Beware as some factions within the Imperial capital fight to keep the peace, while others shirk no scheme, murder, or terror in their quest to trigger war – a war some fear could rend their divided empire apart.

It is in the midst of this dangerous game of brinksmanship that Generals Tyghus and Kyrus soon find themselves. Against a backdrop of deceit and suspicion, of blood and tears, of power and glory, their friendship is put to the ultimate test as they struggle to save their country, themselves, and those they love – all while battling their own tortured pasts.

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Guest Post – Richard Baker, Author of Cao Bang

I’m please to have a guest post from Richard Baker today. He is the author of Cao Bang, an historical fiction novel available from Amazon. I normally read and review authors’ books myself when they contact me, but I am not a fan of this particular era and subject matter. I didn’t want anyone who might be to miss hearing about this book however. As you’ll read below, Richard Baker has the experience and personal knowledge needed to make this a very realistic piece of fiction! Please join me in welcoming him to The Book’s the Thing. – Erika

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A Matter of Grave Concern, by Brenda Novak

A Matter of Grave Concern
by Brenda Novak

Audiobook, 9 CDs, Read by Michael Page

Matter of Grave Concern, A

My Rating *** (3 of 5 stars)

I listened to this as an audiobook during my commute back and forth to work. I have to admit that Historical romance is not one of my preferred genres, and someone who enjoys romance novels might have a different opinion of this book. I was in the library one Saturday afternoon with my two girls and wanted to grab something to listen to in a hurry. The title caught my eye, and I skimmed the beginning of the blurb on the back. I read just enough to make me think it was an historical mystery, and not even paying attention to the author’s name (which I would have recognized) I took it and checked out. Driving in to work that first Monday morning after picking it up, it didn’t take long to realize what I had. I might have stopped listening if I’d had another book to listen to in the car, but since it was all that i had with me, I kept going.

The story is about a young woman named Abby who’s father is a surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine. She decides to help the college keep their students by providing a corpse for the required anatomy classes. This requires Abby to deal with a group of resurectionists, or body snatchers. Little does she know that one of the gang is not what he is pretending to be. Max Wilder has actually joined the gang of grave robbers in search of his half sister, Madeline, who has gone missing and was last seen in the company of the gang’s leader, Jack Hurtsill.

This story had it’s ups and downs. At times the characters thoughts and concerns seemed repetitive and almost silly. Should she or shouldn’t she give in to Max. Will he or won’t he tell Abby the truth. I know some of that is necessary to help build tension, but it seemed a bit much. I’m not sure how I would have felt in Abby’s position as Max revealed one secret after another, instead of coming clean up front. It also seemed that after spending the first 2/3 of the book searching for Madeline, her part of the story was wrapped up in a rush. It was interesting to hear about what colleges were willing to condone to get the corpses they needed for their students to study medicine, however, and there was enough danger, suspense, and intrigue to keep my attention.

All in all, this was not a bad story, but there was too much graphic sex for my taste. If you don’t mind that, or are willing to do a little skimming, then it might be worth a read.

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The Medici Boy

The Medici Boy
by John L’Heureux

The Medici Boy

My rating: *** (3 of 5 stars)

**NOTE: I was generously provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

After reading the title, The Medici Boy, I expected this to mainly be a novel about the Medicis. While they do play a part, the story focuses on Donatello and his infatuation with the young model/prostitute Agnolo (the titular “Medici Boy”), who poses for his bronze “David and Goliath”. The whole thing is told to us in the form of a final written memoir by Luca Mattei, one of Donatello’s assistants, as he nears the end of his days imprisoned for a murder that he committed out of love for his friend Donatello.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I had a hard time relating to most of the characters in this story, and the lack of action caused the book to feel somewhat slow at times, but it is very well written. The descriptions of Florence and her history, and the detailed references to Donatello’s artistic processes were interesting and seem to have been very well researched.

Students of art history and those who have an interest in the Renaissance or Italian history in general should really enjoy this book.

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